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Dhanaulti vs. Mussoorie vs. Kanatal: Exploring the Enchanting Hill Stations (2024)

The breathtaking beauty and serenity of the mountains beckon the traveller to rest for a few days away from the “maddening crowd of the city”. It’s time to halt the bustling towns and embrace the glorious scenic landscapes of Dhanaulti, Kanatal and Mussorie in Uttarakhand, India. 

Whenever we get bored or have some time off, we try to escape the noise and bustle of the city, and the first thing that comes to mind is to explore the mountains. We visit this divine region for a brush of serenity, tranquillity, picturesque scenery, snow-capped mountains, Lush-green meadows, etc, and many other things. 

Well, there are many places you can visit and plenty of confusion regarding which one is better and where to make a base. The most talked about gems in this region are Dhanaulti, Mussoorie, and Kanatal. So, let’s evaluate, find solutions, and go through the salient features of each place and its highlights. 


Dhanaulti is a quiet hill station in the Garhwal Himalayan range that stands peacefully at an altitude of nearly 2250 metres above sea level. This laid-back hill town has a stunning scenic sight to greet the visitor and is famous for its beautiful scenic landscapes overlooking the tall and majestic snow-capped mountains, oak forests and lush green meadows, etc.

The town is far away from the busy markets’ chaos and the crowds’ hustle and bustle. Get away from the polluted cities for a few days of peace and calm. Dhanaulti lies encased in the thick deodar forests, tall oak trees and bright red rhododendrons and is famous for its trekking trail escapades. If you want to tread deep into the Himalayas as you trek to explore beauty and thrill, then this is where you should be. 

Let’s see some incomparable highlights and places in Dhanaulti that make it unique: – 

Eco Park:

Eco Park is one of the most visited places in Dhanaulti, a park with lush green meadows and a wonderful outlook. It’s an excellent place for a family picnic where family, friends and loved ones can relax and enjoy nature. Eco Park:

Eco Park is a lush green area with tall trees and a peaceful atmosphere that overlooks the Himalayan ranges. It has been declared a famous attraction destination in Dhanaulti, with eco-friendly huts made of natural materials to relax in. The park focuses on environmental conservation and recreational activities. This park is a great place to promote environmental awareness by showcasing flora and fauna and plenty of eco-friendly amenities. Eco Park features: 

  • Well-maintained Trekking trails and walking paths ideal for strolls
  • Picnic areas and beautiful areas for family outings where you can munch goodies and cool your senses in the fresh mountain breeze
  • Gardens with plenty of plants and unique bird species. Flora and fauna are at their best here!
  • Environment and Wildlife observation viewing platforms called machans to gaze at the interesting sights around. Get your camera ready and start clicking away. You will collect pictures of a lifetime. 
  • Some selective adventure activities are organised here. Let yoru adventurous steak break through and try out the Burma Bridge, zip lining and trekking!

Trekking trails to the unique and beautiful Kunjapuri and Chandrabadni can thrill the senses to no end. Adventure resorts in Dhanaulti offer plenty of exciting chances at zip-lining and rappelling. If you love skating, you can head to the skating arenas for hours of body-balancing fun. Dhanaulti is beautiful in winter and the perfect place to admire the snow with a hot drink or cognac!

Surkanda Devi Temple

Surkanda Devi Temple is also well-known in this region as Surkanda Devi mandir is a fabulous trekking spot that is a favourite with tourists. Located at about 2756 meters, this place is excellent for a spiritual brush and adventurous thrill. 

The Surkanda Devi Temple, a hot favourite with travellers, is a renowned temple revered by Hindus and dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The temple is a popular pilgrimage destination, approximately 9,045 feet above sea level. A famous trekking spot for tourists, this temple is significantly essential for pilgrims and local people. 

People trek nearly two and a half kilometres to glimpse the astonishing view of the valleys and the mountain ranges. The temple bustles with energy during the Ganga Dussehra festival, in May or June, and during the spiritual nine-night Navratri festival celebrating Goddess Durga.

You can admire the Panoramic Views of famous mountain peaks like Chaukhamba, Bandarpunch, and Swargarohini. Take out time for this rewarding and challenging trek that provides excellent views.

Adventure Sports: 

Dhanaulti cannot be described entirely without discussing its adventure sports and thrilling outdoorsy activities. The town is a great place for adventurous junkies and nature lovers and offers ample camping, trekking, Zip-lining, Bike Riding, rock climbing, and other adventurous activities amongst breathtaking views. 

Dhanaulti is excellent because of its peaceful ambience and perfect weather throughout the year. Moreover, it is a cost-effective place to pursue adventurous activities at reasonable rates. If you want to experience the best combination of adventure and thrill, then plan to visit here in the summer or winter, as it is an ideal all-weather energetic place.  


Mussoorie, or the “Queen of Hill Station”, has panoramic views and gorgeous landscapes. The weather is cool and comfortable and makes the traveller enjoy it, and you stare at the heavenly sights of the surroundings. 

The hill station stands at about 7000 feet above sea level and is roughly 35 kms from the happening town of Mussoorie. The hill town has a historical reference with its colonial buildings and heritage structures. 

The charms of the buildings and structures make this place a paradise for travellers. History buffs who are intrigued by nature and the “live of the yesteryears” should plan a visit to this quaint and unique hill town! Let us see all those things Mussoorie is famous for:

Mall Road: 

Shopping at Mall Road and staring out at the mountain ranges is the most relaxing activity in Mussoorie. The Mall Road and the famous Landour Bazaar are bustling, busy shopping centres that shine brightly with colourful shops.

The shops are full of clothes and handicrafts in coloured hues for people to choose from. There are gaming shops for the children, local attractions and beautiful cafes where people can sample regional cuisines. If nothing else, you can walk hand in hand with your partner and admire the stunning scenic sights. 

Kempty Falls: 

The sound of the gurgling water falling from a height is stunningly gorgeous, and this is what the traveller experiences at Kempty Falls. These falls are an essential tourist destination for people staying in Mussoorie. 

If you want a delightful bathing chance under the waterfalls while you admire the lush green surroundings, then Kempty Falls is where you should be. Many people come here with picnic baskets to enjoy a pleasant meal in the wilderness. Some snack vendors are here, and you can order your warm cup of tea or coffee. 

Gun Hill:  

A photographer’s delight-Gun Hill, 400 feet high in Mussoorie, has a history behind it that intrigues the tourist. Legend claims that locals or the Britishers carried a canyon to the hilltop to fire at their adversaries and thus the name. This second-highest peak overlooks the gorgeous Doon Valley and Himalayan ranges.

Looking from the height of the beauty below is a picturesque experience. You can also enjoy a panoramic view of the Mall, surrounding peaks and deep valleys, and quickly reach by cable car or foot. 

To access the best sightseeing point, you must pay for a restaurant from whose terrace you can get the best view. Atop the terrace is a binocular which, on a clear day, gives magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks and mystical skies at night.

Laal Tibba:

Ideal time to visit the tranquil and peaceful Lal Tibba in Mussoorie is early morning, though this is the busiest area throughout the day. This highest point is a unique sightseeing landmark in Mussoorie and home to an ancient British-era telescope placed on a restaurant’s terrace top. This gadget helps you capture and exhibit an unbeatable breathtaking view of the majestic mountain peaks and the proud opulent Mount Everest.

The hill station is shrouded with peace, calm and excitement. Mussoorie is a great vacation spot for families and couples because of its energetic, lively and peaceful atmosphere.

Mussoorie is crowded with cement structures, and a lot of construction is happening all around. But the view of the valley, the cable car ride and other natural sights is fantastic. Places like Laal Tibba, Char Dukan, Gun Hill, Kempty Falls etc., along with tall green trees and water bodies, make this memorable.  


Kanatal is an unexplored, hidden treasure in Uttrakhand’s mountainous region. This underrated and little-known hill station is situated on the famous Chamba -Mussoorie Highway at a height of about 2590 metres. Kanatal, with its lush green surroundings, is renowned for its vibrantly beautiful Picnic Spots, tasty fresh apples from its rich Apple Orchids, and the glorified Himalayan views. Kanatal is located in the Garhwal Region, and there are relaxing and laid-back homestays where you can stay for a few days. This is the ideal way to experience rural life and meet people from the villages. The more highlights in Kanatal are: – 

Tehri Dam:

A short Distance from Kanatal, 15 kms from Tehri city, near the Koti Colony lies the beautiful wide, spread tallest dam in India- the Tehri Dam. It offers an inspiring and beautiful sight with good water sports like boating. Imagine the glory of a man-made lake surrounded by beautiful trees and tall mountains. 

The site is unbelievably beautiful and the nature lover’s delight. Indulge in this adventure tourism and enjoy your holiday. You can also participate in several water sports and other activities such as Kayaking, paragliding, swimming, water skiing, hot dog ride, jet skiing, hot air balloon boat rides, banana ride, bandwagon boat ride, zorbing, jet attacks etc. The water fun and sports activities can be availed at very affordable amounts. 

Surkanda Devi Temple:

Kanatal, like Dhanaulti, is also located near the spiritual and revered Surkanda Devi Temple, which attracts hikers and religious pilgrims in plenty. To visit there, you must enjoy trails and treks and face some challenges. So, Adventure Junkies, plan a visit here for incredible fun and activities!

Various Activities like Camping and Adventure:

Kanatal is famous for its picturesque camping and Picnic spots surrounded by stunning natural beauty. You can also spend quality time with colleagues, loved ones, family and friends here while enjoying various Adventurous activities such as jungle safari, Camping, rappelling, Valley Crossing, Rock climbing, etc.

Apple Orchards: 

With beautiful landscapes and crystal clear streams flowing through the apple orchards, you can experience an enlightening bliss that enhances the beauty of Kanatal. Kanatal’s untouched simplicity and unexplored beauty make it a perfect location for travellers seeking tranquillity and calm in nature. 


It’s tough to conclude which is better- Dhanaulti, Mussoorie, or Kanatal! It depends on the number of days, the kind of holiday and the peace you search for. To a great extent, the answer depends on what you want to explore, experience and what you look for in a destination.  

If you want a peaceful, tranquil, calm, and relaxing environment with beautiful landscapes to rejuvenate your senses and a fabulous all-weather destination, then you should try Dhanaulti. 

If you want to relax in a tranquil environment with breathtaking views and enjoy adventure and fun, you must visit the mysterious Kanatal. It has excellent camping spots and is less crowded than Dhanaulti and Mussoorie. Also, it provides plenty of unexplored areas to make memories in. 

If you prefer a crowded, vibrant, bustling hill station with a dash of nature and man-made attractions, then Mussoorie is for you. Mussoorie is the perfect blend of fun, adventure, nature study and liveliness. It is a tad crowded, so that you won’t miss the city’s hustle and bustle!

Each hill station has its unique charm and offers a treasure mine of excitement and great tourist experiences. Why don’t you visit each one for a few days and get a lifetime memory of fun and excitement as the three locations are equally mesmerising, enchanting and appealing?

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