Himalayan Excursion : Kausani Tour

Originally known as Valna, Kausani is a famous hill resort in Uttarakhand providing an excellent view of the 350km stretch of the Himalayas on a clear sky. The peaks like Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Panchchuli are visible from Kausani. Rightly called the ‘Switzerland of India’ by Mahatma Gandhi who visited this place, Kausani has all the charm to dazzle its visitors. It is also the birthplace of the famous poet Sumitra Nandan Pant.

The unfathomable beauty of Nanda Devi and Trisul overshadows the lesser known mountains in this region. The beauty of Kausani is indeed imaginative and penetrating. You can get a panoramic view of Nanda Devi the second highest peak of India at 7817m. Symbolic of Shiva’s three-pronged instrument and his wife’s veil are Mt. Trishul and Nanda Ghunti. Other snowcapped peaks that you can view from Kausani are Nanda Kot, Panchchuli, Mrigathuni, Nilkanth and Nanda Kot peaks.

Location of Kausani
Kausani is located 53km north of Almora in Bageshwar district of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand (Around 410 kms from Delhi). This hill resort stands at a height of 1890 mts amidst thick pine trees overlooking Someshwar valley on one side and Garur and Baijnath Katyuri valley on the other side of Almora-Bageshwar-Didihat Highway.

What to see in Kausani?
Anasakti Ashram / Gandhi Ashram
Anasakti Ashram was built to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who visited this place in 1929 and described it as the ‘Switzerland of India’. It is here that he wrote his treatise Anasakti (‘detachment’) Yoga. The ashram is well stocked with books, photographs of Gandhi’s life and a small bookshop. It has a small prayer room prayers are held every morning and evening.

“In these hills, nature’s hospitality eclipses all man can ever do. I wonder whether the scenery of these hills andthe climate are to be surpassed, if equalled, by any of the beauty spots of the world. After having been nearly three weeks in Almora hills, I am more than amazed why our people go to Europe in search of health”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Lakshmi Ashram / Sarla Ashram
Catherine Hillman, a disciple of Gandhi who came to be known as Sarlaben founded this ashram in 1964 which overlooks the beautiful Kosi Valley. Several skills like growing vegetables, cooking, caring for the animals and cleaning are taught to over 70 orphaned poor girls and woman who live in the ashram. Lakshmi ashram is located in a quiet place up the hills which lends a serene atmosphere to the ashram.

Sumitranandan Pant Gallery
Another important attraction in Kausani is Sumitranandan Pant Gallery built in memory of the famous Hindi poet Sumitranandan Pant. The gallery houses hundred of English and Hindi books in glass cabinets. A poetry symposium is organized here every year to mark the poet’s birth

Kausani Tea Estate
Kausani is also famous for its several tea gardens and pear orchards. Girias Uttaranchal tea is produced in 208 hectares of tea planta­tions near Kausani. You can have somebody guide you through the factory showing you how tea is manufactured in the estate. This high-flavored tea is exported to Australia, Germany, Korea and the US.

What to do in Kausani
Kausani is a quiet little place where you take long walks and enjoy its tranquility. You can smell the scent of pines or the flavor of teas. There are several vantage points from where you can get a good view of the snow-capped mountain peaks. On your walk you can also catch butterflies or smell the scent of dahlias, hollyhocks, morning glory.

Trekking down the roads of Kausani is another interesting activity that you can do in Kausani. Some fascinating treks are Adi Kailash trek and the Bageshwar Sunderdhanga trek that lead you to the Himalayas. Excursions from Kausani

Bageshwar: Bageshwar is 38kms from Kausani and is the new district headquarters and center of administration of Danapur. It is located at the confluence of Saryu and Gomti rivers. The popular Uttarini fair is held every year in January in Bageshwar. Bageshwar derives its name from Bagnath, a famous temple in this region. Every year, Bagnath attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over as it is believed that Lord Shiva wandered here as a tiger. Bageshwar is also used as the base camp by trekkers for Pindari. The popular treks are Pindari-Kafni Trek and Sundar-Dhunga Trek. You can also take a day off from Bageshwar and travel to Chaukori, Gangoli Haat, Patal Bhuvneshwar and Shikhar.

Baijnath: Baijnath is 16km from Kausani, a famous temple town on the banks of the Gomti in the Garuda Valley. In this temple complex the main attraction is the black stone idol of Parvati at the main entrance. Though fishing is strictly prohibited within the campus, you can feed them with a large packet of channa. A Kali temple is located 8km from Baijnath known as Kot-ki-mai.

Neeleshwar and Bheeleshwar: These two hills are within a short distance from the center of Bageshwar. You can drive upto Bheeleshwar in a car and then climb up a flight of stairs for half an hour till you reach Neeleshwar. Chandika temple and Shiva temple stand on top of Neeleshwar.

Someshwar: 11 km from Kausani on the Kausani-Amora road is Someshwar town. The Shiva temple in this area is the 12th Jyortirlinga. Rudhradhari Falls and cave is another important attraction on the Kausani-Almora Road.

Accomodation selection in Kausani
Kausani offers a wide range of options when it comes to choosing your accommodation. It is a traveller’s delight as you can choose between a modest stay in Anasakti Ashram to a luxurious one in Suman Royal Resort where tariffs range between Rs 1,250 to 1,850. Other exotic places to stay in Kausani are Krishna Mount View, Himalaya Mount View Resort and Stay Well Resort. You can also choose between motels, Forest Rest House and PWD Bungalow. KMVN’s Trishul Tourist Rest House offers the best views from its rooms.

Best season to visit Kausani
The best time to visit Kausani is during summer in the months of April-June when temperatures range between 11°C and 26°C. If you want to see snowfall then you can be there during the winters in December and January but it is best to avoid as winters are very severe. Avoid Kausani during the monsoons.

How to reach Kausani
Kausani is 53 km north of Almora in Uttarakhand and 410 kms from Delhi.
By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar (Nainital), which is 180km from Kausani. You can take a car or a taxi to reach Kausani from Pantnagar.

By Rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railhead to Kausani at a distance of 142 km.

By Road: Kausani is well connected by bus with other hill resorts like Ranikhet, Gwaldam, Almora, Pithoragarh and Nainital. Buses also operate from Delhi.