travel with kids, kanatal, travelling in India, places in India

Family time at Kanatal, Garhwal Range

“Papa, this time I just want three of us to go on a holiday, and no one else… !”.

So, that was the first premise to decide our next holiday destination. But it was also a clear alarm of some little person demanding some ‘alone’ family time… Hmm, Ponder !

We had just 4 days in hand, so the only place we could venture out were the hills.
While one had ticked off all the textbook destinations – Nainital, Mukteshwar, Chail, Missourie, Shimla, Dehradun, we were looking for something more off-beat, pristine & ‘hatke’!
(not just for fb or this article, but for our very own selves – the little lady’s premise a constant reminder that’s it about ‘us’ and not the world.)

Thus, the search began. Gone were the days when parents had this travel book to choose holidays.
Now with tablets and smart phones, even deciding a destination is an inclusive exercise with your child.
Aahh… some of the boons of the digital age.

We finally zeroed down to Kanatal -the highest peak in the Garhwal Range, opted for a 5-star boutique hotel and stopped at the very popular child-friendly resort JW Marriot @ Missourie on our way back. (this stopover was a very one-sided decision – and you’ll know why! Read on…)
And the mind can never stop racing…

we departed Kanatal with fresh air in our lungs and a thrill in our heartsAfter all hotel bookings done, my next set of questions to the dad & myself:
- Long time we haven’t done a road trip… errr are we ready? Skills on the hills?
- How will the 3 of us survive an 8-hour journey...! how much can you talk or play word games?
- And we’ve decided to go only one-stop to save time and extract most of the resort booking time (typical Indian mentality you may think… ‘maximum nichodo’, but who cares, we love ourselves like this only!)
- What do we carry to keep ourselves busy… ?? Kanatal is about just beautiful spots and treks
So there we pack in some games – UNO, LUDO, and we all carried a book each !
After creating doubts and searching solutions, we were ready to roll in the next few weeks…

And this is what really happened…
(now don’t blame me, if part 1 of the story sounds completely disconnected from part 2)

As we drove up the winding roads, we discovered so much more about each other…
- Took turns to play our favourite songs, so obviously the playlist range went from Kishore Kumar to chainsmokers!
- which multiplication tables we each knew best
- favourite memories from old holidays
- who had a better voice…
So much one packed inside a metal box on wheels! Wow… we didn’t realise when our destination arrived!

We stayed at a wonderful resort at Kanatal. It was the most scenic and breath-taking view of the Himalayan range and the quaint little station itself. The fresh air, smiling faces of the Garhwalis and the bliss of feeling so close to the sky was surreal!
The resort had beautiful landscaping… with different levelled structures for the cottages, restaurant, wood-fire pizza hatch on the tip of the hill and a small dhaba setting on the side.
While there was nothing kid-friendly or child specific attractions, we made the most of the place…

First day we spent exploring the resort, and ended up playing endless rounds of Hide ‘n’ Seek! While we play this game ever so often in board rooms, ‘dhappa’ was replaced with boring unending powerpoint presentations! Our little devil helped us become kids again!

The next day the experienced staff of the resort took us for a very special trek. It was through a dense forest where we collected leaves of the main trees found in the Garhwal range (there – show & tell project ready for the month ! - how cool to keep the education alive in their minds and share with their teachers & friends in school)

The next day we trekked right up to Surkanta Devi Temple (a popular spot that carries an ancient story of significance and might - Woman Power! @ 12,00 feet! )
It was a steep walk up, steps to climb… and we ALL DID IT! No help of 4-legged creatures, we just kept pushing and motivating each other… till we got there.
That point was enthralling… you could view the entire mountain range, you could look down to view Rishikesh on one side, kanatal on the other side, Dehradun at a distance and a whole lot of other sparsely populated hilly areas.

We trekked down, and relished the most amazing, mouth-watering Garhwali food run by two brothers at a nearby dhaba. What bliss!
Back at the resort, we sipped on old monk & coke as we sang songs under the moonlight with the resort’s very own one-man band and his guitar.

In no time, it was time to leave… we departed Kanatal with fresh air in our lungs and a thrill in our hearts.

As we were headed back to Delhi, we stopped over at the ‘famous’ kid-friendly resort JW Marriott in Missourie. This was a special request from the youngest amongst us.
The hotel was uber -luxury and you will feel super-pampered (that’s obvious considering it’s burning a hole in – you know where! )
Glass painting, pottery, art & craft, etc.. every hour to keep your kid occupied, evening tambola, music, games for kids… pizza making with the masterchefs, indoor swimming… bowling alleys you name it – and they have it – ALL FOR KIDS!
Wow – this place is perfect when you have kids with you on a holiday and don’t want to spend that time with them. Every Delhi kid that hails from a decent family would have heard or gone to this resort.
It’s for the well-to-do to rich homes; but it was definitely, not as en’rich’ing as Kanatal

Who wants pizzas, when you can teach your child to experience the leafy delicacies of Garhwal?
Who wants bowling alleys when you can convert the gardens of a pretty resort into a playing arena of your own?
Who wants hotel staff to watchover your kids when you watch over each other on a trek?

Just for the record…

Not once did we open our books to read, but can write pages about this short family trip

Not once did we play the board games, but invented 3 new games of our own

Not once did we get bored; in fact, it opened up our eyes that we still have so much to unearth about our own selves!

We became kids again with our little girl.

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Comments (20)

Adelaide Posted on Jul 21, 2018

That inhtgsi\'s just what I\'ve been looking for. Thanks!


Madhu Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Looks like a great place.. Would live to visit sometime

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Deepika Verma Posted on Nov 16, 2017

This sounds like an amazing place… Definitely on my travels wish list

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Rakhi Parsai Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Nothing can beat the fun that a family has while on travel. Loved reading your post.

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Reetuparna Saha Posted on Nov 16, 2017

I loved your write up..I\'m a person who loves family holidays

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Roopali Gupta Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Kanatal, never heard of...I was really looking for a hill station near to delhi not very crowded, genuinely want to thank you for telling about this place for our wish list

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Nisha Malik Posted on Nov 16, 2017

I really love your posts on travel. They are fun to read. Family holidays are great fun.

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Neha Posted on Nov 16, 2017

That sounds like a wonderful vacation! We do try and get away as much as possible and phones are minimum

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Minakshi Bajpai Posted on Nov 16, 2017

It sounds that you and your family enjoyed a lot there. Awesome and memorable trip. And the place looks amazing too.

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Bushra Khan Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Looks you all had lots of fun!! Great memories

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Priyanka Patwari Posted on Nov 16, 2017

This place looking amazing hope u had a great time there

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Jhilmil Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Wow, it was such a joy tripping Kanatal, shall go there with my family too soon!

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Safiyah Posted on Nov 16, 2017

The way you\'ve written this post is so beautiful. It feels as we are there in this journey with you guys :)

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Namrata Kumari Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Loved your blog. family time is always the best one

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Creative Life Star Posted on Nov 15, 2017

Amazing and superb pics of destination. The cuisines looks tempting. Thanks for sharing.

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Bushra Posted on Nov 15, 2017

Family holiday is the best time we spend together Dehradun is beautiful place to visit

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Neha Posted on Nov 15, 2017

nice place my list

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Jhilmil D Saha Posted on Nov 15, 2017

Such a beautifully written post. And such a wonderful destination

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Deepali Posted on Nov 15, 2017

Wow !! Place looks amazing !! Would love to go with family !!

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Prerna Sinha Posted on Nov 15, 2017

So cute. Such is the joy of uninhibited family holidays. Reminded me of childhood holidays.

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