Off the Beaten Track: Jharipani Falls

For anyone who visits Dehradun, visiting Mussoorie is almost a compulsion. These two places are almost like Siamese twins – inseparable. Most of us are familiar with the usual Mussoorie hotspots-- Mall Road, Picture Palace, Gun Hill, Kalsang (for the foodies), and if you have a little more time to spare, Dhanaulti.

However, for those who like to explore a little more, there is a visual treat which awaits them at Jharipani.

Situated almost below Mussoorie, Jharipani is a quiet little place. Just a few shops and just off the road the famous Indian Railways’ Oakgrove School. But what sets this place apart, is the peace, tranquility and heaps of greenery that is present here.

Jharipani literally means ‘falling water’. This place used to have running streams of water falling down the mountainside. Not really big waterfalls, but more like seasonal run-off streams. However, most, or rather almost all of these have now dried up. In the monsoon, if you’re lucky, you might find couple of small ones.

The loss of streams notwithstanding, this place still offers some of the most breathtaking views of the valley and is a great place to enjoy some quiet time by oneself. The monsoon is the best season to visit this place, though you should keep an eye out for the slippery algae while walking.

To reach the really better parts of this place, you need to walk around a bit. Right where the boundary of the Oakgrove School is, there is a small road which leads downwards. Follow it and explore around a bit and you’ll be in for an experience to cherish. There’s no point in trying to describe what one sees there, you have to see it to believe it.

Reaching Jharipani is rather simple. A road from Mussoorie leads directly to it. But if you want to really experience the place, you'll have to sweat it out a little.

Near MDDA park in Dehradun is a place called Shahanshahi Ashram. It is right next to the Water Works complex. From this place, there runs a trek path about 5-6 km long which leads straight to Jharipani. Trekking here is a wonderful experience. It’s not a difficult trek, more like a walk in the mountains and even small kids are bound to enjoy it. Just a word of advice – if you are going for the first time, it’s better to take a person who knows the way along. Getting lost here is not a very good idea. This trek will take you through the mountainside, the forests, and scrubs and a little mountain stream. The sights are more than enough compensation for the effort you put in.

Once in Jharipani, don’t miss the Maggi at the roadside shacks. There is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of steaming, spicy and soupy noodles after a good trek.

If you plan to trek to Jharipani, monsoon is not really the ideal season as the trek can be a little treacherous. Early spring or sometime around November is a great time to trek. If you want to visit Jharipani by road, July and August are the months to be there.

If you do decide to go to these places, please refrain from littering them with plastics and any other non-biodegradable items. We are sure you’d like the others and yourself to be able to enjoy its pristine beauty again and again.

Siddharth Priyadarshi Sharma