KAUSANI – THE SWITZERLAND OF INDIA
Kausani is situated in the midst of thick, dense pine forest atop narrow ridge and separated from the towering mountains of Nanda Devi range by low, medium mountains. Here, the grandeur of the Himalayas truly comes alive. The view of the snow-capped Trishul and Nanda Devi is so clear that one gets a feeling of the snow being without touching distance. Kausani is known as ‘The Switzerland of India’ nestled atop the Kumaon region in the state of Uttarakhand, India. In the year 1929 Mahatma Gandhi came to Kausani and was overwhelmed and contemplated on the beauty of the region. Till date those who visits Kausani for the first time becomes amazed by the panoramic view of the Himalayas. Kausani established as a hill station during 1864 by the British. The whole region of Kausani is covered with dense thickness of Pine, Fir and Oak trees. Kausani has many things to offer for tourists. Kausani forms one of the best view points of Kumaon Hills at an elevation of about 6000 ft. i.e. 1890 meters. On a clear day Kausani offers panoramic view of 300 km long stretches Himalayan ranges those shinning against the azure sky making the horizon as seen from Kausani as enviable spectacle. Among these are Kamet, Elephant Hills (locally named as Hathi Parvat), Nandaghunti, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Khat, Nandacot, Rajrambha and Panchachuli. The glory of these snow crowned Himalayan ranges reaches its pinnacle when the sun rays turn them into crimson and gold. Apart from these Himalayan ranges one of the main attractions of Kausani is Anasakti Ashram founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Inside the prayer hall of Anasakti Ashram tourists get to see many of the old and historic pictures, many letters written by Mahatma Gandhi himself and a big oil painting of Mahatma Gandhi. The periphery of Anasakti Ashram is an ideal place to see the Himalayan ranges. Anasakti Ashram remains open for tourists visit from 06.00 am to 12.00 noon and again from 04.00 pm to 07.00 pm. There is a lawn adjacent to this ashram where an idol of Mahatma Gandhi was established. Other local watchable of Kausani are Kastura Gandhi Ashram. There is also a museum named Pant Museum built in the memory of a famous poet of Hindi literature Sumitra Nandan Pant, Kausani was her birth place. Near Kausani market there is a museum of poet Sumitra Nandan Pant. The museum remains open from 10.00 am to 08.00 pm. At Kausani there is an Eco park near Anasakti Ashram which is worth watching. A few kilometers away from Kausani there is a temple of Lord Shiva locally named as Rudhradhari Shiv Temple which is about 9 km from the main town of Kausani and is easily connected with motor-able road, but the last 2 km is a trekking route. Locally it is known as the meditation point of Saint Kausambi. The tea garden at Kausani is also one of the local watchable which is not to miss. The Kausani tea estate remains open from mid March to second week of November and is kept opened for tourists visit from 09.00 am to 06.00 pm. This tea garden lies on the valleys of Pinglakot village which is on the way from Kausani to Baijnath. Just opposite to the Kausani tea estate there is renowned shop named ‘Uttaranchal Tea Store and Natural Organic Product’. This shop sells tea, green tea, pure white honey, organic honey, Buransh Jam, Appricot Oil and many other organic products. From Lalkuan via Bhimtal at a distance of about 165 km is Kausani. Kausani offers magnificent view of sunrise on a clear day. From Kausani within a distance of about 90 km is Chakouri. On the way to Chakouri from Kausani around 19 km there is the Baijnath Temple near Gomti River, in this temple tourists get to see few idols of Lord Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Chandika Kuber and Surya those dates back to around 20th century. The architecture and the interior design of the temple are worth watching. During Mahatma Gandhi’s stay at Kausani he wrote about the Anasakti Yog of Geeta. From Kausani at a distance of 5 km is Pinut and around 5.5 km is Buda Pinut, tourists can get around and visit these places. Kausani is around 70 km from Ranikhet and 200 km from Munsiyari. Kausani is very well connected by surface transport with rest of the destinations of Kumaon Hills. The Kasturba Gandhi Ashram is another point of tourist’s interest where one can get to see varieties of handicrafts made by local women. This ashram remains open from 08.00 am to 05.00 pm. From Kausani at a distance of about 110 km is Patalbhubaneshwar. Almora lies at a distance of about 52 km from Kausani. The locals of Kausani practice step cultivation on the steep hilly slops. They mainly produce rice at Kausani. From the main town of Kausani around 10 to 12 km is Radyadhari Waterfalls. Kausani tea estate is spread within an area of about 208 hectares. Other local watchable around Kausani is Someshwar temple. Kausani lies atop a ridge amidst dense pine trees overlooking Someshwar valley on one side and Garur and Katyuri valley on the other on Almora–Bageshwar–Didihat Highway. Kausani is a part of the Lesser Himalayas, a region watered by rivers like Kosi, Gomti and Ramganga. Their banks, known as seras, are highly fertile. Lakshi Ashram lies 1 km from Kausani and is a center dedicated to the up-liftment and social service of the local women. This ashram was established by Sarla Behn in 1964 and was a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. Kausani Shawl Emporium is also worth visiting as it has a fabulous collection of high quality woolen shawls which are designed by the weavers, interested tourists can purchase some. Kausani is ideal for those who seek to escape from the din and dust, hustle and bustle of big cities and wish to spend a quite holiday in the lap of nature. Indeed, Kausani is a veritable heaven of beauty to which an excursion must be made on visiting Kumaon.
Places of Tourists Interest:
Rudradhari Waterfall: Rudradhari Falls and caves in Kausani are located at a place with terraced fields, lush green paddy fields and dense green pine forests. These magnificent waterfalls can be viewed while trekking to Adi Kailsah region in the hill station of Kausani.
Anasakti Ashram Kausani: Mahatma Gandhi, during his stay at Kausani, penned his memorable commentary on the ‘Gita-Anashakti Yoga’ inspired by the scenic grandeur of this richly gifted spot. Mahatma Gandhi was so much impressed that he started calling it “Switzerland of India”.
Baijnath: Baijnath is just 16 km from Kausani and 22 km from Bageshwar, at an elevation of 1125 meters are ancient temples not only of Shiva, Ganesh and Parvati, but also of Chandalika, Kuber, Surya, Bramha and Mahisa.
Kausani Tea Estate: The famous tea garden is situated at an elevation of 1800 meter from sea level. The tea garden of Kausani is being developed as a tea-base for the entire state. The tea produced here is rich in flavour and of export quality.
How to reach:
By train: Kausani is well connected by surface with other destinations of Kumaon hills. The main entry is Kathgodam. From Howrah 13019 Bagh Express reaches Kathgodam. Other trains are 12353 Lalkuan express; it is a weekly train that leaves from Howrah every Friday. 05008 Howarh – Ramgarh express leaves every Sunday. From Lalkuan to Haldwani is about 20 km and Kathgodam is about 26 km. Other ways to reach Kausani is via Delhi, from there many trains are available those reaches Kumaon. These trains are 15035 Uttaranchal Samparkranti express, 12040 Delhi – Kathgodam Satabdi express and 15013 Ranikhet express. From Delhi bus service is also available to reach Kausani.
By flight: Pantnagar Airport located in Pantnagar which is about 178 km serves the entire Kumaon region. Indira Gandhi International Airport located in Delhi which is about 431 km is the nearest International Airport.
Things to know: Kumaon hills well connected by bus service. Kausani is well connected with major destinations of the entire Kumaon region. Regular bus service is provided by Uttarakhand Transport Corporation those connect with other destinations of Kumaon. Regular taxi service is also available to other places of Kumaon. But for tourists in group, it is advisable to hire a full car for the entire Kumaon trip.
Best time to visit: Kausani can visited throughout the year except the monsoon season. Winter remain quite cold, temperature ranges from 15 degree Celsius to 2 degree Celsius. During summer the temperature varies within 10 degree Celsius to 22 degree Celsius.