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]
8th of October, 2014.
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.
Here is a photograph displaying the ‘normal’ view:
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.
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.
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.
And then tracked the flight of a bird that was flying in the high skies.
After having lunch, we proceeded.
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 😛
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.
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.
Gunja braved the height and arrived as well.
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…
When I reached the point my mother was standing in, we saw an ‘opening’…
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.
All of us sat on the fields at some point of time.
We enjoyed the moment for a complete hour, after which the sun started to set and transformed the scene!
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 😀