A Quiet Affair with the hills in Kausani….

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Mahatma Gandhi rightfully declared kausani as “Switzerland of India “. I completely agree with the statement. Nested in the thick pine forests in the Kumaon Hill ,kausani offers uninterrupted views of Himalayan range with most popular peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Panchchuli at the closest view point. With the panoramic view of the spectacular Himalayan range, this place also offers you the well spread lush green tea gardens right in the foot hills. I feel the whole aura of hills; gardens and mountains in kausani just celebrates the silence so gracefully that can’t be explained in words. It’s a god’s self designed paradise on earth.

Day 1 : Kausani 
So with all my excitement, i packed my bags for Kausani to explore yet another quiet hamlet with the splendid sun in the sky in kumaon valley .It is at the height of 1890 mts from sea level and 170 KM from the main rail head kathgodam.
It was 5.30 am in the morning, and my train stopped at kathgodam station. It was dark outside. I was little sceptical to start my journey at that time as i have to travel up in the hills. But since I could manage to get a cab with a decent price, so I decided to experience the darkness in the hills for a change. I must tell you that the experience to have the sunrise while driving up to the hills was an experience like never before. I was a part of the whole transition from darkness to the daylight. You can suddenly see those layers of hills with the sun rays on them. Even in the aura of sun rays around, I could hear the sounds of birds, sounds of cold breeze blowing from east to west and even i could hear my own heart beats more loudly in the silence. It was a journey like never before.
The best part about kumoun valley is its rawness. You can find the nature in its best form. Less explored and less spoiled. May be i am biased towards Uttarakhand , but its offers the uninterrupted views of Himalayas , multi layers of hills and also the kumoun people with their simplicity make this place haven on the earth. 

And i was moving on with time. I felt as if people in the hills were getting ready for a new day with yet another sun rise. As i was driving up in the hills, my excitement was also driving high. With lot of hope and excitement to explore the unexplored just made me impatience. 

It was a 5 hours drive from Kathgodam station to Kausani. Since i started my day quite early so i needed a cup of tea to refresh myself in the hills with the cold breeze. So i asked my driver to stop somewhere.  Almost an hour later, i stopped for a cup of tea in a place called kaichi. It was lovely. The place is famous for its temples and the scenic beauty. It was 7 am when i had my first cup of tea and moong dal ki pokara …it was great feeling to have this kind of food which we don’t take in regular days of our life. After spending almost 15 minutes, i again started my journey in the hills. Amazingly this time the route was different from my last trip to Mukteshwar . I must say the road was great. The road along with Koshi River and the bridge in many places gives u a breathtaking view of the nature. Though my driver informed me about the destructive mode of river Koshi in last monsoon . As because of that many villages got wiped away. Not only that the road along with Koshi River got damaged immensely. While travelling through this i could see the labourers working hard to repair the damage.

It was 10 am. I was tired sitting in the car so long. I asked my driver exactly after how much time i will be in kausani? He said… bhi to ek ghanta aur jana hai ? For some moments, i became impatient. But as soon as i entered Someshwar , i felt good . A small village with traditional styled wooden houses made the tiny village into a place to look for. I could see the busy lanes in the market area with people with their shopping bags. Especially the lush green step farming took all my attention. 

When i was crossing this small place i could see the simplicity this tiny place and the people offers in the hills. It really felt great to see their simple lifestyle far away from the bust city life with all of complexity around.
 

Anyway along with pine trees and green step farming, my car was moving ahead in the beautiful kumoun valley.
 

I reached Almora at 10 .30 am. Since i did not book KMVN this time, so i had to travel 5 KM more to reach my resort for my 2 two days stay. The place did not have a particular name though it’s known as Pingalkot village, Beijnath road .The resort name was Himalayan Village Resort. What a location. It was in complete isolation as i wanted .One can have the spectacular Himalayan range with 36 peaks visible clearly from the resort along with famous kausani tea garden right in the foothill. As soon as i reached i could not believe that i am exactly in between tea gardens and breathtaking mountains. A perfect location for my weekend holiday. What could i ask for? 

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I was welcomed by the manager of Himalayan Village Resort and escorted towards my pre booked cottage. As soon as i entered my cottage, i was amazed to see the duplex cottage….with all the luxury one can ask for.  
 
But most amazing was the panoramic glass window all around from where one can see snow capped mountains right in front of your eyes. I was in the amidst beautiful valley from where you can not only see the panoramic view of Himalayan range but also lush green tea gardens right in the footsteps….I was just stood still in my balcony silently for some time . 
 
May be i got lost in the spectacular kumaon valley.  
Then suddenly, i heard my calling bell. It was the service person who came asking what I would like to take in my breakfast. I was quite pleased at their service as i usually don’t get this kind of luxury when i prefer to stay in government guest house like KMVN. So i was totally enjoying the service i was getting. As soon as i finished my breakfast, i asked the manager about the location and places around which i can cover during my stay. He suggested me to have my lunch and start my voyage with a promise to provide a local guide. I was happy again. 

As i had to wait for the lunch, so decided to roam around the resort and clicking some photographs. By the time i was lost in the beautiful valley around, i was informed that my lunch was ready. It was 2 PM; i decided to explore the nearby places that day with the local guide. So i started my journey by visiting a temple on the top of the hills. It was like climbing the hills with the torching sun in the sky, but surprisingly the cold breeze along with the clear sky just made my day. While moving up i crossed few villagers in the hills.  While watching the lifestyle of the villages in the hills,

I have realised that though it seems beautiful to live in the hills with the snow capped mountains in front of you where you can have the luxury of witnessing the sunrise and the sunset everyday with cold breeze travelling from east to west silently, you can see the raindrops on the green grass, and where even you can even hear your own heart beat louder than anything around, but reality it’s really tough to survive in the hills. Everything in the hills is not easily available except the rare luxury of  nature. One has to travel for an hour or so only to collect firewood.

It was almost 20 minutes of trekking finally i reached the temple. It’s called Pingla Devi Temple.  

Situated at the top of the hills, one can get the beautiful scenic all around. What i noticed in the temple was a lot of bells all around. When i asked my guide about the bells in the temples then he told me that its says if some one comes here with a wish, he should tie a bell in the temple which is rural believe among the kumaon people.

My next destination was Anashakti Ashram . Mahatma Gandhi spent 12 days in 1929 penned his memorable commentary on the Gita-Ana-Shakti Yoga inspired by the scenic grandeur of this richly gifted spot. 

It was almost 4 pm. while sun was leaving its last rays slowly in the valley, i decided to head towards my resort. After i trekked almost 5 KM, i was tired. I asked my guide to follow a simple route to my resort. But my guide insisted me to take a village route in the hills. I agreed. I must tell you it was beautiful evening walking with the pine trees along with last rays of the sun spreading beautifully on the mountains with layers of hills in front of you were breathtaking. 

A walk to remember
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