4 Cottages, 6 Rooms
The Dolina Retreat
A dolina is a Slavic term which geologically is a stadium shaped valley formation in limestone mountains. The Dolina Retreat is a hidden paradise 15 kms from Mussoorie, located at 6,000 feet above sea level amidst thick oak forest. The closest popular tourism landmark is Hathipaon, which has the famous George Everest observatory and residence.
At The Dolina, our goal is to make every stay as comfortable in our remote location. Whether you are visiting this mountain getaway for the first time or are a regular traveller, you’ll find that our retreat will provide amenities for a unique and special mountain experience.
The thrill begins from the 1.5 km off-road drive from our parking to the property. Our 4×4 Isuzu will serve as your private safari into the mountain. Striving to maintain a zero carbon footprint policy, Dolina Retreat aspires to give a clean and authentic mountain experience like none other.
Airbnb Super Host –
CApt. Vikrant Singh Lohan
I have retired from the Merchant Navy after traveling around the world for 30 years as a Master Mariner. Having seen almost all the beautiful places on earth, I have finally found paradise.
I lived in Australia for 2 years in 1984 and 1989 while studying at RMIT, Melbourne. Having seen almost all the beautiful places on earth, I decided to anchor myself in between Dehradun and Mussoorie. The Britishers took a fancy to Mussoorie and during its hey days, it had some of the best breweries in India like the McEnnon brewery and The Mc Enzie brewery. I found the Dolina in 2006. It took me 10 years to slowly develop this mountain, ensuring that we disturbed no living creature on the mountain and at the same time maintain the ecological balance of nature at this remote mountain. This location is a funnel shaped valley with a walnut orchard and is resident to some of the most beautiful Himalayan flora and fauna. Our aim was to become one with nature and all the original habitants of this place.
Like in all mountain dwellings water is the most essential commodity. We are lucky to have spring and supply only natural spring water to all our residents. I am very passionate about this property and want to have minimum carbon foot prints at this location.
Nature has no pollutants. We bring garbage and pollution where ever we go. So at the Dolina, I ensure that we leave no traces of human waste and we have a strict garbage regulation.
In my 10 years of developing the Dolina, nature showed me so many things that I felt Dolina should be shared with all nature lovers, and so I started a homestay at the Dolina. I interacted with the locals and villages nearby, the shepherds who come down from the high altitudes for grazing their flocks of sheep and goats during the winters. I learnt a lot of local knowledge and history about the area.
I trekked all around the mountain upto 3 kilometres on all sides of the Dolina and realised the abundance of wild-life, some resident and some migratory on the mountain. I hope that we can continue to live in harmony with all creatures great and small at the Dolina.
A SECRET PARADISE: THE STORY OF DOLINA RETREAT
In 2004, at a village gathering, an old man came up to me and said that in me he saw an adventurous spirit and would like to take me to a place in the mountains. I accepted the challenge and we drove up to Hathipaon as there were no roads to this location in those days. At Hathipaon the old man said, ‘it is a short walk to this place’. His ‘never ending’ walk finally made me cross one waterfall and climb one mountain. After asking this wise old man for the umpteenth time ‘how much further’, we suddenly arrived at an opening in the mountain inside which was this beautiful flat land with walnut trees, surrounded by mountains with thick oak forests rising up from this flat bowl. As I entered this place, I said to myself “Truly a paradise!”. There was no looking back for me from that point. Thanks to this wise old man who had judged me correctly, I am the proud owner of 4 such Paradises in these peaceful mountains with hidden treasures.
Come, get lost at The Dolina only to find yourself. This is my invitation to you to come to a secret paradise, hidden deep in a bowl in a mountain locally called khaddar and geographically known as a Dolina within the first range of Himalayan mountains. Located at 6000 feet above sea level, this paradise is surrounded by a few hundred acres of oak and rhododendron trees, forests so deep and silent where wild beasts reign supreme. You enter a venerable old walnut orchard, so well concealed that you feel you have entered a special private world. Allow yourself to be enveloped by a world of silence and peace, where all your stress and worries drop away, like the leaves from a tree. Now you are in an eco-system where the purity and beauty of the wilderness is simply stunning. Tune into the myriad sounds of nature- the singing of crickets, the chirping of Himalayan birds and the rare sighting of The Himalayan Griffin only seen in this paradise.
Come de-stress, relax and rejuvenate yourself in this paradise. Indulge in some forest bathing, which is totally reviving for the mind, body and spirit. For the more adventurous folks we have nature trails, wild life spotting, bird watching from a tree-house, picnics and treks to remote waterfalls with natural pools. Take a village walk and visit the temples nearby, the Naag Mandir and the Bhadraj Mandir.
A special trail, commonly used by Himalayan bears, to water sources and caves, merge at a crossing point for wildlife, locally called ‘Jodi’ which literally means the joining point of two mountains.
In summer, enjoy the cool breeze high up here and watch the forest come alive after the cold winter spell. In winter, share the campsites with the shepherds who graze their wild goats and sheep in the forests around Dolina. These shepherds have come all the way from Himachal Pradesh and you have an opportunity to see their hand made woollen and sheep skin products, try their food, talk to them and watch how their Himalayan mastiffs protect and direct the herd of a few thousand sheep. Enjoy the snowfall in February and keep warm around a bonfire and enjoy a Barbeque.
You can live in style at The Dolina Retreat. The rooms are well heated and insulated against the coldest of days. Feast on traditional Garhwali meals, cooked with local produce grown in the organic garden and nearby villages. We offer only natural spring water for drinking and bathing.
The Dolina is 800 feet above the new Mussoorie by pass road, just 15 km from Mussoorie, 24 km from Dehradun city and 280 km from Delhi. In just 5 hours, you can be transported from the stress of New Delhi to the peace of Dolina.
Dehradun Railway station to Dolina – 26kms.
Dehradun Airport to Dolina – 52 kms.
Taxis must be arranged by yourself. Pick and drop facility only from the parking is arranged by The Dolina Retreat.