It’s been a while that I have been away from the hills and indeed I was missing the Himalayas. As the weekend approached along with a national holiday, it was the best chance for a getaway. Initially, we were three friends and planned for Auli. But as we had only 4 days and Auli is being far, we dropped the plan and decided for Mussoorie and Dhanaulti.
But in the final days, both of my friends called off and dropped the plan. Since I have already decided not to spend this long weekend alone and being mured up in the room. So I planned for a solo ride in my Royal Enfield 500cc up to Dehradun and there my friend Krishna accompanied with me further towards Dhanaulti.
It was a Thursday morning, yet another foggy day and suddenly it began to sprinkle. As soon as the rain stopped, I kick started my machine and began my ride. The weather favored me throughout my journey. And riding in the mist always delights me.
Dehradun is approx 250 km away from Noida, the NCR region of Delhi. And I chose the route via Ghaziabad, Meerut, Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar, and Roorkee. It took around 5 hrs to reach Dehradun although I have wasted 1 hr to cross Roorkee. Traffic was certain in Ghaziabad, Muradnagar, Modinagar and Roorkee but thanks to the bypass road in Meerut, Khatauli, and Muzaffarnagar which gave me a chance to let off the traffic in these areas.
The condition of the highway is good, and many roadside dhabas are available throughout the highway.
I took almost 4 to 5 intervals throughout my ride and the highway passed through various towns, villages, mustard fields, and sugarcane farms. When I was about to reach Dehradun and in the last 18 km stretch, the road gets curvy and slightly ascending. I crossed a tunnel, named as Daat Kali Tunnel ( named after Daat Kali Temple which is adjacent to the tunnel) and a rich dense forest. Just after the Jungle ends I entered the city and by evening I reached Dehradun.
Lush Greenwoods on our way
That evening I took rest in Dehradun and in next morning it again started raining, and that gave us a hint of snowfall in the mountains. By afternoon the rain stopped and we decided to go to Dhanaulti first instead of Mussoorie. We are accompanied by two more friends as our pillion rider.
Mussoorie is 35 km from Dehradun ISBT and Dhanaulti is further 30 km away from Mussoorie. Dhanaulti is elevated at 2286 m.
A view or Garhwal Himalayan Range
We have already booked a cottage named Deja Vu in KadduKhaal, which is at a distance of 8km from Dhanaulti. Campings are also available there but it was dismantled due to snow fall. We took Raipur Road in Dehradun then took the Maldevta Road. The distance was around 74 km and this road was completely away from the traffic. The road condition was good despite being narrower than a usual mountain highways. We crossed a small bridge over the Song river, and then it starts ascending. The more we ascended the scene gets more appealing and the more dip in temperature. We took 4 hrs to reach the destination and the moment we approached Kaddukhaal we were mesmerized by the scenic view of snow falls everywhere. The road was filled with snowpacks and we struggled and lumbered with our machines on those snowpacks and even my bike skidded off two times. We could barely sense our fingers due to the chilling weather and as soon as we arrived, the first thing we did was to get warmed ourselves in the bonfire which was provisioned in our cottage.
Bike resting near milestone
Kaddukhaal is more peaceful and serene comparatively to main Dhanaulti. Also, we found the perfect snow field here than in Dhanaulti. We rested, had maggie and tea. And after dinner, we slept in the cottage which was partially buried in the snow.
Cottage in Kaddukhaal
The next morning cloud was clear and we departed to Mussoorie. We crossed Surkanda Devi Temple and to further 8 km ride we reached Dhanaulti. The entire route up to Dhanaulti was wet and slippery due to snow packs. The mountain peaks of the Garhwal Himalayan range like Swargarohini, Bandarpunch and Nanda Devi which is the second highest mountain in India can be seen from here.
A view or Garhwal division of Himalayan Range
In a couple of hours, we reached Mussoorie which is a famous hill station situated in the foothills of Garhwal Himalayan range at an elevation of 2006 m. One has to pay an entry fee to enter the mall road with their vehicle, and its 100rs for a bike. We took a small glance of Mall Road and Mussoorie market was good. Then we departed to Kempty Fall which is 16 km driving distance from Mussoorie and had to descend to reach the fall located at an altitude of 1364 m above sea level.
On our way to Kempty
By half n hour, we reached Kempty and parked our vehicle, then trekked down through steps and markets on both sides and reached the waterfall area. The waterfall is around 40 ft tall. Due to the winter season, no one dared or ever thought for a bath. But we found a couple of guys taking bath under the fall. There was also a man-made pond where other water sports activities are provisioned. Locker room and swimsuits are also available there on rental. Kempty fall is a must visit place during summer if you planned for Mussoorie. But unfortunately, this place is overcrowded during the peak seasons.
After taking a glance of this waterfall and some photography session, we returned back. We did some shopping from the road-side markets, had some refreshment there and returned to Dehradun. I took rest that night and next day post lunch I departed to Delhi.