Long weekend was approaching around Gandhi Jayanti so we thought of a trip to The Himalayas may be till Mussoorie or Chamba to see the panoramic view of snowcapped peaks. With just 3 days in hand we could not have made any farther than Chamba.
But as a time savor method we thought to travel from Noida to Dehradun on Evening of Thursday to buy some more time for our journey. So we zoomed ahead Chamba and drove all the way till Janki Chatti.
Our ride was Swift Dezire (VXi) and it performed very well all the way long. Route Plan Details:
Day 1 (or rather Evening) Noida to Dehradun (Route: Noida – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Muzzafarnagar – Roorkee – Chutmalpur - Dehradun ). 5 Hours’ drive.
Day 2 Dehradun to Yamunotri (Route : Dehradun – Mussoorie – Barkot – Kharadi – Syanachatti – Hanuman Chatti – Janki Chatti). 7.5 Hours’ drive.
Day 3 Trek of 10 KM from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri Temple and Back. Same day return from Janki Chatti to Dehradun via same route. 6 hours for trek and darshan. Then 10 Hours’ drive.
Day 4 Dehradun City tour to Robbers cave and local market.
Day 5 Dehradun to Noida. 6 Hours’ drive.
Total distance covered was 910 KM and fuel average I got was around 13.5 KMPL.
A day before me and my wife had already packed our luggage and stuffed it in our car to avoid any last minute delays. Leaving office a bit early at 05:30 PM and starting our journey at 06.00 PM on a working day, we encountered mad rush between Noida and Meerut and finally reached Dehradun by 11:00 PM. There was sizeable amount of traffic till Roorkee and the road conditions are quite good throughout, though two lane roads start from a point somewhere between Khatauli and Muzaffarnagar after the toll road ends. Toll charged was INR 75.
The route has enough petrol pumps and food joints, many running for 24 by 7. We took a break at Haldiram’s outlet at Muzzafarnagar.
We managed a deluxe room at Hotel Drona in Dehradun which is a run by GMVN (State tourism department).
Next day started our journey by 6 AM from Dehradun.
Dawn time: Attachment 184121
Weather was good and sky was clear. Attachment 184122 Attachment 184123
As the sun was rising and we were driving through the zig zag roads we could see Dehradun valley below.
Welcome to Mussoorie: Attachment 184124 Attachment 184125
Road were empty and drive all the way Kempty Falls in Mussoorie was enjoyable. Attachment 184126 Attachment 184127 Attachment 184128 Attachment 184129 Attachment 184130
It was a sight to behold.
In Mussoorie only we filled our car’s fuel tank to the brim as beyond Mussoorie I had heard that sometimes due to landslides and technical glitches availability of Petrol becomes scarce.
But we forgot to take out cash which we regretted afterwards at Barkot.
We stopped at Kempty falls area to have breakfast. Finally moved on from Kempty Falls after just half an hour break.
We were now truly in the mountains, with shades of grey, brown and green. Every other minute the views were a photographer’s delight. Attachment 184131 Attachment 184132 Attachment 184133 Attachment 184134 Attachment 184135
From Mussoorie to Barkot roads were fine with some bad patches as road widening work was going on. We were happy throughout the journey that we did not witness even a single landslide.
We did encountered some bad patches of roads but were manageable. There was a river stream crossing too. Attachment 184136 Attachment 184137 Attachment 184138 Attachment 184139 Attachment 184140 Attachment 184141 Attachment 184142 Attachment 184143 Attachment 184144 Attachment 184145 Attachment 184146 Attachment 184147 Attachment 184148 Attachment 184149
Crossing Barkot we saw marvelous views of some snow-capped peaks on route. I was not sure but it was Banderpoonch peaks only from where river Yamuna originates. Attachment 184150 Attachment 184151 Attachment 184152
For your eyes only.
Finally we reached Janki Chatti at 1:30 PM after 7.5 hours of treacherous drive.
We did not have any prior hotel bookings but knew of GMVN hotel existence so just parked our car at designated parking area and went straight to the hotel and luckily got room.
Being an off season parking was not an issue and we parked our car right at hotel entrance.
GMVN is the best bet at Janki Chatti for anyone as it offers the best location along with best food and hospitality at such tough terrain. The rooms were pretty basic but one cannot expect more at such places. Tariff per night was some only 790 rupees inclusive of all taxes. We spent a total 1500 rupees only for room, food and tips.
We were hungry and were served simple yet delicious lunch in no time. Straight after lunch we went for a stroll around the place.
Hotel room view. (Basic but cannot expect more of it)
We also inquired about the trek to the temple and its approachability. Everyone said it is tough and will take at least 3 hours one side and pony wallas insisted to do it on ponies rather than walking. So we dropped the idea of doing in evening but in the morning next day with a fresh wave of energy.
The moment Sun goes down wind starts to haul with extreme chillness and over it river Yamuna flowing behind the hotel.
At night also we were served sumptuous dinner which was very simple Daal, Rice, Roti and Sabzi.
Some morning view:
We got up in the morning at 6 AM and started at 7 AM from Hanuman Chatti on foot, but my wife started to get out of breath soon, so we are stopped a ponywala enquired about the gradient of the climb, and as they suggested to go upwards on ponies so we agreed to his advise and hired two ponies. Somewhat our decision was right as the initial kms were easier as the gradient was linear, but once you cross the bridge the climb is steeper and gets tougher as we climb up. We reached at top around 9 AM on ponies.
We could not take pictures while ascending as cameras and phone were packed in polythene as suggested by hotel guy for the fear of rain.
First glimpse of Temple:
Before entering the temple we took bath in hot water spring pond. Then took blessings from the Goddess Yamuna and performed a small puja with purohits. We spent some lovely time in the temple compound and on the bank of river.
There wasn’t any rush so we took our own sweet time to have proper darshan and enjoyed the panaromic view of the nature’s beauty around us.
There are small stalls on the way which offers chips, tea, samosas and parathas. We had parathas on return. The steep descent was difficult we had to keep ourselves safe from the mules, and the long poles of the doli walas and make way among the rushing traffic.
Views at top near temple and those while descenting:
Back in the hotel at around 12:30 noon, we cheked out and started our return journey towards Mussoorie. But we did not took lunch which later on became a blunder for us.
Most of the hotels at Barkot and at numerous villages were closed. At Barkot due to traffic jam we could not find a place to park our car and hunt for a decent restaurant. We had to manage with whatever snack we had. At around 6 PM we reached the point from where we had to take the road diverting to Mussoorie, and had another 30 kms to cover.
It was dark as we reached Kempty falls area so we thought of calling it a day, but fate had something else written for us. Being a long weekend we could not find any room in Mussoorie. So proceeded for Dehradun but got stuck in a huge traffic jam in Mussoorie. It took 3 hours to cross last 5 KM in Mussoorie.
Whole of NCR was there as NCR licensed number cars were parked on both sides of the road, which was a major cause of that jam. Felt like puncturing their tires for illegal parking.
We were tired like anything, with no food I started getting irritated. In Dehradun also we could not find any accommodation. At around 1:30 in the middle of night we had to call one of our relatives in Dehradun so stay put. But finally we were welcomed in and straight away went to sleep.
Next day instead of leaving for home we with mutual consent decided to take a city tour of Dehradun and went to local market and a place called Rober’s Cave( aka Gucchu paani). Enjoyed with our extended family.
Next day early morning t 5 AM we left for home and reached home at about 12 noon after encountering mad rush in Merrut and Ghaziabad.
Well, now the trip is over and all i am left with is another unforgettable experience that will remain with me throughout my life.