Jeolikote and Kasar: Unadulterated Beauty of The Himalayas
- October 19, 2019
- Tanushekha Agnihottri
City lights, the daily grind of office and heap of other responsibilities; we have no time to sit back and relax. Between all the hustle we look for peace and time where we can just disconnect with the rest of the world. One of the best places to visit is the Himalayas if you really want to rejuvenate yourself. Jeolikote & Kasar are hidden gems of Uttarakhand. These places are not quite popular on travellers’ list and hence offers a lot to explore. I recently visited these places and was totally in awe of their beauty. If you’re a nature lover and crave isolation in the Himalayas, then you should visit these small villages in the Kumaon region of the Uttarakhand. You’ll be spellbound by the breathtaking views of the Himalayas; from crystal clear lagoons to magnificent hilltops, these little villages have a lot offer. It’s time to update your bucket list and add these two places.
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Best time to Visit Jeolikote & Kasar
The best time to visit Jeolikote and Kasar is September when the monsoon has just gone by and the valley is all green. Although these places can be visited round the year and every season has its own beauty. Winter season starts in October and continues till February, the temperature can fall up to -10° C. Summer season is seen from March to June when the valley is full of wildflowers. You can escape heat waves of the plain areas and spend time in the valley during summer.
How to Reach Jeolikote?
The nearest Railway Station is Kathgodam from where you can get shared or private cabs and local buses to reach Jeolikote. Jeolikot is 17 km away from Kathgodam station.
Other nearest Railway Stations are Haldwani (24 km from Jeolikot), Rudrapur (55 km from Jeolikote).
The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 51 km from Jeolikote. Since the flight connectivity is limited in Pantnagar it is advisable to book the tickets in advance.
You can find direct buses for Haldwani from major cities like New Delhi, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Kanpur. And then from Haldwani cabs and local buses are available for Jeolikote.
Places to stay in Jeolikote
You will find plenty of options for accommodation in Jeolikote. But I would recommend India’s first hiking hostel HOTs– Heart of Travelers. It is situated amidst lush green jungle, you will have to hike through a trail of 700 meters. The generous staff at the HOTs will always be ready to guide you even during the night. HOTs offer dorms as well as a private room for the stay. It has a vast area covered with flora; this property was built by Britishers nearly 130 years ago. It’s the best place to chill as you will meet a lot of fellow travellers.
Sit outside, have some good food & drinks from the café and enjoy sounds of nature.
Places to visit
1. Lagoon Trek
We started exploring the place by trekking down further from HOTs hostel which leads to a beautiful Lagoon. We went down the hill and enjoyed the scenic beauty of Jeolikot. And after a trek of 25 minutes, we reached the destination. Imagine a Lagoon with crystal clear cold water between a dense forest. Take a dip in chilled water; pure bliss I must say!!!
2. Zero Point Trek
Zero-point is popular for watching the sunset. This is an uphill trek from HOTs hostel which takes you through breathtaking views of Jeolikot. The trek has a bit of strain as it will go steep at some places, but views are worth the efforts. Also, you will meet many villagers on your way indulged in their daily tasks. Don’t forget to wave them a hi and see the magic of their smiles. You’ll take around 40 minutes to finish this relishing trek.
There is a temple at the top of the hill, Bhudbhumiya Mandir. It has religious significance for the villagers of Jeolikot. To watch the sunset, sit at the hilltop and wait for the sky to begin colourful show whilst the sun is preparing to set. There was magic all around, the mountains were looking more magnificent and mystic.
This lake is 33 km away from Jeolikot, it is less crowded as compared to other lakes near Nainital. It is said to have nine corners, but it’s not possible to see all the nine corners at once. There is another lake adjacent to Naukuchiatal, Kamaltal which is covered with the lotus flowers. Naukuchiatal lake appears so surreal; you can hire a shikara boat to stroll in the lake. The picturesque landscape around the lake is treat for the photographers. You will love the pictures clicked against the lake with glorifying mountains. Paragliding is also available in Naukuchiatal to pump up your adrenaline.
Kainchidham is a famous divine place where Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba had built Hanuman Temple. There is a river flowing beside the temple. Devotees from all around the world come here to offer prayers to Hanumanji & the Baba, Mark Zukerberg and Bill Gates have also visited the Dham. You can visit the Dham on your way back to Haldwani as it lies mid-way from Kasar.
And yes, Jeolikot is a paradise for fruit lovers. It has famous fruits’ market so do buy strawberries, peaches, apricot, plums or apples, they’re too good.
This hill station is everything a traveller ever dreams of. Serene, sparsely populated and so divinely beautiful. Kasar is a hidden gem in every aspect as not many people come to stay here. Kasar is although little known for Kasar Devi Temple but has remained unexplored. We chose to stay here for 2 days and had the best time of our lives.
How to Reach Kasar?
The nearest Railway Station is Kathgodam from where you can get shared or private cabs and local buses to reach Kasar. Kasar is 90 km away from Kathgodam railway station.
The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 123 km from Kasar. Since the flight connectivity is limited in Pantnagar it is advisable to book the tickets in advance.
You can find direct buses for Haldwani from major cities like New Delhi, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Kanpur. And then from Haldwani cabs and local buses are available for Kasar.
Places to Stay in Kasar
There are some guest houses as well which we didn’t check out as we chose to stay in the only hostel available in Kasar i.e., HOTs. Here also dorms and private rooms are available. I must tell you the view from the hostel is just breathtaking. Waking up to see the snow-capped Himalayas against the dim yellow light and sipping your morning coffee, what a beauty it was.
Places to visit in Kasar
You can hire a scooter and visit Kasar Devi Temple and Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Just make sure you get the tank full before you head out, there are no petrol pumps as you go uphill. Scientists claim that Kasar Devi mandir is under influence of Van Allen belt; a powerful electromagnetic field created by the solar wind. This place has an immense positive energy which has attracted extraordinary poets, philosophers, and spiritual leaders like Swami Vivekanand Ji and Bob Dylan.
Panchachuli Weavers Point
After covering the above two places, take a trek to Panchachuli Weavers Point to witness the tranquillity of sunrise in Kasar next and long tiring trek to Lagoon amidst the Jungle. For the Lagoon Trek, guys at HOTs hostel will guide you the best. Two days is enough to cover these places, but you would love to spend a few more days at Kasar, doing nothing but exploring this place a little more.
Give your taste buds a treat and visit these cafes for some awesome food whilst indulging yourself into the serenity of Himalayas. Nutella buns at The Tea House Café by HOTs, Carrot cake, and Banoffee pie at Baba Café, masala tea at Kaafal café and momos at Dolma are must-try. Baba cafe serves delicious fluffy cakes and pies. Throughout the Uttarakhand state, there are several famous cafes that server scrumptious food.
So next time whenever you’re planning for a trip to Uttrakhand visit these secluded places, Jeolikot and Kasar. Misty mountains, dawn dews, chirping birds and smell of deodar cedar are waiting for you. You will never regret a single moment spent in the laps of the Himalayas.