If you are looking for a serene and scenic getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kanatal and Dhanaulti are two hill stations in Uttarakhand that will surely charm you with their natural beauty and tranquility. Located at an altitude of 8,500 feet, you can also enjoy the views of the Himalayas, lush green forests, and refreshing waterfalls. Whether you want to relax in the lap of nature, indulge in some adventure activities, or visit some ancient temples, these places have something for everyone. Here is a guide to help you plan your trip to Kanatal and Dhanaulti, covering how to reach, when to visit, and what to do.
How to Reach Kanatal, Dhanaulti?
Kanatal and Dhanaulti are well connected by road from Delhi, Dehradun, and Rishikesh. You can either take a bus, a taxi, or drive your own car to reach these destinations.
The distance and time taken from different cities are as follows.
- From Delhi: The distance is about 300 km and it takes around 8 hours to reach Kanatal or Dhanaulti by road. You can take NH 334 or NH 44 and head towards Chamba via Roorkee, Haridwar, and Rishikesh. From Chamba, you can take the road either to Kanatal or Dhanaulti, according to your destination. You can also take a bus from Kashmiri Gate ISBT in Delhi to Chamba or Mussoorie and then hire a taxi to Kanatal or Dhanaulti.
- From Dehradun: The distance is about 85 km and it takes around 3 hours to reach Kanatal or Dhanaulti by road. You can take the Mussoorie road and then follow the signs to Dhanaulti. If you want to go to Kanatal, you can continue on the same road for another 15 km.
- From Rishikesh: The distance is about 75 km and it takes around 2.5 hours to reach Kanatal or Dhanaulti by road. You can take NH 7 and head towards Chamba via Narendra Nagar and New Tehri. From Chamba, you can take the road either to Kanatal or Dhanaulti, according to your preference.
You can also reach Kanatal or Dhanaulti by train or by air. The nearest railway station is Dehradun Railway Station, which is about 78 km from Kanatal and 60 km from Dhanaulti. You can take a taxi or a bus from the station to reach your destination. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 92 km from Kanatal and 86 km from Dhanaulti. You can hire a taxi or a cab from the airport to reach your destination.
When to Visit Kanatal and Dhanaulti?
Kanatal Dhanaulti can be visited throughout the year as they have a pleasant climate in all seasons. However, the best time to visit depends on your preference and purpose of travel.
Here are some suggestions based on the weather conditions:
Summer (April-June): This is the ideal time to visit Dhanaulti, if you want to escape the heat of the plains and enjoy the cool breeze of the mountains. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 28°C, making it comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities. You can also witness the blooming of rhododendrons and other flowers in this season.
Monsoon (July-September): This is the time when Kanatal, and Dhanaulti receive heavy rainfall, which makes the landscape more green and refreshing. However, this is not a recommended time to visit as the roads can be slippery and prone to landslides. You may also face difficulty in commuting and exploring the places due to low visibility and fog.
Winter (October-March): This is the time when Kanatal, and Dhanaulti experience snowfall, which makes them look like a winter wonderland. The temperature drops down to 3°C or even below zero at times, so you need to carry heavy woolens and warm clothes. This is a perfect time for snow lovers and adventure seekers who want to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or snow trekking.
What to Do in Kanatal, Dhanaulti?
Kanatal and Dhanaulti have a lot to offer in terms of attractions and activities. You can choose from a variety of options depending on your interest and mood. Here are some of the things that you can do in Kanatal and Dhanaulti.
- Visit Surkanda Devi Temple: This is one of the most popular places to visit in Kanatal as it is a sacred shrine dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It is located at an altitude of 10,000 feet and offers stunning views of the Himalayas. You have to trek for about 2 km from Kaddukhal village to reach the Surkanda Devi Temple, which is a rewarding experience for devotees and nature lovers.
- Enjoy Water Sports at Tehri Lake: This is one of the largest man-made lakes in Asia and a major attraction near Kanatal. You can indulge in various water sports such as boating, jet skiing, surfing, or a banana boat ride at the lake and have a thrilling time with your family or friends. You can also visit the Tehri Dam, which is an engineering marvel and a source of hydroelectricity for the region.
- Explore Kodia Jungle: This is a dense forest area near Kanatal that is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. You can take a guided trek through the jungle and spot some rare birds and animals such as musk deer, wild boar, or barking deer. You can also enjoy scenic views of the valleys, hills, and waterfalls along the way.
- Experience Adventure at Dhanaulti Adventure Park: This is a place where you can unleash your adventurous side and have some fun with your loved ones. The park offers various activities such as zip-lining, rappelling, rock climbing, camping, or trekking for all age groups. You can also enjoy the views of Eco Park, which is a beautiful garden with deodar, oak, and rhododendron trees.
- Visit Deogarh Fort and Dashavatar Temple: These are two historical places near Dhanaulti that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. Deogarh Fort is a 16th-century fort that has well-decorated palaces adorned with murals and paintings. Dashavatar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu that has intricately carved panels and sculptures depicting his ten incarnations.
Tips for Traveling to Kanatal, Dhanaulti
To make your trip to Kanatal, Dhanaulti more enjoyable and hassle-free, here are some pro tips that you should keep in mind:
- Check the weather forecast before planning your trip as it may change abruptly in the hills. Avoid traveling during the monsoon season as it may cause roadblocks and landslides.
- Carry enough cash with you as there are no ATMs or petrol pumps in Kanatal. The nearest ones are in Chamba or Mussoorie.
- Book your accommodation in advance as there are limited options available in Kanatal or Dhanaulti. You can choose from camps, cottages, resorts, or luxury Hotel in Kanatal according to your budget and preference.
- Respect the local culture and customs and do not litter or harm the environment. Seek permission before taking photographs of people or places.
- Carry essential items such as medicines, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, water bottles, snacks, torches, etc. with you as you may not find them easily in Kanatal or Dhanaulti.
Kanatal and Dhanaulti are two hidden gems in Uttarakhand that offer a perfect blend of nature, adventure, and spirituality. They are ideal destinations for a weekend getaway or a family vacation where you can relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. So pack your bags and head to these enchanting hill stations for an unforgettable experience.