The slippery, narrow road guiding up from the last town of Kathgodam that sits in the foothills of Kumaon to the upper reaches of the Kumaon hills is not at all a cake walk one has to stay calm and composed while motoring in such a terrain.
But what a treat to sit in the cabin of a heavy duty vehicle Tata Sumo that rules the terrain of the Himalayas, watching & listening to the jingle sound of the monsoon rain lashing the hillside, it’s hard to imagine a better ride.
This realistic sense of being far removed from the noise of the elements (in the world outside the car) became obvious during our four-day journey in the lower Himalayas of Kumaon, in the northern state of Uttarakhand.
Earlier, after we left Delhi, the weather all together was a little harsh with humidity and temperature. But our goal, however, was simple enough to avoid the crowded itinerary rushing towards the historic (but hopelessly over-visited) hill station of Nainital. So, we chose to travel through the kotdwar a small town that leads the way to Kumaon via a little longer but a route with absolutely no traffic.
Moving on past the entirely forgettable plains town of Haldwani, the road starts winding its way up to Kathgodam, past which it divides towards Bhimtal ( the other turn in the fork goes up to Nainital), and crosses a bridge over the Gaula river.
While driving through the narrow serene mountains of Kumaon we reached "Kaichi Dham" It is a place at an altitude of (1400 MT) On the Nainital - Almora Road, 9 Km from Bhowali and 17 Kms from Nainital is a modern pilgrim centre. This place has achieved recognition owing to the ashram of the famous Shri Neem Karoli Baba Maharajji.
Many hundreds of people visit the temples here every day, in season. Each year, during the June 15th Bhandara, reportedly, more than one lakh (100,000) people are fed.
Kainchi is a term used for two sharp hairpin bends of the motor road in local dialect hence the name. It has NO relation with scissors, founded by the famous Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba in 1962 and is very well maintained and kept neat and clean.
After offering prayers here we reached to our guesthouse in Ranikhet at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya as my father is an officer of the organisation so we have added benefit of stays during vacations all over India.