The pine-scented air and a thrilling river rafting experience in the clear waters of River Tons are what first attracts an offbeat traveler to a small little place called Mori in the hills of Uttarakhand.
Mori is situated in the North-West region of Garhwal, Uttarakhand and at 1150 metres above sea level, the place offers quite a pleasant environment throughout the year. The lush green hills, winding river valley and the enchanting paddy fields all make the place quite interesting to visit. It also has lots of waterfalls during the monsoons making the places quite picturesque. And it is still a lesser known offbeat destination, there aren’t many who visit the place, making it more interesting and charming.
Best time for River – Rafting: May-June while summers are perfect for trekking and climbing activities.
The Tons valley is also the base for many treks that move towards Kedar Kantha, Har-Ki-Dun and the remote pool of Ruinsara Tal.
Enjoy a perfect getaway with the sylvan surroundings of Mori, plenty of trekking activities, relaxing walking trails and have picnics by the River Tons. Pitch in your own tents or pick up a nearby campsite to soak up the fresh valley air, swim in the river or take a dip at the Lunagad Creek, go trekking, enjoy bird-watching or simply just do nothing. There is so much more to explore in the green hills surrounding the valley at Mori.
Legend tells that the River Tons was born out of the tears of Surpannakha (sister of Ravan, whose nose was chopped off by Lakshmana (younger brother of Lord Rama). Maybe that’s why although the waters look calm, the rapids can be really dangerous at times; so while you do river rafting please be advised to take necessary precautions and only indulge under a guide, with your life jackets on. And not many know, but Tons is also the biggest tributary of River Yamuna.
Mori has another interesting historical importance as some of the temples date back to the times of Mahabharata – Pandava & Kaurava Rule. And surprisingly, even today the villages still follow old traditions of Polygamy (of marrying more than one person). Here the villagers also claim to be the descendants of the Kauravas and that’s the reason this is the only place in India where temples are dedicated to worship ‘Duryondhana’ ( the eldest and most evil of the Kaurava Brothers!)
Learn More on Why People Worship Duryodhana (The Kaurava King of Mahabharata)
Must Visit Places at or Near Mori
Lunagad Creek: is just a 30 minutes walk from Mori and it is believed to have Asia’s tallest Pine trees! To reach you travel along a narrow gorge, amidst thick pine forests and can stop but to see the Gujjar Huts and paddy hills.
Lunagad Creek has a narrow ravine that has a small pond with crystal clear water and there’s even a small waterfall. It is an ideal place to enjoy swimming and a day picnic.
Jakhol: is 20 Kms from Mori and is a small village located in the upper tons valley. The village has lush greenery all around the valley and is really beautiful. Here you must visit the only Duryodhana Temple which has an actual idol of the lord himself who is worshiped by the nearby villages too. This is also the biggest temple in the state dedicated to Duryodhana.
Netwar: is located 11 kms from Mori and is located along the confluence of the tributary stream Rupin Gad with River Tons. Netwar is popular for its ancient temple dedicated to Karna (Son of Kunti and Sun God). Built using wood structures like many others in the region the temple can be reached by walking a mile to the village of Sarnaul, where the temple is located.
The Netwar Region also has another temple dedicated to Pokhu Devta, whose temple is at the confluence of the Rupin and Supin rivers, which meet here Netwar to form the Tons valley and the other is Mahasu Temple located at Hanol.
As legend goes, God Mahasu was asked to help the villages get rid of the demon Kirbir, who was terrorizing them for a long time and hence he is worshiped here at Mahasu Temple (built in the 9th-10th Century). The temple structure of Mahasu Temple uses both Kinnaur and Hindu style of Architecture.
Pokhu was Karna’s assistant and a devotee of Lord Shiva. Pokhu Temple has a sacrificial altar that still bears traces of dried blood and looks a bit scarry. In the inner chambers of this temple lies a shivling behind which is the chamber of Pokhu Devta was terrible and unrelenting and considered as the God of Law and Order. Even today the idol is worshiped with one’s back towards it. And that’s also the reason why theft and other petty crimes in this valley are unheard of.
Deora: Another temple dedicate to Karna in this region is located at a village called Deora. Here every year during Makar Sankranti there is a ‘Festival of Ball’ held where Ghatotkach, the son of Demon Queen Hadimba and Pandav Putra Bhima is kind of humiliated and treated like a ball in a game play. Ghatotkach was killed by Karna during the battle of Mahabharata and hence the villagers conduct this festival marking and celebrating Karna’s victory. The temple of Karna at Deora is quite unique and has beautiful relief metal plates depicting nature, wildlife and some scenes from the Ramayana. The villagers come here to take blessings and nail coins onto the temple if the wishes get fulfilled. Outside the temple premises there are 6 miniature temples that represent Karna and the 5 Pandavas. There is also a shivling, a sculpture of Parvati and one of Nandi bull in the temple compound.
Go recharge your soul and plan up your summer adventure now.
Here are some good options for choosing your campsites:
- Himalayan River Runners
- Camp Megatons
- Mercury Himalayan Explorations – MHE
- Banjara Rafting Camp
- Aquatera Adventure’s Lunagad Camp
Route Options: Mori is situated 30 kms from Purola. The other route to reach Mori is from Chakrata via Hanol.
From Delhi the route options are:
1. Delhi – Panipat-Shamli-Baghpat-Saharanpur-Vikasnagar-Nainbag-Purola-Mori
2. Delhi – Pipli – Yamunanagar – Paonta Sahib – Sataun – Minus – Tiuni – Mori
Forest Rest House Stay Options Near Mori
Forest Rest House- FRH Naugaon: is located about 4 kms from Naugaon, a small town on the Yamunotri Highway. The place is located amidst Oak and pine trees that comes under Badkot district. Enjoy a simple trek to apple orchards nearby at a place called Syuri or make your way towards the river banks.
Netwar is about 10 kms from here, so this place is ideal for your stay. While here you can also vist the historic Lakhamandal site which is just 20 kms away.
Jarmola FRH: built in the year 1963, this rest house is located on the Naugaon-Purola-Mori road on a hill top offering great scenic views of the hills and Jarmola waterfall (tons-Yamuna river).
From here you can also get amazing views of the Kedarkantha and Chanshil Peaks. Its an ideal place for a weekend stay and there are plenty of trekking trails for you to enjoy the forested area. A popular 20 km trek from the rest house is to Kedarkantha Meadow (Kedarkantha Bugyal).
Sandra Forest Rest House: is located on the Mussoorie-Naugaon-Purola-Mori road and was built in the year 1898 and has a charming look to it.
To reach you cross a suspension bridge and the entire area looks scenic with only the sounds of the River Tons making calming sounds. Soak up some sun in the garden area or have a picnic by the river and get a clear view of the Kedarkantha and Montad Peaks.
Excursions from Mori
Hanol: is popular for Mahasu Temple as mentioned earlier and has a Pavasi Temple. Hanol is just 16 Kms from Mori and has a charming natural beauty that attracts many to soak in its tranquil environs.
Sankri: is a scenic village located only 21 Kms from Mori and 61 Kms from Purola.
Sankri is the entry pointy for Har-Ki-Doon Trek and is situated along the Tons valley offering panoramic views of the snow clad Himalayas.
The GMVN Rest House at Sankri offers splendid stay options at Sankri.
Kotkhai: Perched up at 5,774 feet Kotkhai is one of the lesser-known towns that enthrall its visitors with scenic surroundings, forested trails, a river stream of Gori Ganga and a magnificent mansion that is located right at the top of a cliff (belongs to the erstwhile royal family). Learn more about this offbeat destination HERE
Barkot: is at a distance of 60 kms from Mori and just 50 Kms from Yamunotri Dham and has numerous ancient temples. The place offers magnificent views of the Banderpoonch Peak and other peaks of the Himalayan ranges. Barkot offers an idyllic holiday besides being the most popular spot for travelers going on the Char Dham Yatra.
During winters, the charming town of Barkot converts into a winter heaven and is a good weekend option from New Delhi. The Barkot region is popular for its Apple Orchards, Khumani, Plum and Naspati (Indian variety of Pears).
Kalap: Located at a height of 7,500 feet above sea level and situated along the valley of River Supin, Kalap is a tiny hamlet which is a 7 kms trek from Naitwar. The place is still untouched and unexplored and is gaining popularity for its eco-tourism activities thanks to the efforts made by Anand Sarkar, who has established the sustainable environment and opportunities to the villagers.
It offers you a chance to stay in one of the 20 village huts along with your host family giving you an opportunity to gain and venture into their daily life and take it the cultural activities of the village.
Kalap is also a popular trekking destination due to its close proximity to Har-Ki-Doon Trek and Kedarkantha. Kalap makes an ideal escapade for those looking for some calm serene environment amidst nature and explore a true village life and gives you an opportunity to return back to the people. The subtle views of the Himalayas and a taste of the local culture and traditions, makes Kalap a journey you must make to explore yourself! Visit HERE for More Details on Kalap
Nearest Airport: Jollygrant airport at Dehradun is at a distance of 175 kms from Mori. The Jollygrant airport is well connected to Delhi airport and has flights offered by Air India, Jet Connect, Jet Airways and Spicejet.
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest rail head to reach Mori will be from Dehradun at a distance of 162 Kms
Road Distance from Mori from Nearby Towns & Cities: Mori is situated 30 kms from Purola. The other route to reach Mori is from Chakrata via Hanol.
- Dehradun – 162 Kms
- Rishikesh: 207 Kms
- Haridwar: 215 Kms
- New Delhi: 398 Kms
- Chandigarh: 297 Kms
- Shimla to Mori: 412 Kms
- Mori to Purola: 35 Kms
- Gangotri to Purola: 166 Kms