Britishers were choosy in setting up their administrative settlements and cantonment areas for climatic reasons. In Uttarakhand they chose Nainital, Pauri and Mussoorie for civil administration settlements and Ranikhet, Lansdowne and Chakrata for military establishments. All these places have the same climatic exuberance but on one hand the civil adminstrative centres flourished and developed into properous summer resorts, and on the other hand the equally good cantonment areas remained restricted for non-army activities and therefore undeveloped. Chakrata which is as good as Mussoorie in all respects is one such place where a cantonent board was set up by Col. Hume in 1880. The cantonment area could not grow into a popular tourist resort the way Mussoorie did. Yet the Indian tourists keep coming in small numbers to see every thing green and beautiful all around. On a clear day it is possible to see some of the western Himalayan peaks including Bandarpoonchh and Swarga Rohini from some vantage points. Most of the built up areas consist of British army buildings which are arrayed along a long ridge. Tourists planning to visit this place may arrange accommodation in advance or else be prepared to return afer a day trip.
Places of Interest
Tiger Fall – There is enough to go and see around Chakrata. At a distance of 5km there is the Tiger Fall supposed to be one of the tallest in the country. All walks in the mountains are pleasant and so is this one in view of the peaks one can see in the north.
Deoban – This pretty place, located at a height of 9400 ft is at a driving distance of 13 km from Chakrata. Besides being a high altitude picnic spot, it offers a panoramic view of Himalayas on a clear day.
Mundali – 5 trekking km from Deoban are the sprawling meadows of Mundali at the height of 11000 ft. This height is available normally in the inner Himalyas but Mundali is one of the very few known places at this height in the lower Himalayas. Picnicking during summer and skiing during winters is how Mundali is described for. The 5 km walking distance is easy to cover.
A place of archaeological importance, Lakhamandal is nearly 55 km from Chakrata and 76 km from Mussoorie. For details please see chapter 9 Dehradun to Yamunotri – Barnigarh.
At a distance of 30 kms from Chakrata on Tyuni road is a small hill top town at a height of nearly 6700 ft, called Kanasar. The entire ridge around Kanasar is full of tall majestic deodar (cedar) trees. The drive itself is through scenic surroundings. A forest rest house is the only place to stay.
To go deep inside Jaunsar you can drive further for a distance of 54 kms to a small town called Tyuni. Located at a height of 912 mtrs, on the bank of Tons river, Tyuni perhaps is the second important centre of Jaunsari culture. The Tons river flows by with benign grace through its serpentine route. The two roomed tiny forest rest house is an important land mark for a historic reason. Lord Irvin, the Vice Roy of colonial India and lady Irvin stayed in this rest house on 16th Oct. 1930 and made a remark “very comfortable indeed”. This is what one can see from the visitors book the rest house is maintaining. Just imagine, if there was an Indian Vice Roy today, would he find time to visit Tyuni and if yes, what would be his remarks. The visitors book is an interesting study as it can be seen that the guests were paying at the rate of rupee one or eight annas (half a rupee) per day, perhaps eight annas for Government servants and one rupee for others.
Only 14 kms from Tyuni, on the road to Mori is the famous temple of Hanol. The temple is dedicated to Mahasu Devta, which is the other name of Lord Shiva. Lord Mahasu is the presiding deity of the entire Jaunsar area. The temple is built with a distinct Jaunsari architectural style and looks grand and beautiful. A large number of people come to prostrate before the Lord Mahasu every day and it is believed that the devotees always return amply blessed. GMVN has a guest house near the temple.
For hotels in Chakrata ……….. please click.
Note – Non Indians need permision to visit this area.
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