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A Conversation with Mountains

  

Most of my friends are mountain lovers and with such a lot, it becomes easy for me to plan a weekend getaway in the mountains. It was last year when I got lucky with a great deal that included a 3 days and 2 nights stay in the far-off Chakrata valley, which is a 3-hours’ drive from Dehradun. My friend and I had never heard of that place and when I told my parents about this trip, they were sure I am loosing it and so is my friend. I do have a crazy Punjabi couple who loves me to bits and this is how they show their concern – by telling me that I would die if I go out some place THEY have not heard of.

Nevertheless, we had much more to do than just listen to our parents (and each other’s parents); and we started out by boarding an overnight state transport bus to Dehradun and a 3-hour taxi ride from thereon to Chakrata. To be precise, we chose a campsite that was some 25km away from Chakrata town and had the most amazing view from each angle.

We were so mesmerized with the view and the camp that we didn’t want to move a muscle and so we decided to sit in front of our cottage and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It was so quiet that we could hear the bees buzzing, birds chirping and the sweet breeze that blew through the trees and sounded as if a river was bustling nearby, really! Now who would want to leave such a place! :D When the sun started to sink behind the mountains, the sky started changing its colours in various hues of orange – as if showing off its vast colour palette. The temperature dipped sharply soon after and the sky was covered with stars. On the next day, we went for a walk around and discovered some amazing spots to breathe in the fresh air and be lost in the stunning views.

Our days at the camp surely deepened our love for nature as we were surrounded by elaborate expands of mountains, colourful flowers, delicious food, and some amazing people who have innate love for that place. We realized how important it is to wake up in a valley sometimes, where your phone or the noises outside don’t wake you up, but all you get to listen to is the quiet.

Few Facts:

How to reach Chakrata via road (from Delhi) – take the state transport bus from Kashmere Gate to reach Dehradun and then a taxi from ISBT, Dehradun (or ask the camp manager to arrange a taxi)

Roads/Raasta – Since Chakrata is a cantonment area, roads are nicely taken care of and you will have a smooth drive till Chakrata town.

Places to visit – Tiger Mountains, tiger falls - we only went to the tiger mountain for the view. Tiger falls can be missed if you want to mingle with the village folks or just want to enjoy the views and hiking.

Things to remember

- Foreigners are not allowed in Chakrata as it is a cantonment area

- Village folks are very helpful and they will give you directions with the help of electricity towers mounted on the hills

- You will get to see many mountain cows

- Temperature dips sharply so do keep a warm jacket handy

- Keep water with you as you will come across very few local shops or passersby’s

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