Wednesday, 16 May 2012

When I was In Kausani - Part 2

Morning was chilly so nobody wanted to wake-up. We just wanted to spend some more time inside the quilt but after some sluggishness, I woke up and came out. Himalaya was awesome but still covered with clouds. I went for little walk inside the rest house campus. No one was seen their, except some foreigners. Well I enjoyed those moments with myself and after a short walk; I came back and ordered for coffee and breakfast. 

By that time my other friends also had been woke up. After breakfast, we made our plan for the day. We wanted to explore Kausani as much as we could in a single day. We got ready by the 11AM. Rest house manager told us that we can go to some places, like – Ansakti Ashram, Sumitra nanadan Pant Museum, which are inside the market and we also can go to Rudradhari Temple. He said – but for this temple, we will have to go by taxi and after drive, we would have to trek almost 3-4 km. we all were trekking lovers so decided that we'll go to this temple. Now It was sunny and view of Himalaya was clear. Kausani was in different mood.

When we reached market, first we went to Anskati Ashram. It was clean, calm and quite. Anskati Ashram is a place where Gnadhiji came in 1929 and wrote his Anaskti Yog. This place has well managed. Here you can find so many things about Gandhiji. One prayer hall is also here where we sat for a while. It was a nice experience for all of us. When we were returning from here, we felt very peaceful. After Anskati Ashrm we went to the Sumitranandan Pant Museum. Sumitranandan Pant was a great poet of kumaun. His Ancestral house is here which has converted in to the museum. His desk, his books and so many other things are here but the condition of this museum was very pitiable.

Some temple was also in the market and after roaming around here, we went in a shop to ask for a taxi for the Rudradhari Temple. He arranged a taxi for us and suggested to take guide along because temple was far from the road and jungle is very dense where we can easily get lost. First, we thought that he is making us fool for some extra bucks but when other people also advised the same, we decided to take a guide. After 1-2 hours taxi dropped us at trekking point, now it's trekking time. With our guide, we moved on.

 It was truly a dense pine forest. Our decision of taking guide was right and the village people were actually trying to help us. Route was very hard-hitting. Some time it was going downward and then abruptly, it was going upward. No doubt, any stranger can easily get lost here. Overall, we were enjoying this trekking. A rivulet was also there in jungle but the water level was low perhaps it would be monsoon rivulet.

 Well after this interesting 3 hours trek, we were at the Rudradhari Temple. We saw a huge waterfall there. May the water would be coming from the same rivulet, which we saw in jungle. We were little exhausted so could not stop ourselves from going inside the pond in front of waterfall. We were trying to go deep in this pond but our guide stopped us. He said – it's very deep there so don’t go there…could be dangerous. We turned back, set on the bank of waterfall and our feet were inside the water.

 After some relaxation, we went inside the temple. It was Shiva temple and one Shrine was also there but guide could not tell us much about the temple. He only said – one baba ji lives here but that time he was not there. When we were returning, I saw women carrying grass bundle on their head. It was something, which always makes me feel very sad. I suddenly said – Our villages are still alive because of these hard working women, Real example of Nari Shashaktikaran. Guide said - Yes, you are right. Men do not do anything. They play cards and drink, which has become a biggest problem now and those who are little literate they are migrating in big cities for work. Only women, kids and old people left in village and women have to take all responsibilities of their house and agriculture. We realize, our guide is a nice and emotional fellow. He sang a folk song and no doubt, his voice was very sweet.

When we were on the road, we decided to go further on the road, which was going into the village. When we were on the way one cow came in front of our car and got scared. She started running frantically here and there. We thought cow could fall down so we back. We spent a beautiful day and exploring day but now time to take food. We went in a hotel… had rice and dal and then walked back to rest house. This time again, we had tea in a same restaurant. Though, we explored a lot but get exhausted also. Evening time we took a small walk to the restaurant, had tea and back. After dinner, we went into the bed.

Next morning we had to back. We wanted to stay there for some more days but time was a big problem. May be one day we will go there again to spend some more time…


Monday, 7 May 2012

When I was in Kausani - Part 1

I had this journey in 2006. Me and my friends planned this trip in a hurry. Actually, we had two days off so we decided to go some suitable and beautiful destination and then we thought about Kausani. After our final planning, we booked K.M.V.N. rest house for our stay. Kausani is situated in the Bageshwar of the Uttarakhand State. The altitude of Kausani is about 1890mts. From Kausani many Himalayan Peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchahuli can bee seen easily. Mahatma Gandhi called this place the ‘Switzerland of India’.

Month was perhaps October or November. Eerily morning 6.30 we set off for the Kausani. By all good luck, we found direct bus for Kausani. We took tickets and start chattering. After a while bus moved to Bhowali, a town with a small market. Around 25-30 minutes, we were at Bhowali and From Bhowali, we set off to the Almora. This route was well known for me. This road goes along with a Kosi river. We crossed Garampani, and after Garampani  another small town, Kanchi Ashram, Kakrighat and Somvargiri Maharaj Ashram. Water level of Kosi was very low. In fact, it was almost dry. Around 10.00 A.M. we were at Almora.

From here, we start our journey for Kausani. This route was utterly new for all of us. So many small and beautiful villages were on this route. I forgot the name of those villages now but the whole valley was very stunning. I was gazing out and imagining that everything was moving with us. New villages were appearing one after one. On this route, we crossed the Someshwer Valley, which is beautiful and historical place.

Slowly - slowly bus was moving forward and stopping to drop and pickup the passengers only. On the whole journey, bus stopped only one place for tea and breakfast. Weather was pleasant. It was not very hot, not very cold. After 15 minutes rest, bus starts for next destination, which was Kausani.

Around 12.00 noon, bus dropped us at small market of Kausani. We went in a shop and asked for K.M.V.N. rest house. Shopkeeper told, only taxi goes there and will charge 50 bucks. We took a taxi and set off for the rest house. After 20-25 minutes, we were at rest house. We already had our booking so after some formalities, we entered in room. In front of our room, the mesmerizing view of Himalaya was seeking our attention, though, it was covered in clouds. We called for a coffee and had it with the majestic view of Himalaya. Those moments were magical and after those magical moments, time to pamper our hunger so we ordered for lunch. After lunch, we lie down and decided to go for a walk at evening.

At the evening around 4.30 we went for a walk. Scenario of Kausani was change this time and was looking spectacular. Manager told us – we cannot go elsewhere this time except market because all places would have closed by this time. So we took walk to the market. Manager alerts us and said – don’t go anywhere else coz its evening and soon it will get dark, which can be dangerous for us.

When we were walking, we met with many foreigners. Their behavior showing, that they knows everything about the place. Weather was slightly cold but not chilled so it was enjoyable. When we were walking, we found that rest house was only 2 km. walk from market, which is good walking distance. It was sunset and market of Kausani had closed. Only few shops were open but not for people like us. Only for those who love to have some drink… So we thought it would be good to get back. When we were returning we saw a small PAHARI dhaba. Restaurant was good means no one was drinking there so we went in and asked for a tea. Restaurant guy said, he would make a ginger tea for us. We came out and set in verandah where wood fire was burning. It was marvelous experience to sit in front of wood fire coz in cites this luxury is unaffordable. Same time some village people came to us. They wanted to know about us. We said - We are also Pahari. They said – Now mostly Bangali come here. I asked – but we saw many foreigners here. They said – actually, they are foreigners but now turn into Pahari. Many of them have settled here and completely adopted our culture. They can speak Hindi and our regional language Kumauni with full command.

We were indulge in our discussion meanwhile restaurant wala brought us tea. We took a sip and our reactions were like woooow… Tea was yummy and same time we decided, we would take tea here only. After finishing tea, we said goodbye to those guys and back to rest house. It had been extremely dark by this time. All of a sudden, I saw the sky and it was astonishing. Clear blue sky was dazzling with stars, which were looking like small diamonds. We didn’t wanna miss that chance so for few moments we just stood there, looking at the nature's spectacle. Now a days this sort of sky can be seen only in villages because cities are so polluted that it's next to impossible to see bright and clear blue sky. We were so deeply engrossed with it and forgot that we have to go back to rest house. After a long time we realized that, we have to move now. We were in our mood and don’t know when we took a wrong turn. Suddenly we realized that we are going inside the jungle. It was deep silence there and no people were to be seen anywhere. We couldn’t understand from where we took a wrong path. No one was there whom we asked for a right path and we don’t have our mobiles with us so we cannot call to rest house and asked for the right path. That time we were really terrified. After a while, we decided that we'll go back to the same route and there we can ask for rest house. It was very hushed. Eventually, we were at main road. Now we realized our mistake. Actually, what happened, the rode was divided there and we couldn’t see the main road and went in wrong way, which was going into the jungle. Well we were stress-free when we find a right way. After a 10 minutes' walk we were at our rest house.

At night, it was lonely. We took our dinner in our room and after a short talk; we went to sleep in nature lap…