Dhanolti is a beautiful Himalayan town, located amidst thick Pine, Cedar, and Rhododendron forest, excellent weather round the year and great view of snow capped Himalayan peaks, at a distance of 25 kms on Mussoorie Chamba Road. Warm peace and warmth of hospitable people welcomes you at Dhanolti.
A quieter and less commercialised neighbourhood of Queen of Hills – Mussoorie, Dhanolti (Dhanaulti) has evolved as one of the top preferred offbeat holiday getaway around Delhi. For years, ‘hill stations’ in India such as Manali, Shimla, Nainital, Mussoorie, Ooty captured the fancy of holiday goers and vacationers, seeking nice long duration ‘summer holidays’. This also gave birth to the concept of peak season and off season around such destinations. However, post liberalisation and the emergence of new India, corporatized, with the younger generation having a deeper pocket and more importantly, a higher consciousness for better lifestyle and a will to try out newer things, the conventional holiday destinations are fast becoming passé. The new generation traveller in India is looking for newer, lesser known destinations. Places that are less cluttered, no honking and pollution, no loud music on roads, beyond cheap shopping and video games. Places that are in midst of nature and peace, with some adrenaline or wellness recreation thrown in.
It is no surprise then that Dhanolti, has come up as a better, more peaceful alternative over the commercialised neighbourhoods and other conventional hill stations in North India.
Dhanolti is a different experience altogether, both for weekend travellers – which is becoming an ever growing segment now, with families and corporate groups going out for recreational and adventure holidays over the weekends, and vacationers.
Dhanolti is set completely submerged in nature, green meadows and Himalayan landscapes. Soul soothing peace embraces you in Dhanolti. Breathtaking views of snow capped Himalayas, towering Pine trees all combined make Dhanolti (Dhanaulti) an exotic hideaway.
This area is also a rich fruit belt with lush orchards of Apple, Apricots, Walnut, Chesnutt, and Plums all around the Mussoorie Chamba road.
The latest addition to this beautiful place is Dhanolti Eco Park. A novel initiative spearheaded by a visionary Forest Department Official, is a joint initiative of the State Forest Department and the local community of Dhanolti. The outcome of this venture is a beautiful and much needed recreational park, which is one of its kind and a benchmark for many more to come in Uttarakhand and probably in the country. No roller coasters, no bumping cars, no noisy rides, but lush green surroundings, a wide variety of swings for kids, beautiful walking tracks, nice corners and sitting spaces, clean public washrooms and also a few soft adventure activities like Burma Bridge and Flying Fox.
While Dhanolti is fast emerging as a popular holiday spot, what also needs to be accepted is that since recently Dhanolti always lacked good accommodation options and much options of eating out. Except for a few sundry basic tea stalls and dhabas and a few grocery stores, it always lacked both, restaurants as well as shops. This only led to making Dhanolti a half day excursion with people mainly coming to spend an hour or two from Mussoorie and then going back after a tea and some pakoras and maybe a horse ride. However now, things have changed. There are some decent boarding and lodging options in Dhanolti. The most interesting phenomenon is that around Dhanolti various interesting concept resorts and retreats have come up. Be it Jwarna, Kanatal, Chamba or Tehri, all these places are very popular among weekenders, wellness holiday seekers, adventure travellers, corporate groups and international travellers.
Geography / Location:
Dhanolti is located on Mussoorie Chamba Road, 25 kms off Mussoorie towards Chamba and about 45 kms short of Tehri. One can reach Dhanolti either via Dehradun, driving through Buranskhanda OR via Rishikesh, driving through Narendra Nagar, Chamba, Kanatal and Jwarna.
Dhanolti is at an altitude of about 7,800 feet above m.s.l. and has excellent climate round the year. The climate also supports the rich vegetables and fruit belt of the area. Dhanolti has round the year average temperature of 25 C max and 10 C min. In winters it snows upto 4 feet at Dhanolti, with sub zero temperatures.
Dhanolti (Dhanaulti) is in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The area is inhabited by Garhwalis, with people belonging to Brahmin and Kshtriya communities. People here are simple and down to earth. You may not find fancy cars here, but will surely find smiling faces and warm hospitality everywhere. The idea is simple, give respect and get respect. Most of the people are involved either in agricultural or tourism related activities. A lot of local population is now involved in the Dhanolti Eco Park project.
While due to major migration of the youth to other states / countries in search career opportunities, including majority of the youth working with Indian Army, over the last three decades retaining arts and culture has been a major challenge for most of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Arts, music and handicrafts did not flourish much. However, due to efforts of educated youth (Uttarakhand is of of the most literate State of India, with the highest density of Inter Colleges in the country) and local tourism entrepreneurs, Folk Music and Dances, Handicrafts, hand woven woollen garments, packaged organic food items etc are gaining popularity in the region. For instance, Whispering Pines, Jwarna, the most popular Eco Adventure Retreat of the region, regularly organises Folk Music Live performances at their campsite in addition to training local youth in production of handicrafts and assisting in marketing those through their souvenir shop.