If you have missed reading the Weekend Getaway Day 1 post, you can read it here.
Its Sunday morning, and we are starting early. Its 6 am when we are already all packed and in the car ready to move. Our first stop would be Kanasar which is mainly a picnic spot among the dense forests of deodar trees. The distance is roughly about 70 kms or so, but the road is entirely through mountains so the sooner we start the better.
Hanol had been a fantastic trip and though we were exhausted, there was definitely some excitement left to see the other places. I had seen in pictures how magical Kanasar looked, and I always wanted to go there. Today was my day.
ROAD TO KANASAR — LOKHANDI — CHAKRATA
The area comes under Chakrata which as I had earlier said is under army surveillance. The minute you enter the area, one can easily notice the difference. All the forest trees are marked, numbered…the forests are dense, untouched…well preserved and the roads are fantastic. For all you bikers looking for an adventure ride, Chakrata route is definitely the best in Uttarakhand to explore.
The scenic beauty is no less than any international destination. You have to see it to believe it. No amount of picture editing or quality justifies what it really looks like. It does feel like you are in paradise for the good 3-4 hours journey that it is.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN KANASAR
Also known as the mini Switzerland of India. For once, they have got it right !
Pose for pictures. Period. In every nook and corner, that’s what I did. The spot has a plain green grass ground which is surrounded by really really tall deodar trees all around. It really feels like you are in the twilight movie. At one point I was almost dreaming and wishing for a werewolf to show up ! 😛
Its a lesser known destination spot, so the place is not ruined yet. Although every now and then, you might come across a beer bottle thrown around. But otherwise the place is just perfect for taking a picnic basket and enjoying a good couple of hours amidst nature.
The good part about this entire area of Chakrata, Kanasar, Lokhandi is that the temperature never goes up. Because of the dense forests and the shade of the deodar trees, even with sun rays you will feel like you are experiencing a cool winter morning. I think when we visited the place, the temperature was not more than 20 degrees !
If you are an adventure seeker, these are some of the options for you in Kanasar:
- Night hiking
- Valley crossing
- Rock climbing
- Bird watching
Because the area has so many tourist spots to check out, a good idea is to spend the night in Kanasar. I have seen pictures where people have brought their own tents and set up on the same ground. But otherwise, there are one or two options of guest house which you can opt for. Mind you, these get booked way in advance, so plan your trip accordingly.
JOURNEY FROM KANASAR TO LOKHANDI
Our next stop was Lokhandi which is merely a 20 km journey from Kanasar. But 20 kms on a mountain road is a lot ! I can’t decide which place I loved more between these two locations. The route to Lokhandi brought a chill in the air. The temperature kept falling as we moved ahead and finally when we reached, I noted a temperature of 16 degrees ! Can you imagine !
The route was filled with apple and deodar trees, if you are a nature enthusiast, you will love this place. Our camera kept clicking and clicking, and I came back home with so many pictures of just green, green and more green.
WHAT TO DO IN LOKHANDI
The area is known as Lokhandi which constitutes of 3-4 villages which are located at a short distance from each other. Its not at all commercialized, so honestly there is nothing as such to do in Lokhandi. If you love ghats, steep drops, picturesque scenery and a chill weather, then this is your place.
An interesting fact is that Haja (my folks village), and Lokhandi are on adjacent mountains. One can see each others village from either side. But just to cover this journey to the other ones village is a long long route. The whole of Uttarakhand mountain terrain is in the same lines. Chakrata is on the third adjacent mountain. So they are like all connected but still hold distinct beauty and personalities.
STAY IN LOKHANDI
On our way to Lokhandi, we saw numerous ‘hotels’ getting constructed. Some were being constructed precariously at the edge of the mountain. It almost looked like the entire establishment can just fall at any moment. It was seriously freakish. But when I asked around, I was told that there are stand alone cottages in Lokhandi which one can book for themselves. In fact, my folks were thinking of sending me and the hubby for a weekend and more to one of these cottages right after our marriage. 😀 Then someone told them that I don’t do so well with isolated hilly areas, so they chucked the plan and sent us to a usual hotel instead 😥
But my recommendation would be to spend a good 2 nights in this place. You can cover a couple of places in and around, have your peace of mind restored and be close to nature for awhile. After all, isn’t that what we all are searching for from our weekend getaways 🙂
How did you like this weekend getaway? Do you know of any interesting places like this?