If Dharchula can be defined in one word, it would be “Mysterious”. This is as deep as it gets into Uttarakhand. Dharchula lies on the bank of Kali River which accompanies you alongside travelling to the town. If you have reached Dharchula, congrats yourselves, you have seem one of the template parts of the country.
As you enter this small hub, you can witness peace, the lights of which our “famous” hills station have lost. I am in no way saying it doesn’t have a big market but it’s very different from your normal hill station experience. It has something very organic feel to it. Dharchula comes from a Hindi word “ Dhar = Peak” and “Chula= Stove”. This is because the mountain is shaped in the form of a stove
What to do in Dharchula?
You can cross a bridge over Maha Kali river and have a tea abroad, welcome to Dharchula’s Nepali twin Dharchula. The two communities are so interwoven with each other, many people live in this part of the land and have shops in the other.
They daily go to a other country to work. Imagine how cool that sounds? The other peculiar feature about the Darchula is it’s like Mini-Vegas. Every other shop is a restaurant , and every restaurant serves liquor. It made me so happy and I don’t even drink. There are countless things to shop like best ink pens (the one that come with that bottle of ink), local chocolates, local handicrafts, local cuisines, they also have their local beer which is quite famous around the area.
It is a paradise for non-vegetarians. To my dismay the option for vegetarians are fairly limited. Dharchula used to be an important stop on the way to Mansarovar Kailash Yatra. The cell phone signals are limited to only BSNL. It gave me a good dose of nostalgia to call home via PCO. The place seems to be in a standstill while the rest of the world has moved on with globalization, technology, internet, development.
Excursions from Dharchula:
Narayan Swami Ashram: If the roads are fine, if the weather does you a favor. Please do visit Narayan Swami Ashram. It is located on the borders of Tibet, Nepal and India. It is absolutely magnificent at a distance of 44 kms.
The sanctuary is a rich in varied flora and fauna but it also has the charming vista’s and features. Although the sanctuary is famous for its musk deer but the exploitation of the natural resources has made them disappeared from these places.
There is a trek Chipla Keddar which is a two day trek. A six day trek to Mt. Adi Kailash can be extremely satisfying for those who are looking for experience of a lifetime. Dharchula has hidden quite a few exotic treks which are yet to be registered.
Where to Stay?
This place is not your mainstream tourist destination so there are limited options available for travellers. KNVN provides with excellent budget accommodation.
How to Reach-
1. By Rail-
The nearest Railway station is 295 kms which is Kathgodam. One would be well advised to take regular breaks while travelling to Dharchula. The first stop might be at Pithoragarh which is 220 kms away from Haldwani. Buses/Shared Cabs/ Private Cabs leave for Pithoragarh at regular intervals.
2. By Roadways-
The nearest National Bus station is Haldwani. Buses leave regularly from ISBT Anand Vihar Delhi to Haldwani. (For prior reservation go to Uttarakhand Roadways website). Cabs/Shared Cabs/ Buses are available from Haldwani to Pithoragarh. Dharchula is 83 kms from Pithoragarh. Please check the conditions of road prior to your visit.