Devalgarh: Long forgotten capital of Garhwal Kingdom


Going to Neverland
Khirsu - after five long years

August always comes with an opportunity of week-long holidays. This year was again no different. Combination of weekends, festivals and Independence Day leave, presented me a window of 6 days beginning 10th August 2019 to roam around Himalayan hills.

With the company of just my Phantom (Thar), I began scouting for destinations and routes to cover for a solo run once again.

I had in my mind to cover Uttarakhand, particularly Khirsu for a day, and day or two at Gwaldam and then returning via Kausani-Ranikhet.

I was excited at the prospects of covering these places as I had not been able to explore Khirsu during my previous stay way back in the year 2015. Also, I had just zipped past through Gwaldam once, during one of my winter drives in the year 2014.

I was all set for my solo sojourn after a gap of 9 months.

Cometh the hour, Cometh the man.

My dear friend and partner of innumerable road trips, Praveer Bisht got wind of my plans.

He insisted rather pleaded to join me for this trip. He was persuasive enough. Even though I was mentally prepared for the solo trip, I was happy to have him along for this journey.

However, there was one big issue.

Praveer could join me only from 12th August 2019 thereby curtailing the six day trip to four days.

I did not like it at all. But he being a dear friend (read Kameena), I had to wilt and agree.

This was not the end of my predicaments.

My half dozen sisters (cousins included) demanded that I should be to be present in person for the Rakshabandhan festival. For the last few year, I was always away during Rakshabandhan. Hence, this year I promised to be back in home for the festivities.

There goes one more day out of my itinerary.

Finally, the travel dates became 12th to 14th August from 10th to 15th August 2019.

And the destination got curtailed to Khirsu only.

On the penultimate day I was praying hard that I don’t face any more quandaries.

Thankfully, I woke up early on 12th August 2019 to find the plan still intact with no more surprises. I reached Praveer’s home in South Delhi and picked him up. We were on the road by 6.15 in the morning. Roads were empty and we covered good distance.

We took the Upper Ganga Canal road and stopped at Mashoor Chotiwala restaurant for breakfast. Food was better this time as compared to my previous visit when it was disappointing. After breakfast we were speeding away on the good roads of Khatauli – Bijnor – Najibabad – Kotdwar. We were greeted by light rains enroute.

waiting for Praveer

Breakfast stop

Chai, this time was better

so was the paratha



Going to Neverland
By 10.30 am we were traversing on the hill roads. At Devikhal, few kilometers before Gumkhal, we saw a nice looking café. We decided to check it out. We ordered Coffee and Bread Pizza and were not disappointed at all. It was a good experience though the Café is little pricey. Still I won’t mind visiting there again and I did stop there during the return journey.

ascending the hills

lovely greens of monsoon period

a small village nestled among green hills


Cafe at Devikhal

old rustic charm

tastefully done


Coffee was nice

crisp break pizza was yummy too

easy to miss between the foilage


Going to Neverland
We spent almost an hour at the Café before driving ahead. Roads were good, weather was a bit misty with light drizzles at places. We drove slowly enjoying the roads and weather. We were not in any hurry to reach Khirsu.

Satpuli town looked beautiful from high ground. The greenery and villages besides the road looked beautiful. The scenery turned even more beautiful after we took the turn for Khirsu from the Pauri road. After covering 15 kms on the mesmerizing road, we reached Khirsu around 3.30 pm where we went straight to GMVN Tourist Rest House and got ourselves a cottage. We preferred cottage over the rooms as the building is very old as compared to the cottages which are in better condition. After settling down, we order some refreshments and rested for a while thereafter.

a misty village

Satpuli town

a lovely crossing

A beautiful village enroute

i like these small village temples

on roads towards Khirsu after leaving the Pauri road

About Khirsu

GMVN Tourist Rest House, Khirsu


our cottage


nashta was ready

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In love with mountains
What was that fry? I've to get one for myself now - can't resist the temptation (of greenery, food - don't know what not - feeling restless).

When we were at Khirsu, we could see only clouds. :-(


Going to Neverland
What was that fry? I've to get one for myself now - can't resist the temptation (of greenery, food - don't know what not - feeling restless).

When we were at Khirsu, we could see only clouds. :-(
thats crispy aaloo pakoda :)

it was cloudy for two days only on the third day when we were about to leave the skies cleared up giving us mesmerizing views of Chaukhamba peaks