Jaunsar Bawar is a hilly region near Mussoorie in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. The closest railway station and airport is Dehradun. For ages, the region has been the home of the Jaunsari people who claim to be the descendants of the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata. The village lore of Bawar, on the other hand, claims a direct descent from the Kauravas, the arc-rivals of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. The local culture and customs of the Jaunsar Bawar people are significantly different from the traditional Garhwali-Kumaoni cultures. Though the practices have been fast fading in recent times, traditionally both polygamy and polyandry were prevalent within the Jaunsari community. Songs, music and dance constitute a significant part of their life and traditions. The area is famous for its luxuriant Himalayan landscape with Deodar-Pine-spruce forests and snow-clad mountain peaks. There are also a number of historical sites to visit in this region. Here is a list of the places in Jaunsar Bawar that you must visit in your trip to Uttarakhand.
The gateway to the Jaunsar Bawar region, Kalsi is a place known for its lush natural beauty. 780 m above sea-level, it is situated at the meeting point of the rivers Yamuna and Tons. If you are an wildlife enthusiast interested in the Himalayan species, especially endangered migratory birds, Kalsi is a place you’d never want to miss. Apart from these wonders of nature, historical monuments like the Ashokan Rock Edicts are also major tourist attractions in this area.
Situated in the Yamuna valley, Chakrata is a small valley in Jaunsar Bawar region which was developed by the officials of the East India Company army cantonment. It is the majestic beauty of wilderness that makes Chakrata a popular tourist destination. The place offers fantastic opportunities for adventure sports like skiing and trekking. While in Chakrata you can trek up through the picturesque forests of rhododendron and oak trees to reach the highest direct waterfall in India, the gorgeous Tiger Falls, or climb up more to reach at the Kharamba Peak at 10, 118 ft. The Mahasu Devta temple in the Hanol village of Chakarta is an Archaeological Survey of India protected ancient monument which deserves a visit.
Mori is a picturesque village at the banks of the Tons River and the gateway to the Tons Valley. The tallest Pine forest in Asia, the beautiful Tons River, scenic lakes and waterfalls, calm and cool climate makes its one of the best hill stations of India. from Mori, you can take a 30 minutes walk through a narrow valley, Pine forests, yellow mimosa and past Gujjar huts and reach the beautiful blue pool and small waterfalls at Lunagad Creek
- The Karna and the Duryodhan Temple
In the small village called Netwar near Mori, the villagers take great pride in their mythic association with one of the tragic heroes of Mahabharata, Karna. In the village, there is an ancient temple dedicated Karna. The temple is a beautiful rectangular wooden structure, very simple in design but with a unique historical value. On the steep and treacherous trekking route to Har Ki Doon, at village Osla, there is a temple dedicated to Duryodhan, the leader of the Kauravas and the chief antagonist in the epic Mahabharata. The temple is a majestic three-chambered wooden structure with beautifully carved pillars. Hill folks of the villages Osla, Jakhol, Gangar and Datmir still worship the Kaurava king who was the arc-enemy of the Pandavas. Each year a festival is celebrated with much solemnity and grandeur in honour Duryodhan.
Naghat is a relatively less popular tourist destination in Jaunsar Bawar region but surely a mystical place which can be a great romantic destination. The snow clad winters here offer opportunities for many adventure sports. From Naghat, it is very easy to reach Viraatkhai, another place in Jaunsar Bawar that is famous for its scenic beauty and mythological associations. From the top of Viraatkhai, you get a panoramic view of the majestic snowy peaks of the Himalayas.