If the road less traveled is what fascinates and attracts you, then you need to add Sursingdhar on your travel wish list.
Located at a distance of just 305 Kms from New Delhi, Sursingdhar is a tiny little Himalayan town situated near the Tehri Dam, in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Being one of the lesser known hill stations of Northern India, this is truly an offbeat destination yet easily accessible. This is where the beautiful Himalayan Eco Lodges & Camps, Sursingdhar are strategically located along a pine forest zone, overlooking the pristine Himalayan hills.
The Himalayan Lodge, Sursingdhar offers you a amazing views of the Tehri Dam and the majestic Hills of Nanda Devi and much beyond.
Just a 3 hour drive away from Dehradun this place is an ideal getaway and makes for an amazing holiday destination in India. Vivid green valleys and the emerald waters of the Tehri Lake (formed naturally by the dam) majestically transforms with the changing moods of the sun and the mountain climate along with scenic beauty of the surrounding hills including that of the majestic Nanda Devi (India’s second highest peak) makes this place surreal.
The place offers you 18 well-designed rooms that overlooks the Tehri Valley.
The balcony is the highlight of this lodge and offers you a vast view of the valley down and the hills of Nanda Devi, Trishul etc.
The Lodge also has a conference hall that caters to corporate travelers, making this place an ideal destination for corporate events or team offsite trips too.
In the morning, wake up to mild dew and fog, soak up the scenic views with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Read a book or play a game of chess. Simply get amazed by the dancing clouds and get to spot some rare birds.
Talk a walk along the forest trails nearby while interacting with the local villagers. Afternoons are a perfect time to visit the Tehri Dam and watch a mesmerizing sunset on your return back.
Evenings are spent by a bonfire with smoky barbecue along with a sumptuous dinner. The food served here is quite is homely, simple and comforting and that makes it ideal for all age groups. Served in Buffet style, there options are plenty suiting every taste and pallet. Click Here for Tariffs and other details.
The Tehri Dam is among the worlds largest dams. The Old Tehri was originally situated at the Bhagirathi and Bhilangna Rivers, however it was evacuated for the construction of the dam and thus the New Tehri was founded.
The construction of the Tehri dam has submerged Old Tehri town including 23 villages and partially submerging another 72 small villages that surrounded the now Tehri Lake. Even today there are visible signs of the Old Tehri and one find scattered ruins and remains of the old houses etc near the river bank and dam area.
Local Food & Culture: The people of Garhwal include Rajputs (beleived to be of Aryan origin), Brahmins , Bhotias (the mountaineers), Tribals (that are of mongoloid origin and have a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life and includes Jaunsaris of Jaunsar-Bawar, Jadhs of Uttarkashi, Marchas of Chamoli (Mana and Niti valleys) and of Van Gujjars – forest dwellers of nomadic muslims that spread till kashmir and Himachal Pradesh). These tribal communities have amazing knowledge of traditional medicine systems and herbs that are still in practice is few of the deep village communities.
The rugged hilly terrains of Garhwal are ideal for growing varieties of Millet & Pulses, fresh green vegetables and fruits like apples and apricot. Here the stable food is made using millets like Jhangore Ki Kheer, Madua Ki Roti (buck Wheat), Arsa, Baddi, Jholi, Kaafuli, Chainsoo,Roat, Aalo Ka Jhol and Gahat Ki Dal (a kind of Kulath dal). Garhwali Cuisine is non spicy, simple yet full of flavors and uses a diverse range of condiments. Most villagers are vegetarians but there are still many who love their chicken/meat. Seasonal fruits like Kaafal (bayberry), Burash (Rhododendron flowers) and Malta (Mekauti) are specialty of this region. There are plenty of local sweets that can be sampled in the village shops as well.
Activities to Do
Here you also get an opportunity to indulge on adventure sports like mountain biking, cliff jumping, bridge slithering, body surfing etc. These can be arranged from the Lodge.
Trek to Gaja: From Sursingdhar you can take a 6 hour trek to Gaja via Chaurani.
River Rafting at Jayalgarh: For thrilling river rafting experience you can travel to Jayalgarh, which is an awesome spot for River Rafting on the beautiful Alaknanda River, that later merges with Bhagirathi (a tributory of River Ganga) at Devprayag.
Excursions from New Tehri
Tehri to Kanatal: 35 Kms
Kanatal is situated on the Mussoorie-Chamba road and was once popular for its picturesque lake, that no longer exists!
However located at an elevation of 8500 mts above the sea level, Kanatal is Kanatal is an idela holiday destination with few good hotels and numerous camps offering nature and adventure activities. Few popular ones include Camp Carnival, Little Jaguar, The Kanatal Orchids – Camps & Resort.
Tehri to Dhanaulti: 44 Kms
Dhanaulti is a small hamlet located amidst the thick forests of deodar, rhododendron and Oak and offers a peaceful getaway.
You also get to witness enchanting views of the majestic Himalyan Range, making it quite a popular tourist destination from Dehradun and New Delhi. You may visit the Surkanda Devi temple, that is located nearby (2 kms trek) and is dedicated to Goddess Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. According to legends the head of Maa Sati fell here.
Tehri to Mussoorie: 71 Kms
Tehri to Devprayag: 64 Kms
Devprayag is a holy town where the sacred confluence of River Bhagirathi and River Alaknanda forms the River Ganga.
Here you may also visit the Chandrabadni Temple. The legend says that the torso of Sati fell here and her weapons got scattered all around the place. Thus, even today huge number of iron trishuls (tridents) and some old statues can be seen lying around the revered temple of Chandrabadani and hence it is one of the Shakti Peeths and a holy shrines of Goddess Sati.
It is located on top of the mountain about 10 kms north of Kandi Khal (a place on the Devaprayag-Kirti Nagar metalled road). The place commands a beautiful view of the Surkanda, Kedarnath and Badrinath peaks. The temple is very small and contains a Shri-yantra carved out on a flat stone instead of any idol. Interestingly, a cloth canopy is tied to the ceiling over this Shri-yantra once a year and the Brahmana priest doing it has to do it blind-folded.
Trek to Khatling Glacier: 62 Kms
The Khatling glacier is a lateral glacier, at the source of the river Bhilangana. Sahasratal and Masartal are on the west and east of it respectively.
This trek takes you via villages and offers enchanting views of the Himalayan Ranges all around. The trek for Khatling glacier starts from Ghuttu, a place about 62 kms from Tehri. There is a P.W.D. Inspection house and a Tourist Rest House at Ghuttu that offers a comfortable stay. Read More HERE
New Delhi : 300 kms
Rishikesh: 65 kms
Haridwar: 90 kms
Here’s an interesting Blog on Sursingdhar by Ayandrali that explores and shares the natural beauty of the Lodge and surrounds. Do also read a personal experience by another travel blogger Aditi Mathur Kumar who recently visited the Lodge
Comprehensive Map of Uttarakhand & Uttaranchal