KAUSANI – A dip into peace….

We had finally planned a 4 day 3 night trip after a long time. When I was told about our upcoming trip to Kausani, I wondered why we didn’t choose another alternative, a place somewhat like Nainital or Mussoorie, or just any tourist magnet for that case. We left early to reach our destination timely.  Without blabbering about the Pine trees, the long stretched desi farms, the baby monkeys holding on to their guardians, the cattle moving together in huge collections, the cows reigning the road and many of such cheery sights enroute  Kausani, I would like to talk about my incredible experience in this beautiful place.

So, this place, Kausani, It would be an understatement to use just any adjective for my experience. Really, I have a very soft heart for such places, the quietness of the villages, especially with the beautifully done step farming, the cows walking altogether in great echo, the warmth of the people and especially the broods who would be too zealous to show us their land.

We had reached Kausani at around 6 o clock after which we just sat out of our rooms to enjoy the drizzle, with fresh, hot pakoras and a warm cup of tea. The fresh breeze and the view were splendid. Kausani wasn’t one of the Nainital-Manali-Shimla-Mussoorie leagues, it wasn’t lurid or polluted. We had a nice buffet dinner with hot Gulab Jamun after the sunset and after our daily dose of soaps, we went off to sleep.

We woke up to the beauty of the Himalayan peaks right from the window of our rooms. We left timely this monsoon morning, around 8 o clock. A long journey of around 4 hours from Kausani, it was one day I could never forget. Through striking and quaint landscapes, we finally reached the walkway to Patal Bhuvaneshwar temple. Barely 400 steps and we reached the cave after the car park. I was with my parents and brother, my brother prattling away as always, my mom panicky of the journey ahead and my dad, cheering her up. Finally, our turn had come. It was going to be very tough, we knew, but the 4 tiring hours had to be proven worthwhile. My mother constantly stressing with the thought of her back ache, our guide helped her through the steep cave. One could not stand straight while climbing down; it had to be done in a sedentary position, holding iron chains. At times one couldn’t even get through without lying down.

Finally we reached the cave around 90 feet deep, something that I have locked in my heart, you would too, if you go there. The cave was attached with mythological treasures like the tongue of Kali Bhairav, hair of Lord Shiva and Aravati of Indra. It is also said if one enters the tongue of kali bhairav, he would never reincarnate. Legend has it that the cave also leads the way to Kashi, Amaranth, Kedarnath, Rameshvaram (the char dham) and also Vrindavan, despite the fact that human body can’t get through these paths. The cave also has an underground connection to Mount Kailash. One can enter from the kalyug to the satyug in the cave itself, they say. It’s believed that Pandavas went for their final journey after seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva in the cave.

The limestone cave had a lot to offer beyond its folklore, a positivity that would dive into your spirits. The warmth in the cold cave down through the crowning of the mountain gave all of its visitors a lot of vigour and contentment. The locals there, so enthusiastic; they would climb up and down, like the perilous route of the cave were nothing but a cake walk.

On our way back from Patal Bhuvaneshwar, we went to the Baijnath Temple. This 13th century temple dedicated to Siva as Vaidyanath, ‘the Lord of physicians’ was an icing on the cake. Located at the river side, it was a beautiful temple with archaeological touch. After taking innumerable photos and videos, we moved on to a shop offering Kausani’s special authentic oils and ‘sherbet’. After all the souvenir shopping we headed back to our resort.

Another peaceful night passed by and now we had to head for trekking! After loads of research, we planned to trek up to Rudradhari temple. There is another trek heading up to Pinnath, but that would have been lengthy and arduous. So after breakfast, we headed to the trek. On the way to the trek, one could spot many women farmers taking care of their cultivation. In my eagerness, I stepped out of the car to talk to them, a group of three women cultivating their farm. They told me they worked from 6 in the morning to 1 pm. Seldom did the men do any of the farming part. Their kids were in a nearby local school and were currently working in their holidays as “trek guides”. We took along one of those children for our trek, convinced on Rs. 200 against the 500 any other adult guide would take. The women enthusiastically posed for pictures after the small chat we had on their routines.

We now had to walk 1-2 kms to reach the Rudradhari Temple. It was a simple trek, not that it was like a basic motorable road. A path had been built up to the temple, tiresome for some and tranquil for many. Through rocks and little river streams, we started. The path was built in a forested structure, surrounded by lush green trees. I took many pictures and videos to rightly capture those few moments. It was a beautiful temple up there, not one of those big huge prosperous ones, just a simple one situated next to a waterfall (not bearing a heavy water shower though).

On our way back, I went up for rock climbing and rappelling, for the first time, at quite a high mountain. I was afraid, but those who overcome their fears come before those who don’t fear. It was really rewarding to see all the people cheering me while I climbed up as quickly as possible. After the adventure section, we moved back towards the hotel. We rode back two kids and an old man back to their home. On our way to the hotel, we went to a local dhaba. On the rooftop of the dhaba was a full-fledged view of Kausani, the forests, the landscape, the step farms, the animals, the locals, the beautiful sun hid behind the clouds. It was finally getting over. We were going back home the next day, how blue it was, to leave that weather and that amity. Another night with delicious food, hot gulab jamuns and a pleasing weather passed by. We headed back to Delhi, with loads of memories in hand!

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