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''A quiet hill town blessed with natural bounteousness and away from pollution and crowd''

About 90kms from Dehradun is this quaint hill station, which is a restricted area for foreigners being a cantonment town. Nestled in between deodar and pine forests, this hill station is a prefect holiday retreat if wanting to be in the lap of nature and amidst absolute wilderness. Don’t expect too much from the place and go only to relax and have some peaceful time with family. It’s a place to just sit back and enjoy the serene surroundings with near and dear ones.

LOCATION : Chakrata is located in the state of Uttarakhand and is about 290 kms from Delhi.

BEST TIME : Summers are pleasant and cool mountain breeze can be felt especially in the evenings. Avoid monsoons when the place witness heavy rainfall as it makes sightseeing difficult. Winter extending from December to February, is very chilly but is also the time to experience snowfall.

GETTING THERE : There are two routes from Delhi - one via Panipat and Kurukshetra and the second one is via Ghaziabad, Loni, Baghpat, Badaut, Shamli and Saharanpur. From Saharanpur one can either go via Behat, Herbertpur and Vikasnagar or via Dehradun, Vikasnagar.

WHAT TO EXPECT : There are many picturesque and breath-taking tourist spots in and around Chakrata full of natural splendour and spectacular panoramic views. The place is so peaceful that the only noise that can be heard at times is of chirping of birds. Winters are windy and also see snowfall and so, make sure you carrying sufficient woollens. In case it’s not snowing in Chakrata, head towards Deoban (about 15 kms) and snow is assured. In winters however, hill driving becomes difficult due to dense fog conditions.

THINGS TO DO : • If going from Dehradun via Kalsi, stop at Sahiya, located 22 kms before Chakrata, to have lunch. A shop here serves veg and mutton momos too.
• Also, stop at Kalsi to see Ashoka Pillar Rock Edict built in 450 BC. It represents the post warfare era when King Ashoka converted himself to the Buddhist faith.
• Tiger Falls, located about 20kms from Chakrata is one of the key attractions. Reaching the fall involves a 5 kms trek and the path may not be too welcoming but worth visiting for its sheer beauty and for the fact that it’s one of the highest falls in Asia. Don’t go too close to the falls as at times stones too flow along with water.
• It’s amazing to see a huge patch of flat land atop a hill. This is the highest point in Chakrata called Chilmiri Neck (5kms). One gets beautiful panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks including Rohini, Swargarohini and Banderpoonch. An ideal place for birdwatching too.
• Head to Deoban, located 15 kms from the town, for dense snow in winters. Road to Deoban is a thriller and not in a very good shape so, hire a private vehicle to go up. Not too many people visit this place surrounded by lust deodar forests and is calm and peaceful. The place also houses a PWD rest house.
• Go for long walks with your partner but, get back before it gets dark to avoid encounter with wild animals.
• About 10 kms from Chakrata is Ram Tal Horticultural Garden on Chakrata-Mussoorie route. An apple garden and a natural pond in this horticultural garden are among the main attractions of the place.

FOOD/SHOPPING : Chakrata market is very small and is famous for hilly species of pulses - including rajma, kulath and tor - and walnuts. These delights are largely consumed in winters to meet high energy requirements of the hilly and cold region. Besides pulses, shops here also deal in defence goods, woollen stuff and regular groceries.

STAY : Here are few hotel options one can consider for stay:

Snow View Hotel: 09411363231
Himalayan Paradise: 07500273517
Hotel Hill Knights: 09456110395
Blue Canvas Resort: 083948 93089

Source / Review By : Pramugdha Mamgain Nautiyal


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