Dakpathar: A Picturesque Town
While Delhi experienced its hottest days, we – my companion and me - decided to go on a short weekend to a place called Dakpathar, which is off the main tourist route but could be a nice getaway if you are looking for some quiet moments. You can also avoid the “tourists” heading toward “hill stations” to cool their tempers.
My first encounter with such “tourists” took place at a mid-way eating joint. It was so crowded that we gave up any idea we had of washing down mix veg pakoras with garam chai and had to make do with a fruit cake and a mango drink. Certainly, not a very good combo for breakfast. But we were helpless. As we approached Shivalik hills, I could feel the excitement I usually get when I enter the "hill region".
My companion, who had a nice time learning Hindi by reading sign boards and hoarding, like “Kurkure Fruit Chaat”, did not like the idea of ‘traffic jaam’ on the mountain roads. But what can one do? We Indians are always in hurry. Some just keep inserting their cars wherever they can even if it means that such thoughtless actions by them just make the situation worse.
This was my first experience of hill driving. While we were stuck on the winding slanting roads, I learnt a few lessons in driving on hairpin bends. Barring few bruises to my car’s front bumper, I think I could manage it well.
Anyway, finally the vehicles managed to make their way into Doon and I had my eyes fixed on finding the signboard for bypass road to Paonta Saheb. That was the road I had to take to reach my destination.
After checking into our rooms, we just rested till the evening. In the evening we decided to check out the barrage and the picnic spots around it. It was an amazing sight of two rivers coming out of mountains to form a sangam. Dakpathar is known for its Power Plant. As the evening set in, locals as well as visitors like us had begun to gather in the park on the banks of river. But the park was in a very bad shape. Garbage was thrown everywhere. Those responsible for the upkeep of the park, devoted to goddess Yamuna, seem to have turned a blind eye to the wrongs done to it.
Next morning we started early to see Asan Barrage, which attracts migratory birds in large numbers during the winter season. A water sports resort has been developed at the Asan Barrage by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). Created in 1967, the barrage is popularly known as Dhalipur Lake. Located some 43 kms from Dehradun on Chandigarh-Shimla highway, the resort offers facilities like water skiing, boating, rowing, kayaking, canoeing etc. We proceeded to see the historic Paonta Saheb gurudwara, which is in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh on the other side of river Yamuna. The drive along the canal was an experience in itself. While on our way back, we decided to visit Kalsi, about 5 kms from Dakpathar, which has an Ashoka Pillar Rock Edict, built in 450 B.C. The pillar represents the post-warfare era when king Ashoka converted himself to the Buddhist faith. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected edict at Kalsi is made of quartz which is 10ft long and 8ft broad.
How to Reach: Dakpathar is 45 kms from Dehradun on the road to Chakrata. You can take Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Dehradun and further journey can be done by bus or taxi. If you are planning to take a car journey, make sure you leave early in the morning.
Where to Stay: The best place to stay in Dak Pathar is the GMVN run guest house. It’s located near the barrage offering beautiful views of mountains and Yamuna river. The guest house even has a swimming pool too.