The quaint village of Kanatal

Surrounded by mountains, the sleepy quaint village of Kanatal is located in North India, in the Uttarakhand district. At a height of 2,590 m, this lovely hill station is less popular than its neighbouring cousins, Mussoorie and Hrishikesh which makes it a perfect getaway. Although it does get a little chilly here, Kanatal also gets a lot of sunlight. No gloomy weather here. Only cheerful smiles.

However, given the remote location, there are no medical stores. You have to go to the nearest town of Chamba to get your supplies from the local market. We love lesser explored destinations and were glad we chose this village over the buzzing tourist traps.

On our first day there, we sipped on a cup of hot chocolate as we watched the sun go down. We could not get over the mountains. No matter what light you see them in. They never cease to amaze.

Our Stay

We stayed at the Club Mahindra resort at Kanatal. The resort as you can see has a breathtaking view. The location is fantastic. The Tehri forest is right opposite the resort. Want to for a walk in the forest every single day? You absolutely can.

The rooms have a small balcony, perfect for a morning tea/coffee break. The staff was very attentive and courteous.

This cozy resort has only 37 rooms. The resort has a cabin-like feel with its wooden panelling and decor. They also have a spa, a bar and a fitness center. A treadmill overlooking the beautiful Sivalik mountains! Dreamy much? We think so.

One drawback was lack of network and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is available in the reception area. But networks worked only when we got out of Kanatal towards the bigger towns.

Activities in Kanatal:

Kanatal is a great place to relax and read a book. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Take a walk amidst nature. And that’s exactly what we did! 5 slow beautiful days away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tehri Dam

One of the things to marvel at in Kanatal is the Tehri Dam. The Tehri Dam is the tallest dam in India and one of the tallest in the world.It is a multi-purpose rock and earth-fill embankment dam on the Bhagirathi River.

You can rent out a boat on the spillover water of the dam. There are no self drive boats though. Also, remember to take a cap and sunglasses if you plan to reach mid-day (like us). It got really hot and sunny when we were around the dam and the thought of sitting in a boat under the scorching sun for half an hour seemed like a terrible idea. Try and reach around 4 pm to avoid the harsh winter sun.

Tehri Forest and Adventure Sports

Tehri Forest is an amazing place to hike and try out adventure activities like rock climbing, valley crossing etc. If you are staying at Club Mahindra, it is very convenient since you can cross the road and enter the forest. There aren’t any maps in the forest or network, so stick to the main roads. If you follow the forest path, you can reach an apple orchard. Since we visited during winter, we didn’t get a chance to see any greenery or apples. But near the orchard, there is a clearing which gives the best view of Sivalik mountains.

We love adventure sports and when the lady at the Club Mahindra activity desk suggested we try some, we couldn’t resist. There are different types of adventure activities that you can try in the Tehri Forest. Both beginners and pros can participate.

We tried rappelling for the first time and it was quite challenging, despite choosing the beginner one. The rope walk was the most difficult of all the activities and the zip line was the easiest.

Glimpses of the Cherry Blossoms

Yes! You read that right. You can see cherry blossoms here! Read more in our first encounter with cherry blossom post. If you are visiting around November-December you can catch glimpses of the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Getting there:

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport – Dehradun which is 92 kms, approximately 3 hours from Kanatal. The nearest railway stations are Rishikesh and Dehradun. Dehradun is 85 kms and Rishikesh is 75 km.

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  1. March 11, 2017 / 5:13 PM

    Sounds wonderful – added to the bucket list!

  2. March 12, 2017 / 1:00 AM

    The Himalayas are stunning – like a painting. I have trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal (in 2012) and I am going back this year (2017) to trek to the Everest base Camp. I intend visiting the Indian treks one day – Kanatal looks lovely, as does the Club Mahindra resort where you stayed. Good post!.
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  3. March 12, 2017 / 2:27 AM

    This place is looking amazing. The adventure in the forest is my kind of activity, would love to visit this place one day. Thank you for sharing.

  4. March 12, 2017 / 7:17 PM

    So cool that you guys went a bit off the beaten path – love the views of the mountains and that you can rent boats out on the dam. Never heard of this place before but sounds like there is plenty to do with all the adventure sports. Would be quite good to be offline for a day or two and just enjoy the surroundings!
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  5. March 13, 2017 / 9:56 AM

    I haven’t heard of Kanatal before now wow, what an absolutely breathtaking place to visit, those views truly are stunning. When I visited Nepal, I fell in love with mountain views so I could sit and look at this all day! As for adventure, that’s definitely not for me, I am such a chicken haha but Sy would love to have tried some of these activities! Pinned for future reference and thank you for introducing us to such a lovely part of the world. #feetdotravel

    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:47 AM

      We could sit and stare at mountains all day as well. We were sad to leave this peaceful place.

  6. March 13, 2017 / 9:57 AM

    We love mountain scenes! India hasn’t been on our travel radar too much, so there is probably a lot we haven’t heard of – like this area! Interesting to read about the activities, and see that really, it’s not so different from areas we know well in the U.S. Just like people, our countries seem to be more alike than different!
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    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:46 AM

      Yeah, we totally agree. Plus, only a few parts of India get showcased. Even for people who do visit India, they only end up in popular destinations like Rajasthan or Kerala.

  7. March 13, 2017 / 4:04 PM

    Sometimes it’s good to have limited wi-fi in order to be forced into appreciating your surroundings and what beautiful surroundings. Kanatal is definitely on my list of places to go. So picturesque and relaxing.
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    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:41 AM

      Hahah, So true! Being disconnected can do wonders.

    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:43 AM

      It would probably be even better in spring. The orchards would be in full bloom. But then we would have missed out on the cherry blossoms. So, no regrets.

  8. March 14, 2017 / 12:25 AM

    I have been to Kanatal alongwith Dhanaulti and Mussourie. I know what you are talking about. It is one of those places where you just relax and enjoy the bounty of nature. I also tried all the adventure sports and visited the nearby Tehri Dam. It sure is massive.

    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:40 AM

      We went to Kanatal just as a break from work. We weren’t expecting much. But it was a pleasant surprise.

  9. March 14, 2017 / 1:05 AM

    I am so amazed of the wonderful things to do there. The lodge in Kanatal looks amazing and a great place to stay at with those wonderful views. Thanks for showing me this beautiful side of India. 🙂

    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:42 AM

      We love mountains and being surrounded by them really made this trip memorable.

    • Shruti Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:39 AM

      It really was 🙂 Thanks

  10. March 15, 2017 / 11:24 PM

    When you started your tale, I was very intrigued and had visions of you staying in the back room of some old ladies house.

    Then it switched to a 37 room resort and my heart sunk…

    That certainly sounds like it gets enough visitors that it is not so far off the beaten track.

    Admittedly, I’ve never done India, so perhaps it is a quiet getaway by your standards 😉

    • Siddharth Prabhu
      March 16, 2017 / 10:36 AM

      Hi Chris,

      Kanatal is an extremely small village; the only accommodation is the resort we stayed in along with one other. As such, there are practically no home stays available. We liked that this was an isolated little resort in the middle of nowhere; our idea of a vacation is going to a place with very few people around. You’ll realize when you visit India how much of a luxury that is; the crowds can drive you mad. 🙂

  11. March 16, 2017 / 5:29 PM

    Wow! What a great place to explore or just kick back. I think I could get some great hiking done there. Love that resort and those views too! Love that it’s somewhat remote and less touristy.

    • Siddharth Prabhu
      March 19, 2017 / 10:11 PM

      Absolutely! The Tehri Forest Reserve is bang opposite the resort and the trail offers some spectacular views of the Shivalik mountain ranges. Thanks for your comment.

  12. March 16, 2017 / 6:27 PM

    The small village of Kanatal looks perfect-the magnificent mountains in the background with glowing sun. Love its not so touristy and your accommodation seems like a perfect place to relax after a day full of extreme adventures:)

  13. March 17, 2017 / 6:10 AM

    Thanks for introducing Kanatal. We’ve never heard of it before, but it is a fantastic destination. We love that its a hidden gem and less visited. It’s beautiful and has lots to do.
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    • Siddharth Prabhu
      March 19, 2017 / 10:24 PM

      Thanks a lot you guys! 🙂

  14. March 17, 2017 / 6:42 AM

    Wow what a great view and so high! Club Mahindra resort at Kanatal look like my sort of place too. Can’t wait to visit India.

  15. March 17, 2017 / 9:14 AM

    Kanatal looks really picturesque. The fact that it is lesser know ensures that it has a degree of seclusion. Would love to spend a few days here far from the maddening crowd. And if I get bored, the adventure activities are sure to perk me up, not that I would get bored. Could watch the mountains endlessly.
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  16. March 18, 2017 / 2:13 AM

    The Club Mahindra resort looks like the perfect place to relax after going out to enjoy activities in Kanatal. I’d love to spend a few hours photographing the dam. Those adventures in the forest look like good fun for a couple to enjoy too!

  17. March 20, 2017 / 10:04 AM

    Kanatal seems like yet another hidden gem in North India. The views from Club Mahindra are mind blowing. Same for the Tihri Dam. I will like to explore this place on my next visit to the Himalayas

  18. March 20, 2017 / 4:15 PM

    This totally appeals to me….I would love to do those high adrenaline activities that you have shared. You guys do look as if you are having so much fun! Loved the place itself as it gives this really nice calm vibes.
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  19. May 20, 2017 / 11:19 PM

    So I am not a very good “relaxing” traveler, so at first I was like, “oh Kanatal looks very pretty but how boring!”
    I am glad I kept reading because there are tons of activities you can do there and the idea that your cell may not work thus you have to be creative and get outside to participate in boating, hiking, or the Adventure sports made it sound even better to me. Thanks for sharing this find!
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  20. May 21, 2017 / 5:40 AM

    The cute balacony is so fantastic and one of our favorite things at hotels! Upper India is one of our places we want to go!

  21. May 21, 2017 / 12:39 PM

    What a picturesque location! Tehri Forest looks beautiful. The ziplining would have been especially fun and it was lovely you got to see cherry blossoms during your visit. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shruti Prabhu
      May 21, 2017 / 1:02 PM

      It was a lot of fun! And cherry blossoms were a pleasant surprise!

  22. May 21, 2017 / 4:20 PM

    Wow! I haven’t heard of this place before now but it is really beautiful. I can see why you picked to go here. I would say yes to a nice cup of hot chocolate watching the sun set here too!
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  23. May 22, 2017 / 6:56 AM

    I think choosing a more remote location nearly always rewards you with less tourists and better views! That certainly seems to be the case with Kanatal. The zipline sounds like a lot of fun, and the views you enjoyed were fantastic!
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  24. May 22, 2017 / 1:30 PM

    I love seeing posts from local Indian bloggers, you show us so many places that we, as foreign tourists, don’t know about. I’d LOVE to have time to see everything India has to offer, every new place looks amazing. Another one to visit!
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  25. May 22, 2017 / 6:48 PM

    Looks like an interesting and little-known part of India. I love finding out about places I’ve never heard of before and hope I have the time to explore more of India one day.

  26. May 23, 2017 / 5:20 AM

    I’ve heard about the beauty of North India and I can see that it’s true. The mountains look gorgeous. So great you chose a village over those touristy spots and it seems to have paid off. Love the look of the treetops course you did. That looks like so much fun and the hiking too of course.

  27. barb
    May 23, 2017 / 10:46 PM

    Kanatal looks like a wonderful place to visit during cherry blossom. I have been to Leh, Ladakh and I loved it. I should visit this village on my next trip as well.

  28. May 23, 2017 / 11:15 PM

    Those mountains are beautiful! I’d love to stay at Club Mahindra; it looks so restful. The repelling looks fun, too!

  29. Virali
    May 30, 2017 / 1:46 PM

    Thanks for the extremely informative post. I was just picking a club mahindra resort for our annual family retreat and now I’m leaning towards Kanatal…

    Would July be a good time to visit it???

    • Shruti Prabhu
      May 31, 2017 / 6:45 PM

      That’s great Virali. Kanatal is an amazing destination. Unfortunately, July might not be the best time, since Kanatal expects heavy rainfall during July. There are chances of landslide since you have to go up the mountains.

  30. June 19, 2017 / 8:21 AM

    Looks cool! Reminds me if the quaint villages aroud Himachal that we have visited. Havent yet done the Uttaranchal circuit well yet though…

  31. June 28, 2017 / 12:42 AM

    Oh, 2,590 m sounds high, but then again, that is why the view is so stunning. And I love Club Mahindra resort, it’s just perfect for such a landscape, lovely! 🙂

  32. June 29, 2017 / 4:09 PM

    This is so beautiful! So lush and green, a very different side to India that I have seen. Sounds like you had a great stay, and the dam looks incredible! Love following your adventures

  33. June 30, 2017 / 12:47 AM

    This is the first time I am hearing about Kanatal. Thankfully it is not like the other touristy hill stations in India. That water near the dam looks so gorgeous and I am surprised to see that you saw cherry blossoms here. Thanks for the recommendation.
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  34. September 14, 2017 / 12:14 AM

    Even being citizen of India, I didn’t know about this place. I would like to visit and thank you for sharing

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