Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A sojourn in the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas : Charming Chaukori - (Part 4)

Day 4 - Oct 5th , 2015

A small village that offers splendid views of Mt. Panwalidhwar , Mt. Nanda devi , Mt. Nanda Kot , Mt. Nanda East and the Panchachuli range is Chaukori.


Chaukori is a small hill station in the Pithoragarh district set among the lofty peaks, of the western Himalayan Range in the Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand, India. To the north is Tibet and to the south is Terai. The Mahakali River, running along its eastern boundary, forms the Indo-Nepal international border.

Chaukori's elevation is 2010 m with spectacular panoramic views of the snowy peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and the Panchchuli group. It is approximately 10 km from Berinag, another little hill station.

I was told that the sunrise would cast a golden spell on the mighty mountains. Hence , I was eager to witness this spectacle right in front of my eyes. We all woke up early to watch the sunrise ,( which we never do in Bangalore :)

 Nanda Devi , Nanda Kot and Nanda East

 Nanda East

 Colorful Layers

Nanda Devi 

 Panchachuli ranges

  Panchachuli ranges

We then set off to an ashram which is very near to the KMVN guest houses. This place is situated in a vast open grassland, and the views of the mountains are extremely clear.

Panwalidhwar , Nandadevi , Sunandadevi

Monochrome mountains

Next, we planned to visit a place called Pathal Bhuvaneshwar. Believe me, this was one of the best places  I have ever seen.

Pathal Bhuvaneshwar

Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave temple, 14 km from Gangolihat in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state in India. It is located in the village Bhuvaneshwar. Legend and folklore have it that this underground cave enshrines Lord Shiva and thirty three crore Gods . The cave is about 100 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance.

Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various colors and forms. This cave has a narrow tunnel-like opening which leads to a number of caves. The cave is fully electrically illuminated. Built by the flow of water, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a series of caves within caves.

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed at the place.

"This awesome cave is believed to be as old as the earth itself. It has been mentioned in detail in the  "Skanda Purana". The first human who entered this cave was king "Rituparna" of Surya Dynasty during the "Tretayuga". It is said that during his visit, he had encountered several demons and "Sheshnaag" himself acted as his guide.
One can see the gateway of the great ages in Patal Bhuvaneshwar. There are four entrances inside the cave named as ‘Randwar’ , ‘Paapdwar’, ‘Dharamdwar’ and ‘Mokshadwar’. The Paapdwar was closed soon after the death of Ravana and the Randwar, literally, the road to war, was closed down after the great Mahabharata war. At present only two gateways are opened. You can see the tongue of Kali Bhairav, Airavat of Indra, hairs of Lord Shiva and several other wonders inside the caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

In "Dwaparyuga" this cave was rediscovered by the Pandavas. In Kaliyuga, Adishankar Acharya consecrated this cave and since 1191, this has been a place of visit, both for sightseeing and worship."

By sunset, we were back at Chaukori.

Last rays if sun hitting the Panchachuli peak

Star trails along Berinag village

Day 5 - Oct 6th , 2015

The next morning, Satish uncle and myself walked towards the ashram to shoot mountains during sunrise.

 Panorama (stitched 8 images)


The area is also good for bird photography. Within a span of 1 hour, we could spot around 10 species of birds


 Black headed Jay

  Black headed Jay
  Black headed Jay
  Black headed Jay
Red billed blue magpie

KMVN guesthouses with Nandadevi in the backdrop

Bounded by beautiful  snow-covered peaks, and dense forests, Chaukori is a dream weekend getaway from Nainital for people who admire the exquisite beauty of nature and to enjoy absolute peace and tranquility.

Gaurav Resort

Gaurav Resort is an ideal accommodation , that is situated just before the KMVN guesthouse, near the police checkpost at Chaukori.

Tarriff : Rs. 1000/- per room per night

Note : This may change, based on seasons and inflow of tourists
We stayed here for two nights.

Getting there 

Delhi - 530 km
Kathgodam - 230 km via Almora and Bageshwar

Nainital - 200 km

Reach Chaukori By Air 
IG Airport at Delhi or the Jolly grant airport at Dehradun, are the nearest ones to approach Chaoukori as these airports are well connected from major Indian cities 

Reach Chaukori By Rail 
The nearest railway station is Kathgodam.  Chaukori town is situated at a distance 198 kilo meters from the closest rail head Kathgodam. From the railway station you can hire private cars or can get buses to reach Chaukori. Trains are also there from capital city Delhi to Kathgodam on a daily basis. 

Reach Chaukori By Road 
Tourists can reach Chaukori by bus, the major and well known  places like Haldwani and Almora. Apart from the state buses, pilgrims can also catch buses from otherplaces of India such as Delhi and Nainital. The distance between Chaukori and Nainital is around 200 kilo meters. 

Our Route ...

Nainital - Almora - Jageshwar - Danya - Berinag - Chaukori

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    Superb captures and informative description!!!

    Can you please share if there are any small guesthouse/homestay like options with a view in Chaukori?

    I am going to visit Chaukori in March. I am a budget tarveller and looking for cheaper options with a view. Basic amenities only-not looking for luxury.

    Please provide the info. and if possible number.

    Will be a great help

    Thanks and Regards


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