KANATAL near Mussoorie is good for SNOW and Adventure

  • A photo feature on the wow holiday destination of Kanatal, near Mussoorie in Uttarakhand.

I got to know about Kanatal from a friend. They chose Kanatal because it is a new place, not so crowded as other hill stations and family wanted to experience snow first-hand. So sharing based on experiences shared and internet search.


Images and Insights by Dhiral Shah


“Kanatal, “Kana (meaning one-eyed), and Taal/Tal ( meaning the Lake) get their names from the now dried-up but once abundantly surplus lake.” Source


Kanatal has lots of natural beauty, view of snow clad peaks, dense forests (Kaudia) and a Shaktipeeth temple (Surkhanda Devi).


According to the UK Tourism site the hill station is surrounded by apple orchards and home stays. Walk along serpentine roads amidst pine, deodhar and rhododendron forests. The tranquil and serene environment is good for those who want an escape from city life. Visit local villages to know their culture and lifestyle. Usually hills offer good opportunities for photography. 

How to reach

Fly or take a train to Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand and drive to Kanatal. It is about 68 kms and takes under 3 hours. From Rishikesh it is about 2 hours. It is about 42 kms from Mussoorie.


Tips for Snow lovers

My friend experienced snow the day they reached but for the next three nights there was no snow. They visited in February 2024. If snowfall is what you are going for please check with Uttarakhand Tourism before planning a trip. Close by are Mussoorie, Dhanaulti and New Tehri.

What to do

1. Kaudia Forests

You can walk in the dense forests, explore treks. Or else hire a 4 by 4 Jeep and go for a drive. Watch birds. If you are lucky might spot gorals and barking beer. The forest trail starts opposite the Mahindra property.

2. Enjoy view of Snow clad peaks


3. Visit Surkhanda Devi Temple.

It is of the 51 Shakti Peeths in Bharat dedicated to Devi Surkhanda.


You can reach via an invigorating two hour trek or take the ropeway. It is at a height of 10,500 feet. “Visitors have to trek around 2 kms from Kaddukhal, which is the nearest town to reach the temple. Kaddukhal is well connected via road from Mussoorie (40 kms).” During the trek one gets great views of the Himalayan peaks. For tips on trek  


During winters you are likely to find snow here. It gets very cold at night.

4. Enjoy the Snow

5. Enjoy Natural Beauty

6. Thuner Day Trek

“The beautiful Thuner Day Trek starts from a sacred shrine Vijay Milan Math (Dev Darshani). The Trail passes through the beautiful pine forests. These Pine forests remain lush green in the monsoons and early summer and get covered in snow in peak winters. You will be able to see the spectacular views of remote Himalayan Villages and Terrace farms in the Valley and up above will be the Bandarpunch Mountain Range. Bandarpunch 1 and Bandarpunch 2 peaks can be seen during the trek.” 4

 Trek to Chaukhamba Peak: “This trek offers stunning views of the Himalayas and is a great way to experience the region's natural beauty.”

7. Flora and Fauna, Birds

“By choosing to explore Kanatal you will come across some beautiful; very beautiful wild mountain Flowers; including magnificent red rhododendrons. Moreover, Kanatal and neighbouring places can be considered as one of the most famous locations for Bird watching in Uttarakhand. You will be able to see different species of Himalayan Bids i.e., Blue Magpie, Verditer Flycatcher, Rosefinch along with many other rare species of birds.” 4


Also read

1. Tips on how to reach Kanatal

2. Uttarakhand Tourism website on Kanatal

3. Surkhand Devi Trek

4. For a good travelogue

5. Good pictures of Kanatal

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