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Old 9th September 2012, 20:16   #1
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Default A day's trip out of Delhi to Renuka Lake

Frustrated with having to shelve plans to visit Narkanda/Kalpa thanks to a work assignment bang in the middle of a long weekend, I drove to the nearest hill station from Delhi on an overcast but pleasant August morning and returned late at night. Here's a brief account of the trip.

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I had been to Nahan / Renuka a couple of times earlier but this little emerald lake never fails to enchant me every visit. The free flowing NH1, winding hill roads in Himachal and brilliant views from Nahan are added attraction for a driving holiday.

Renuka is a small lake by the Giri river in Sirmour district, HP. The lake is about 315 km from Delhi. The route I followed was Delhi to Shahbad on NH1 via Panipat, Karnal and Pipli and then on to state highway cutting through the wheat fields of Saha joining NH72 near Shahzadpur. NH72 took me to Nahan via Narayangarh crossing in to Himachal Pradesh at Kala Amb. Climbed further up to Jamta and wound my way down to Giri river through district roads. Crossing the river at Dadahu turned right to Renuka lake a couple of km down the road.

It was on Friday the 10th of August that I left Delhi at 07.30 in the morning along with three family members. A little late for leaving Delhi and inspite of being a holiday, the roads were a bit busy. Zhilmil Dhaba, 140 km out of Delhi is the regular breakfast halt when traveling north and is usually reached in about two hours. But the late departure and radar traps around Panipat restricting speeds to 90 kmph on NH1, meant that I reached Zhilmil only by 10.00 am.

NH1 is excellent till Pipli, beyond which diversions for fly over construction appear every few kms. Must add that the diversions themselves are two lane single carriage and can afford good speeds except when blocked by criss-crossing local traffic.

After crossing Shahbad, turned right onto State Highway 6 to Saha. This single carriage road is in very good condition and inspite of fair amount of truck traffic, one could clock good speeds and meet NH72 from Ambala near Shazadpur in quick time.
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The traffic volume on NH72 is much higher and crossing Narayangarh and Kala Amb could take a while. The climb to Nahan from Kala Amb is on fairly well surfaced winding road and we crossed Nahan town around 1 pm. MapmyIndia guided me wrongly through some busy lanes of Nahan and I had to retrace my path a couple of times. Its best to ask for some guidance unless one is familiar with the town.

Once out of Nahan as you climb towards Jamta heights, the plains of Haryana present a dramatic view.
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Crossing Jamta, I turned away from the state highway to Shimla and headed down the district road leading to Sangrah. The road has suffered some land slides in rains and is patchy in some sections. The surrounding Shivalik range is verdant green after the rains with water falls offering some photo op.
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After crossing the gurgling Giri river, now muddy with monsoon waters, at Dadahu, I reached Renuka by 2.30 pm - seven hours drive from Delhi. We hit the good looking HPTDC property Hotel Renuka for Lunch straight away. The vegetarian dishes were surprisingly tasty and served within a reasonably short time.
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Renuka lake presented a feast for the eyes reflecting verdant green forest all around in her placid waters. After a half hour lunch break, we hired a four seater paddle boat and spent over an hour in tranquility of this lovely lake.
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The thick forests form an incredible setting and the midday sun had little effect on the cool waters. The lake has a healthy marine life too and we could spot a variety of fish. There are a number of freshwater turtles in the lake and we were rewarded for sitting still in the boat by close views of a friendly turtle that approached us to investigate. Turtles have long life spans and these must be familiar with the boats in this lake.
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If you plan to spend a night at Renuka or Dadahu (the former is preferable), you could be rewarded with late evening and early morning views of the lake. There are plenty of other things to do here too : A 3.5 km walk around the lake, a visit to the zoo at the far end of the lake (which boasts of lions) and darshan at the temples of Renukaji among them.

We started our return journey by 5 pm, reaching back in Delhi by 11.30 pm with a supper break at Karnal Haveli . Over 600 km of drive in the day, but not tiring at all thanks to good roads and great views.

Last edited by rajcs : 9th September 2012 at 22:28.
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Old 10th September 2012, 17:01   #2
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Default Re: A day's trip out of Delhi to Renuka Lake

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th September 2012, 23:44   #3
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Default Re: A day's trip out of Delhi to Renuka Lake

Nice brief triplog @rajcs.

And rainy season is the time to visit the place as this waterfall comes alive only in this season.

Coming from Delhi, you could also reach Nahan via Pipli, Yamunanagar, Paonta Sahib. That would've been shorter, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 10th September 2012, 23:52   #4
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Default Re: A day's trip out of Delhi to Renuka Lake

Nice Travleogue rajacs !

This brings back a host of memories of the Renuka Lake. Had gone there way back in 1991 & then again in 1999. The tranquillity of the place and the serene waters were out of this world. The fact that only a handful of people know of this destination in NCR and nearby areas is surprising in itself. Maybe most of us like to opt for the more touristy Shimla for the weekend, whereas Nahan-Jamta-Renuka circuit has its own old-world charm. It's on the back of beyond, (as yet) unspoilt and totally serene. I remember there used to be a Lion Safari run by the forest department back then, is it still there? And there was a small temple dedicated to Renuka Mata (the mother of Parshuram). I was especially intrigued by the scores of fish who would swarm to the ghat for the dough-balls we fed them. Since one is not allowed to kill any fish in the lake, they were quite fearless and friendly, even letting us stroke their smooth scales. In fact it used to be a mini maelstrom in the water when they gathered at the ghat jostling amongst each other for the dough-balls and the odd titbits we threw at them.

Here's the Link :-


What I wanted to ask was how's the route from Nahan? I remember, way back in 99 it used to be a passably paved dual-carriage mountain road with the odd bad patch. What's the condition of the road nowadays after sustained rains have lashed it?

Here's the map :


Once again , nice travelogue ! Bravo !

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 10th September 2012 at 23:55. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 11th September 2012, 20:35   #5
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Default Re: A day's trip out of Delhi to Renuka Lake

Originally Posted by A M View Post
Coming from Delhi, you could also reach Nahan via Pipli, Yamunanagar, Paonta Sahib. That would've been shorter, if I'm not mistaken.
Thanks for the tip. I could've used this route on return leg. I've been up to Paonta Sahib in May this year on my way to Chakrata. I found the traffic around Yamuna Nagar a bit foreboding.

Last edited by rajcs : 11th September 2012 at 20:37.
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