Day tour to Kanataal, Chamba and Tehri Dam from Dhanaulti, Uttrakhand (India)

Dhanualti is one of the popular Hill Stations in Utrakhand and mainly preferred by folks who want to visit peaceful place in summers. There are some other interesting places around Dhanaulti and can be visited, if you plan for Dhanaulti. Chamba, Kanatal, Tehri Dam and Mussourie are few of the other places which attract tourists. Here we would be sharing some details and things to do in these places. We will also try to rate these places from different perspectives. 

Kanataal, Chamba & Tehri Dam are on one side of Dhanaulti and Mussourie is on other side. So usually it's preferred to plan for Kanataal, Chamba & Tehri Dam in a day. Tehri Dam is approximately 50 kilometers from Dhanualti and Chamba/Kanataal comes on the way. 

As you start from Dhanaulti, Kaanataal comes first. There is a famous temple on the way. We skipped that but a small trek to this temple can be interesting. 

Dhanaulti and Kanataal has very good weather and there are lot of fruit orchards all around. There is very aroma all around these towns due to flower and fruit plantations. These are also forest regions, so lot of green regions all around.

There are ECO-parks developed by Forest department in Dhanaulti and there are some beautiful forest walks in Kaanatal. We also stopped near Club Mahindra Hotel in Kanataal, where a forest guard allows you to enter the forest after giving you tickets, which cost 10Rs each. 

Kanataal also has some brilliant places to stay, including some camping options. We stopped various times on the way to Kantaal and enjoyed nature walks around these dense forests. As you cross Kanataal and go towards Chamba, weather starts changing and suddenly you hit dry hills. Temperature suddenly goes up and you feel like switching the ACs ON. 

As you head towards Chamba town, you feel like going towards a town which is located at relatively lower height. Chamba town is very crowded and there is hardly anything to stop for. So people usually drive directly towards Tehri Dam. 

Drive from Chamba to Tehri Dam is again a steep one and temperature keeps increasing as you move. After driving through some dry hills but beautiful landscapes with villages on Uttrakhand hills, you get bored soon. And then suddenly you see green hues of water in lake around Tehri Dam. It's a huge dam located in the legs of various Mountains around Chamba.  

When we planned this visit till Tehri Dam, we had read various articles on web and in one of the articles, it was written that there is a picnic spot around the lake. But let me make it very clear that you don't get any good place to eat between Chamba and Tehri Dam. Even in Chamba, it's hard to find parking for your vehicle and then have something to eat.  

It was getting very hot when we reached Tehri Dam and we didn't have permissions to go inside the dam project. We were not even sure if we would get the permissions even if we plan to visit administrative office, which was 5 kilometers away from the dam. We thought of skipping the dam tour and headed back towards Chamba. On the way, we didn't find any place for snacks. 

Everyone was very hungry by this time. As a disciplined bunch of travellers we were carrying some munchies with us and few cold drinks/juices. We managed till we hit Kanataal again. At Kanataal, there are not much options to eat. Initially we tried Club Mahindra, but Restaurant was not accessible for folks who were not staying there. So we went to another restaurant nearby. At this point, we realized that many Tehri Dam could have been skipped or planned in better way. We could have changed the timings of this visit.

Tehri Dam is a very interesting place, if you plan to visit it early in the morning or in late evening. It would also make sense to arrange appropriate permissions to visit the project inside the dam and see how these huge projects work. Lot of villages were relocated to neighboring hills when Tehri dam was built and some of the old houses can be seen in above photograph. 


Anmol Rawat said...

I visited the places last month only. I just loved Dhanaulti for the serenity and climate.
Did not like Chamba much though.

VJ Sharma said...

@Anmol - Dhanaulti has lot to offer for folks visiting from plains :). And when we go from Dhanaulti to Chamba, things change a lot and we tend to prefer Dhanaulti/Kanatal, because of various reasons. One of the main reason is weather.

wanderingjatin said...

Nice pics, great clicks. Took me down the memory lane when I did internship at Tehri Dam in '10 I think, and wandered about all these lovely places! :)

My Unfinished Life said...

I have been here....only i did it the other way round..stayed at chamba and visited tehri dam, kanatal, dhanaulti (and surkhanda devi in between)...other time we travelled to dhanaulti from haridwar n spent some time quiet time there..

nice clicks!!

VJ Sharma said...

Thanks Jatin and Sushmita. Happy that you liked the photographs and the blog-post :)

@Sushmita - I know you have explored this region very well.. Sometimes, we should plan a trip together :)

@Jatin - How do we get permissions to see Dam from inside? It will be helpful if you can share about the process and the easiest way to plan it. Thanks !

Srikant Taneja said...

So what's the way out to seek permission to visit the Dam? I am going tomorrow there.


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