Latest posts by Meenakshi (see all)
The gateway to Tons Valley, the quaint and quiet hill station of Mori, noted for its scenic beauty (and its association with Mahabharata folklore), lies on the banks of the River Tons, the biggest tributary of the River Yamuna, and is surrounded by verdant fields of rice and forested hills of pine and deodar (the tallest pine woods in Asia are right here).
Straddling the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, Mori, and the hamlets around, make for a pleasant cultural retreat and a perfect get-away-from-it-all holiday. Enjoy the serenity, and some fantastic views of the sylvan surrounds.
Of late, Mori has become a very popular destination for those seeking the unique thrills of whitewater rafting. Mori is also ideal for trekking, camping and birding, besides boasting plenty of floras to make nature walks enjoyable.
Nestled amid the Himalayas, Mori lies in the Tons Valley, to the northwest of Garhwal, in Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 3770ft (1150m). The River Tons has its source towards the peak of Bandarpoonch (20,720ft, 6315m).
While both the Pandavas and Kauravas held sway here, Mori’s residents, uniquely, are adherents of the Kauravas, the famous anti-heroes of the Mahabharata (who follow polygamy). Some also claim to be descendants of the Pandavas. Legend has it that Tons (called the Tamas in ancient times) was formed by the tears of the local folk weeping over the Kauravas’ defeat to the Pandavas in the great epic.
One of the headwaters of the River Yamuna, the River Tons forms the border between Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Tons flows through evergreen forest in a series of Grade-IV and Grade-V rapids till its confluence with the Yamuna in the foothills of Garhwal, near Kalsi. This self-contained six- to seven-day expedition from the put-in point at Mori to the take-out point at Kalsi covers a distance of 180km. There are a few rafting camps set up near Mori, by the river, during May and June, for day trips.
Difficulty: Day trip from Mori, Grade-III to Grade-IV; multi-day trip below Mori, Grade-IV to Grade-V.
Best season: May through June and September/October.
The rolling landscape in and around Mori boasts some fine trails. The beautiful Kedarkantha and Har Ki Dun treks are a delight for both the hiker and the nature lover. The River Tons separates the Har Ki Dun Valley from Himachal Pradesh; this wooded (and picturesque) valley, with the peaks of Swargarohini, Kalanag and Bandarpoonch forming a backdrop, is one of the least-explored parts of Garhwal. The Har Ki Dun trail starts from Sankri.
Best months: April to June, mid-August to November.