Another weekend, another month and again a new quest to head to the mountains. Believe me, blessed are the people who live in Delhi as we can never run out of options when the wanderlust bug suddenly bites. All we need to do is pack our bags, get into a cab, and hit the road.

Yes, it was that easy, Palak booked the overnight Volvo ticket a day before and the hotel was booked on the go. We reached Mussoorie at dawn and hired a taxi for the next leg of the journey. This is how we stumbled upon Dhanaulti, a quaint hill station, 22 km ahead of Mussoorie. 

Palak fell ill due to food poisoning and had to take medication and rest, of course. This way, all of a sudden, the trip becomes SOLO for me. After arranging medicines and other necessities for her, I started exploring the place on foot.  

Rhododendron
Dhanaulti flanked by thick deodars and oaks on both sides of the road

Eco Parks – A Rendezvous With Nature

The place is renowned for its two Eco parks, namely Ambar and Dhara. These are conserved Forest area dotted with wooden trails to take you across all the attractions in the park. What makes it more remarkable is the fact that you can plant a tree in your name or any of your loved ones. I really loved the idea of Eco-park and desperately want our metro cities to take it up. 

Eco Park
Eco Park Dhanaulti
Burma Bridge in EcoPark
Inside Eco Park

I started hiking up the peak inside the park but a horde of monkeys made sure that I couldn’t venture into their territory. After several failed attempts, I saw a family coming over and I joined them to come face to face with those monsters 😉  

EcoForest.JPG
Trails inside Eco Park

At Hilltop, I could feel the fresh breeze brushing my hair and the chills down my body. When I looked at the Panoramic view of the Himalayas in front of me, I uttered to myself “Damn! This is what I was craving for“. 

Top of Eco park.JPG
Panoramic view
Views from Hill top.JPG
Himalayas in the backdrop
Swaying DeodarTrees.JPG
Trees swaying in happiness
Small village on Hill Top
Village on Hilltop

While coming down, I met these kiddos selling a bunch of rhododendron for 20 bucks after school hours. 

Villager

In no time, the evening took over the day, and the sky turned into a canvas of colors. I sat near some trees and started watching birds who were flying back to their homes. Btw, this place is also known for Birding and you can take your binoculars to catch a glimpse of some really interesting beings. It was time to head back to the hotel and plan for the next day. 

Sunset in Dhanaulti
Multi-shaded sky
Eveningclouds
Melodramatic evening in the town 

Day 2- Trek to Surkanda Temple

Trek to the Surkanda Devi temple was on the agenda for Day 2. After having breakfast, I took a bus to Kaddukhal village. From there, a trek of 1.5 km leads to the temple. I was taken aback by the beautiful views all around the trail. 

Surkanda Temple
Entrance to the Surkanda Devi Temple
Temple at Hill Top
Temple at a height of 10,000 feet

History 

It is believed that the head of Sati (Goddess Parvati) fell here when Lord Vishu released his Sudarshan Chakra to stop the destruction caused by Lord Shiva’s ‘tandav’ (Boisterous Dance) while he was carrying her body after she set herself on fire for not being invited for a sacrificial feast for all the deities by Daksha, her father.

Surkanda History
Sarkunda Devi Temple- History

The trek took me to the place wherein the North I can see the Himalayan Ranges and in the south I can spot Dehradun and Mussoorie. 

Temple premise
From all above
Withdrums
Temple premise

The snow clad mountains in front, the chilly Himalayan wind in the bright sun, the beautiful horizon,  deodar trees 
Pause…
Just take in everything and feel blessed for witnessing such views!! 

Step Farming
Terraced Farm
Gangotri Range view from the temple

Robbers Cave

We took a taxi back to Dehradun and considering the time in hand, we decided to visit Robbers Cave in Dehradun. This was indeed a small effort to cheer up Palak who was feeling better by now. This place was among the interesting sights I have ever witnessed in my life. We started walking into the water and in no time water level rises to the knees and then to the waist. There was even a small waterfall at the rear of the cave.

Robbers Cave

Final words 

We are now heading back home, taking all that we can in heart and memory without any boundaries. Looking out of the open window, feeling the cool breeze on my face, my hair flying, soaking in the last ray of sun, and of course good music.
Going back, only to come back to witness more!!

If you have already been here or to other similar places, share your experiences or engage in a conversation below. 

NOTE: We traveled to Dhanaulti, in late April 2019. Amid this coronavirus pandemic, one way to calm down the travel bug inside me is to relive those moments I had spent among those beautiful landscapes.

This blog is a small effort to cheer up the traveler in each one of us.

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