Destinations: Pauri, Khirsu
Duration: 2 days
Distance: Approx 154 km from Dehradun
For family and groups
Experiences: Natural and religious sites
Budget: INR 10,000 (approx) per person
Dehradun to Pauri
Set out for Pauri from Dehradun early in the morning. The road from Dehradun to Pauri passes by Rishikesh and Devprayag. If you do not have time for a day's stopover at Rishikesh, do not miss the holy confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag. On reaching Pauri, check in to your hotel/homestay and catch up on some rest before visiting a few of the local attractions – the Chaukhamba viewpoint that offers panoramic vistas of the beautiful Idwal valley and the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan ranges, the Kandoliya Temple and Kyunkaleshwar Temple.
Pauri is well-connected by road to most major destinations in Uttarakhand. You can avail bus and taxi services from several cities in the state. Buses also ply from ISBT Kashmere Gate, New Delhi to Pauri and Kotdwar (105 km from Pauri).
The nearest railhead to Pauri is Kotdwar, about 105 km away. It should not take more than three-and-half hours to cover the distance. Kotdwar is well-connected to major cities across India by regular trains.
Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is the closest air base to Pauri about 130 km away. The airport is connected to New Delhi with daily flights. You can avail taxis, buses and cabs from the airport to reach Pauri.
Pauri to Khirsu
Start your day with a hearty pahadi breakfast – hand-rolled rotis made with locally-grown ragi or mandua (both finger millets) that are cooked in wood fire accompanied with a delicious yoghurt-based dish where pumpkin is mashed into the yoghurt and the dish is tempered with the indigenous jhakia (mustard-like seeds). Set off for Khirsu, one of Uttarakhand's best-kept natural secrets. Khirsu is for those passionate about nature, photography and who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. On clear days, Khirsu offers sights of the snow-capped Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nandakot and Panchachuli peaks.
The journey from Pauri to Khirsu is about 20 km and should not take more than 45 minutes. Enjoy the scenic vistas, crisp fresh mountain air, sights of the surrounding ranges along the ride and the dense forests of pine, oak and deodar.