Chakrata-Uttarakhand’s most scenic location
I was in Chakrata, Uttarakhand on such a tranquil trip. May 13, started off with a bright sunny morning and the Santro waiting for me, a big smile appeared on my face for a perfect start. A light drizzle was on and I was enjoying the sip of tea, a light ghazal, gazing at the verdant mountains and listen to the raindrops falling on the tree leaves. I took in the breathtaking beauty of the coloured bands of disinct ancient rock layers where Geography met History. A wide variety of colors can be seen from Chakrata during monsoon months where the snow clad Himalayas plays hide and seek.
Chakrata is a small & beautiful hill town. One can reach Chakrata by road only. The Kalsi Army Check post allows only Indians to drive through where one has to pay a toll fee.
Chakrata ,known for its pristine and unparallel beauty, is situated at a distance of 98 kms from Dehradun,Uttarakhand, between the Tons and Yamuna rivers. One look at Chakarata and it becomes clear that this place is blessed to be the eternal home of natural beauty. Virgin forests of rhododendrons and oaks are best suited for long walks. These forests,are complimented by picturesque villages of Jaunsari tribe.
Routes pass through beautiful mountains, along the hilly terrain. I enjoyed much more travelling on these roads rather than on city roads, there is a charm about them and the beautiful surroundings, they compel you to jingle with them. Getting there is like a fairy tale where I could see the scenery painted but luckily it was all natural.
Experience to reach Chakrata was amazing but I was waiting for morning to explore the other destination in Chakarta. It was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever experienced in all my life, it was green everywhere which something I missed the night before. I was eager to go outside to experience the beauty.
Rainbows across the Tiger Falls in Chakrata
My first destination was Tiger Falls, a key attraction near Chakrata. After a fairly easy trek of 5 kms from Chakrata, Tiger Falls is a water ballad; falling gracefully from a height of about 50 meters. Tiger Falls creates a small pond which renders an enchanting effect to the picturesque surroundings. Visitors can play in the ice-cold water, have lots of fun under the real shower of nature. This is the highest ‘direct’ water fall in Asia and it provides a wonderful sight. It was almost a lunch time, and even I, a foodie to the core, was astonished that time runs so fast. I decided to move back to the hotel for lunch. I overheard a family during lunch who were talking about the place they had visited – ‘Kanasar’.
Koti Kanasar is a beautiful village situated in dense thick green forests, 25 km or 1.5 hour drive from Chakrata. Though the village itself consists of a few houses, the simple villagers welcome all tourists. Suddenly it started raining. I decided to take rest in a hut, but the drizzle went on till late in the evening. So I decided to spend the night in the Forest Rest House. It was really amazing to sleep under the wooden ceiling with the sound of rain drops outside.
River Tons or Tamas River
The next morning I returned to my hotel at Chakrata for breakfast and headed for ‘Hanol, a quiet and peaceful village’. Popular legend says that the village was named after a Brahmin, Huna Bhatt. Earlier, it was known as Chakrapur, and it is said to be the place where the Pandavas (of Mahabharata, a religious epic) escaped from laksha graha. The village is situated on the left bank of River ‘Tons’ earlier known as River Tamas (meaning short tempered). The water cannot be drawn for irrigation purposes because of precipitous banks and deep gorges. It is for this very reason the river is also called Karam Nashini (something that impedes the good). According to the tradition the water of River ‘Tons’ are the tears from the eyes of Prince Babrubahan, son of Arjuna .
Mahasu Devta Temple, Hanol
‘Mahasur Devta’ Temple is located on the eastern bank of Tons River at Hanol village. It is the most important tourist attraction of the village. Dedicated to Lord Mahasur, this ancient temple was built in 9th century. The temple was constructed in Huna architectural style initially but over the ages, it has acquired a mixed style.
Sunrise view at Deoban
Day 3 started off with breakfast and sightseeing in ‘Deoban’ – a place surrounded by dense forests at an altitude of 3,025 meters. One can get a breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges, and wondrous views of the smoky hills and floating clouds playing hide and seek with the mountain.
I visited Mundali the same day, as I was running out of time. Mundali offers an unforgettable view of the snow-capped Himalayas. Professionals can enjoy skiing on the vast ski slopes. The only accommodation facility is at the Forest Rest House, so one has to arrange their stay through the forest department. I decided to spend last night of my trip there.
Lakhamandal-”Laksha Grah” temple, Uttarakhand
In the early morning, when my taxi arrived, I was deeply saddened to even think of leaving. I noted the contact details of the Forest Rest House, promising to return soon.