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Rajpur-Jharipani Hiking Trail/Kipling Trail

Intermediate
 5.0 (2)

A nice day hike from Dehradun.


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.7

KM

67%

Runnable

5,079' 1,548 m

High

3,348' 1,021 m

Low

1,931' 588 m

Up

200' 61 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Geological Significance · Historical Significance · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

The trail is currently freely accessible.
There are no parking fees at the start point, but please park sensibly, as it is a public and residential area.
There are several tea shops and dhabas at the start point. More substantial cafes may be found at Dakpatti, down the hill from Rajpur village, 1-2km distant.
There are no public restrooms in the vicinity.
Please follow Leave No Trace principles.
There is a fair amount of litter along the trail left by irresponsible trail-users/picnickers. Please do not add to this. While there are no litter bins along the trail, there is a garbage skip at the start of the trail. Carry your litter back with you and dispose of it responsibly.
The steeper, cemented sections of the trail can get slippery during the monsoon season (July-October). Good boots and trekking poles are highly recommended.

Runner Notes

Concrete sections can be slippery during the peak monsoon, particularly on the steeper descents.

Description

This is a historic trail that was the original walking path from Dehradun to Mussoorie before the existence of the motor road. The Trail is often referred to as the 'Kipling Trail' because the author is said to have walked on this trail in the 1880s.
The trail begins from outside Shahenshahi Ashram/ Christian Retreat Centre in Rajpur village and begins with a moderately steep climb for about 1.8km, and then becomes undulating with a few steep sections.
The initial part of the trail climbs through scrubby vegetation with few tall trees, but soon climbs into open hill forests. The trail surface is concrete for most of the way, but this has degraded and broken up along some sections. There are few gravel sections.
There are beautiful views over the Doon Valley along most of the trail. Look out for a view of the cascades on the Rispana river below the trail, from along the steep initial section. Best seen from November through the winter, when the water is clear and blue. The trail traverses the Main Boundary Thrust fault-line, which demarcates the outer edge of the geological divide between the Indian subcontinental and Asian tectonic plates.
The trail ends at the bend of the Mussoorie-Barlowganj-Dehradun road near the main gate to Oak Grove School. From here, you can continue on towards Jharipani, where there are some restaurants and cafes outside the St. George's College gate. Alternatively, you can either return to Rajpur back along the trail, or catch a bus to Dehradun from the end of the trail. Buses along this road are regular, but infrequent.

Flora & Fauna

The trail has Lantana scrub with Himalayan Mimosa, Woodfordia, Colebrookea and Euphorbia shrubs in the initial part. The middle section has mostly Hill Toon, Sapium insigne and Boehmeria trees and shrubs. The upper part of the trail has Banj Oak. Plenty of wildflowers during the monsoon months- wild Dahlia, Begonia, Balsam, Geranium and others.
The area is extremely rich in bird and butterfly diversity and several Himalayan endemic species may be spotted here. The winter is especially good for birds, and the spring and post-monsoon are good for butterflies.
Carrying binoculars, and field guides to the birds, butterflies and plants of the region is recommended.
There is leopard activity along the trail, but there are no recorded direct encounters. One is likely to see/hear Muntjak and perhaps spot Gorals or Yellow-throated Martens. There are Himalayan Langurs in the area.
Beware of the Rhesus Macaques at the starting point of the trail: they can be aggressive and will steal food.

Shared By:

Suniti Bhushan Datta

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  5.0 from 2 votes

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in Dehradun

#1308

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  5.0 from 2 votes
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Photos

Gravel-surfaced top of the initial steep section of the Rajpur-Jharipani Hiking Trail. The Rispana river catchment and eastern Doon Valley visible beyond.
Aug 7, 2021 near Mussoorie, IN
Looking down on the Rispana gorge from the Rajpur-Jharipani/KIpling Trail.
Nov 27, 2021 near Mussoorie, IN
The flat section of the trail, just before the switchback where it climbs and crosses onto the western aspect of the ridge.
Nov 27, 2021 near Mussoorie, IN

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