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