Winter Drive to Snowy Dhanaulti

It’s been a long time when I last wrote something.

Maybe 2-3 years passed by, I got so busy in work that I almost forgot that it was Ghumakkar which had ignited my passion to travel. Though the travel tales did not halt, and I continued to travel though not very long trips, but still enough for a short change.

Couple enjoying their walk

Couple enjoying their walk

The road was really slippery

The road was really slippery


The white valley

Few days ago, one of a reader asked me that why have I stopped writing on Ghumakkar. I had no particular answer. She told that I should again start writing.

So here I am back again to share few of my short travel tales. Starting with one of the trip which I remember was Dhanaulti which I visited in Feb’14.Though dont have much pics now, but still found some to share. Some pics to start off –

Actually it was my brothers marriage in Dehradun. His marriage was on 20th Feb. On 16th Feb, I read that Dhanaulti received good amount of snow which was a Valentine Gift. Got super excited. I thought that If I would be lucky, snow would be there after 4 days.So I made up my mind, that I will squeeze some time and will visit it.


The trusted Silver Queen

We started on 19th Feb’14. Starting time was as usual 5am.
Delhi – Meerut – Khatauli – Muzaffarnagar is always a breeze in early morning. By 8:30 am, we crossed Muzaffarnagar. But happy drive doesn’t stays for long. As soon as the board comes “Toll Road Ends” the same same old story starts. Very bad bumpy road doesn’t allow you the drive fast. Couple of months ago also, we drove to Doon. The Muzaffarnagar-Roorkee stretch was same. But this time In Feb, the condition was even more worse.

We got busy in the Marriage work as in the evening there was the Sagan and Ring Ceremony. In the evening, we reached the venue Hotel Solitaire on the Dehradun-Haridwar Road. It was a lovely hotel. As soon as we reached there a brand new Honda City 2014 was parked there We asked the Manager “Ye Car Kiski Hai”. He replied “Sir ap Logon ki hi hai”. Our eyes were wide open It was a brand New Honda City VX Diesel. We told our Brother “Sahi Hai Bhai, Kismat ho to Aisi” It was a grand occasion, but who knew my Grand trip was also in the process of making.

On the marriage day, my car was busy. Then decided to take Brothers New Honda city which he got on the Sagan function. But I knew there would be some good amount of snow on the road, so skipped this option. Then thought of taking his Ford Classic, but later I thought I would take his Tata Indigo which I find better on driving on hilly roads.

In the morning when everyone was busy in the arrangements, I started towards Dhanaulti. I had to return by evening. Weather was sunny, I was cruising steadily on the road towards Mussoorie. Later took the right turn towards Dhanulti. The SH-8 is quite familiar. Weather was still very nice but chilly.

It was a bright sunny day. Views were superb. Soon, as altitude was increasing, fresh traces of snow were seen on the sides of the roads. I could sense that, as always Dhanaulti would not disappoint me.
Far mountains were covered with snow, and it was all shining like gold as bright sunlight was falling on it. Had to get out of the driving seat again and again to capture those moments.


The amount of snow started to increase. Soon whole of the road was covered with snow.

It was such a lovely experience that heaps of fresh snow were lying on the road. There was almost null traffic. Mostly tourists were so happy to see the snow that they were enjoying on the road itself.No body seemed interested to go to Dhanaulti. Few of the cars were skidding.

I was driving very slowly, and negotiating slowly on the black ice portions. I enquired from other drivers, they told that it would be difficult to reach Dhanulti as roads are covered with heavy amount of snow. But I decided that I would go further and try to reach as far as possible.

The aloof shop

The aloof shop

Decided to stop and have some Maggi. Sitting on the chair digged into the snow, and bright sunlight falling above, What more can one expect. Complete peace and it was all looking like a White Garden.
Finally reached Dhanaulti. There was very little snow there.

JCB Machine in action

JCB Machine in action

One of a taxi got stuck on a black ice portion and its wheel started spinning. The driver was unable to take his car out of that portion. Then all of its passengers got out, I along with other people pushed his car and after some trouble finally his car could come out.

Halted here for a short Maggi Break

Halted here for a short Maggi Break

The snowman at the road side

The snowman at the road side

The familiar SH-8 milestone leading to Kanatal, Chamba

The familiar SH-8 milestone leading to Kanatal, Chamba

Finally Dhanaulti it is !!!!

Finally Dhanaulti it is !!!!

This time I did not have time even to visit the Eco Park. It was just a touch and go trip to Dhanulti.

Started to drive back as it was already 4pm by then. Had to reach Dehradun by 6. Reached back Dehradun. It was just like a flying trip. But even that was enough to rejuvenate me and get back to normal life.
Returned back to Delhi the next day.


  • Arun Singh says:

    This time no winters in Delhi as we all delhiwalas are going through the major impact of Global Warming, but your post has enabled us to enjoy the snow and its freezy feelings. Thank u Sir for sharing with us.


  • Nandan Jha says:

    Glad to see you here Sahil, after a real real long time. :-)

    Thats quite a snow for Dhanaulti. Wishes to your brother.

  • VJ Sharma says:

    I have been to Dhanaulti during summers and weather of this place is awesome. I am sure that place would look even better with white sheet over the hills.

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      I have been to Dhanaulti in almost all seasons, and yes it looks all the more beautiful with white sheet all over. But the weather and beauty of this place is always wonderful.

  • Gaurav says:

    I too got stuck in black snow on the way to Dhanaulti in December 2014 and it was hard for us to steer the car out as the tires got free and were continuously spinning. Since then I am a little scared of driving after the snowfall. Sahilji, you are certainly bravehearted.

  • Uday Baxi says:

    Thanks Mr. Sethi for a very nice post. It is good that you have again started writing. We are definitely going to have some of the best travel stories in future. Wish you well.


  • Gita says:

    Good to see the “Good Guy” in action again :) :)

    I happened to notice the header in my inbox, Dhanaulti made me remember you so I clicked the link to find that it was indeed your post.

    How have you been Sahil? Its been a long time. Lovely write up and nice snowy cool pix.

    I too have been busy with a whole lot of things and stopped writing. Maybe I will take a leaf out of your book and start again, who knows.

    Take care and be “good” :)

    Your old friend Gita

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Hello Gita Mam,

      I am very fine. How are you doing ?
      Thank you very much for your kind comments as always.
      It really feels great to have comments from old familiar friends.
      When I read your comment, I just had a big smile on my face.

      Even you stopped writing. Now you have to start it again.
      We always loved your posts.


  • Gita says:

    I’m well Sahil, thanks.

    What about your favourite place Kashmir, have you been there of late?

    Anyway, stay well and keep in touch.
    PS: We in Mumbai are competing with you Dilliwale in pollution levels :) :)


    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Hi Mam,

      Yes went to Kashmir last month only, after an year. Srinagar was almost devoid of tourists. Kashmir seems to have lost it old charm.

      I believe you must have also visited large no of places. Waiting for your travel tales.

      Lets see whose city wins in this pollution competition :p

  • Dr.Rakesh Gandhi Advocate says:

    Beautiful coverage with nice clicks…….its first time i have seen snow covered Dhanaulti.Thanks a lot Sahil.

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