Kausani – a window that opens on  the Himalayas !

Perched high on a forest-covered ridge, Kausani (known as Valna before it got this new name) is a tiny village with lovely panoramic views of distant snowcapped peaks, fresh air and a relaxed atmosphere. One of the popular hill stations in Uttarakhand, Kausani is a amidst the mountain slopes, with spell-binding views, charming forests, fairy-tale-like fog surrounding little hidden cottages and a lingering scent of pines and freshness. Mahatma Gandhi called this place the ‘Switzerland of India’, and was inspired by the place to write his Bhagavad Gita treatise Anasakti Yoga in 1929.

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Kausani is located 52 km north of Almora. it lies atop a ridge at an altitude of around 1890 m amidst dense pine trees overlooking Someshwar valley on one side and Garur and Baijnath Katyuri valley on the other on Almora-Bageshwar-Didihat Highway.  There are very few places in the Himalayas that can compare with the beauty of Kausani – a picturesque hill station famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km-wide panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi, Panchchuli, Nanda Ghunti, Mrigthuni, Nanda Kot from the Nanda Devi Biosphere Himalayan Range

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Trishul is the most prominent peak of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Trishul is a group of three Himalayan mountain peaks named Trisul I, Trisul II, and Trisul III, that resemble a trident – in Hindi/Sanskrit, Trishula, trident, is the weapon of Shiva. The massif is a north-south ridge, with Trisul I at the north end and Trisul III at the south. The main peak, Trisul I, is the highest (Trisul I) reaching 7120m and was the first peak over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) to have ever been climbed, in 1907.

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Nanda Devi is the highest mountain in Uttarakhand, the second highest mountain in India, and the highest located entirely within the country (Kangchenjunga is on the border of India and Nepal). The peak, whose name means “Bliss-Giving Goddess”, is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya.The Nanda Devi is a two-peaked massif, forming a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) long high ridge, oriented east-west. The western summit is higher, and the eastern summit is called Sunanda Devi formerly known as Nanda Devi East is the lower one

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The first rays of Sun on snow capped mountains of Himalayas is a breathtaking and beautiful sight. 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 paradise for someone who likes taking walks in a hill-town located in the lap of nature.

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About 1km uphill from the bus stand, Anasakti Ashram is where Mahatma Gandhi spent two weeks pondering and writing Anasakti Yoga . It has a small museum that tells the story of Gandhi’s life through photographs and words.  Kausani is also the birthplace of famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant, who wrote some of his memorable poems in praise of this paradise on earth.

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About 3.5km north of the village on the road to Baijnath, an easy and scenic walk is the Kausani Tea Estate. The original tea gardens of Kausani were established by the British in the early 1800s, the earliest attempts by the British to cultivate tea in India. They had even got Chinese managers to ensure that the plantations were maintained immaculately and the plucking was perfect. Some of the descendants of these Chinese still reside in this area even today. In recent decades the tea gardens in the Kausani area have been revived and are managed by the Uttarakhand Tea Board. Here you can look around the tea plantations, go through a guided walk inside the factory to see how tea is processes and get to sample and taste before you buy products that are exported around the world.

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Visit a shawl factory, where one can witness how the famous Kausani Shawls are made and manufactured by using age old techniques. Just above the factory, a shop is also situated and those willing to buy shawls can do so.

Rudra Dhari and Baijnath are places worth a visit. Rudra Dhari for its extreme beauty and Baijnath is an ancient temple complex with mesmerising views along the river, where you get to feed the fish in a pond beside the temple.

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The KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) resthouse in Kausani is an ideal place to stay and it provides panoramic views of the mountains. Sacrifice luxuries for a better view by staying at the KMVN for a day. Shifted to the Kausani Heritage Resorts for more comfort and a good evening around the bonfire and a starry night under the open skies.

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3 thoughts on “Kausani – a window that opens on  the Himalayas !

    1. I was there when there were jungle fires and smoke was screening the views most of the times. We could only see peaks of Nanda Devi East for a short window of time. Sorry for not able to share. Thanks for your comments and appreciation. Cheers !

      Liked by 1 person

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