Kausani – The Switzerland of India – is cradled under the lush hills of Kumaon Himalayas and provides stunning 300 degree panoramic views of the snow-crested Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nandakot and Panchchuli peaks. Tucked atop a ridge, the village is engulfed by dense pine trees overlooking the Someshwar Valley, Garur and Katyuri Valleys! Very few places in the world can boast of beauty similar to Kausani and the tiny village enjoys the stature of a cute, quaint hill station of Uttarakhand.
A happy place for backpackers and a haven for writers – Kausani has a lot to offer, for those willing to explore.
The tiny little village of Kausani is spread across 5.2 sq. km and is situated at an elevation of 1890 mts above sea level. Also, the beauty of this place is so mesmerizing that eminent personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi were also bewitched! In fact, it is a known fact that Mahatma Gandhi often referred to Kausani as the Switzerland of his homeland. This goes without saying that the landscape of the two places is quite similar and lends perfectly to the backdrop of snow-covered Himalayan ranges all around!
Kausani is situated in the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand in the Kumaon region. In terms of distance, the village is about 51 km north of Almora. From the perspective of nature, the region is most known for the Tea estate – growing some delicious quality tea leaves.
In the generations passed, Kausani was often called the Valna, where the prosperous kingdom of Katikyapur existed. Apart from this, Kausani is the hometown of famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant. In fact, a lot of his poems pay homage to this stunning hill station and talks of the ethereal beauty that is Kausani. Also, in 1929, Mahatma Gandhi stayed here for 14 days at the Anasakti Ashram. He scripted his book titled ‘Anasakti Yoga’ and was greatly impressed by its environs.
Best time to visit Kausani
Kausani is an ideal winter destination. Even more so, this is the perfect place to ring in the New Years! Winter season boasts of the most stunning crystalline views of snow covered peaks! However, don’t let this stop you from visiting in the summer months – which provide their own kind of beauty. With days beginning earlier, you’ll be greeted by chirping birds and stunning, take-your-breath-away, kind of views!
As with the rest of the Himalayan hill stations – weather follows a similar trend. And, keep in mind that the monsoons are a tough task to maneuver – especially in terms of reaching the tiny town. However, this is primarily due to the hills are susceptible to landslides during this time. And, the summers experience a maximum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and are spread across the months of April to July. From November to February – the winter months commence and bring with them an onslaught of stunning cool climate and a ton of snow. And, it should be noted that the likelihood of snowfall is highest in January and February.
How to reach Kausani, UK
Located in proximity to Delhi (406 KMs), Kausani makes for an ideal weekend destination. There are a bunch of recreational activities that one can partake in – making it a fun filled getaway. Kausani has a decent road connectivity. It should be noted that the Air and Rail network in Uttarakhand leaves a lot to be desired – making roads your most convenient option!
Here’s how to reach paradise!
The nearest airport is Pant Nagar, which is situated 178 Kms from Kausani. You will need to hire a cab from here to reach your destination. Also, buses are available from Haldwani, Kathgodam and Nainital to reach Kausani.
The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, situated at a distance of 141 Kms. From here, you’ll reach Kausani through Almora or via Ranikhet. Kathgodam enjoys decent connectivity with major Indian cities as this is the gateway to Kumaon region.
The road network is well developed in this region and Kausani is linked to several other hill stations through road.
Major distance maps for nearby locations are
Gwaldam-39 kms and
Assuming you start from Delhi, you can take one of two routes, which are similar in the conditions, to reach Kausani.
1 – Delhi – Hapur – Moradabad – Ramnagar (Corbett National Park) – Ranikhet – Kausani
2 – Delhi – Hapur – Moradabad – Rampur – Haldwani – Kathgodam – Bhimtaal – Bhowali – Almora – Kausani
The choice truly depends what all you want to do on your journey and the kind of views you’re expecting. Personally, I would choose the Corbett National Park route and spend a day or two (or longer!) there before continuing on towards Kausani. However, the other route will also provide some stunning beauty along the way.
Things to do in Kausani
If you’re a true-blue nature lover and need seclusion – you’ve chosen, the right location! Kausani is for the ones who think with their soul and search for experiences to fill their hearts with the pace of nature. The definition of idyllic, Kausani will offer you stunning walks into dense forests or exceptional treks to reach the highest of the hills. Some of the worthiest treks nearby include heading to Pinnath (5 kms), Burapinnath (5.5 kms) and Bhatkot (12 kms).
Apart from natural beauty (which you can get to your heart’s desire), there are a lot of other things to do as well.
The Ashram is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, who stayed in this Ashram for 14 days in 1929 to pen his book on ‘Anasakti Yoga’. His spinning wheel (Charkha) and other memorabilia are kept here. You can also explore the ashram to find a study with a small library. Here, you’ll be surrounded by interesting books on Gandhian philosophy. The Ashram can accommodate up to 300 people and every evening prayer is conducted in the main hall. Sure shot not to miss is the hypnotic sunset and enthralling sunrise from the Ashram premises.
Kumaon Shawl Emporium
If you’re anything like me, you love to collect souvenirs from places you’ve been to. Anything that reminds you of the place you’ve called home for even a couple of days – is always a welcome gift in your normal day to day life. Do NOT forget to visit the Emporium for a fabulous collection of high quality woolen shawls, exquisitely designed by the local weavers
Dedicated to the famous Hindi poet, Sumitra Nandan Pant, who was born in Kausani, this Museum showcases the articles of his daily use along with some drafts of his poems, letters, his awards etc. This Museum is located at a short distance from the Kausani bus terminal.
If you have time left over to explore nearby places, then the following are a must visit!
Highly cited as the most important historical place in Uttarakhand. Baijnath is situated at a height of 1126 meters above sea level near river Gomti. Overall, it will take you a distance of 19 kms from Kausani to reach Baijnath.
The Lakhudiyar Caves are located in the Barechhina village at the banks of the Suyal River in the Almora district. This place is known for its caves and rock paintings, depicting animals, humans and also tectiforms, created with fingers in black, red and white. Lakhudiyar literally translated to ‘one lakh caves’. These walls depict the life and the surroundings of the early man
Situated at a distance of 40 kms away from Kausani, Bageshwar sits on the confluence of rivers Saryu and Gomti. This town is an important site for worshipping Lord Shiva. According to Hindu scriptures, the sage Markandaya lived here and spent many years worshipping Lord Shiva. Bageshwar is also the beginning point for your journey towards Pindari, Sunderdunga and Kafni glaciers.
While slightly father at 87 kms from Kausani, Chaukori is a wonderful place to visit. This picturesque tourist spot amidst mighty Himalayan peaks near the Indo-Nepal siding. You can read more about Chaukori in full details.
Best places to stay
Given that Kausani attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year, and especially in the winters, there is decent accommodation availability here. You have a wide range of options to choose from – luxury to backpacking as well as guesthouses! You may even be able to score a tenting accommodation here. From some choices, Heritage Resort – a 14 bed resort has the most stunning views that you can imagine. Also, Aashritha is a small 10 bed boutique guesthouse with limited amenities by some of the most stunning views. Managed by Col. Narendra Singh Mahara, you can imagine the cleanliness to be top notch!
Best places to eat
Even though Kausani has firmly stabilized itself in the region for tourists- there are still not a lot of restaurants here. Even though there are now a few roadside dhabas in the region – it is nothing in terms of having an expansive spread! In house restaurants are still going to be your best bet!
Kausani is a hidden wonderland, the Switzerland of India! With the most stunning views and the sights to behold – it is a must visit. Especially if you live in northern India, this makes for an easy weekend escape.
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Plan your travels well and you can cover a lot of attractive and intriguing places on your trip. Uttarakhand is a tourist spot that not many people are talking about yet. However, given all that it has to offer – I think we should start taking the road less travelled and, well, travel!