The Hidden Places of Uttrakhand – CHAKRATA & LAKHAMANDAL (Day -1)

Since my childhood , I have been hearing about Chakrata from my father who spent his considerable time there because my grand father was working with forest Department & posted in Chakrata.


We had been planning to visit Chakrata for a long time & finally we got a chance to visit there in June 2011. We started our journey on June 6th , 2011 from my in law’s place (Dehradun) at 8.30 AM.


There are two routes for Chakrata from Dehradun , one via Kempty fall (Mussoorie) & other one is via Vikasnagar / Kalsi. We took Vikasnagar / Kalsi route passing by ONGC , FRI & IMA in between on the way to Chakrata. Due to the low traffic in the morning we reached Herbertpur with in half an hour which is around 40 kms from Dehradun.

On the way to Kalsi

From Herbertpur circle the left road goes to Asan Barrage / Ponta Sahib & right one goes to Dakpathar / Vikasnagar / Kalsi /Chakrata. In next 10-15 minutes we reached Kalsi ( 50 Kms from Dehradun)

On the way to Kalsi

Kalsi is a small village & part of Dehradun district situated at the confluence of river Yammuna & Tons. This place offers glories panorama of natural world.


Entrance Gate "Ashoka Rock Edict"

It is famous for “Ashoka Rock Edict” which was discovered by a Britisher John Forest in 1860. The ethics & life time idols of king Ashoka have been inscribed on the rock which is 10 feet in length, 10 feet in height & 8 feet in width. The Language of the Edict is Pali.

Ashoka Rock Edict

Ashoka Rock Edict

Ashoka Rock Edict is located very close to Kalsi Forest check post Gate. After spending some time over there we started over journey further towards Chakrata. Till two years back there was a gate system from Kalsi to Chakrata, one way traffic was allowed at a fixed time . The gate used to open in the interval of two & half hours but now the gate system has been discontinued for the last two years.

Way to "Ashoka Rock Edict"

Close up of "Ashoka Rock Edict"

After Kalsi one can feel the change in weather & the view on the way to Chakrata is mesmerizing.

Mesmerizing view on the way to Chakrata

after crossing village SAIYA

About to reach Chakrata

We visited the temple Chinta Haran Mahadev which is approx.4-5 kms from main Chakrata. Here one can see a huge original Shivling. This temple was built by Smt. Misori Devi & Smt. Tulsi Devi , It was inaugurated by Brigadier R.N. Mishra. The temple is located at height and you have to trek for 10 minutes before reaching the temple.

Entrance - Chinta Haran Mahadev

Trek to Chinta Haran Mahadev

Temple - Chinta Haran Mahadev

Shivling - Chinta Haran Mahadev

View from Temple

We reached Hotel , checked in and ordered our Lunch. By the time we finished with our lunch it was 2.00 PM .We planned to visit Deoban. As informed by our Hotel owner that the road condition of Deoban was very bad so it is difficult to cover it by a small cover. It is advisable to take a SUV for Deoban. We hired a Scorpio for the trip.

Deoban – As the name is self explanatory “God’s own Forest”. It is located at 16 kms from Chakrata at the height of 2865 mtrs. from the sea level. Driving through the dense forest & hairpin bends was an adventurous trip to Deoban.

On the way to "Deoban"


On the way to Deoban , you will pass through “ Spider Colony” , a training Institute (Rock Climbing) of Army, here photography is prohibited. After 10 kms from Spider Colony there is Y junction , left road goes to Deoban & right road goes to Mundali.

Motarable road is till FRH , from there 15 minutes walk take you to “VYAS Shikar”. It is supposed to be a place where he wrote Mahabharata. Vyas Shikar gives Panorama view of Himalayan peaks. One can see Nanda Devi peak, Trishul peak , Banderpunch Peaks etc from here. Localites informed us that in a clear weather one can see Wall of China too from here.

Vyas Shikar - Deoban

On the way to Vyas Shikar

on the way to Vyas Shiker

Vyas Shiker

Vyas Shiker - Deoban

View from Vyas Shiker

Outside FRH - Deoban

FRH - Deoban

After the photo session we started our journey back to Chakrata , on the way we had our evening Tea & reached back to hotel. Night was quite cold due to heavy rain.We had our early dinner & went to bed.



  • Rajeshwari says:

    Chakrata looks beautiful ..and judging from your pics spared from the throngs of tourists too..thanks for sharing..

  • Sahil Sethi says:

    Mahesh Ji ,

    I have been to Chakrata , Tuinni and Hatkoti. It just reminded me of my trip. We also went to Deoban on my very own Silver Queen but the route to Deoban was really bad. It was just a rocky stone road.


  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Mahesh Ji,
    Interesting post with beautiful pictures. Waiting for day-2 tale.


  • vinaymusafir says:

    Beautiful photographs with well informative narration.
    I will plan soon to visit the place.
    Thanks for posting

  • Amit Kumar says:

    Chakrata Looks amazing Mahesh Ji. I can imagine its beauty in monsoon, everything will be like washed and clean with rich tone all over. After reading your narration I am too keen to visit this place. Thanks for sharing.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Mahesh,

    Firstly, personal compliments for a change in that ‘phhoto’ (am I late ? ); which appears along the names – now you look more of a family man than the ‘lonely scholar’ appearance of the previous snap.

    Article on Chakrata has the standard trademarks of your writings- well rooted in details/ history and creating that ‘local flavour’ of the place being described.

    Been to Dehradun on many occasions, heard about Chakrata (road/waterfall etc), but never really been to that road.

    Now we are inspired to cover Chakrata/ Deovan.

  • Kumar says:

    Chakrata is an access-restricted military cantonment, and foreigners face severe restrictions in visiting. Hence, Chakrata does not figure in the tourist map of Uttarakhand. It is a sensitive area. In any case, the pics are very beautiful.


  • Sharma Shreeniwas says:

    Nice capture of Nature’s beauty.

  • Nandan says:

    So things are changing. The Ashoka Rock Edict has got a big make-over. Good.

    That gate system was really charming, Guess without that it makes things less predictable. I am guessing that it would have taken its toll on the bursting local markets on the two gates (one at Kalsi and the other at mid-way). Are they still there ?

    I was not aware about Deoban and the fact that one can see peaks from there. It makes a interesting top-up to plan a trip.

    Where did you stay ? A small review with pics of the hotel would be really useful.

  • maheh semwal says:

    Thanks for going through the post.

    Ya Nandan, things change with time . Second gate was at Saiya, now there is no toll on both the places.

    There is not much choice of Hotels in Chakrata. there are only two good places to stay in Chakrata one is “Hotel Snow View” another one is “Hotel Himalaya Paradise”.

    I was not able to get the room there , I stayed in “Hotel Knight Stay” , close to hotel Himalaya Paradise.

    Best one is Hotel Snow View —– (

  • Abhinav says:

    Dear Mahesh Ji,

    I am planning to visit Dev Ban on 07th Oct 11 with my family.

    Have already booked Forest Rest House.

    I am having Swift Dezire, please advise if it will be good idea to drive by own to Dev Ban or if we can get a SUV at Chakrata or nearest place from Dev Ban.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      You can drive by own to Devban.

      You will not get food in FRH , they will cook for you but you have to carry your dry ration with you.

      • Abhinav says:

        Thanks for the great help Mahesh Ji.

        Just want to ask one more thing: Is the road comfortable and in good condition till Dev Ban???

        • Mahesh Semwal says:

          Road condition is not in good condition. If you are staying at FRH – Devban than go by your own car.

  • Very beautiful place Maheshjee………………………..

    Very beautiful pictures , specially view from temple………..

    Now again Mahabharata was written here or Badrinath ???????……….

  • prafull says:

    sir .pics are realy informing & btful too………..thanks

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks !

  • RAVI BISHT says:

    Mr.Ravi Bisht says:
    Chakrata Looks amazing Mahesh Ji. I can imagine its beauty in monsoon, everything will be like washed and clean with rich tone all over. After reading your narration I am too keen to visit this place. Thanks for sharing.

  • sandeep sharma says:

    i m lanning to go. plz guide me where should i stay with family.

  • Ashish Johri says:

    Hi Mahesh

    Thanks for uploading such detailed inputs in and about Chakrata. I was presuming that its’ one day go and return back. But its an altogather different place and really worth planning and going on a week end.

    regds ashish

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks for going through the post and liking it.

  • arnav says:

    sir its a pleasure to see someone like you to publish this type of matter on net..
    i would like to see some more pics and descriptions of your journies on this website…
    ARNAV VERMA (08057603427)

  • yogesh pd says:

    Mahesh ji,

    i’ve been to chakrata last year in october, it was such a wonderful tour.

    i’ll writing it shortly.
    4th pic is so similar to as i have one.

  • Pradeep says:

    Very nice post, It reminded me my visit to chakrata. I have visited the place on Chritsmas 2009. But at the time there was not much greenry, in your photographs it seems much beautiful. On the way to Deoban, we have passed a frozen pond as well.
    But anyways, its really very nice post.

  • pratap singh says:

    nov 2, 2012
    dear mahesh ji,
    It is an all consuming post. It reminds me of my trip to chakrata in year i990 and susequently to yamyotri about 8 years back. The area is so facinating that I am thinking of building a small cottage and live there as I am a retired person of 82 years . From your name I can assume that you belong to Uttrakhand and should be familiar with the whole area. could you please advise me as to which place would be suitable –a real beauty spot and approachable . I will be grateful for this help. I am an aeronautical engineer and presently living in Lucknow. I have no medical problems healthwise.

  • Dear Mahesh,

    While scanning through your posts, I stopped at Chakrata post because for the last one year, I have been wondering as to why I have never been to Chakrata and felt a desire surfacing within me to visit there. My father, being a medical practitioner in Dehradun, used to go to Vikas Nagar everyday because he had opened a charitable hospital in Vikas Nagar and another branch of it in Dak Pathar with the active support of his Vikas Nagar based friend. So, it was but, natural for us to see him off everyday in the morning. I used to see small buses going to Chakrata from Arhat Bazar, Dehradun (opp. Railway station) every now and then. We even had a family friend in Sahiya who invited us to Sahiya yet we never managed to visit them. While reading your post, all the above memories flashed before my eyes.

    After going through your post, I am more and more inclined to visit Chakrata in the coming summer. This post will be highly useful to me. Thanks for the same.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      My grandfather was in forest department & he was posted in Debvan. My father is very much attached to this place as most of time he spend there when he was kid, he did his class 12th from Vikasnagar that time it was known as CHORPUR.

  • Sanjeev says:

    Dear Mahesh,

    I am planning to visit the same this December (Is it right time to visit or not?).
    Please suggest any good hotel.
    How’s Road condition from Delhi via Saharanpur?


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Sanjeev,

    It has their own charm to visit chakrata during winters. Visiting Devban might be problem during snowfall but other places will not be an issue.

    Why via Saharanpur , take general route ( delhi – meerut by pass – muzaffar nagar – rorkee – dehradun – vikasnagar – chakrata)

  • Gambhir Singh Tomar says:

    Hi Maheshji
    Really you show the beautiful place of jaunsar.I love it.

  • ???????????? says:

    ????????? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ? ??????? ! ???? ??! ?????? ?? ????????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?

  • Dr. ANIRUDDHA PAL says:


    I am visiting Haridwar for the first time with my family. I will reach in the morning of 12th May ( 4:00 AM) and return by train to Mumbai on 16th May 6:50 PM. I want to visit only religious places, can you please tell me what should be my itinerary for the 5 days. I will be travelling with 4 senior citizens and 1 child

  • Day 1 Haridwar
    Day 2 Rishikesh
    Day 3 Kunjadevi (Narendernagar) + Surkanda devi (Kadhukhal) , Back to Rishikesh
    Day 4 Rishikesh – Dev Prayag – Rishikesh
    Day 5 Rishikesh – Nilkanth – Haridwar

    * Surkanda – Trekking required .

  • Dr,. Aniruddha Pal says:

    I am thinking of the following, please advise if it is possible by car.
    Day 1 : After reaching Haridwar in early morning, go to Rishikesh. Visit Dev prayag / Rudra Prayag and night halt at Rishikesh (
    Day 2 : Rishikesh local and Kunjadevi (Narendernagar) + Surkanda devi (Kadhukhal) night halt at Rishikesh
    Day 3 Rishikesh to Dehradun / Musorie ( Night halt at either place) ( Try to see lakhamandal the next day )
    Day 4 : Dehradun / Musorie return to haridwar ( Night halt at Hariwdwar to see evening aarti)
    Day 5 : Haridwar local sight seeing

  • Ravi Kant says:

    Sir, I doing Research on Chakrata, Jaunsar-Bawar Region. Plzzz Send me ur email ID so I’ll Ask u & take ur lots of helps\things about them.

  • Ravi Kant says:

    My email ID is

  • Manoj Aswal says:

    There are a lot of hidden places near chakrata like Tiger Fall(Asia’s 3rd highest waterfall), Vyas Cave, Lakhamandal, Koti Kanasar etc. to know more can contact me at

  • Sasi Menon says:

    Short and crisp write up. Chakrata seems to be a very nice place, quiet and isolated from the normal scenario in the hills. Thank you for the information.

  • vibha says:

    Helo mahesh ji..v r planning a family trip from chandigarh to chakrata…i want to know the road route from dehradun to chakrata…and secondly hows the it total plains or hilly?

  • Sandeep Rawat says:

    I visited Chakrata on 15th of May 2016. I want to advise anyone visiting of the following:
    1. Please avoid your vehicle for going to Devban. Instead take a hired jeep or SUV with good ground clearance. I could make it only till spiders colony (SFF rock training point). The road is in a very bad condition with deep ruts and protruding rocks.
    2. It is best to avoid the Chakrata Lakhamandal road in your own vehicle. The condition of the road is extremely bad. Met only 2 motocycles and I jeep along the way. Though the road is being relaid but only a few km have been done.
    3. One can now take one’s car very close to the Tiger fall beyond the point of the canteen and parking point if one wants to avoid the uphill climb.

  • Jitender says:

    Hi frnds
    I m planning to visit chakrata with my frnds so plz advise us where we should stay? and nearby area where we can enjoy . Is there any rafting ?

  • anupam tomar says:

    hello everyone I have recently started a resort in chakrata by name of Ramtal Resort if any one interested to visit CHAKRATA can call me on 7088555333.Ramtal resort is located at hill top at one of the best picnic spot in chakrata.

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