Different people have different perceptions and opinions about driving. Some people love driving and some hate it, while still others consider it a necessary evil. These opinions however, would definitely be affected by the road or the actual drive. There are many beautiful roads along which even a person averse to driving would be tempted to take up the driver’s seat. One such road is the road from Chhuttmalpur to Dehradun.
Once you cross Chhuttmalpur, the road opens up, with green fields on both sides with occasional mass of trees dominating the road sides. As the road approaches a bridge which is relatively narrow, the traffic slows. However, as soon as you cross the road the trees on both sides revive the magic and refresh the eyes and soul of the traveler. These are the jungles that signal the beginning of the Rajaji National Park. As the road takes a sharp bend, a small hamlet appears with a quaint little temple and a few shops offering a few basic things like chips and cold drinks. Not much can be found in this hamlet beyond the few offerings mentioned. The hamlet called Mohand may be considered the gateway to the Shivalik range. The climb through the beautiful landscape of Rajaji National Park is full of twists and turns. It is a serene landscape with occasional van-gujjar hut interrupting the otherwise dense forest.
The distance through the Rajaji National Park which is beautiful at any time of the day is especially green and fresh during the monsoon season. Many rainy rivers which are usually dry throughout the year can be seen flowing smoothly with a quiet tinkling sound in the monsoons.
If a traveler finds herself driving on this road after dark on a full moon night, it is both an eerie and a soothing vision that is presented to her. There are no shops or any facilities till the road creates a complicated design in the shape of the digit 8 to reach the Datt Mata mandir. The temple which has stood guarding the entrance to a short tunnel which is the entry for Dehradun is revered far and wide for its strong divine presence. The Datt wali Devi is a form of Kali extremely important for the residents of the Doon valley who worship her and flock to the temple on every Navami and also during the Navratri.
As you cross the tunnel which has withstood the test of time for more than a 100 years, the spirit of the Doon valley proclaims its reviving influence on the tired traveler. The tiredness has miraculously disappeared to be replaced by a burst of energy and vitality after the stop at the temple.
The road continues to traverse through the Rajaji National Park for a few more kilometers before the landscape changes to that of human habitation and the sight of the city spread out in all its glory meets the tourists.
Welcome to the land of the Devtas…..the capital of Devbhoomi….DehraDun