I have very vague memories of my trip to Dehradun, Mussoorie in the Garhwal Himalayan ranges of Uttarakhand in India. Unfortunately back then, I had no idea of why should or rather why would anybody document their travels. For days now, I was thinking about how the hell do I share moments of my travels from one of the most beautiful places in India. After two sleepless nights in a row, an idea clicked. “Let’s just browse through whatever photos, I have with me on my old computer.” And then the moment came!
I finally, hit upon a beautiful image of a water fall.
The beautiful cascading waters of Kempty
Enveloped in the hilly tracks of Uttarakhand, Kempty waterfalls derive its name from ‘Camp-tea’, a place where the Britishers during the colonial rule used to organize and enjoy their tea parties. Now developed as a ‘touristy spot’, the waterfalls enjoys visitors in abundant, to the extremes that you would really call them tourists and not travelers. Situated in the mountain ranges of 4500 feet, the water gushes from at 1364 meters from above the sea level. The stream originates from a southwest of a village called Banglow ki kandi, the waterflow spilts into five streams, it appears as though they somersault on the rocks before falling in the pond created by the water.
Situated on the Mussoorie-Dehradun Highway, Kempty Falls, attracts tourists from all over the country. Natives there would tell you stories of how it’s bee developed as a picnic spot over the years, post India’s independence. Kempty Falls are a perennial treat and the visit to this alluring waterfall is incomplete without taking a bath under it. I too took a dip and forgot to keep a second set of clothes handy. So you can almost imagine my plight after the dip!
The ‘ritual’- Every Indian tourist has this one ritual photo in his memory deck. Here, I am made to pose wearing the traditional Gahrwali dress. Sigh
There is no particular time to visit the waterfalls as the water runs throughout the year. However, it is best to visit the place in the summer months of India (March-May- the months we visited.) Usually the spot is closed in the rainy seasons and some times winters too, due to the mist and marshy lands and the possibility of landslides.
An ideal place to relax, if you are a solo wanderer, the place is abuzz with shops selling touristy artifacts and souvenirs. Visit the ones, especially selling the Tibetan memoirs made by the residents of Mussoorie, also popularly nicknamed as Happy Valley.
As I winded up to hit the next spot on our bucket-list I realized that the falls also would equally enjoy the award of being one of the filthiest spots nestled in the Gahrwali Himalayan ranges. Due to the high popularity of the falls, the place can be equally sick and dirty, thanks to the careless tourists who dump plastic bags, bottles and chips packet on the way down to the spot.
The driver who had accompanied us to the falls, informed us that the place was also a popular fishing destination. Away from it just 12 kilometers ran the divine waters of Yamuna- one of the sacred rivers of India. Although it is mandatory to receive permits from the Divisional Forest officer of Mussoorie.