7 Things To Do In Kausani In Uttarakhand India
So what is common between Anil Kapur? Mahatma Gandhi & Poet Sumitra Nandan Pant? Well, they all have a connection to Kausani a small sleepy hill town in Uttarakhand. Though I am not sure if Kausani is a small town or a large village, with a population of less than 3 thousand, Kausani has fewer people than the housing society I live in. And that is where lies the time-warped charm of Kausani that offers you unobstructed views of snow-clad peaks, leisurely treks in the forest that are fragrant with mountain air and a charming town that ends as soon as it begins leaving you longing for more.
I have been to Kausani earlier but mostly focused on trekking and clicking photographs of the natural beauty of this charming hill station. This time thanks to the Uttarakhand Tourism who have invited me to be part of Bloggers Bus, I got to explore other aspects of Kausani that I was totally unaware till now. Not only I visited Kausani once again but we also visited some nearby places that you can visit while keeping Kausani as your base.
What is special about Kausani?
On the face of it Kausani may appear like a typical small hill station in Uttarakhand but if you decide to go only one more layer deep you will realize this small town has had its fair share of tryst with the history of India with none other than Mahatma Gandhi, visiting Kausani and charmed by the beauty of Kausani the Mahatma called Kausani the Switzerland of India. Besides the freedom history, Kausani is also the birthplace of one of the most prominent Hindi Poets Sumitra Nandan Pant whose poetry still inspires and then let us not forget Bollywood with the movie “1942 A Love Story” having Kausani at its core. All this over and above the natural beauty that surrounds Kausani, from whispering palms in the dense forest around Kausani where you can go for leisurely walks and you will be caressed by fragrant mountain air, as you both wild, as well as introduced flowers, greet you with big smiles.
So let me take you through the 7 top things to do in Kausani on your holiday
1 > Go For A Hike In Woods
Well connecting with nature has to be your number one thing to do in Kausani. For the town is really small and depending on where you are staying within a few minutes you can be on a trail into pristine forests. As you enter further the woods will become dense, the trails steep and the pine cones more prolific. And if you are in luck and traveling in the right season you may even find wild strawberries growing in the jungle. But let me inform you these wild strawberries are the size of a small pea and not big juicy ones you find in the cities. Follow the call of the Magpie and you will reach the bushes on which the Kafal grows. If you don’t know what is a Kafal then ask a friend who is from Kumaon and listen to the stories. Trust me you don’t want to ruin the experience by searching about Kafal on the net. Call a friend who is from Kumaon and ask him or her stories about Kafal ( Myrica esculenta ). Depending on the season if you are in early May types you will also be welcomed by Rhodendrons or Buransh trees with an abundance of red flowers. To understand the magic of Buransh check this earlier blog post>
2 > Watch the Snow Clad Peaks
Kausani is one of the best places in Kumaon to watch the always covered in snow peaks of Kumaon. If you are lucky like us and staying in a Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Rest House then just sitting in the verandah of your room you can see some of the most majestic peaks of Kumaon Himalayas. On a clear day, you can see Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. All these peaks not only have geographical but also mythological relevance in India like Panchchuli finds a reference in Mahabharata the greatest epic ever written a man, but penned by none other than Lord Ganesha. Go figure 🙂
3 > Visit Anasakti Ashram Kausani
Anasakti Ashram in Kausani is where Mahatma Gandhi stayed for 2 weeks in 1929 and the natural beauty of Kausani was such that even the Mahatma was impressed, and he called Kausani the Switzerland of India. The Ashram situated in a quiet part of Kausani on top of a small hill offers panoramic views of the mountains and the valleys around is perfect for somebody looking for a peaceful place to just sit relax, watch mountains or read books related to Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Freedom Struggle in the Ashram Library. The Anasakti Ashram also has the residential facility and you can stay in the ashram and participate in the daily routine of Ashram like prayers etc. As the Ashram has panoramic views it is a perfect place in Kausani to capture the sunrise and sunset.
4 > Sumitranandan Pant Museum
Kausani’s claim to fame to Indian poetry comes from the famous poet Sumitranandan Pant who was born in Kausani and spent his early years here in the town. His ancestral home is now a museum celebrating his life and poetry. I must say I was impressed by the simple yet very well kept museum and library. Part of the credit goes to the government and part of the credit must go to the locals who take pride in the fact that one of the prominent Hindi poets was one among them and it is not uncommon to find locals visiting the museum library to read a book, something that is now so rare in big cities. The museum is right in the middle of Kausani Bazaar and you can ask anybody about it and the locals will proudly guide you to the museum.
Now you know how #Twitter got its name? A poem by Pt. Sumitra Nandan Pant seen on a card at his Home/ museum in Kausani. :)>The poem says… As evening falls, Birds are singing Tweet tweet in a Bamboo grove. #BloggersBus #Travel #poetry pic.twitter.com/tx544VG8wm
— Prasad Np (@desiTraveler) July 18, 2018
5 > The Kausani Bazaar or Market
The Kausani Bazaar is the heart of the city and retains the old world charm and slow pace of life. Once you come out of the Sumitramandan Pant Museum you should take a leisurely walk in the bazaar. Everybody knows everybody and visitors are welcome to chat, shop or just observe what is happening around. Nobody pressurizes you to buy souvenirs, no touts come to you asking if you need a hotel, no pressure to act like a tourist in Kausani, you can walk around comfortably without a worry. We saw some locals playing chess on the stairs of the museum, while an X-ray from the local doctor was drying in the open air as the patients waiting for there turn at the doctor’s chamber. The local tailor was working on some clothes to repair them and the grocer was trying to get some afternoon nap. Soon there was a buzz in the market as the Postman came with a bundle of letters and those who have family members working away from Kausani looked towards him with hope. The letters don’t even have a proper address e.g if you need to write a letter to the Tailor Master of Kausani just write > Tailor Master, Kausani Bazaar, Kausani Uttarakhand and the letter will reach him!! Yes in today’s world of Whats app and email and mobile etc. people still love to write letters back home. Just ask the guy who works in your office and has left his new bride back home if he is happy just sending SMS or he writes letters to her or the Old office hand who sends detailed instructions on how to get the roof repaired after the rains. Yes people in Kausani still love to receive letters and I hope the Tailor Master will be happy to get a copy of his picture when I send it to him ( Note to desi Traveler > O Lazy one get the picture printed and send to the master jee he may not be waiting for it but it will sure make his day)
6 > Visit the Kausani Shawl Factory
When you are in the Kausani Bazaar ask for the Kausani Shawl Factory and you will be guided towards the factory where locals make shawls and other useful products used by hill folks. You can see the making of shawls, durries, sweaters, caps, and other products. You can buy these local products at affordable price and carry some back as a gift for your dear ones. I am all for buying souvenirs that put back the money in the local economy and these handmade woolen products from Kausani Shawl Factory totally fit the bill.
7 > Baijnath Temple Complex
Only about 16 KM from Kausani town on the way to Bageshwar you will find the historical Baijnath Temple complex. Dedicated to Lord Shiva this is a complex of many small and big temples with the main temple still worshiped by locals and visitors alike. The temple is on the banks of the Gomti river and a perfect place to take a short break when you going or coming from Kausani. My earlier post about Uttarakhand had the Baijnath Temples as the cover photo, but I plan to write more about the same in sometime future.
Besides these 7 things to do in Kausani you can also visit the Lakshmi Ashram, Rudradhari Falls, Kausani Tea Estate, Sarla Ashram, Stargate Observatory etc. from Kausani but I have not visited them so far so am unable to comment in details maybe in my next visit I will try to visit these places and write more detailed post about them. But overall I would say Kausani is a perfect destination for a family holiday in Uttarakhand and below I give some useful information to plan your holiday to Kausani
How To Reach Kausani in Uttarakhand
Best way to reach Kausani is via self-drive car or Taxi. Kausani is about 420 KM from Delhi NCR and it should take you around 10-12 hours depending on traffic by driving. If you want you can break your journey on the way as there are many picturesque places on the way to Kausani and depending on the route taken and time you start your journey you can take a call. You can do overnight stay in Naukuchiatal, Bhimtal or Nainital if you don’t want to drive at a stretch. The nearest big town to Kausani is Almora about 52 KM away and if you want you can also stay there and make a day trip to Kausani, but to really experience Kausani I would say you stay in Kausani and enjoy the slow pace of things.
If you want to go to Kausani by train then the nearest railway station is Kathgodam where you can reach by overnight train from Delhi and then take a taxi to Kausani. The nearest airports are Pant Nagar and Jolly Grant in Dehradun.
Where to stay in Kausani?
There are hotels/guesthouses for all budgets in Kausani, but in my opinion, you should first try the KMVN Tourist Rest House for the best view and great location. I have also stayed in past in The Buransh, and it is also a good option. Besides these, you can get hotels guest houses for all budget. It is a good idea to book in advance during peak season.
What Is The Best Time to visit Kausani?
Anytime from February to July is perfect to visit Kausani, I would suggest avoiding the rainy season and then you can visit again anytime after September. Here are my suggestions for the best time to visit Kausani > To see the flush of Rhodendron flowers visit in April / May types. To enjoy unobstructed views of the mighty peaks visit after monsoons as you will be rewarded with a clear view of the snowclad peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. In all honesty, given a choice, I would love to go to Kausani again and again as it is easily one of my favorite places in Uttarakhand.
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