Placed at an elevation of 7000 ft above the sea, lies Dhanachuli- a lush green village right amidst the lap of nature. You can witness subtropical forests and coniferous trees all around. Dhanachuli, a tropical Pahari destination, is at a distance of 14 kms from the Mukteshwar Mahadev temple in the Dhari tehsil of Nainital. This supreme paradise like location can be easily accessed by road. Set in the heart of Nainital and just 26 kms apart from Bhimtal, Dhanachuli gives an amazing gaze of the Himalayas. It is an absolutely perfect weekend getaway, especially if you belong to the big busy cities of the country. Exotic evening views of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Panchachuli, from dhanachuli, aren’t sure for a miss. A glimpse of these beautiful hills is rejuvenating and refreshing. Dhanachuli has a natural charm that allures you and will make you ‘want to stay’. It gives you the taste of a totally different lifestyles and the rustic charm of Dhanachuli calls you for a must visit.
It is believed that Lord Shiva killed a demon at this place thus granted him salvation from the life of a demon. There is a famous temple here dedicated to Lord Shiva called the Dhanachuli Dham. The word ?Dhanachuliya? in maori means ?a place of love?. Located amidst the green forests of Kumaon, indeed this hilly village is lovable.
Places to See
1. Dhanachuli Dham
The Dhanachuli Dham is also known as the Dhanachuli shiv temple, and is a popular temple well-known among the hindus. This temple is believed to be older than 350 years and is placed on a steep hill. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, festivals like mahashivratri are celebrated here with great fervour.
Lined with pine and oak trees, Sitla is an ideal vacation spot. This site offers beautiful views of the Himalayan range. There is an old british stone bungalow here.
3. Rajarani Temple
This temple was built during the 11th century and is an example of wonderful stonework. The temple structure lies amidst the paddy field. There are beautiful carvings of dance postures and human figurines on the walls of the temple. There is free entry to the temple and it remains open on all days from 6 am to 7 pm.
Lying at a distance of 8 km from Dhanachuli, Peora is better known as the fruit bowl of Uttarakhand. You can taste an abundant variety of fruits here, like never before. It is a popular eco-tourism place. Its exact location is, the Kosya Kutoli tehsil, Nainital. You cannot expect a market in Peora, as it is a tiny village. But you can buy herbal face and skincare products and authentic spices here. There are orchards full of fresh fruits at Peora. Apples, plums, peaches, pomegranates and apricots of Peora are extremely fine in taste. You will get to see plenty of fruit gardening at this place.
Nathuakhan is a small quiet and calm town of hilly terrain that is famous for its landscapes and timber trees. There are several tourist cottages here and a stay here is absolutely scenic.
6. Mukteshwar Temple
The deity primarily worshipped at Dhanachuli is Lord Shiva and this temple is also dedicated to him. This magnificent temple is placed on a slope and a winding path of staircase leads to the temple. You can see idols of Vishnu, Brahma, Hanuman and several other Hindu gods and goddesses at this temple. There is a magnificent white shiva lingam, made of marble at the centre of this temple.
7. Brahmeswara Temple
This is an open temple. It also has a side pond where you can see fishes of vibrant colours. It is believed that this temple was constructed around 1050. There are stone carvings and detailed structures here. Entry here is free.
8. Indian Veterinary Research Centre
This is one of the leading veterinary centers of the country and is dedicated to livestock research. It was established during the British era. There is a small museum inside the research centre. You can see the rare refrigerator of olden days there. Entry is restricted here and hence you will require a permit. Photography is not allowed inside the premises of the research centre.
9. Chauli ki Jali
This tourist attraction located behind the cliff of mukteshwar temple. It is also called Chauthi Jali. This place holds mythological importance, and it is believed that there was a fierce battle between goddess and demon. There is an elephant trunk, a shield and outlines of a sword that stand as a testament of this battle. It is less than 2 kms away from Mukteshwar. This amazing cliff is a must visit for nature lovers and even for those who seek adventure.
10. Methodist Church
This is an old church and lies at a little distance from Dhanachuli. The walls of the church are well preserved and its roof is made up of tin. There is a low wooden door behind the church, which is opened for visitors only on Sundays between 3 and 4 pm. It otherwise remains locked. There are lovely bell at the steeple and the church is red and white in colour. This church is almost 100 years old.
11. Dhanachuli Inspection Bungalow
This structure belongs to the British era as well, and is an architectural wonder. It is also known as the Mukteshwar bungalow and is placed in Mukteshwar, a little away from Dhanachuli. It is one of the landmark locations of this town. You can experience the aroma of rosemary, thyme, chamomile along the sidewalks.
Things to Do
There is an abundance of activities to choose from when you are at Dhanachuli.
1. Attend the Kumaon Literary Festival
This is a festival held periodically by the Kumaoni Samaj/committee. There are motivational speakers at this event. There is also display of handicrafts, dishes, clothes pertaining to the Kumaoni culture. These goods are unique and exclusive. You might for sure want to carry a souvenir or two. You might also be a part of an evening of folk music and dance. A lot of folk artists are also present at this festival.
2. Camping in Mukteshwar
If hiking is what thrills you then Mukteshwar is just the perfect place to go for hiking and camping. You can carry your camping gear and tents. There is also a camp run by 6-7 people of the Kumaon region. It is placed at a distance of 20 kms from Mukteshwar and is practically cut off from rest of the world. The people who organise this camp also have provisions for food. You can taste authentic ?pahadi? food here. The name of the camp is ?Camp Vanvaas? and it stands true to its name, disconnecting you from the rest of the world for the number of days you stay. You can witness nature and wildlife at its closest.
3. Taste the Mountain Life
The mountain life is called ? a life of solitude? and you can catch a glimpse of this at Dhanachuli. People hitting off early morning blues to go to their farms, you can hear birds chirping, cattle grazing on the hills, little pahari children strolling about talking in their language amongst themselves. Nature walks are a delight while you stay at Dhanachuli.
You can enjoy the taste of bliss at Dhanachuli with lip-smacking Kumaoni food. The local delicacies include ?singhal?- a sweet that is made from the batter of banana, curd and suji. You can also enjoy the famous ?aloo ke gutke? with ?bhang ki chutney?. Other famous dishes that you can try here are- ?kumaoni phanu?, ?bhatt ke dubke?, ?Churkani?, ?aloo palda?, ?jholi?. A very popular sweetmeat called ?Singhori? is easily available here. Singhori is milk and spices mixed and wrapped in a special leaf called the ?Beru leaf?. You can also buy some spices that are significant of the hills like ?jakhia?, ?rai?, ?jambu?, ?gandareni?, etc.
Dhanachuli, lying in the lap of nature is a perfect vacation spot. It has religious places, natural beauty, adventures activities to offer. It is a close peek into the Kumaoni culture and the traditional lives of the mountain dwellers. The beauty and stillness of the valley is enchanting. Pack your bags and visit the mystic mountains.
Best Time To Visit Dhanachuli
You can visit this place all around the year as the weather is superb and pleasant. Also, people mostly prefer coming to Dhanachuli in summers as this hilly area remains comparatively cooler. The winters at Dhanachuli will be nothing more than biting cold. Based on the average temperature and humidity observations, March-June and September-November are suitable months.
How to Reach Dhanachuli
Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport to Dhanachuli. It is 94 kms away. While Kathgodam railway station is the nearest railways to Dhanachuli. Uttarakhand has its separate airport and is well connected to the major cities of the country. Direct buses are also available from delhi, Anand Vihar to Dhanachuli. Dhanachuli is also well connected by the means of motorable roads to major areas of Kumaon.