There are certain trips that are special and stay etched in your memory long after they are over. Back in November 2014, a last minute planned family trip to Kasauni became one such trip for me.
Kasauni is a small hill station located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 6200 feet with beautiful uninterrupted view of the Himalayas. It is around 450 kms from Delhi and 140 kms from Kathgodam which also happens to be the nearest railway station.
The Beginning of Kausani Trip
From Ramnagar (Corbett National Park), it is 150 kms away and it is from here that we started our Kausani trip – a beautiful one replete with scenic views. Hills full of pine, Deodar and Oak trees created a picturesque route. We enjoyed our journey immensely relishing in the greenery that spread all around us. That is up till a point where exhaustion seeped in. Guess we were not particularly in a long travel mood that day.
So, by the time we reached Ranikhet after four hours, we had already started considering the idea of an overnight stay there. However, the hotel was not particularly of our liking. Though highly disappointed and unwilling, we still decided to move on.
Kausani Appears to Unreachable
We looked forward to reach our destination soon but Kasauni seemed unreachable. It was a long tedious wait (or atleast it seemed so at that point) before the glimmer of Kasauni’s main market area brought a relief on our faces. Unfortunately, for us, the drive had not ended as yet. The resort that we had booked was further six kms away. Exasperated, but with no other alternative in hand, we slumped back once again into our car seats.
It took us another 20-25 minutes of drive in complete darkness (save our car headlights) of hills to cover this seemingly little distance before we finally reached our resort in a grumpy mood. It did not help that the weather had by then become very chilly and all we wanted to do was to get into our bed and sleep.
From Frustration to Elation
Kasauni definitely did not have a good first impression. We regretted picking up this destination, but it only took a sunrise to put our grievances aside and set our mood back on the track. We could see where we were – amidst beautiful natural beauty.
The snow capped Himalayan peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli not only appeared mesmerizing but also super close. As the rays of the sun fell on the peaks they glowed to and filled our hearts with happiness. All the trouble that we faced during our journey to Kasauni seemed worthwhile. We surrendered ourselves in the lap of nature and decided not to go out anywhere that day. The sunset was equally beautiful.
Kausani Trip – Relaxation + Sightseeing
Actually, this is what anyone should expect from Kausani trip – a tranquil holiday to unwind and relax. Soak in the fresh air, roam around leisurely, enjoy a cup of tea/coffee, go for nature walks or do absolutely nothing. If you want to go for sightseeing, there are few options for that too. Amongst the one that we visited were the Baijnath Temple, the Shawl factory and outlet and Kausani tea garden and factory.
My own favourite was the Baijnath Group of Temple built by the Katyuri kings in the 12th century. The temple, located on the banks of river Gomti, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a place buzzing with people, quite unlike anywhere we went in Kausani.
The tea garden was a small one and if you have seen bigger tea estates, this would be nothing comparable. The factory, which we went around at that time with the help of a staff, I guess, has now been shifted elsewhere.
The shawl factory was where we not only did a bit of shopping but also observed a worker engrossed in his work at the loom.
The Other Attractions of Kausani
There are other attractions as well (which we did not visit) like the Anasakti Ashram, Sumitranandan Pant Gallery and Rudrahari Falls and caves. Mahatma Gandhi stayed at the Anasakti Ashram for around a fortnight and famously called Kasauni the ‘Switzerland of India’. The gallery is dedicated to the well-known Hindi poet Sumitranandan Pant who was born here in Kasauni.
We spent 3 nights in Kasauni before leaving for our trip ahead. For those who would like their trip to be packed with sightseeing and other activities, Kausani might just be a little disappointment, but for those who would love to sit back, relax and enjoy a slow pace of life, Kasauni is just perfect. Though hill stations are usually visited during summers, Kausani was good in winters. Day times were very pleasant to roam around. Also, I assume the crowd was little less because of the time of our visit.