Things to do in Kanatal | A Complete Travel Guide

About Kanatal

Kanatal Sunset

Tucked away in the north-western part of Uttarakhand, Kanatal sits like a tiny suburb of Mussoorie town. The serene environment of the hills surrounded by the magnificent views of the snow-clad Garhwal Himalayas and the alpine climate, indeed make Kanatal the perfect destination for both nature lovers and adventure seekers. For those who want to steer clear from the touristy locales of Uttarakhand but still want to have a vacation in the hills, then Kanatal might be the right place to make a stop. Also, if you love to take long road trips, then Kanatal makes for a great pit stop before you travel further north or west.

With our Kanatal travel guide, you can discover this cozy mountain retreat on your way and experience an offbeat mountain destination. 

Location

Kanatal is a small village in north-west Uttarakhand, about 38KM from Mussoorie. The hill town is located in the Tehri Garhwal district, on the Chamba-Mussoorie Road at 78 km from Dehradun, the state capital, 12 km from Chamba, and nearly 300 km from Delhi, the national capital.

Weather

Kanatal, like its neighboring towns of Mussoorie and Dehradun, also experiences classic alpine weather. The summers are cool and pleasant with warmer days and chilly nights. Winters are extremely cold with temperatures dropping below zero degrees sometimes. There is also occasional snowfall and cold drafts due to the high altitude. 

History

Kanatal’s history dates back decades ago. It is believed that there was once a lake in the same area where the village now sits today. Locally, a lake here is called a “tail”. Over the years the lake dried up and became a settlement. The word kaana in Garhwali means a dry well or pond. And thus, the place got its name.

Geography

Highway Kanatal

Kanatal rises to an altitude of 8500 feet with the highest point at Surkanda Devi Temple at 8858 feet. The landscape boasts misty valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, surrounded by dense forests of pine, cedar, and rhododendrons, making it a pristine locale. 

Interesting Facts

The Surkanda Devi, the highest point of Kanatal is a mythologically significant site. It is said that when Parvati fell into the fire, Shiva carried her body on his trident and the head of Sati fell on this site. The temple is located in Kaddukhal

[Also Read: Things to Do in Mussoorie – A Complete Travel Guide]

Things to do in Kanatal

Though Kanatal is a small and sleepy town, which invites people to come and simply soak in the unadulterated beauty, the location also offers a host of activity and adventure options for the itchy feet – 

  • Go for a day trek through the woodlands of Kodia Jungle, located a few kilometers from the main village. 
  • Sign up for a forest trail walk or Jeep safari and you can spot wild boars, musk deers, Kakar, and ghoral.
  • Try rock climbing on the hilly cliffs and rocky outcrops of Kanatal.
  • You can also try your hands at guided valley crossing, swinging from the top of an 80-100 feet deep gorge or valley and enjoying unforgettable views.
  • Enjoying camping under the stars on designated camping grounds overlooking mountains or in forest clearings. 

Places to visit in Kanatal

surkanda devi temple

Check out these popular tourist places in Kanatal for a fun trip – 

  • Tehri Dam – One of the highest and largest dams in Asia, this is the 10th tallest dam in the world, surrounded by breathtaking beauty. You can visit the local temples and enjoy water sports on the Tehri Lake below. 
  • Entry Fee– Free entry, boating charges separately.
  • Surkanda Devi Temple – The highest point of Kanatal and a sacred site for the local deity. The site also offers stunning 360-degree views of the mountain peaks.
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Eco Park – A forested area of pines and cedars, with lodging and adventure options for adults and kids
  • Entry Fee– INR 15 for adults, INR 10 for children
  • Sunset Point – A point on the Kaudia Range, for the best views of sunsets against the backdrop of the Himalayas. The Himalayan Aleph Bungalow offers the best views in this area.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Kodia Jungle – A local forest is known for hikes, treks, and safaris. The forest is also home to musk deer, wild boar ghoral, kakar, and many species of wild birds. Visit during late winters for birding and animal spotting.
  • Entry Fee– INR 20 

Places to visit near Kanatal

Mussoorie

Apart from your basic Kanatal Sightseeing, you can also visit other scenic locales nearby. Check out these hill stations near Kanatal

  • Dhanaulti – Dhonolti is the gateway to the scenic hill station of Dhanaulti, replete with misty mountains, expansive alpine meadows, and pine forests.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Mussoorie – The colonial culture of Mussoorie with its picture-perfect landscape and the breathtaking views of the Garhwal Himalayas, makes this quiet and quaint town the perfect weekend destination.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Chamba – A cozy and peaceful town, steeped in tradition, this Garhwali settlement offers scenic landscape and colorful local culture.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Dehradun – The state capital, Dehradun boasts a mix of old-world charm and natural beauty. Visit the largest Buddhist Vihara at Mindroling Monastery, Robber’s Cave, Lacchiwala Range, Har Ki Dun Valley, and more.
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Kalsi – Sitting on the confluence of Yamuna and Tons Rivers, Kalsi is known for the Ashoka Rock Edict. Also explore the village and the surrounding forests and grasslands, best seen in spring.
  • Entry Fee- NA

Places to eat in Kanatal

Kanatal Cuisine

Sample the local flavors at these top-rated eateries in Kanatal – 

  • Hillside Restaurant 
  • Aarvi’s Kitchen 
  • Chef Bhuppy’s Café 
  • Hotel Bikram and Restaurant 
  • Milan Restaurant 
  • The Heritage Kanatal 
  • Falcon RideInn

How to Plan a trip to Kanatal

You can also plan your personalized Kanatal trip by selecting the mode of transport, the route, and more. Let us help you with the travel options to Kanatal for a better idea – 

How to Reach

By Train

There is no railway station in Kanatal village. The nearest railway junction is in Dehradun, 72KM away, and at Rishikesh, about 75KM away. There are regular trains from Delhi and the NCR region and other parts of Uttarakhand, among other major cities/towns in India. 

By Road

Kanatal is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh by NH44 and NH34. There are regular state-run and private buses from Delhi, NCR, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee, and other major cities/towns in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, etc. 

By Flight

There is no flight service in Kanatal. The nearest airport is in Dehradun, at Jolly Grant Airport, about 80KM away. You can fly from Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, and other metro cities/major towns of India. From Dehradun, you can book an airport taxi or rent a local cab to reach Kanatal by road.

Best time to visit

Depending on your travel goals, you can visit Kanatal any time of the year. If you want to enjoy the outdoors and experience the natural beauty, then spring is the best time when it is fresh and green with colorful blossoms in the valleys. Otherwise, you can visit during winter to experience the snow and enjoy the frosty weather. February to June is the peak season, while December and January are the snow sports season in the region.

Hotels and Resorts in Kanatal 

Check out these best-rated places to stay in Kanatal – 

  • The Hermitage Kanatal 
  • Kanatal Crown 
  • The Hills Resort & Cottages 
  • The Hillside Cottages 
  • Kaudia Adventure Camp 
  • The Terraces 
  • Into the Woods Resort 
A quick summary
Things to do in Kanatal - A Complete Travel Guide
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Things to do in Kanatal - A Complete Travel Guide
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The tranquillity of the hills, surrounded by breathtaking views of the snow-clad Garhwal Himalayas, and the alpine climate make Kanatal an ideal location for both nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
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