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Dhanaulti, Fast Emerging as Next Big Tourist Hill Station

If one wants to cherish nature at its best, experience fresh air, drink the mineral water coming directly from the Himalayas

Dhanaulti, Tourist, Hill Station
With Mussoorie - the Queen of the Hills - becoming over-crowded, it is starting to lose its charm and people are now wanting to explore other options. Pixabay

When one reaches Dhanaulti — a picturesque site in the Garhwal region of ‘Devbhoomi’ (Gods’ abode) Uttarakhand — one can not but feel the fresh breeze gushing through deodar trees and emitting an earthy, woody aroma. This is when you know you have left behind the hustle and bustle of the crowded city.

With Mussoorie – the Queen of the Hills – becoming over-crowded, it is starting to lose its charm and people are now wanting to explore other options. Located just 25 km away is Dhanaulti which is fast emerging as the next big tourist hill station.

“If one wants to cherish nature at its best, experience fresh air, drink the mineral water coming directly from the Himalayas, then Dhanaulti is the place to be.

“But, say it a boon or a bane, it is fast getting commercialised and we have been seeing a lot more tourists than before. Though they are good for our business, people leave behind a trail of garbage which is very difficult to clean up. It is ruining the natural beauty of the Himalayas,” Anil Kumar, owner of Burans Breeze hotel, told IANS.

Dhanaulti, Tourist, Hill Station
When one reaches Dhanaulti — a picturesque site in the Garhwal region of ‘Devbhoomi’ (Gods’ abode) Uttarakhand . Pixabay

Kumar, who himself belongs to Delhi, said he wanted to escape the noise and pollution of the national capital and hence built a lodge here from where one can see the snow-peaked Himalayan range.

Decoding the name of his hotel – one of the oldest in the area – he said that ‘Burans’ is for the Burans flower (rhododendron) that grows here which brightens the entire place with its red colour during spring time, and ‘Breeze’ is for the strong cool breeze that the place witnesses.

“To attract tourists, we have grown cauliflower, potato, and radish in our gardens and use them fresh in our restaurant,” Kumar said.

Another hotelier, Rakesh Garg, owner of Silver Dew, bought land here in 1997 when Uttarakhand was still a part of Uttar Pradesh but established a hotel only recently when Dhanaulti started seeing tourists.

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“Back then I didn’t know the potential of Dhanaulti becoming a major tourist destination. I bought the land for leisurely purposes but now I see a lot of tourists – from bachelors to families,” he said.

Speaking to IANS, Ajay Pawar, who is a native and handles several hotels in the area, said the hotel business here is going good. “People are liking this place because of its peaceful and chilly environment and the privacy that it offers.

“Several people are coming here and demanding rooms or cottages which are isolated and close to nature. They don’t come here for luxury, they come here to get close to nature, to hear the birds chirp and for the fresh cool breeze.”

“People love this place so much that they want to buy land here but most of it has already been bought and new hotels are coming up there. The prices of land have also shot up in merely last 2-3 years.”

Dhanaulti, Tourist, Hill Station
This is when you know you have left behind the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. Pixabay

Gambhir Singh, a farmer who now runs a confectionery shop, said people are shifting from agriculture activities to work in hotels. Even if a person washes utensils in the hotel, he can make more than what he makes in agriculture, he added.

Painting a gloomy picture for the future of farming on the hills, he said the new generation here does not prefer farming work because of increasing costs, risks associated with it, government’s apathy, and hard work involved which don’t pay off.

Kishori, manager of hotel Rock Resort, said that tourists demand good surroundings more than comfortable rooms, and hence to attract them, they had have planted apple, plum, walnut, and apricot trees.

“People are very fascinated with the trees, they come and take pictures with them. We also make fresh chutneys and jams with the fruits,” he said.

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Vinita Chouhan, member of a self-help group based out of Mussoorie, has put up a shop in Buranskhanda as the place has started witnessing lots of tourists. They have also set up shops in Dhanaulti, Mussoori, the Dehradun trade fair, and the India International Trade Fair in Delhi.

“We sell woollen clothes and traditional Garhwali food items like ‘Urad dal pakora’, ‘Jhangore Ki Kheer’, ‘Mandve Ki Roti’, and ‘Kandali Ki Sabzi’.”

“About 100 women are engaged in weaving woollen items like shawls, sweaters, caps, and socks. Another 10-15 women make papad, chips, pickles, and other items,” she said. (IANS)

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Top 5 Tourist Places in South Korea’s Incheon

Here are the top five attractions in Incheon, South Korea

Incheon tourism
Consider sparing some time in Incheon when you visit South Korea and visit these tourist attractions. Pixabay

If you are headed to the Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, chances are you will land in the Incheon International Airport, which is a short drive away from the mega city of Seoul. If you have some time to spare in Incheon, consider seeing these attractions.

Songdo Central Park

Songdo Central Park, a 1.8-kilometre seawater park is situated among the skyscrapers of Songdo. It has a walking path and a bicycle path, where visitors can take in the view of sunlight sparkling across the seawater as they enjoy a day out in the park. The view becomes even more mesmerizing after nightfall as the buildings light up around the park.

Visit the Deer farm here to see deer grazing on grass and Tribowl for a cultural space that offers various exhibitions, conferences and performances. Incheon has a river that crosses from east to west, where visitors can enjoy various water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, riding a family boat and more.

songdo Incheon
Songdo Central Park, a seawater park, is situated among the skyscrapers of Songdo. Pixabay

Moraenae Market

Located in the central area of Incheon in Guwol-dong, this traditional market was established in May 1982, when merchants started selling products on a sandy street using mere display stands. Moraenae Market first started as a wholesale market selling agricultural and fisheries products, then expanded to selling clothes, dishes, fisheries, and other diverse items. Due to the large traffic of customers compared to other traditional markets, Moraenae Market is known for keeping products up-to-date with fresh and trendy items.

National Institute of Biological Resources

The National Institute of Biological Resources is the largest collection preservation facility in Asia with approximately 6,000 species on display as of October 2019. Unlike some museums, all the specimens on display were collected from roadkills or those that faced natural deaths. Some of the species that can only be seen at this facility include Korean rose bitterling, Korean hare and white forsythia. Last fox specimen found in Korea can also be seen on display.

Incheon Grand Park

The Incheon Subway system makes it easier to travel around. Pixabay

A treasure in the middle of the city, Incheon Grand Park is an urban nature park that provides greenery and fresh air. As the only large-scale nature park in Incheon, the park holds an arboretum, children zoo, bicycle square, rose garden and more. Various animals and plants can be seen at the arboretum and the zoo, while those looking for peace and relaxation can walk around the Lake Garden listening to the calming sound of water flowing down the stair waterfall. The most popular course in the park, Forest of Healing, has a forest walking course that serves as the perfect activity for nature therapy. Due to the park’s large size, visitors are recommended to rent a bike to get see everything the park has to offer.

Gyeongin ARA Waterway

Gyeongin ARA Waterway connects Hangang River to the Yellow Sea with an observatory, artificial waterfall, Sculpture Park and other attractions along the way. It also has an 18.2-kilometre long bicycle path that follows the waterway where many visitors enjoy riding bicycles, while others are content by taking a relaxing stroll on the promenade.

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If you want to come to Incheon on a relaxed day, Seoul Metropolitan Subway lines not only cover Seoul but also other provinces including Gyeonggi-do, Incheon, Chungcheongnam-do and Gangwon-do.

Tip: It’s easy to tour around Incheon by the Incheon subway system. (IANS)