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Hiking and trekking trails in Chakrata

Hiking and trekking trails in Chakrata
ADVENTURE

By Akansha Borthakur

19 Sep, 2023

Chakrata, perched at an altitude of about 2,118 meters in the state of Uttarakhand, India, is a secluded hill station, renowned for its majestic beauty and undisturbed tranquillity. Originally established by British colonials as a summer retreat and cantonment in 1869, this serene town is enveloped by the verdant forests of conifers, rhododendrons, and oaks.

British colonials of Chakrata

Experience the picturesque scenery of Chakrata

A fun local legend suggests that back in the day, British officers would often 'misplace' their compasses here, charmed by Chakrata's alluring spell, only to 'find' them when it was time to descend! The town's geographical placement offers panoramic vistas of the Himalayan range, with the Yamuna River tracing its western boundary. Chakrata's terrains boast a mix of steep slopes and plateaus, making it a haven for trekking aficionados. Travellers often flock to the region to immerse themselves in its rich history, coupled with the allure of untouched natural beauty.

Chakrata Uttarakhand

The green expanses of Moila Top, Chakrata (Source - @doonazzy from Instagram)

For those who are always ready to strap on their hiking boots, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and trekking in Chakrata. But before we get into that, here are 3 interesting tidbits about this majestic Uttarakhand hill station we thought you should know:

I. Ever heard of an army that protects trees? In Chakrata, there are ancient deodar trees believed to be the guardians of the land. Locals say that these trees possess spirits that watch over the town. So, next time you're taking a woodland stroll, maybe toss a friendly "hello" to these leafy sentinels. They've been standing guard for centuries!

Road to Chakrata

Meandering road leading upto Chakrata (Source - @pahadifeels on Instagram)

II. There's a lake near Chakrata known as 'Moosy'. There is a longstanding story amongst people of the region that this lake is actually bottomless. While there have been no scientific expeditions or studies that prove the same, it is said that many divers have lost their lives trying to reach the bottom and never being able to get out of the waters.

III. In the right season, you can find yourself amidst a flurry of colourful wings in Chakrata. Yes, that means butterflies. If you are someone who is looking to chase or photograph some really unique butterfly species, then head here. Some of the ones to look out for are the common Blue Apollo, the Red Admiral, the Himalayan Spangle and the Painted Lady.
 

TREKKING AND HIKING IN CHAKRATA

TIGER FALLS

Tiger Falls Chakrata Uttarakhand

The lush Tiger Falls of Chakrata (Source - @anmolrawat on Instagram)

Hidden amidst the thick green blankets of Chakrata's forests lies a breathtaking spectacle - the Tiger Falls. Dive into this moderately easy trek, perfect hiking trail in Chakrata for the casual weekend wanderer, and let your senses be refreshed! From town, it's a driveable distance, but the real magic begins when you ditch the wheels and take the 1.5km trekking path. As you navigate through the verdant surroundings, whispers of the cascading waters lure you closer. Once you're there, the sight of this 50-meter high waterfall crashing into a pristine pond is simply spellbinding! But, here's the real treat: climb higher to the adjoining cliffs, and the view from there is surreal. A horizon filled with the mighty Himalayas, the distant valleys, and the silver streak of the waterfall down below.

DEOBAN TREK

Deoban Trek in winter

Deodar filled expanses of the Deoban Trek in winter (Source - OWLS Adventure)

The Deoban Trek, commencing from Chakrata, is a captivating journey through some of Uttarakhand's most pristine forests. Deriving its name from the dense deodar trees ('Deo' meaning god and 'Ban' meaning forest), Deoban stands as a testament to nature's untouched splendor at an elevation of about 2,800 meters. Trekking in Chakrata is incomplete without a go at the Deoban trek, which is a relatively short but steep climb. Though accessible by road, many choose to trek to fully immerse themselves in the ambience of the region.

Deoban Trek bugyal in summer

Bugyal leading upto one of the routes for the Deoban Trek (Source - @the.himalayan.spirit on Instagram)

Deoban Forest is not just a feast for the eyes but holds ecological importance. Home to a plethora of flora and fauna, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the region's ecological balance. Moreover, the dense deodar trees here are believed by locals to be guardians of the land, imbuing the forest with an aura of reverence. The Experience: As trekkers ascend, they are greeted by panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan peaks, from Bandarpoonch to the Nanda Devi. Every step taken is accompanied by the soothing sound of rustling leaves and chirping birds. Deoban Trek offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty, ecological richness, and cultural significance, making it a must-visit for those traversing Chakrata's terrains.

BUDHER CAVES & MOILA TOP

Moila Top Chakrata Uttarakhand

The large stretch of green fields on Moila Top, Chakrata (Source - @travel_bug_1408 on Instagram)

Tucked in the lush landscapes of Chakrata lies a trekking experience that's truly unparalleled - the journey to Moila Top and the Budher Caves. Starting off, the trek to Moila Top is a scenic route, threading through dense forests and terraced farmlands. As you ascend, the air grows cooler, teasing you with whispers of the panoramic views to come. Upon reaching the top, you're rewarded with a breathtaking vista of the entire valley, where the mighty Himalayas cradle Chakrata in their embrace. This place is called ‘Moila’ because way back when, a German national of the same name discovered this place.

Budher Caves Chakrata

Entrance to the Budher Caves near Moila Top (Source - @boktya on Instagram)

Not too far from this vantage point are the enigmatic Budher Caves, also known as Miola Caves. The trek to these deep limestone wonders is adorned with local folklore - tales of ancient diggings by the Pandavas from the Mahabharata! It is said that when their castle was set on fire, they dug this 150 meters long tunnel to escape from it. This hiking route in Chakrata begins from driving towards the Budher Forest Rest House. Once there, local guides are available and often recommended to navigate the terrain and share intriguing tales of the area.

KOTI KANASAR

Koti Kanasar trek Chakrata

Deep trails inside the deodar forests of Koti Kanasar (Source - @travel_bug_1408 on Instagram)

Enveloped by centuries old deodar and pine forests, Koti Kanasar is a tiny quaint village located about 26 kms from Chakrata. Idyllic in nature and full to the brim with natural splendor, this location is amazing for a deep hike into the woods. An alpine meadow stretches around the end of the road, covered by dense green forests and green knolls. There are multiple hiking trails that lead into the deep woods and open into meadowlike areas, small viewpoints and several camping spots. Foraging, bird watching, pine collecting, leaf collecting and photography are some of the many calming activities that can be enjoyed in these woods.

Bird Watching in Chakrata

Savor birdwatching in Chakrata's natural beauty

Koti Kanasar is home to some of the oldest deodar trees in the country. Most of these trees are numbered and marked with the width of their trunk. There is a tree here that is touted to be Asia’s oldest and largest deodar. The meadow or ‘bugyal’ also has a small Shiva temple that is frequented by locals.

Koti Kansar in Chakrata

Embark on a trekking adventure in Koti Kanasar

If reading this blog is making you crave some time in the great outdoors, then Chakrata is going to be the perfect next destination for you. There are plenty of trekking and hiking trails to explore, birds to watch, waterfalls to cross and adventures to have. And while you are there, you can stay with us at The Hosteller Chakrata; with dorm style accommodations starting at INR 399/- only.
 

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