We were in Delhi. Me for some work and with me tagged along, my wife for a change. She always cribs whenever I go out for a solo trip. And I keep telling her. “Come on a solo trip is a solo trip. Not meant to have a partner”. But this time it was different.
Also different was the weather. Hot and humid. Delhi of the yesteryear used to be really hot in summers, but never humid. And then I reminded myself. “Times are changing young man, but you better not change. Change the weather instead. Push off to the mountains”. The thought ignited my mind. The mind put it into action. And we were off.
Every time I plan a holiday, it’s well in advance. The air tickets, hotel bookings, activities bookings and if on a tour abroad, in addition the visa, travel insurance, foreign exchange and so on and so forth. But these sudden short holidays have a charm of their own. The charm of the unknown. And to discover, we were on our way. The destination, Kausani.
Kausani is a hill station and village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is famous for its scenic beauty and its spectacular 300 kilometer wide panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi had called this place the ‘Switzerland of India’ due to great similarity in landscapes.
Being a very small place with no more than 750 families, it was the perfect destination that I was searching for. A hill town where we could just relax couple of days without the hurry to do a lot of activities. “I am taking you to a cool place where we will just take it cool”, I told my best half. And she loved the idea.
We decided to go by car because getting a train reservation to Kathgodam, the nearest railway station was not possible at such a short notice. The journey was long, a bit tiring but a holiday is a holiday. And so nothing else mattered. By the time we reached it was early evening, with sun and clouds playing their hide and seek and a new hill town waiting to welcome us.
When we reached our hotel it had become a little cloudy and the weather, nice and cold. Saw a glimmer of happiness on my lady’s face and I felt happy.
The hotel we had booked was ‘Heritage Resort’ which was small but nice and offered some great views of the mountains. And as always, I used Booking.com to get a great price. The evening was spent relaxing and after dinner we went out for a small stroll around, which was so cool and lovely.
The complementary breakfast next morning was nothing extravagant but had all the ingredients for us to fill ourselves up till a planned late lunch. We then set off to explore.
Our first destination was Baijnath. Located at a distance of sixteen kilometers from Kausani in the Katyuri Valley, Baijnath, an ancient town is historically and religiously significant. Once known as Kartikyapura, Baijnath was the capital of the Katyuri dynasty of kings who ruled Uttaranchal during 12th and 13th centuries. Located at an elevation of 1,125 meter above sea level, the town is famous for its temples of Shiva, Ganesh and Parvati, along with those of Chandika, Kuber, Surya and Brahma. Temple of Maheshsur Mardini portrays the slaying of the bull-headed demon by the Goddess Kali. At a distance of three kilometer from the town, the Kote-ke-mai temple is located. This temple is famous for the sculpted statue of Vishnu, who is the presiding deity of the temple.
Constructed in the 12th century, the Baijnath Temple holds great significance. This is because, according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva and Parvati were married at the confluence of River Gomati and Garur Ganga. And located on the banks of the Gomti River in the Garur Valley, is Baijnath Temple.
It was wonderful witnessing history and the feel of the surroundings made us feel so proud of the rich heritage of our country. We were now feeling a little hungry. I don’t know why, but every time I am on a holiday anything that I see I feel like eating. We saw a small eating joint with few customers who seemed happy eating. So we decided to also join the band. A very nice and simple menu with the dry vegetable and dal (lentil) fry later, we were ready for more.
Anashakti Ashram is a quiet and revered place where Mahatma Gandhi spent some days in 1929 and wrote his commentary of Anashkti Yog, called ‘Geeta-Anashakti-Yog’. It has a prayer room, a small museum and is located in an extremely picturesque setting. Popularly known as Gandhi Ashram, it has now been converted into a study-cum-research center.
A part of the museum also houses an accommodation facility with 24 rooms. While staying in the ashram, tourists are also offered the facility of an attached library and kitchen. Due to it’s historical connections with Mahatma Gandhi and a study of Anashkti Yog, it has become a popular attraction of the destination.
Lakshmi Ashram is one kilometer away from the Kausani, and is a center run by Kumauni women and dedicated to social service and the uplifting of women. Mahatma Gandhi’s disciple, Sarla Behn (Kaitherine Heileman) established the ashram in 1946 and spent her life here doing social service and also established Anashakti Ashram. Lakshmi Ashram is located in a solitary area among dense pine forest.
Sumitranandan Pant Gallery is dedicated to the Hindi poet by this name and whose birth place is Kausani. The museum showcases his manuscripts of the poems and draft copies of his literary works. Collections of the museum also include articles used day-to-day by him, the awards received by him, and also the letters written and received by him.
With its collection of over hundreds of English and Hindi books, displayed in glass shelves, the museum has become an interesting place for literature lovers. Every year, to mark the birth anniversary of the famous poet, a poetry conference is organised in this museum. This poetry symposium marks the poet’s birth anniversary.
As we were moving back, felt a sense of happiness. Nature, history, art, heritage, religion, simple food, simple people, smiling faces, unspoiled children and so much more just in a few hours. What could be better in life. The reason perhaps why my heart keeps telling me. Go man go. There is so much more to explore.
This hotel we were staying in was very cozy. Room service was great and the food just awesome. And what came along with the package was some absolutely free entertainment, as we watched down from our room window next morning. A big group together and their event. Selfies, selfies and groupies. The last minute comb up, the natural smiles, the put on one’s like mine, the small round mirrors out of the purses, the lipsticks getting to see a little feel of outdoor Kausani, it was real fun. For them and for us. Suddenly the door bell rang and put an end to our session. Breakfast had arrived. My plate of eggs sunny side up were exactly the way I had wanted. The coffee looked strong and good too. Oh I’ll surely come back to this place, I told my pretty one. She looked at me wondering, why the sudden announcement.
Come let’s move. Time is at a premium. First the Kausani Tea Gardens, a premium must visit location for its beautiful surroundings, the flowers and the green.
We moved then to Kausani Shawl Factory where you can pick from a fabulous collection of high quality woolen shawls, exquisitely designed by the local weavers.
Now we head to the most exciting location in Kausani. People say your Kausani trip is not complete without visiting Rudradhari Caves falls. It’s nature at it’s best at a distance of just twelve kilometers from Kausani. It is a location with lush green paddy fields where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of rivers which makes it immensely beautiful. There is a small “Someshwar” temple situated near the falls.
According to the legend, this place holds connection with Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The name Rudradhari has been derived from the Hindu gods Rudra Lord Shiva and Hari Vishnu. Rudradhari falls and caves are natural and truly majestic. The breathtaking and magnificent waterfalls can be viewed while trekking through forests, rocks and mountains for about two kilometers after leaving your vehicle. Hence it has become famous for its natural wonders and treks that attract large number of tourists across the globe. On treks of higher altitudes you could even spot animals like snow leopard, mush deer and blue sheep.
Ready to come along. Let’s go and experience this paradise with our little guide, Pritam.
We had reached. I was panting and desperately trying to get some juice out from my last chewing gum. An inner voice said. ” Times have changed old man. And you better change. Have you looked at your paunch. It looks awful. And you can’t even hide it anymore. Do something. Else your dreams of seeing more of this world, will remain in your dreams”. And the rest is history 😀
But let’s forget the history for now and focus on the present. And soak in the atmosphere. But be careful of the monkeys. They may come down anytime 🤔
As we walked back, the tiredness was nowhere in sight. Instead there was a feeling of freshness. Nature had refreshed us with it’s magic.
Kausani, a Nature’s Paradise.
Come to Kausani. Experience calm, experience peace. Experience India Beautiful 🇮🇳