Tons River (Dehradun) trail – A hidden gem in the neighbourhood (Part3)

Assan Barrage (reservoir) with Tons River and the Shivaliks visible in the distance

Welcome to the last post of the Tons River series where we cover the remaining leg of the Tons River path from the point it leaves Dehradun City premises and until it merges with the mighty Yamuna near Vikasnagar town. I highly recommend reading the Part1 and Part2 of this series (in case you haven’t) in order to fully enjoy this post.

After a few days of relentless heat and spotless blue skies, the heavy downpour for the last 2 days unleased the magic that the Doon valley beholds. The landscape looks so surreal as I travel through the valley following the path of Tons. The verdant greenery on the shivaliks, rivers full of water, birds and humans in the best of their moods, monsoons does cast that magic spell on everyone and everything.  

We start our journey from where we left the last time. We bid adieu to Tons as it leaves the city premises at Premnagar / Sudhowala area. We now drive along the Chakrata road that will see us pass through Selaqui, Sahaspur and Herbertpur towns. The stretch between Premnagar and Selaqui towns is full of excellent educational institutions, many of which are located close to the Tons riverbed. We take a detour from the Chakrata road towards Dhulkot village that houses one of the prominent institutions in Dehradun area (Tula’s Institute).

View of the Tons River at Dhulkot. The shivalik peaks can be seen hidden amongst the clouds . Kingfisher bird trying its luck to get a good catch

We get back to the Chakrata road and continue our drive towards Selaqui (a prominent Industrial area in Dehradun district) and Sahaspur towns. The Tons River practically runs parallel to the Chakrata road so anywhere if one feels to get a glimpse of the river, one can take any of the available detours. About 3 kms beyond Sahaspur town we stop-by at the famous Gurudwara (Angitha Sahib). At this Gurudwara, the holy textbooks are accorded a ritualistic cremation. It is one of the few places in India, where the copies of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) are cremated. This elaborate ceremony happens a few times in a year. People come here from all over the country to carry out the last rites of the old religious books.

After paying our obeisance at the Gurudwara, we continue our drive until Herbertpur chowk which is about 6 kms from here. We continue our journey on the Herbertpur-Paonta Sahib Road. This leg of the drive is quite scenic with little to no urban infrastructure to bother you. We cross the East Yamuna Canal on our way to the Assan Barrage. This canal draws its waters from another barrage (dam) that is located about 10 kilometres north at Dakpathar. This canal water powers 3 hydropower projects (Dhakrani Power Plant, Dhalipur Power Plant and Kulhaal Power Plant) in the area.

We arrive at the Assan Barrage. Its a conservation area which is a hotspot for migratory birds who flock here especially in the winters. While the catchment area of the reservoir is about 4 sq kms, over 50 different bird species can be found here. Some of the famous ones include Rudy Shelduck, Common Coot, Bar-headed goose, and Pond Heron.

The Tons River arrive at the Assan barrage. About 100-200 metres ahead of the Assan Barrage, the Tons finally merges with the mighty Yamuna river that comes from Dakpatkar (outer periphery of Herbertpur). Yamuna forms the boundary between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Approximately 3 kms ahead of this point , the river enters Himachal Pradesh. The famous Gurudwara Paonta Sahib is located at the shore of the Yamuna River and the river here is completely within the boundaries of Himachal Pradesh.

Summarizing the route for this part of the Tons River series

1City Centre (Ghanta Ghar)Dhulkot (Tula’s Institute)17 kms (Drive) Approx. 30 minutesTake the Chakrata road and then a small detour on the Dhulkot road
2DhulkotGurudwara Angitha Sahib14 kms (Drive) Approx. 25 minutesTake the Chakrata road. The gurudwara is on the road-head at Khushalpur village
3Gurudwara Angitha SahibHerbertpur chowk6 kms (Drive) – 10 minutesThe Chowk falls on the chakrata road itself
4Herbertpur ChowkAssan Barrage6 kms (Drive) – 12 minutes* A scenic drive. You cross the East Yamuna canal , a glimpse of Yamuna river in the distant.
* A heaven for birders
5Assan BarrageKulhaal Matak Majri village3 kms (Drive) – and about 500 metres walk* Park your vehicle at this village
* The path to the point where the Yamuna and Tons meet need to be covered on foot. It is a muddy path through the village.
The happy faces of Jamshed (L) and Irfaan (R) – residents of Kulhaal Matak Majri Village . Mighty Yamuna visible behind. The trees seen in the picture falls in Himachal Pradesh.

Tons river traverses a journey of approx. 50-55 kilometres from its source at the base of Mussoorie hills until it merges with the Yamuna. With the on-going monsoons, the river is full of water and the views are breath-taking.  I am confident that any time is a great time to visit this place or to undertake this entire trail.

I hope you enjoyed the series.



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your three part post on the Tons River and its journey from its source to its ultimate debouch into the Asan barrage . Does the river not flow by Kandli village near Garhi Cantt.? Did you come across any mention of Guru Ram Rai meditating in Kandli on his arrival in the Doon Valley in 1676 ! He is stated to have spent sometime at Kandli for it !

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, this river does flow by Kandli village. Regarding Guru Ram Rai’s stay there , I will surely find out more and perhaps write a post on it. thanks for the feedback.


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