Dharamghar: A Less Crowded Hill Station to Enjoy Tea and Nature
Romancing the scenic road winding up the hills and decorated with pine trees, my car halted at the foot of a small yet lush green tea garden. It was a cloudy day and I was rather disappointed with the least chances of seeing the Himalayas from Dharamghar, where they offer a splendid panoramic view of the snow-capped ranges. However, the greenery of the locale and the foggy hills created a charming aura to bring out the best of nature in that overcast weather and it emerged mesmerizing!
Dharamghar, just 9 kilometres away from Chaukori, has some of the most picturesque tea gardens of the Kausani Tea Estate, Uttarakhand. Less crowded, this place lets you explore nature in its simplest and calmest form. Walking along the road, stepping into the village, spending time with the simple, warm and welcoming local folks, treading in the tea gardens and trying a hand in plucking leaves along with the local workers, or simply engaging in birdwatching and spotting varieties of butterflies – Dharamghar is a call away from the daily mundane life, away from the crowd.
The glimpses of tea gardens amidst the pine, cedar, oak and fir are not a very common sight in Uttarakhand. Few places grow tea here and combined with the captivating slopes and blue sky in the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas, they do provide an enticing visual. As I stepped out of the car and looked around, the beautiful sight made my day.
Climbing up the garden, the green tea leaves were so soothing to watch. Also, for the first time I saw tea fruits and flowers hanging from the tea plants. The hazy weather gave the hills around a bluish hue and all together, it was really a cherishable sight.
The tea pluckers, appeared in a short while to perform their task. I tried to engage in talks and asked if they will start from there. Nodding their heads, they just pointed towards the top and headed in that direction. These local belles are very shy and seeing the camera in my hand, they giggled silently and speeded up. However, I was able to convince one of them who were left behind and she didn’t oppose while I clicked. But she didn’t look up nor did she smile!
Soon after, two kids came up and stopped by me while I started taking random pictures. I started conversing with them and sat down for a chit chat. But the moment I surprised them with my playful act of focusing my camera at them, they giggled and ran away, only to turn around and give poses from a distance before they were gone!
Innumerable butterflies like Indian Tortoiseshell, Himalayan Hill Jezebel, the Pale Clouded Yellow and many others of various sizes and colours were moving about the garden. It felt so pleasant to see the bright flying dashes of colours against the green. Truly, no matter how less crowded a place is, amidst nature one can ever feel lonely.
And just when I had clicked enough of them, one of the clouds glided and the sunlight brushed the edges of the tea leaves and lit them bright. What an amazing play of colour and light it was!
Dharamghar is also known for the Himdarshan Kutir established by Sarla Behn, a disciple of Gandhiji who spent her last days here. The tranquillity and simplicity of the abode are meant to be felt. The panoramic view of the Himalayas is said to be spellbinding from Himdarshan Kutir but my hard luck! The day was not clear.
I drove back to Chaukori the same day as I had my room booked there but Dharamghar is no less a place to put up for a day or two. It is best for nature lovers and travellers who are looking for a quiet, serene place to unwind and relax.
How to Reach Dharamghar
Dharamghar is only 9 kilometres away from Chaukori (132 km from Almora, 47 km from Bageshwar). The best way to visit would be to hire a car either from Chaukori or from the starting point of the journey.
Have you been to Dharamghar? Share your experiences below.