Located at the confluence of the Tons and Yamuna rivers, Kalsi is a lesser-known village near Paonta Sahib. The young and energetic Yamuna bursts out of the hills in the Jaunsar-Bawar region in the Doon Valley and continues its travels across the great Indian plains. Kalsi once served as an important township in Uttarakhand’s Jaunsar-Bawar region. However, over the years, it has turned into a quiet little hamlet.
And we are glad. Today, Kalsi serves as a hideaway for travellers looking for their share of solace. Staying amidst some of the finest landscapes of the Doon Valley offers myriad activities for the adventurous. From riverside picnics to angling and river rafting to hiking, there’s something for everyone.
Here’s a how to make the most of your trip to this picturesque hilly village.
We are sure that all of us need to shed a few kilos or more, thanks to possibly the longest period of time that we have spent indoors. Kalsi offers charming and easy walking trails. The best is along the ashram road past the boundary of the Snow Lion Estate to Katta Pathar village, where river Yamuna first bursts out of the hills.
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Standing at 780 meters above sea level at the intersection of the Tons and Yamuna River, Kalsi is a quaint village that is largely undiscovered by tourists. It’s easy to spend a weekend here angling in the Tons River, cycling on its winded roads dotted with sal and oak trees, or relaxing by the riverside, while being surrounded by peace and quiet. Do not leave without seeing the Ashoka Pillar Rock Edict, which is the prime attraction of the village. . . PC Men_and_mountain . #uttrakhand #mountain #pahadi #tehrigarhwal #garhwal #uttranchal #paurigarhwal #chamoligarhwal #pauri #bugyal #chamba #mountainview #mountaintop #clouds #tehri #nightsky #star #moon #nainital #clouds #sunset #sunrise #pahadifood #cnow #village #villagephoto #newtehri #srikot #srinagar #nandAprayag #kalsivillage
The village is named after an iron ore mine that once existed here. The walk provides great panoramic views of the majestic Chakrata Hills. You will find yourself on neat little beaches that punctuate the riverbanks, where you can have a nice picnic.
Rock Edicts of Ashoka
Easily approachable from the Kalsi Bazaar by a rocky path, the Ashokan Rock Edicts are situated on the riverbank. A brick structure here houses a 2,200-year-old rock edict of Emperor Ashok, discovered by an Englishman, one Mr Forrest, in 1860. The 10-foot-high quartz boulder once informed his subjects-in Brahmi script-of his reforms and encouraged them to be generous, kind and moral. The names of five Greek kings, Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magus and Alexander, inscribed on the rock help date the edict, the writings on which were done in the 3rd century BCE, more specifically around 235 BCE.
Drive to Paonta Sahib
Paonta Sahib gurudwara is famous as the place where the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, lived for several years. The drive to this peaceful spot is as beautiful as it gets. You will be crossing over from Uttarakhand to Himachal’s Sirmour District when you traverse the iron bridge over river Tons on the road to Koti, where there’s a lovely waterfall. The drive to Paonta Sahib teems with waterways and birding opportunities around the Asan Barrage. The return drive to Kalsi via the serene and verdant Timli Pass is a delight.
Trekking, birding, angling, rafting
The Chakrata foothills offer intriguing trekking trails that are also ideal for birding and botanical adventures. The best time to do angling for mahseer is right now (September-October). If you’d be staying at the Snow Lion Estate, you could request them to make the arrangements for you. You can also go rafting down the Yamuna, which is quite a novel experience. You have the thrill of the rapids and you can also enjoy the gorgeous landscape and birdlife along the tranquil patches of the river. Go armed with a camera and binocs.
Where to Stay and Eat
Situated across the river from Kalsi village, the restored colonial-era lodge Snow Lion Estate is the best stay option. Set in 22 acres of lawns, the resort enjoys grandstand vistas, rich birdlife and trees.
Air: Jolly Grant, Dehradun is the nearest airport at 77km/2 hrs
Rail: Dehradun is the nearest railhead. From there, you can hire a taxi to Kalsi
Road: Kalsi can be easily reached from Delhi via Dehradun. Buses are also available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate