Dhanaulti and Mussoorie are one among the best short trips in India. Dhanaulti is a small town near mussoorie. These two are the perfect combo for a long weekend gate away. If you want to have a fresh air breather, away from the chaos of city life, at the heart of nature, then Mussoorie & Dhanaulti are the best combination, especially if you are based out of Delhi NCR.
It was Sep 2020, when I had gone on this trip by road from Delhi. I am not a Delhite, but I used to work in NCR at that time. The roads are not very hilly; it’s safe to go via road in a self drive car as well. It’s enjoyable considering the kind of weather you would drive through with soothing music playing in the background.
It’s important that you start early around 5/6 AM from Delhi NCR, so that you can reach Dhanaulti before sunset. We reached Dhanaulti before the sunset; took an evening walk near the hotel to revel in the bliss of orange sunshine.
You should plan more time at Dhanaulti compared to Mussoorie, as Mussoorie is comparatively a busy city. Dhanaulti is serene. Ideal stay at Dhanaulti will be a place where you can actually spend the late evening looking at the twinkling stars and see the sunrise while having the morning ginger-honey-lemon tea from your bed.
In the morning we went to Surkanda Devi temple. You should not attempt going there if you don’t like trekking. It was nearly 30 minutes long trek one-way to the temple. The scenic view you will get from the top is really enjoyable given that there’s not much crowd.
You should plan moving back to Mussoorie around 3 PM, so that you reach there before it’s dark. After the brunch, we went to Dhanulti ECO park. You should definitely save 2 hours for this on your way back to Mussoorie. It’s not because there will be many activities to do, but because it has great spots for self-introspection, infusing you with positivity and leaving you energized.
Usually I prefer staying for one night near the mall roads in hill stations because in the evening you can go for a long evening walk in the mall road and spend time as long as you want to. Usually you will find the crowd till 10-10:30 PM. In my evening walk at mall road, I had the famous cheese omelette and kulhad milk; the popular street food. There is a very old and famous omelette shop named “Lovely Omelette centre” (there are news articles about them from before 1947) you should definitely try.
Before you end your long weekend, start your morning early and visit the key attractions of this hill station if you are visiting it for the first time. We went to “Kempty Falls” and “Lal Tibba” early in the morning. You can view the himalayan range from Lal Tibba view point if you are lucky to have a clean sky that day. Usually early during the sunrise you can see the mountain range from the view point while enjoying your hot honey-ginger-lemon tea. I find this drink to be really refreshing and warming to acclimatise better in the hill stations.
Kempty falls is no different from what you will find in most of the North-Eastern states. But these are the unique features of nature, that you never get bored with no matter how much time you spend there, no matter how many times you visit there. And the best part is you can bathe in this fresh water here and have lots of fun if you are visiting this place with a group. We didn’t as we didn’t find it to be very safe during COVID and I love nature at its best i.e. when it’s not too crowded.
You can literally feel as if you are merging and tuning with a high frequency blissful nature’s energy. I never felt like leaving this place, but we had to leave Mussoorie early enough to reach Delhi by evening.