Slow Travel in Kausani, Uttarakhand

It was the epic year of 2015 and I was still without a permanent home. I’d started exploring Kumaon in the summer beginning my journey from Nainital and was slow travelling in this region as far as Munsyari. I had no fixed plan and reached Kausani after coming back from the Milam Glacier Trek. Kausani was a popular tourist destination and I was unsure about finding cheap accommodation since it was peak summer season, but decided to take a chance.

Kausani
Epic everyday moments in Kausani, Uttarakhand. Sunrise clicked from my homestay!

I’d boarded a shared taxi from Munsyari in the morning to reach Bageshwar by afternoon. After trying to find a shared taxi or bus to Kausani, I started walking out of the dirty town of Bageshwar and was extremely lucky to find a seat in a shared taxi heading to Baijnath (the famous temple town in Uttarakhand). Kausani was only around 15 more kms from Baijnath. Uttarakhand doesn’t have a well developed bus system like Himachal’s HRTC, and it was prudent for me to find a way and reach Kausani well in time before sunset.

Kausani
Colonial type house; I had a great time staying in this lovely place and run by a charming couple.

The warm weather of Bageshwar suddenly gave way to clouds and after a brief downpour along the road another shared taxi appeared and dropped me near Kausani market on the main road. I was heartbroken to see shops and shabby hotels around me but no natural beauty. Then I asked the locals where should I be staying in Kausani instead and they pointed me to a different road going uphill from Kausani market. It proved to be a long ascending walk but also the best decision as it is best to stay close to the Anasakti Ashram in Kausani for the views.

Kausani
Gorgeousness spread around Kausani. It is an apt place for slow walks amidst nature.

There were many tourists wandering in this part of Kausani, I realised that hotels were all quite expensive and the only cheap accommodation option was in the stuffy guest rooms of Anasakti Ashram. I chose to walk farther and was duly rewarded when I came upon a signboard of a holiday home that looked quite lovely with a garden and open air sitting space. It was the home of an elderly couple and there were only 2 cheap rooms that they let out to tourists; the one with the best view was already taken by a yoga couple from Europe and I was more than happy to take the other one for Rs. 500.

Kausani
A de-facto view in Kausani. Quite simply magical to say the least.

An Introduction to Kausani :

Kausani is a hill station with stunning views and lies at an altitude of 1890m in Bageshwar district. It has impeccable views of Himalayan peaks like Mt. Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli. Kausani is set amidst a forest of pine trees and enjoys a breezy atmosphere. Mahatma Gandhi is known to have called Kausani, the ‘Switzerland of India’.

Kausani
This was clicked from a guest house for state officials; we randomly found this while searching for KMVN Kausani. Highly recommend a stay if one can manage it!

Kausani invigorating climate is conducive to growing tea. There’s also a tea factory in Kausani around the Kausani Tea Estate. Sunrises in Kausani are magical, it is an out of the world experience to see the first rays of the sun light up the snow capped peaks.

Kausani is blessed with gorgeously green landscapes and silent lies in the midst of introspective valleys. Mahatma Gandhi spent some time at Anasakti Ashram in Kausani in 1929. Kausani is a place for nature lovers and city dwellers looking to get away from the chaotic city life. Nature creates music in Kausani with the sound of chirping birds and pine leaves rustling in the breeze.

Kausani
The three monkeys of Gandhiji – Speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil.

Places to visit in Kausani / Attractions in Kausani

Anasakti Ashram (Also Anashakti Ashram)

Anasakti Ashram is the place where Mahatma Gandhi spent two weeks writing his experiences of life in  in 1929. Anasakti Ashram is also called Gandhi Ashram. There is a small museum here dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The museum narrates Gandhi’s life stories through photographs and words. His charkha and other personal items are kept here. There is also a small library where one can find books on Gandhian philosophy.

Anasakti Ashram
Anasakti Ashram in Kausani, definitely one of the biggest attractions for tourists.

Evening prayers are held at the Ashram in Gandhi’s memory and I highly recommend you to attend it. Also, it is possible to stay at the basic rooms in the ashram if rooms are available (Rs. 200.) Admission to the museum is free. Impeccable views of sunrise and sunset in Kausani are visible from the viewpoint at Anasakti Ashram.

Anasakti Ashram Gandhi Museum
Letters written by Gandhi ji from Kausani and a paragraph about the Himalayas.

Kausani Eco Park

In Kausani, I had met Bhishma (we had trekked together to Milam Glacier from Munsyari) and set about hiking the trails around Kausani. I was staying in a homestay on the same path as the entrance gate of Eco Park. The trail inside the Kausani Eco Park was entirely surrounded by pine trees and had a lovely aroma. After walking for around ten odd minutes inside the eco park brought us to the sight of a small temple on a hillock. We hiked to the temple and were mesmerised with the sound of the bells!

Eco park walk Kausani
Aimless walking inside the Kausani Eco Park; cool even in May-June. Kausani is good for all seasons.

Kausani Tea Estate

One fine day after witnessing sunrise in Kausani, we roamed around on Bhishma’s bike and thought about heading to Baijnath. Kausani Tea Estate lies on the road to Baijnath and was only around 3 kms from Kausani. There are some sparse tea gardens enclosed within a gate. There’s also a small factory that makes excellent tea leaf which was closed when we were there. According to the locals, the factory functions during the season time and it is also possible to buy tea from here.

Kausani
Surreal sight in Kausani.

Kausani Shawl Factory

While wandering around the tea gardens, someone told us about Kausani Shawl Factory where the locals make woollen shawls and other products. Apart from high quality woollen shawls, also on sale are fashionable woollen jackets. Bhishma found one that he liked and bought it for approx. 600 rupees. One can also watch the weavers in action on the lower floor, as they use traditional handlooms to make shawls.

Kausani Shawl Factory Workshop
Watching the process of shawl making on a local handloom.

Sarla Ashram (Lakshmi ashram)

Catherine, a disciple of Gandhiji, founded this ashram in 1946 with the aim of training women and enable them to make a living by doing community work. Catherine was lovingly named Sarla behn by the locals. Lakshmi Ashram (or Sarla Ashram) also functions as an alternative school that provides education to girls. The main purpose of establishing the ashram was to empower hill women.

Kausani
Sarla Behn Museum in Kausani. Located just on the way down from Anasakti Ashram. 

Apart from the above; Sumitranandan Pant Museum is another place to visit in Kausani. A hike to the nearby Rudradhari Falls and Caves is also recommended.

How to reach Kausani?

Kausani is located at a distance of 50 kilometres from Almora. Kathgodam is the the nearest train station and is at a distance of 130 kms from Kausani. Local buses and shared taxis run across Kumaon and Garhwal, and it should be easy to reach Kausani.

Kausani
A jacaranda tree in bloom somewhere in Kausani. Thats Bhishma on his bike!

Where to eat in Kausani?

There are a few local eateries near Anasakti Ashram and many dhabas and cafés in the market in Kausani. Nowadays there are a few fancy restaurants in town but the quality of food is said to be questionable (based on recent travellers’ personal recommendations).

Kausani
After much pleading and requesting, we found a dhaba that would make local Kumaoni food for us!

Where to stay in Kausani?

There are many hotels to stay in Kausani ranging from budget hotels to expensive boutique stays; KMVN is a good place to stay as well and has a gorgeous location. I’d recommend not staying at one of the places in the market but preferably staying at a hotel or homestay located farther away from the market. For me, staying at a nice homestay is one of the prime reasons that enables slow travel.

Kausani
My five hundred rupee homestay in Kausani that was found after much wandering around!

Places to Visit Around Kausani

Bageshwar

Bageshwar is a big town located at the confluence of Saryu and Gomti rivers and is home to Bagnath temples that are quite ancient and made out of stone. Distance of Baijnath from Kausani is 39 kms.

Kausani
Clicked this somewhere on the road around Kausani. Pretty window!

Baijnath

Baijnath is 20 kms away from Kausani and has a stunning complex of ancient shikara style temples that date from the 7th to 11th Century.

Baijnath
A cloudy morning at the temple complex of Baijnath.

Baijnath temples hold a special religious significance, and there are idols dedicated to Lord Shiva, Parvati, Chandika, Ganesh, Kuber, and Surya.

More posts on Kumaon :

Attending a Kumaoni Wedding in Kumaon

Aimless Wanderings in Almora

A Fruit Holiday in Ramgarh, Uttarakhand

A lost treasure – The biggest home in Kumaon

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. arv! says:

    I still remember my short time in Kasauni. The views of snow covered peaks was mesmerizing. I personally know the owners of tea factory and from what I know is that there is a labour-management deadlock. I’m not sure if this factory is functional currently.

    Like

  2. I remember having watched sunrise from Kausani almost 3 decades ago. That was a fantastic sight – golden small round sun shining on the glacier.

    Like

  3. Rajiv says:

    I may go up there in December

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    1. Should be awesome then!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mayuri Patel says:

    I remamber having sunrise view in Kausani. It was fantastic and love the hill station but its expensive in terms of stay ,but great place than touristy one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thats awesome to know! Yes, Kausani can be expensive; so glad I found an alternate place to stay! Thanks for checking.

      Like

  5. Niranjan says:

    The ashram offers magnificent views. Nice post on Kausani.

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    1. Yes! The ashram has super awesome views. Thanks for checking man.

      Like

  6. Swati Singh says:

    Can you please tell me exact name of homestay where you stayed as I want to travel to Kausani. Please reply ASAP

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    1. I really don’t quite remember the name of the homestay but can tell you that it was located on the way to the Eco Park in Kausani.

      Like

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