OT Travel Itinerary: Your Weekend Guide To Dhanaulti In Uttarakhand

Dhanaulti offers not only a relaxing weekend getaway for city-dwellers but also many activities for adventure-seekers to indulge in
Dhanaulti is a picturesque destination for travellers
Dhanaulti is a picturesque destination for travellersShutterstock

You will never run out of beautiful hill towns in Uttarakhand. With sweeping valleys and snow-covered mountains, there is a lot for discerning travellers to explore. Located some 21 km from the capital, Dehradun, the quiet little town of Dhanaulti could be your weekend getaway and a calmer, more serene alternative to Mussoorie, which is just an hour away from the town.

Here is a quick guide to spending a great weekend in Dhanaulti.

Day 1:

Surkanda Devi Temple
Surkanda Devi TempleShutterstock

Perched at 2,250 metres, Dhanaulti offers a lot to do for travellers. On your first morning, you can embark on a trek to either Lal Tibba, a 60-km trail, or to the Surkanda Devi Temple for those more spiritually inclined. Situated eight km from Dhanaulti, you can spend a couple of hours on this trek and then grab lunch at some local eatery.

Consequently, a visit to the ancient Dhashavatar Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is a must. Dress modestly and spend a couple of hours admiring the architecture of the historical structure. History buffs will find a guided tour more interesting. In the evening, you can sample some local cuisine or return to your hotel and eat there. 

Day 2:

Dhanaulti Eco Park
Dhanaulti Eco ParkShutterstock

On your second day, visit the Dhanaulti Eco Park in the morning and walk among the towering oak, rhododendron, and deodar trees. The park opens at sunrise and closes at 6 pm every day of the week. The entry fee is INR 25 per adult and INR 10 per kid. Visit the 16th-century Deogarh Fort, one of the well-known attractions in Dhanaulti. This architectural gem houses a number of beautiful murals and Jain Temples, which tell the stories of the bygone era. 

Since there are no significant markets in Dhanaulti, if you want to shop, it is best to do so in nearby Mussoorie, where you can also explore the trendy cafes for food and drinks before returning to your hotel for the night. But if you want to take something home from Dhanaulti itself, small local shops sell jams, jellies, and marmalades, which would be great gifts for friends and family. Some must-try local food you can look out for in Dhanaulti is the rich and flavourful Garhwali pulao and bhang ki chutney, which is made with cannabis seeds.

Adventure Activities to Try in Dhanaulti

Dhanaulti is a fast-emerging destination for various adventure activities
Dhanaulti is a fast-emerging destination for various adventure activitiesShutterstock

While most people would pick Dhanaulti as a destination to while away their weekend, it is also a fast-emerging destination for various adventure activities. For the thrill-seekers planning a weekend trip to Dhanaulti, there are multiple adventure activities that you can indulge in. Go for skywalking, where you walk on a 360ft single-wire rope suspended from 120ft. The longest sky bridge in India is in Dhanaulti, constructed of wire ropes and bamboo and measuring 300ft in length and 80ft in height, which you have to cross with your hands for a heart-pumping adventure. Additionally, ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling and ATV biking are some of the things you can look forward to.

Where to Stay

There are multiple stay options for all budget types. For a luxury stay, check into StayVista at Villa Vaari (starting from INR 43,000); for a mid-range experience, Glamwood Resort (starting at INR 5,293) is a good choice. There are many options for backpackers and budget travellers, such as LaCliff Nature Home (starting at INR 1575) or Bhandari Cottages (starting from INR 1000).

Getting There

If you are visiting from Delhi, you can take an eight to nine-hour road trip to Dhanaulti or fly into Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. Take a taxi to Dhanaulti, which is nearly 75 km from the airport. The best time to visit is between April and October. 

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