It was approximately three years since we had our first trip together to the beautiful Andamans. It was now time for another tryst and what could be a better choice than the snow clad mountains. I knew I had to visit Himalayas, as my better half loves being in snow the most. I had also recently enrolled for the Club Mahindra membership and I wanted to reap its benefits. Keeping in mind the Club Mahindra constraint I shortlisted a few resorts in north. However as usual I was keen on travelling to the roads less travelled and hence my hunt immediately narrowed down to a name I had never heard before. A little time on Google & I knew that this is exactly the place I was looking for. A place whose beauty is just limited by your will and imagination. A place soaked in nature and so raw that you would hardly find any good hotels. A place not commercialized as a popular tourist location. A place where you wake up to the melodious calls of numerous birds dwelling in the forest around you. A place which is curtained from the polluted city life…The hidden hamlet – Kanatal.
It was a vibrant start to our 4 nights/5 days stay in the hamlet. We experienced one of the most brilliant dawn of our life @ ~35,000 ft above sea level.
We took a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. I had arranged a vehicle via a friend’s reference for our complete journey. @Himanshu, thanks buddy for the excellent reference. Mr. Ram received us at Delhi airport and took really good care of us while driving us to Kanatal and back. The journey was tiresome and took around 10hrs. The time we reached Dhanaulti the sun had already set. A look at the horizon brought a smile on our faces, for what we saw was the king of mountains…The Mighty Himalayas.
By the time we reached our resort Club Mahindra Kanatal, it was already dark. We stepped out to chilling cold and warm welcome by the resort’s lovely staff. After a welcome drink and quick formalities we were guided to our room. The room was a ‘hotel unit’ and frankly big enough for two of us. It was equipped with all basic amenities including the most /needed heater. After the much needed rest for the night, we woke up to the beautiful valley covered with fog. I had requested the staff for a room on level 3 and thankfully they fulfilled it. First look from the balcony and I saw layers of earth which looked like shade cards by nature
The resort is often visited by our relatives, the lesser humans. They love to check the balconies of all rooms and see if they hit a jackpot somewhere with unlocked balcony door. However this was the first time I had a closer look at these intellectuals and was surprised with their uncanny resemblance to us humans.
The other side of the valley was experiencing showers and we were secretly praying for a snowfall.
But I guess this wasn’t our day. The weather soon got pleasant and the sun was shining clear. We decided to take a walk in the thick forest of Kodia, which was just on the other side of our resort.
Kodia jungle is one of the must visit places in Kanatal especially if you’re staying in Club Mahindra because then you can start your day with morning walks here like we did.
After a rejuvenating walk in the Kodia it was now time for delicious breakfast and believe me the food in the Club Mahindra was delicious throughout our stay. Post breakfast we headed towards the Tehri Dam. The Tehri Dam is the tallest dam in India and one of the tallest in the world. It is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River (Courtesy: Wiki).
The tourism department also has a boating club where the tourists can enjoy a pleasant boat ride in the backwaters of the dam. We were luckily the only visitors that day and had complete view exclusive for us. The view was mesmerizing and felt so pristine. I was happy to uncover another such place in our beautiful country. This surely would be a part of heaven.
And as they say if there are mountains, there has to be eagles.
The old town of Tehri sat at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Bhilangna rivers. Construction of the Tehri Dam totally submerged the old town of Tehri, and the population was shifted to higher altitude, now referred to as the town of New Tehri.
We spent the evening roaming around the resort and saturating our souls with the untouched beauty of this region.
Next day we headed towards Mussoorie. On the way we decided to visit the famous Surkanda devi temple. Surkanda Devi temple is situated close to Dhanaulti in Tehri District. It is at an altitude of about 2,757 metres (9976 ft). We parked our vehicle near Kaddukhal from where we had to walk up 3km to reach the temple.
Reaching the top of the peak was tiring but once there, we realized it was worth the efforts. We had a panoramic view of the Shivaliks from the top.
The trek to the temple was beautiful and I couldn’t resist myself from my love for the birds and luckily spotted a few which I had never seen before.
We soon advanced towards Mussoorie.
One of the embarking experience was being to Cafe Ivy near Char dukan. It was a beautiful little cafe overlooking the valley. The rustic feel of the cafe added flavors to the food there. I couldn’t resist a cold coffee and am sure people there looked at me as a fool having cold coffee in winter.
Third morning the weather looked promising for a snowfall and we almost felt our prayers being answered with peck of snow coming down from the dark sky but that was all… no real snow fall. Nevertheless that could be the reason to visit this place once again. However the weather that day was dramatic and nature created some really beautiful scenes for us to witness
Next day we departed this beautiful piece of heaven with one last look at the gorgeous Himalayas.
Kanatal is one of the lesser known and uncommercialized hamlet in the Himalayas. There may be better places to experience the greatness of Himalaya, however Kanatal has its own charm. We stayed @ Club Mahindra Kanatal and loved every moment we spent there. The location of the resort was beautiful and the courteous staff was icing on the cake. Food there was delicious. When in kanatal you could choose to sit back and relax or wander to some of the nearby places like Surkanda devi temple, Tehri dam or Kodia jungle. Visiting the places of interest in Kanatal was little different, it was unlike other commercialized hill stations, it was more relaxed. Kanatal was a birder’s paradise.