Dhanaulti is at a distance of about 60 kms from Dehradun. It is on the same route as Mussorie but just 3-4 kms short and one needs to take a detour and turn right from JP gate and drive straight on the scenic route for another 20-23 kms. Dhanaulti is a small village stretching not more than a kilometer and its forest rest house run by GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd) is a basic, clean and picturesque option to stay. Getting to book in advance can be nightmarish- but it is best to call GMVN head office in Dehradun first and get latest contact details from them for the Dhanaulti forest rest house. They do not take reservations in advance as they do not have any facility to receive booking money but a phone call, in our case, managed to reserve a room for us.
The rest house is situated at a perfectly quaint location and offers an unhindered forest view. There is also an eco-park just facing the rest house which offers a wonderful walk through thick forests. Monsoons seem to be the best time to head here as a quick getaway from Delhi.
Food is simple and tasty vegetarian fare, cooked in a common kitchen and served in their dining room.
However, non-vegetarian food can easily be brought in or ordered at any of the dhabas nearby and served to you along with your meals. Staff is friendly and does not hesitate from taking any such requests.
Even though this rest house is mostly used for a night halt for those traveling ahead on Tehri route, we seemed to be the only ones staying for over four nights and it was totally worth it. It is a good spot for writers or artists who just want to stay at one place and somewhat cut off from city life.
Richa Gupta is based in Mumbai, is an avid traveller and blogs at http://travels-and-stories.blogspot.in/