Phandowala Forest Rest House


Phandowala Forest Rest House, built in 1886, is located in the Ramgarh range of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. In the past, it was used as a training area for the State Forest Service officers and students. The FRH has a huge campus overlooking the Suswa river. A typical British bunglow, it has two bedrooms with fire place, a drawing and dining room, and a separate kitchen. The campus is full of birds and their melodious songs throughout the day. At night the night jar and call of the kakar keeps you alert. Numerous butterflies flutter in the campus, adding colour and beauty. Herds of deer often rest around the FRH. Elephants are frequent visitors. Drive to the nearby Ramgarh Range Office in Turner Road is scenic. A machan overlooking a waterhole in the campus adds to the experience. Food is available on request. Running water is available and solar lights are used at night. Mobile phone connectivity exists. The FRH has been recently renovated but it maintains its heritage elements and charm.

Tourist attraction near FRH

The 2km long Suswa river trail goes down to the river from the FRH. The boulder laden landscape with the Shiwaliks as a backdrop is a wonderful view. During the rains, it guzzles like a mountain stream and dries to a trickle in summers. In winters it attracts migratory birds like black stork, little cormorants, fantail snipe, wagtail and sandpipers etc. The trail leads to the canal head built during British times, which carries water to the nearby villages for irrigation. One can walk along the canal till Cherring cross. It will takes approx 2hrs to enjoy the landscape and get back to the FRH.

The Sal forest trail is a 4km trail from the FRH which goes into the forest, crosses a bridge built in 1888 and takes you through the mixed forests of haldu, rohini, sain, sandan, etc to the Phandowala rau. Observing pugmarks of elephant herds on the sand along the rau (perennial stream) is exciting. The walk back to the FRH through the sal forests on Turner road, birds watching and listening to the sounds of the forest, is mesmerising. The trail about 3 blissful hours to complete.

Location : 15 kms from Dehradun
Forest Division: Rajaji Tiger Reserve
Year of Construction: 1886
Year of Renovation: 2015


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Maheshkhan Forest Rest House


Maheshkan FRH is located on the road to Ramgarh-Mukteshwar built in 1911 at an elevation of 2063m. It is 4 km off the road connected by a non metalled but motorable road. As you climb uphill, the shyamkhet tea garden greets you. From the FRH, trek to Mukteshwar is 20 km. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in 1914 accompanied by family and friend composed songs for his collection Gitanjali. One haunting tune that he composed here was that of the song “it’s your company that he built a house for himself and called it ‘Himanti Parisar’ which was later called Tagore Tap. Indian poetess Mahadevi Verma too has her house which has been converted into a museum.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Natural Forest beauty (Oak & Deodar forest), trekking & camping, Nature walks, Tagore Top, ramgarh, Mukteshwar, Ghodakhal Temple, Tea Garden, Shyamkhet. View of the villages on both side of FRH, Gangikharak RH (15kms), Bird watching, wildlife sighting (leopard, Barking deer, ghoral, pheasants etc.)

Location : Nainital-Bhowali-Shyamkhet road (22kms from Nainital)

Forest Division: Nainital
Elevation : 2063m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1911
Year of Renovation : 2008



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Kunjakharak Forest Rest House


Kunjakharak FRH is at an elevation of 2323 mts. ‘kharak’ in the local dialect means a place where cattle can rest. Built in 1935. It is the last FRH on this ridge line. The watch tower close to the FRH gives a view of the northern peaks of Binsar, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar, Trishul, Nandadevi, Panchachuli while on the south side, the plains of Bhabar and Terai can be seen near the FRH a patch of takil palm or Kumaoni palm can be seen, which is on the verge of extinction.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Natural Forest beauty (Oak forest), trekking & camping, Nature walks, view of the villages on both side of FRH, Gangikharak RH (15kms), Birdwatching, wildlife sighting (leopard, Barking deer, ghoral, pheasants etc.)

Location : Nainital-Kilbury-Vinayak-kunjakharak road (36kms from Nainital)

Forest Division: Nainital
Elevation : 2323m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1935
Year of Renovation :2006


Vinayak Forest Rest House


Vinayak FRH was on the bridal route from Bageshwar-Almora to Kotabagh referred to as Ghorkha Garhi. Folklore goes that the Gorkhas were settled here by the British since they knew how to make charcoal from oak wood. The FRH along a beautiful hill slope at an elevation of 2216m and was built in 1925. Thuner trees are found here which is unusual in this type of forest. Medicinal plants abound in the area, hence a centre of excellence along with a nursery and a herbarium has been established.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Natural Forest beauty, Tall Deodar Trees around the FRH, snow ranges are visible from nearby range campus. trekking & camping, Nature walks, view of the villages on both side of FRH, Gangikharak RH (15kms), Birdwatching, Badanthali Temple, wildlife sighting (leopard, Barking deer, ghoral, pheasants etc.)

Location : Barpather-Tonkey-Kilbuary-Vinayak road, 25 kms from Nainital

Forest Division: Nainital
Elevation : 2216m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1925
Year of Renovation :2006


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Kilbury Forest Rest House


Kilbury FRH, built in 1920 at an elevation of 2215m, it gives an overview of the Naini lake down below. The FRH, has a wide variety of moss and ferns and unique orchids in the forests. The walk from Pangot to kilbury FRH is very popular as it traverses through thick oak, pine, bamboo, cedar and rhododendron forests. A day visit to naina peak at 2620m can be adventurous as you may come across barking deer, kakar, sambar, langurs and sometimes a leopard.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Himalayan view from FRH, trekking to Naina peak, Pangot, Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Reserve for birdwatching, wildlife sighting (leopard, Barking deer, ghoral, pheasants etc.)

Location : Nainital-Barpather-Tonkey-Kilbuary road (13 kms from Nainital)

Forest Division: Nainital
Elevation : 2215m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1920
Year of Renovation :2009

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Chorgallia Forest Rest House


Chorgallia at an elevation of 341m is 25km from Haldwani. The FRH here, built in 1876, was very popular among shikar enthusiasts. The four horned antelope was sighted here in 1960 is no longer found in Uttarakhand. It is the oldest FRH in Haldwani Division

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Machan at Lakhamandi (3kms), Machaliban picnic spot, Rich wildlife habitat (Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Spotted deer, barking deer, Shambhar, Monkey and so many birds). Angling, Trekking and birding along Nandhour River.

Location : 25kms from Haldwani.
Forest Division: Haldwani
Elevation : 341m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1876
Year of Renovation :2009


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Ransali Forest Rest House


Ransali FRH was built in 1913 and is at an elevation of 235m. It is 35km from Haldwani on the Haldwani-Sitarganj road and a further 8km from Khirapani. Nanak Sagar dam 12km and Gurudwara Nanak Matta Sahib are also good visits. The unique and colorful lifestyle of Rai Sikhs is something of interest for anthropologists.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Surrounded by farm land which gives an ambiance of luxurious farm house. Short nature walks, Nanak Sagar Dam (12kms), Gurudwara Nanak Matta Gurudwara, Nandhaur Sanctuary (6kms), Boating in Dam area.

Location : 35kms from Haldwani on Haldwani-Sitarganj road, 8kms from Kairapani

Forest Division: Haldwani
Elevation : 235m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1913
Year of Renovation :2007


Chunakhan Forest Rest House


This beautiful FRH of Chunakhan named after the lime (chuna) melting activities carried out in the area. Amidst a sprawling campus surrounded by sal and teak forests, was built in 1913. It is 20 km from Ramnagar. The FRH shares its campus with the Centre for eco-tourism for sustainable livelihood (CESL) established in 2003, which is a nodal institution for promotion of ecotourism. The centre promotes awareness, training and research on ecotourism to assists the indigenous communities and addresses their livelihood issues. It has conference facilities and ample accommodation. Community based study tours are also organized from here.

Short treks to the Barati Rao waterfall which is a series of three waterfalls, the Laduwagar waterfall and the Corbett falls are worth walking to.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Short walks/trails to Barati Rao, Laduagarh water fall, Corbett Fall (6kms), Corbett Museum (8kms) Sitabani Temple (24kms) Wildlife (Tiger, leopard, Elephant, Deer, Hogdeer etc.) near FRH.

Location : Ramnagar-Haldwani Highway (20kms from Ramnagar)

Forest Division: Tarai West Ramnagar
Elevation : 298m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1913


Pawalgarh Forest Rest House


The sprawling FRH of Powalgarh is 6 km from Bailparao built in 1912. In December 2012, an area of 505 sq km was notified as Powalgarh Conservation reserve due to its importance for wildlife conservation. The forests of Sitabani are contiguous from Powalgarh Drives to Bhandarpani and Sitabani are good. The ‘Bachelor of Powalgarh’ was shot in this area by Jim Corbert. Kotabagh village just above Powalgarh on a flat land is a good visit. Thakur Dutt Joshi a retired Forest ranger, who has shot several man-eaters lives here. walk to Sandani chaur and Hathigaliyar are worth exploring through diverse forests full of birds.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Sandani Gaja large grassland (5kms from FRH), Dabka & Baur rivers, wild life sighting, birdwatching (over 350 spices), short trails to Dabka valley and Sandani Gaja, haripura Reservoirs, Chhoti Haldwani.

Location : 20 kms from Ramnagar.

Forest Division: Ramnagar
Elevation : 403m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1912


Sitabani Forest Rest House


The historical FRH of Sitabani was built in 1940 and is located 27 km from Ramnagar on the Powalgarh road at an elevation of 515m perched on a hilltop. One can also take the forest road from Bhandarpani to Sitabani. There is a watch tower in the FRH compound, ideal for bird watchers. The ancient Sitabani Temple, a national monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, is close to the FRH which also has a sulphur spring. There are several caves in the forest around the FRH. Since there was no water at the FRH, a hydraulic system of pumping water up stream called the hydrum was installed by Mr. BP Srivastav; Conservator of Forest, Western Circle which was working till a few years back.

Tourist attraction near FRH :

Sitabani Temple, short nature walks, wildlife sighting & bird watching.

Location : 20 kms from Ramnagar.

Forest Division: Ramnagar
Elevation : 515m AMSL
Year of Construction: 1940