The first thing you need to know about this trip is that it happened in April-May 2016. It had been a rather difficult start to the year and when I finally managed to get some time off I decided to visit Pradipta, who used to live in Delhi back then. Only she had other plans. We decided that once I would arrive at Delhi, two of her friends, she and I would go down to Chakrata. Now, before this trip I had never even heard of Chakrata let alone known of its existence. I knew about Mussorie of course. Because it’s where Ruskin Bond lives and he was one of the reasons I realized there was such a thing as Indian writing in English.
I started researching Chakrata and before long, I knew more less whatever Wikipedia had to tell me about the place: Chakrata is a cantonment town in Dehradun district in the state of Uttarakhand, India.
It is between the Tons and Yamuna rivers, at an elevation of 7000–7250 feet, 98 km from state capital, Dehradun; it was originally a cantonment of the British Indian Army. Due west lies Himachal Pradesh, and due east are Mussoorie (73 km), Garhwal.
I have always liked hill stations. So between the time for boarding the flight to Delhi and actually getting there, I researched and daydreamed about the pending trip. We set off immediately after I landed in Delhi because we couldn’t afford to waste any time. We had a million things to do and only the course of one weekend to do it!
I barely saw Delhi that night because like I said, we were pressed for time. We reached our destination only in the wee hours of the morning. I did not take any pictures of the beautiful guest house that we stayed in but this was the view that I got to wake up to over the following two days.
Remember when I said I had done a ton of research before getting to this place? Well, one of the things I had read about was the trek to Tiger Falls. You could not take a car down to falls and after a while, you would have to trek.
Tiger Falls is one of the highest direct water fall in Uttarakhand. Tiger Falls is 20 km from Chakrata and has an elevation of 312 ft.
Even though we were pretty exhausted from the travel, once we reached Tiger Falls it was a different story altogether. It was perhaps one of the most peaceful and happy places I had seen in my entire life. I sat there with my feet dipped in the icy water, just happy to be there – just happy to simply be.
The next day we decided to go to Budher Caves but halfway through that trek, Pradipta and I gave up. We chose to sit in the middle of nowhere and just talk about life. It was one of the most honest conversations I’ve had in my life. And I think sitting in the lap of nature actually helped.
We ended our trip by visiting Chilmiri Neck, the highest peak in the town. We watched the sunset and we smiled knowing that our whirlwind trip was slowly coming to an end.
Oh, we did stop randomly along the way because there was patch of beautiful flowers growing and it reminded us of almost every Bollywood movie that we had grown up watching!
I cannot advise you on whether to follow in our footsteps or not. Neither can I tell you how best to spend your money if you do decide to go on a trip to Chakrata. What I can tell you is go for the experience! Because it’s been two years since I went on that trip and I remember it like it happened yesterday.