Trip to Kanatal, Uttarakhand 8th-11th June’19
With a lot of deliberation and back and forth on the travel dates, we froze on the place and dates of our 3 nights 4 days trip to the scenic Uttarakhand.
Please don’t get fancy about the word “Uttarakhand” because we planned our itinerary carefully to accommodate our urge to move out of Delhi and also to use Jia’s summer vacations for creating her memorabilia. So, we planned 1 night at my cousin’s place in Dehradun (who was also accompanying us ) and 2 nights at a place just ahead of Dhanaulti, Kastura Ayurvedic Resort. This resort is fairly a new property with its first summer season this June.
Road Trip Started
There were 9 of us apart from the 2 kids. So, our travel happened in two groups (two cars starting on different days). I, luckily, got my ford figo exchanged with my friend’s Maruti Brezza, who insisted me on taking his SUV. I am so thankful to him. This was a good decision as it was a comfortable drive throughout the travel. So, one group reached Dehradun on 7th June’19 night and the other group ( my car) reached Dehradun the next day after taking around 9 hours of driving(starting at 530 hrs reaching home at 14:30 hrs). The Stretch at Muradnagar was very slow, but the most frustrating stretch was from mohand to the tunnel in Dehradun. There was an accident on the narrow mountainous road that created a serpent line for kilometres. Anyways, it was all good as it ended in reaching at home with a good home cooked food.
After the lunch, we immediately set out to the less explored “maldevta” in Dehradun. It was a 20 mins smooth drive from Suman Puri. This was the second time we went to this place. A calm and serene place, where we could see around 10-12 families enjoying on the shallow stony water stream, which comes out of the sahastradhara stream. The water was very clear but not sure whether it was drinkable or not. The water level was low as compared to the last time, but the flow was enough for us to enjoy the dip. Here, actually we joined the other group that reached 2 hours back. Sumit had got 2 kgs of raw chicken to be made at the maggi point shop (only shop/temporary cafe in the vicinity). By the time we took our first dip, the masala chicken was already on the plates. For the next 2 hours or so we splashed in the stream and started our return once the Sun starts to set at the back of the mountain ranges around. It became a cold evening as the wind blew with a pinch of chill. Sumit, who spent his whole childhood in Dehradun, took us to another beautiful place on the Dehradun-Masoori route. Masoori, just 19 Kms away, we took a sharp cut on to the steep road going up, to cafe. My car stopped half way (around 10 meters up) as I realised that the car cannot ascend in any of the gears except the 1st gear. The name of the cafe was “1st gear cafe”. After resuming the ascend in 1st gear, I reached (20 m up) without a stop. The view was breathtaking and overlooking the horizons in between the mountains and some parts of the city of Dehradun, which was visible in the twilight.
No matter how much we were tired, we found our kick in these local areas around Dehradun. We sipped some hot coffee at the long balcony of the cafe (which the cafe is famous for), and came back home. Planned for the next day’s journey and target our arrival at the resort in Kanatal latest by 11 am.
Kastura The Ayurvedic Resort
We started early for the resort next day. Reached the place even before the resort people were ready with the rooms. They were surprised on our arrival as per the communication. However, they welcomed us with their signature drink (malta juice). This place, they named it “Kastura Ayurvedic” Spa Resort. By the name, You would have realised that this resort has an ayurvedic touch to it. It was around 70m uphill climb to the resort’s reception, which left us catching our breath heavily. But it was at the top of this small hill that gave the complete view of the small valley around. We sipped the Malta Juice at the "sun deck", which was reached out by the top of some the beautiful fruit trees like walnut with green walnut hanging and waiting to be ripe. This was like a sunset and sunrise point of the location. Just on the far end of the deck there were 5-6 step iron stairs going down to the Dining Hall. It was open from the two sides, one side was valley and other side was a little farm at the mountain top.
After having lunch at the resort, we went to Dhanaulti Eco Park at a distance of 6-7 kms. This park had been preserved for the tourist and all the local business has flourished around this park over the past few years. Inside the park, there had been adventure activities developed to keep away the monotony of the park. Prominent ones were climbing net, Burma bridge to name a few. After having a few creative clicks at the park, we decided to return to our temporary abode. Just outside the park, I had a small pony ride along with Jia before settling for maggy, pakode and tea at the stall infront of the park. After we reached the resort, we had evening snacks and drinks.
Next morning, some of the members went for a morning stroll in the ladder farms, besides the dining area. It was all around the resort and tomatoes were sown. After the breakfast we quickly started for the much awaited outing of the trip, Tehri lake. It was not the best of the days, hot and humid were names coming out of it. It was a Monday, but the lake shore was covered by cars. There was a vast open area lying before the car parking. We stood 15 mins at the ticket counter, which was covered by just the cloth that was unable to stop even a bit of the heat wave swinging at the spot. However, we took the tickets for a slow boat with a cover overhead. It was a beautiful vast lake and we could cover a fraction of it within 30 mins of the stipulated time. It was hot but we had no other option. Our youngest member, Nihit (1+) was literally facing the heat. Somehow, we managed the 30 mins but Sumit and Neha went to the car and put the ac on to ease Nihit out. Luckily, it worked for him. The rest of the team went again on a fast motor boat for 15 mins, which was worthwhile. It was an exciting ride and a good experience.
By the time we finished, it was already 4 p.m. and the only Govt. Restaurant didn’t have to offer anything except pakode. That was not the kind of lunch team was expecting after the rigorous motor boat ride. We finally opted for a restaurant nearby to the lake, but all we could have was hot pakode and bun butter with tea. It took us 2 hours to reach back, so the plan of having good ayurvedic massage also flushed out as 630 pm was the limit. So, we had good round of snacks alongwith a game of Uno before dinner.
Next day return plan was ready as I had to go to Saharanpur and Sumit had to come via Dehradun to finish off some commitments. The final payment was also under the limit we set for ourselves. So, overall the cost per person for the 3 nights trip was very economical, just like our last Tirthan Valley trip.
It was a non-stop drive from Saharanpur to gurgaon, with almost easy traffic at important juncture. By 10:30, we were at our home concluding the wonderful road trip of Kanatal with sweet memories to savour for life time.