Friday, 12 August 2011

Kausani, Uttarakhand

Kausani, situated in Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand, is an idyllic travel destination for those who want to enjoy calm, quite and peaceful holidays, away from the hubbub of cities. It is located at an altitude of approximately 1890 meters above the sea level and is basically known for its scenic splendor and historical links. This picturesque hill top offers a spectacular 300-km panoramic view of the majestic Himalayas. The calmness and serenity in the atmosphere of Kausani is charismatic enough to keep you mesmerized for hours. 

Set amidst dense pine forests, with a panoramic view of Someshwar valley on one side and Garur and Baijnath Katyuri valley on the other, Kausani is a captivating location for the admirers of scenic splendor. The place is unparallel in terms of raw and unscathed beauty. The less polluted air and salubrious climate of the place makes it an ideal destination for those want a break from the choking atmosphere of cities. Due to its similarity with the landscape of Switzerland, Mahatma Gandhi gave Kausani the name of “The Switzerland of India”. 

The tranquil and placid hamlet of Kausani, located amidst dense forests and lofty mountains, offers tourists interesting trekking opportunities as well. It is the distinct landscape and beautiful atmosphere of the place, along with varied flora and fauna, which makes it an ideal trekking location. Sunder Dhunga Trek, Milam Glacier Trek and Pindari Glacier Trek are some of the most treks near Kausani.

Places to See:

Anashakti Ashram

Anashakti Ashram is a quiet and silent place in Kausani, where Mahatama Gandhi spent a few days of his life and wrote his commentary on Anashkti Yog, called ‘Geeta-Anashakti-Yog’. Though this ashram has now been converted into a study cum research center, an accommodation facility with 24 rooms is still available. An attached library and kitchen are added advantage of staying in the ashram. This place is worth a visit due to its historical connections with Mahatma Gandhi and a study of Anashkti Yog. Other than this, the intellectual aura of this place indeed sets it apart from the other tourist spots in Kausani.

Pant Museum

Pant Museum, the birth place of famous Hindi-Poet Sumitra Nandan Pant, is another place worth visiting in Kausani. It has a gallery, especially built in the memory of Pant, with a collection of over hundreds of English and Hindi books, displayed in glass shelves. The museum is, indeed, an interesting place for literature lovers, where they can enjoy the beauty of literature amidst beautiful surroundings. A poetry conference is organized in this museum every year, to mark the birth anniversary of Pant, with many famous poets participating in it.

Lakshmi Ashram

Lakshmi Ashram was established in 1964, by Catherine Hillman, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi who later became famous as Sarlaben. The ashram works for the progress of Kumaoni women, helping them become self-dependent. In the ashram, the women are taught several skills, like growing vegetables, cooking, caring for the animals and cleaning.


Kausani Excursions

Approximately 52 km from Kausani is a picturesque hill-top Almora, with breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, definitely worth paying a visit. The place is famous for its rich cultural heritage, distinctive handicrafts, luxurious cuisine and splendid wildlife. 

The famous hill station of Nainital is at a distance of 117 km from Kausani and makes up a great excursion place. This hill town is famous for its enchanting lake, fascinating views of Himalayas, lush greenery, pleasing weather and a peaceful atmosphere. 

Ranikhet, the 'Queen's Meadow', is a small hill station that falls about 80 km away from Kausani. A sylvan, calm and striking town, it boasts of a number of attractions to keep you enchanted. 

Pindari Glacier

Pindari Glacier, at an altitude of 3353 m, forms a wonderful excursion from Kausani. This glacier is famous for trekking throughout the world. It is situated between the snow-covered Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot mountains ranges and is a must-visit excursion from Kausani

Kafni Glacier
Situated at an altitude of 3853 m, this glacier is a trekkers' paradise. On the way to the glacier, you come across several awe-inspiring views of the mighty Himalayan ranges, making your trek a delightful experience. 

Patal Bhubaneswar
Approximately 100 km from Kausani, Patal Bhubaneswar is a temple perched at an elevation of 1350 m above sea level. The temple is named so because of its location, below the ground level, which is reached through a narrow tunnel shaped way, comprising of approximately 200 steps. The temple, said to be the abode of 33 crore Hindu God and Goddess, is famous for its stone carvings. 


Baijnath is a famous temple built by Katyuri rulers. Merely 17 km from the town of Kausani, it is made up of a cluster of Shiv-Parvat temple. One of the most famous temples is Kot-ki-Mai. 

Approximately 38 km from Kausani and 23 Km from Baijnath, situated on the confluence of Gomti and Surya rivers, Bagnath is famous for its scenic grandeur, Bagnath temple and Shiva temple (constructed during the reign of Chand rulers). The famous Uttarani fair takes place here every year. The temple complex here is the main tourist attraction. 

Within easy distance from the heart of Bageshwar, are the two facing hills of Neeleshwar and Bheeleshwar. Bheeleshwar can be reached by a motorable road (about 15 minutes drive), while Neeleshwar is a half an hour easy climb by the stairs. The famous temples, Chandika Temple and Shiva Temple, are located atop Bheeleshwar and Neeleshwar hills. 

Approximately 11 km from Kausani, on the Kausani-Amora route, lies the Someshwar town. The area is famous for housing a Shiva temple, said to be the 12th Jyortirlinga in India. The Temple was built by ruler Lakshmi Chand in 1602 and houses idols dating from 7th to 16th century. 

Rudhradhari Falls & Cave 

Rudhradhari Falls and Cave form one of the major attractions on the Kausani-Almora Road, on the way to Someshwar. It is situated at a distance of approximately 12 km from Kausani.

Nature lovers can move from Kausani to Binsar to visit the famous wildlife sanctuary here. Binsar also offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges............

How to Reach Kausani

The nearest air link from Kausani is provided by Pantnagar Airport, which is about 177 km away from hill resort. 

Kathgodam is the nearest railway station from Kausani, which is about 142 km from the hill resort.

By road, Kausani is well connected with major destinations like Delhi (419 km), Nainital (117 km) and Almora (52 km)............

Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand

Mukteshwar is a small town, and one of the most-sought tourist destinations, in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an altitude of 7,500 ft above sea level and is famous for the wonderful 180-degree view of the captivating snow capped mountain ranges that it provides. The second highest mountain-peak of India, Nanda Devi, is also visible from Mukteshwar. The other ranges one can see from Mukteshwar are Neelkantha (Blue-throated Shiva), Trishul (Shiva’s Trident), Nanadaghunti (the Veil of the Goddess), and the Panchuli Group. 

Apart from the scenic vistas of mountain ranges it provides, Mukteswar is also famous for its beautiful orchards, dense coniferous forests and old colonial bungalows. One of the most famous attractions of this place is the Shiva Temple, known as ‘Mukteshwar Dham’, after which the entire region was named Mukteshwar. A 350-year-old temple, it is situated at the highest point in Mukteshwar. The temple consists of a beautiful white marble Shiva lingam. Other than this, one can also visit Chauli-ki-Jali, a site marked by mountain-rocks that project out from the hill at a bizarre angle.

Chauli-ki-Jali also provides opportunities for rock climbing and rappelling. It promises to offer astonishing views of many scavenger birds, pouncing down on their preys, as well. According to the local belief, the wishes made here are certainly fulfilled. When in Mukteshwar, you can also visit the sunrise point at PWD guest house and have a mesmerizing experience of dawn. People interested in science and technologies have two more places to visit in Mukteshwar, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute and ‘Renewable Park’, developed by Energy and Research Institute of India.

Places to See:

Chauthi Jali

It is a historical place which is also called Chauli Ki Jali by the locals and is situated adjacent to the Mukteshwar temple. Mythology believes that a demon and a goddess had fought a battle in this place and bleak outlines in the place are to be seen which resemble a shield and the trunk of an elephant which are testimonials of the battle. Legend also has it the barren women who came here and touched the lattice around the rock were blessed with a child.

Mukteshwar Temple

One of the sacred places to visit in the area is the Mukteshwar temple. Dedicated to lord Shiva, it is a legendary pilgrimage and Mukteshwar has acquired its name from the name of the temple. It is situated at the top of a hill and can be reached by climbing a series of steep stone stairs.

Indian Veterinary Research Institute 

A British legacy, Indian Veterinary Institute is one of the leading advanced research facilities engaging in live stock research and is dedicated to the development of the region. It was established at the Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory in 1889 at Pune on the recommendation of the Cattle Plague Commission, and was later relocated to Mukteshwar in 1893. Further, it was developed into the Indian Veterinary research Institute. There is a library and museum as well inside the institute campus.

Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow 

The PWD inspection Bungalow in Mukteshwar is an architectural wonder. It is situated close to the Mukteshwar temple and is a landmark in the town. The bungalow has lush green surroundings and beautiful views which makes it a must-see in the hill station............

How to Reach Mukteshwar

The nearest airport to Mukteshwar is the Pantnagar Airport, located at a distance of 111 km.

The nearest railway station from Mukteshwar is Kathgodam, which is at a distance of 73 km.

Mukteshwar is at a distance of 353 km from Delhi, 51 km from Nainital and 42 km from Haldwani............

Srirangapatna, Karnataka

Located in the Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka, Srirangapatna or Srirangapatnam, as it is popularly known as, is one of the amazing destinations to spend a fantastic weekend. This small township is located exztremely close to the city of Mysore, which is known for its religious, cultural and historic importance. The town of Srirangapatna is enclosed by River Kaveri to form an island. The topography of the place is such that while River Kaveri flows on the eastern side of the island, Paschima Vaahini segment of the same river flows on the western side.

The presence of River Kaveri and Paschima Vaahini is considered extremely auspicious and sacred, making Srirangapatnam a sanctifying place on the whole. People from far come to Srirangapatnam to immerse the ashes of the departed in River Kaveri and Paschima Vaahini. Talking about the accessibility of Srirangapatnam, it is easily accessible by all the modes of transport. While the best bet would be to undertake a road or rail journey to this small township, people coming from far away areas can also go for airways. Bangalore airport is the nearest aerodrome to Srirangapatnam. After de-boarding from the trains, one can take bus or train to reach this beautiful and enriched town. 

Coming to the tourist attraction places, there are a lot of places to see in Srirangapatnam. The best feature about this place is that though it is a small town; it caters to the interest of one and all. The place forwards various artistic and magnificent monuments and forts. Apart from this, there are also temples and picnic spots. So whether it is reveling in the past or having a good time outside or being in unison with the Almighty, the place has something for everyone. The presence of Ranganathaswamy temple further invigorates the importance of Srirangapatnam, making it one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in South India.

Places to See:

Ranganathaswamy Temple

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Srirangapatna, the Ranganathaswamy temple enshrines the deity of Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha. As per history, Ganag ruler Tirumalaiya is believed to have built this temple in the 9th century. Intricately carved, the temple extends tourist finest architecture that is a blend of Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles. Apart from this striking place of worship, there are other temples as well in the complex dedicated to Gowtama muni and the River Cauvery. 


Picnics are something most urbanites miss on, due to lack of time or place. One of the great ways to rekindle love amongst family members and explore Srirangapatnam at the same time would be to head towards Sangam. A popular picnic spot, it marks the point wherein River Loakpavani joins with River Cauvery. A gorgeous location, tourist can thoroughly revel in the natural beauty. In addition to this, the place is easily accessible by Srirangapatnam.

Colonel Bailey Dungeon

One of the most dreaded yet historically important places, it is where Tipu Sultan’s prisoners of war were jailed. The place is so called because Colonel Bailey died in these dungeons in 1780 AD. Turning the pages of history, it is said that Captain Baird, Captain Rulay, Colonel Brithwite, Samson, Frazer and Lindsay were imprisoned in these dungeons. During the confiscation of Srirangapatna, it is argued that one cannon rolled back and fell into the dungeon, piercing the ceiling. Even today the cannon is lying therein. 

Darya Daulat Baug

Built by Tipu Sultan in 1784, Darya Daulat Baug, or Summer Palace as it is popularly called, was an alternative place wherein he received his visitors and conducted durbars. The palace extends as a magnificent sightseeing place. Set amidst manicured lawns and flower­beds, the palace is a must-visit site. The interior of the palace is as captivating as its exterior, what with a wealth of paintings hanging on the wall and intricate designing.

Srirangpatna Fort...........

How to Reach Srirangapatna

Bangalore airport located in Devanhalli in Bangalore is the nearest aerodrome that connects Srirangapatnam to Bangalore. The airport is located at a distance of about 127 km and is connected to all the parts of India and abroad. 

Though there is a station at Srirangapatna, trains halt herein for only a couple of minutes.

Srirangapatnam can also be reached by road............

Kabini, Karnataka

Kabini - a name that is synonymous with elephants, dense forests and yes, a serene river. Yes, this is exactly what defines Kabini. On a more literary note, Kabini is a wildlife sanctuary that earlier used to be the hunting lodge of the Maharajas of Mysore. Nowadays it is better emerging as a weekend getaway from the nearby cities like Mysore and Bangalore, and probably it deserves all this due to its easy accessibility, lush green landscape, picturesque lake and amazing sights of herds of elephants.

Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary that had been a favorite hunting spot for the British Viceroys is, today, recognized as being one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka. Spread over 55 acres of forestland, Kabini is 80 kms away from Mysore and 205 km from Bangalore. Kabini Forest Reserve is the abode of a rich variety of flora and fauna. Though particularly known for elephants, Kabini offers no less chance to spot sambar, langurs, chital, bison, sloth bear, crocodile, pythons, tiger and leopard. The Sanctuary also boasts of approx. 250 species of birds. 

Owing to spectacular waterfalls, gushing waters of the river Kabini, and acres of greenery, the forests of Kabini are highly enchanting. Ripple-filled waters of Kabini are soothing to the core; in fact, Kabini offers the right vacation to leave behind the mundane routine and spend some time with your own self. If you want to be a little adventurous, then you can indulge in wildlife spotting, bird-watching, boating at Kabini River, an Elephant Safari, or a Jungle Safari.

Places to See:

Elephants, elephants and more elephants - this is what we all know is mostly visible in Kabini. The naturally beautiful landscape and water brooks are some other good reasons which attract tourists to this wildlife sanctuary. The Mother Nature has been benevolent to Kabini where forests are blessed with rippling streams, rich flora, amazing fauna and avifauna, to name a few. As far as tourist attractions in Kabini are concerned, the sanctuary is an attraction in its own.


The rainfall influences the flora of Kabini Park to a great extent. Most parts contain dry-deciduous forests and moist-deciduous forests. Moist deciduous exist in the region where the annual rainfall usually exceeds 1000mm and dry-deciduous where the rainfall is lesser. The park is also home to assorted microhabitat types like hadlus, which are shallow clayey valley bottoms containing swamp savannas and short grass clearings or veiwlines, which are meant to help game viewing for the tourists. Trees offering flowers, such as Flame of the Forest, Indian Coral Tree, Red Silk Cotton, Indian Laburnum and the Padri, appear lovely and add color to the park. The Kabini River is marked by a dam, which creates a big lake dominated by Giant Bamboo on its banks. 


The ecosystem of this region supports the highest density of herbivores anywhere in Asia. Studies reveal that the region has 108 animals per sq km. Large herbivores found here are Muntjak, Chital, Sambar, Four-horned antelope, Gaur, Wild pig, Asian Elephant, Common Langur and the Bonnet Macaque. Out of these herbivores, the Chital, Sambar, Gaur, Wild pig, Muntjak and Common Langur are hunted by the Tiger, Leopard and Wild Dog. Moreover, here the prey species are found in different sizes. Owing to the availability of prey in the appropriate size, there is an adequate balance of species. Some primary reasons for large carnivore population in Kabini are availability of appropriate sized prey, dense cover and tree density............

How to Reach Kabini

Bangalore Airport, at the distance of 208 kms, is the nearest airport from Kabini. Bangalore airport is connected to almost all the airports in India and a few international airports. 

Mysore Junction is the nearest railhead at a distance of 80 kms from Kabini.

Regular buses are available from different major cities like Bangalore and Mysore to Kabini............

Udupi, Karnataka

Located about 60km from Mangalore, the pilgrimage town of Udupi was the abode of Madhavacharya, the renowned Sanskrit philosopher and scholar. Besides the famous Krishna Temple and a cluster of mutts, Udupi is also well known for its delectable vegetarian delicacies.

The Krishna Temple, founded by the famous 13th-century Vaishnava teacher Madhava, is the major sacred site in Udupi. A unique feature of temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' - a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa, a saint-minstrel. The Paryaya festival, when incumbent priests hand over their responsibilities to other pontiff, attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country every alternate year.

Udupi has been made famous by the eponymous eateries that serve delicious vegetarian food. The popular masala dosas and idlis figure prominently in the menu mainly comprising traditional South Indian vegetation food. These restaurants, with their affordable rates, quick turnover and simple but good food, have rapidly proliferated all over India.

Places to See:

Krishna Temple

One of the very famous religious sites in Udupi, Krishna Temple enshrines the deity of Lord Krishna. Set up by the great sage Sri Madhvacharya, the temple has an interesting anecdote connected to it. As per lengend, Kanakadasa, an ardent believer and worshipper of Lord Krishna, was not allowed into the temple. Pleased by the devotion of the devotee, the Lord turned the Krishna statue in a direction which allowed the disciple to regard his Lord’s heavenly form, through a little window at the back of the matha. This window is termed as ‘Kanakana Kindi’ and is an attractive feature of the temple.

Anantheshwar Temple

Located in Manjeshwar, Anantheshwar Temple is well-known as ‘Manjula Kshetra’ and ‘The temple of 18 towns’. The temple has a long heritage that dates back to a thousand years. It is believed that Parasurama upon recovering land from the sea, coroneted his devotee Ramabhoja as a ruler. Unintentionally, he once wiped out a snake. To get himself off from sarpa dosha, he then made a silver peetham with a snake cut out on it. Ramabhoja then installed Parasurama in the linga swaroopam and revered him as Anantheswara. Thus, the temple of Anantheshwar came into being.

Kaup Beach

Located 12 kms southwards of Udupi is Kaup Beach - one of the most beautiful beaches in South India. A lovely site boasting of undisturbed serenity and tranquility, Kaup beach is situated on the coastal belt. For photographers, it is nothing less than a paradise on earth. The 100ft lighthouse on the rocks makes way to be an ideal place to let the camera go on a roll. The place is utmost romantic and blissful. 

More Places:

St. Mary's Island Beach...........

St. Marys Island beach

Located 58 km north of Mangalore, the St. Mary's Island beach is special for the unique formation of basalt rocks which have crystallized into columns and split into vertical hexagonal blocks. This group of islands is accessible by ferry from Malpe which is a major fishing harbor. 

Contrary to other beaches with endless stretch of golden sand, St Mary's Island's rocky terrain does not encourage swimming or strolling along the shores. One can only gaze around and marvel at the idiosyncrasies of the expansive rock formations strewn around the beach. 

St Mary's group of islands got their name courtesy Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who descended on these islands in 1498 before he reached Calicut. Gama called one of the islands "El Padron de Santa Maria." The northernmost island is about a square mile in area and not more than 250 yards in width. It has a coconut grove, which makes it the shadiest island of the group and gives it true South Sea color............

Mookambika temple

Nestled in the foot of the Western Ghats, the Mookambika temple in the village of Kollur attracts devotees from all over India. One of the seven pilgrimages created by Parashurama, Kollur is devoted to goddess Parvathi while the other pilgrimages are devoted to Lord Shiva, Lord Subramanya and Lord Ganesha. The temple derives its name from a demon Mookasura who was destroyed by the goddess Shakti.

The sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Mookambika temple contains the Shiva lingam called the Jyothirlingam. The lingam is divided into two unequal parts by a golden line and is visible only in the light of reflected sunlight pointed at the lingam. The right portion of the lingam represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva while the larger left part represents Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi.

The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been sanctified by great religious scholar Adi Shankaracharya during his visit to this place. The temple has a gold plated crest and copper roofs............

Marawanthe Beach

One of the most scenic beaches in Karnataka, Marawanthe beach is located 50km from Udupi along the NH-17 bordered by the Arabian Sea on one side and the Souparnika River on the other side. This stunning stretch of land of golden sands and blue water is an ideal spot for unwinding.

If the captivating beauty of the Marawanthe landscape leaves you spellbound, the fabulous sunset will make you stay here forever. As the sun fades in the horizon, the sky turns crimson and the golden rays of the sun are reflected in the sea as well as the river. The serene beauty of Maravanthe has made it a popular picnic spot for the locals.

Baindur, a hamlet 45 kms from Marawanthe, has another picturesque beach. A further drive will take you to the Belaka Theertha Falls near Baindur. Illuminated by streetlights, Marawanthe turns into a cool nightspot after dark............

How to Reach Udupi

The nearest airport from Udupi is the Mangalore airport, which is located at Bajpe, at a distance of 60 km.

The railway station at Udupi falls on the Konkan Railway network and there are trains to most major cities of the state, like Mangalore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Mysore, etc.

Mangalore city is only 60 km away from Udupi............
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