This was the second majestic experience of the Uttarakhand trip – rising to the heights of Eco Park in Dhanaulti.

[and this post is delayed, very delayed]

[click here to jump directly to our arrival at Dhanaulti.
But the road journey was eventful as well, especially with my sister, Gunja around 😀 ]

8th of October, 2014.
2:30 PM

We were travelling towards Dhanaulti, from Khirsu.
Khirsu had been slightly disappointing since heavy rain clouds had blocked the panoramic view of the 360+ mountains that can be seen only from Khirsu. However, the beauty of the landscape – the small, distant terraced fields, the numerous flowers, the sky – had detached us from the disappointment.

Khirsu Ranges View blocked by Clouds

The clouds blocking the view

GMVN Khirsu tourist lodges

GMVN tourist lodges at Khirsu

Here is a photograph displaying the ‘normal’ view:


A section of the mountain ranges that can be observed from Khirsu [Photograph from Bnomadic]

The road journey was beautiful. We, like many others, find immense joy in the mountains. And the zig-zag roads never fail to captivate us. Gradually, we gained height.

At the time mentioned in the heading [2:30 PM], we arrived at a small roadside inn and decided to stop there for lunch, since we desperately needed to stretch our legs for some time and additionally, we were famished.

The inn was a part of a small town area, and there was a school nearby.

Students walking home

Students walking home

The view from the small veranda was beautiful! Green, mountains and hills with farm lands could be seen. The warm sun made the fields glow.

The glowing farmlands

The farmlands

My sister – Gunja – soon joined me (as she always does), and we went to the roof of the inn. I took a picture of her.

Filled with joy

Filled with joy

And then tracked the flight of a bird that was flying in the high skies.

Dhanolti (3 of 15)

After having lunch, we proceeded.

Same day.
4:00 PM

My mother woke me up from my usual ‘car nap’ on reaching Dhanaulti. We had reserved two rooms in the GMVN tourist lodge – Hotel Dhanaulti Heights. The rooms were large, but service wasn’t appreciable. However, the location was impeccable!

Dhanaulti is a small town located 25 km from Mussoorie. The temperatures are mild, and the climate is enjoyable, especially at the time we had visited in.

One of the main attractions of the place is the Eco Park. Wikipedia states:

There are two Eco-parks, “Amber” and “Dhara” about 200 m apart. It has been developed recently by the Forest Department of Uttarakhand with the help of local youth.

Our hotel was located adjacent to the Amber park. We could see the small playground from the corridors. I placed my rucksack in our room, and ran off to the park. Again, Gunja followed 😛

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The entrance to Eco Park [taken by my mother]

This is what you see from the park [Photography obtained from 365 Hops]

This is what you see from the park [Photography obtained from 365 Hops]

The playground [taken by my mother]

The playground [taken by my mother]

I ascended the ‘stairs’ when the others arrived. Gunja stayed back in the park.

HDR photographs fascinate me. I wanted to ‘make’ a few from this trip. Here, at certain points, the sunlight peeped in. It was the perfect location to take multiple shots without distractions.

Dhanolti (2 of 15)
Dhanolti (1 of 15)

The photograph results (as you can now see) weren’t so satisfactory, but the location was peaceful. A handful of birds were chirping, it was moderately cool, and there was the moist, fresh scent of forests. After some time, my parents came.

Seated peacefully

Seated peacefully

Enjoying the moment

Enjoying the moment

Gunja braved the height and arrived as well.

Trying to locate me. I was hiding behind something.

Trying to locate me. I was hiding behind something.

 The stairs continued upwards, but we were enjoying the current location too much. My mother then called me (on my phone).

Walk upwards. Eco Park doesn’t end there. I’m waiting for you.

She took a picture as I ascended…

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When I reached the point my mother was standing in, we saw an ‘opening’…

Dhanolti (14 of 15)

We had no idea, rather no expectation, of the place this path would lead to

I forgot about the camera hanging around my neck when we climbed up to the top, when we beheld the sight at the top of Dhanaulti’s Eco Park.

It was bliss! It was stunning! It was gorgeous!

We were standing at the edge of a series of terraced fields! The memory is vivid, and fresh, even after five months!

When my father was seated on the grass, my mother took a photograph of the expanse.

Dhanolti (10 of 15)

By Nandini Majumdar 🙂

All of us sat on the fields at some point of time.

Dhanolti (9 of 15)

We enjoyed the moment for a complete hour, after which the sun started to set and transformed the scene!



Click and click

Click and click

The view at the back

The view at the ‘back’

It was starting to get cooler, and thus we descended to the park area, and exited Eco Park.

It was a short experience, and we stayed at Dhanaulti for one night only. But, we explored the small town that evening, talking to each other, occasionally stopping for snacks. At the hotel, we had our usual ‘story-time’. Dhanaulti is a wonderful memory. It will remain so. Eco Park raised the bar (of scenic beauty). Little did we know what Landour had in store for us 😀

When We Went to Landour…



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