During my forest bathing in Uttarakhand's Jeolikote, Harshit from VistaStays pushed me to go out of the forest and visit a few different landscapes for a change. I was sitting duck there for a week doing absolutely nothing, such was the comfort of the forest. He suggested Almora and Kasar Devi for its proximity to Jeolikote.Situated in the Uttarakhand Kumaons 10 km from Almora, and 80 from Jeolikote, Kasar Devi is known for its tranquil environment and panoramic view of the Nanda Devi National Park. It is one of the three high geomagnetic field regions on Earth, the other two being Peru's Machu Pichu and England's Stone Henge. Owing to this worldly phenomenon, people looking to meditate has found enhanced calming effects around the village. Believers, on the other hand, care not about it and consider the temple's power to be mysterious.I took a local transit bus from Jeolikote to Bhowali, 20 kms ride on the hilly slopes. From Bhowali it is a change in transport, there were busses and shared cabs/private taxis to choose from. I hopped into the more economical and faster option, shared cab ferry. The road from Bhowali to Almora is one of the best in Uttarakhand mountains. Long windy one, alongside deep gorgeous valleys, painted with mostly Deodhars and some pines. We made it to Almora in 90 minutes.
Do drop by or say hi if you're around kumaon region, Uttarakhand. it would be lovely sharing some stories by the fire.Thank you for holding your breath. You may now exhale.:)If you like the photos, you'll love the stories.Check my work on instagram and facebook.Thank you, and blessed be you journeys. Happy Tripping.
Day 5, hiked down 30 minutes with Abhishek to the village to get freshly baked Cream Rolls and Faen from Bubu's bakery, he also runs the village post office, and Faen is his tea snacks specialty. Saw the village school and thatched houses. Drank fresh spring water and breathed in green air as much as possible. I was fueling up for the next few days in Gurgaon city before I take off again.
Day 2 was 30th of December, and hiking the mountain was an obvious choice(Duh.. I wanted to sleep at the time, but internally voted against it). Led by Bubu, along with Harshit, Shantanu, Abhishek and Prabal I went on my first mountain hike ever. Last of 2018 turned out to be the first of a lot of things. ???? 45 minutes uphill hike, some patches were higher than my height and I had crawled my way up with folks pushing and pulling me at the same time, holding a stick and receiving breathing instructions from the veterans of the Jungle mountains. At the end of the hike were exhilaration and a huge burst of emotion towards achieving a simple yet effortful feat. The spot was apparently a Sunset one, and we were right on time to catch glimpses of this magic unfolding before us. It was worth the gasps and bewilderment.After this downhill was easier.We had Bubu-made special bhaang-patta ki chutney with dinner. Ask for it if you ever visit Jeolikote.
Day 1 of the visit was mostly expended in recovering from the exhaustion caused to the body by being a couch potato all my life and not being able to climb the easiest of trails without help and motivation, but that was a first and last. Under the care of the Man of the House, Bubu, who is a village local of Jeolikote and takes care of the hostel, I tended to my voluntary wounds with adrak wali kadak chai and got chatting with Harshit and Shantanu, the partners of Vista. Day 1 ended with light puff-puff-pass(es) and warm Rum at 1 Degree C in Cafe Luna, Vista's rooftop cafe, and oh, how the moon shone that night!