Gem 2 : Kausani
Soul of India lives in her villages. To discover India, one needs to travel to her villages. Village life, though has undergone drastic changes due to the influence of the outside world but still retains some of the deep rooted traditional values.
We always prefer staying at villages…it connects ourselves to our roots.
We booked our stay at a small village named Simkholi, about 18 kms.away from Kausani, a popular weekend tourist destination near to Delhi. A few twist and turn on the awe inspiring mountain road with the slopes lined with Pine trees , after a small village called Manan brings you to the gate of Kosi Valley Retreat. As our car climbed the entry road, we saw a double storied stone cottage placed centrally in a sprawling lush green area. After the whirring sound of the car engine ceased, we could only hear the chirping of birds.
The place looked like a photograph out of a glossy travel magazine.It is nestled in the endless lush green pine forest which is characteristic of places like Kausani, Almora.It has a central building with 4 rooms, an independent cottage and few tents.
After we came out of the initial phase of trance, we could realize our stomach was rumbling.
Food is an integral part of any travel experience. Savoring the local flavor, knowing the ingredients used and learning new recipes has always been a part of exploring a place for me.
The food was cooked in Kumaoni style using fresh ingredients. The spinach stew, the dal, masala bhindi never tasted more delectable. The chicken prepared in their authentic way is a “must have “ at the place.
The place gets its name from The Kosi river flowing by. From the day, the Kumaon vacation was being planned, I have always imagined myself sitting by the river gazing lazily at the high mountains surrounding it while soaking my feet in the cold water of the Kosi. We balanced our way down the slope through the pine forest and reached the river. We sat there for a long time with our feet dipped in the water….It was just like the way I have always imagined. We saw the little village boys and girls herding the cattles through the river. They took a break from their job and sat on a huge rock. They spent a while chatting, giggling and splashing water at each other. Life, here was slow………you have time to enjoy “The Moments”,which we urbanites have lost in the urge of fast-paced “Development”.
The fluffy, white clouds which were sailing across the sky gradually transformed into denser, blacker form. Winds blew through the pine trees creating a sharp whistling sound. The clouds rolled down by the side of the mountains and covered the area in a heavy mist………..Torrential rain pounded the region.
The fierce avatar of the mountains during heavy rains makes one realize his fragile existence. Water gushed from the uphills towards the lower region forming numerous mini streams, everything that came in the way was washed off. The Kosi river which was calm and docile, metamorphosed into its “Rudra Roop” or destructive form. Water flowed over the huge boulders on which we were sitting peacefully few hours ago…it dragged with it huge logs of trees and all the debris which was lying lifeless in the river.
The birds flew hurriedly looking for shelter to save themselves from the ferocity of nature.The old, weak branches fell from the trees and were drained away by the force of the water.
Tiny rain droplets skilfully balanced itself on the Pine leaves.
Such downpours are a rare sight for people who dwells in city like Delhi. Me and my daughter didnot want to loose the chance of dancing in the rain. We went out and within no time we were totally drenched. We stood their with our arms flung open and face upwards and closed our eyes. We could feel each rain drop on our skin.The raindrops washed away all weariness and anguish and sowed the seed of peace within us.
It rained almost throughout the night. Next morning everything was calm and more green. The tiny stream-lets have disappeared and life was back to normal.
The birds were chirping happily … the bees were hovering over the flowers. Miley, the cute little guard dog was busy with his never ending activities.
We left for our next destination -Chaukori . On our way, we visited the Kausani Tea Estate. As soon as we entered the premises the aroma of tea filled us. The tea pluckers were busy in the tea-garden. The tea Estate has a factory in its campus and a sell counter…but, unfortunately the counter was closed and we couldnot buy any stuff.
There are number of shawl factories at Kausani. The factory is an effort to provide livelihood to the local weavers. They have an outlet with the factory. Kausani shawls are quite popular with the tourists for the good quality of material, the unique design and the affordable price.
How to reach:
- By Road:From Delhi 415 kms.(approx. 12 hrs.)
- Nearest airport: Pantnagar airport(168 kms.)
- Nearest Railhead:Kathgodam(134 Kms.)
About Kosi Valley Retreat:
Summer of 2016, took us to a journey to explore the Uttarakhand mountains of Kumaon division. We discovered 5 hidden gems of the region. 5 blogs discovering 5 places.
Please click on the links to discover the place :
Gem 2: Kausani, by the River Kosi
Gem 3: Chaukori, amongst the Pine forests
Gem 4: Munsiyari, viewing Trishul and Nandadevi
Gem 5: Binsar, in the forest