Liv’ED It is an ED original style where we write about our personal experiences on experiencing and reviewing any app/place/website which gives us a feeling of coming back for more. 

Note: All images in this article were clicked by the author on her travels unless credited otherwise.

When ED Times got invited by JustWravel for the fully hosted FAM trip to Kanatal, being a mountains baby that I am (sometimes I cheat and choose beaches too!), I was quick to volunteer for the trip.

I had never heard about Kanatal before this invite. So after a bit of research, I decided to take a leap of faith and join the ‘FAM trip’, a trip that turned out to be one of the most fun things I have done in this year so far!

About Kanatal

Kanatal is a small picturesque village in Uttarakhand which is about 300 kms from Delhi. It’s on the Chamba-Mussoorie road and is not a very popular hill station amongst the tourists. The altitude of the place makes it an apt vacation choice in almost all seasons.

These are the reasons which make Kanatal a perfect hidden gem in the hills for a quick weekend getaway, far from the hustle-bustle of the city life!

How To Reach

The best way to reach Kanatal is via road transport. We decided to take a road-trip to this majestic place by booking a rental vehicle from the Savaari Car Rentals. Since there were 12 of us, a Traveler seemed like the most apt vehicle for our road-trip.

The ride from Delhi to Kanatal is beautiful

You can also take your own vehicle along. However, it is always advisable to take an experienced driver with you to drive in the hills!

The Road Trip

We met the good folks of JustWravel at the Akshardham metro station and began the adventure that our well planned weekend was going to be.

We took quite a few pit stops on our way. When it got a bit late in the night, all of us decided to lay back for the next few hours.

First pit stop at a dhaba in Meerut

Our morning began with the picturesque view of the Himalayan range of mountains on one side and lush green valley on the other! All of us began to feel the temperature drop and the fresh air fill our lungs.

Also, read: LivED It: Why Fort Kochi Is Great If You Want To Go To Goa But Are Too Broke To Do So

We made a pit stop for our morning tea and coffee and then tonnes of other mini stops to capture the beauty that our eyes were witnessing! One thousand pictures and hundreds of peppy songs later, we finally reached our destination!

Where We Stayed

While most of the tourists prefer staying in luxurious hotels while visiting any place, I feel camping is the best way to stay on vacations in hills. How is one supposed to enjoy the beauty of the hills while staying in a hotel or resort room?

The beauty of Kanatal Orchids
Oh, they welcomed us with their signature Rhododendron juice made from Rhododendron flowers

Our stay was arranged in the camps of the very beautiful ‘The Kanatal Orchids’. The property is so well maintained that you can spot all colours of spring in their gardens! The camps had a splendid view of the Himalayan range and the staff was quite hospitable and cooperative.

The place is quite a walk from the main road to the campsite. I wouldn’t recommend the property for old people, kids and someone with allergies. Additionally, if you’re visiting in winters availability of hot water can be an issue.

The trail that leads to the property from the main road

However, the Kanatal Orchids makeup for everything by offering a serene view of the Himalayas from their camps. The food offered is nothing very fancy or posh yet so delicious! They even arrange for bonfire and music in the evenings.

Adventure Activities

The very first activity that was planned for us was Sky-walk in the valley of Kanatal. We had to cross about 400-500m distance on wooden ladders joined via ropes.

Sky-walk in the valley of Kanatal

With adrenaline rush on an all time high, all of us completed Sky-walk and then went for Zip-lining. Tired by our adventures for the day, we then went to have lunch back to our campsite.

After relaxing for a bit, it was now time for a hike to the Surkanda Devi temple. We started our hike from our campsite and reached Kaddukhal, the base of the hill where the temple is situated.

The never ending hike to the Surkanda temple (PC: Gokul Chandran)

The next leg of the hike was an up-hill climb of 3 kms from the forests leading to the temple. We walked and walked, got tired, rested and then walked again. Reaching the top looked like an impossible task until we finally reached the top and forgot about how impossible it looked from below!

No pictures can do justice to the sunset that we saw

I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life that day. One could see a 360 degree view of surrounding hills from the top and all hues of all kinds of colours in the sky.

The serene setting sun was followed by twinkling stars and we knew it was time to bid adieu to the prettiest sunsets we had seen in the longest time. We then visited the temple and were made aware about the legend of the Mata Surkanda Devi temple.

The hike down-hill was a less strenuous task. We climbed down quickly and treated ourselves to some hot beverage and maggie! With exhilaration and content in our hearts, we happily returned to our campsite for the bonfire and dinner under the stars.

Bonfire & star gazing in the night

The next morning was a different experience as we tried some yoga and meditation which was followed by breakfast.

The morning yoga session

And boom, it was time to leave the beauty that was Kanatal. The trip back to Delhi was full of chatter and intense discussions about the adventure that our trip was!

Clearly we don’t look happy about leaving after an awesome weekend!

All in all, I had a wonderful time at Kanatal FAM Trip organised by JustWravel. I totally recommend everyone to try one of their packages and experience the mountains and hills like never before!

Watch out this space for more such unique & fun experiences.

Find the blogger: @innoosense

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