Kumaon – where it all began: Chaukori & Kausani


Going to Neverland
It all began in the year 2009. My wanderings started with Kumaon region. Praveer and Rahul were the co-conspirators. Rakesh had joined a little later, to be precise, two trips later. We became friends for life. We did an aimless wandering in Kumaon region covering Nainital, Almora, Binsar, Shaharfatak, Dhanachuli, Ramgarh and back. It was a wonderful beginning which culminated into numerous road trips to Garhwal region, Himachal, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. But Kumaon was never figured in our travels together. In the meanwhile I had travelled extensively to the ever so beautiful Kumaon region.

With these thoughts, we deliberated on Kumaon. For once, we even thought of repeating our very first road trip of Kumaon. However, it was time to make amends. We decided to head to Kumaon and what better place than Chaukori to start with.

A cursory look at the weather predictions showed continuous rains over entire Kumaon region. Dilemma set in. Where do we head now? Himachal showed rains. Garhwal showed rains. Madhya Pradesh? A repeat trip to Pushkar? Both were unanimously vetoed out. Finally we decided to stick to the original plan.

Another struggle was to decide on the journey dates. It kept fluctuating from last weekend of July to Independence Day long weekends. After much back and through, we zeroed in the first weekend of August. There was no long weekend. Precisely we chose this period. No hassles with heavy traffic or tourist rush. We took an off on Monday and got a head start by starting on Friday night itself.

Mostly, my Thar had been our mode of travel except few trips here and there that too mostly journey to the plains. This time we decided to take out Rahul’s S-Cross and travel in a relative comfort.


Going to Neverland
Date of Journey: 3rd August 2018 – 6th August 2018

Route Covered:-

Day 1: Akshardham Temple – Rampur – Rudrapur – Haldwani – Almora – Bageshwar – Chaukori
Day 2: Chaukori – Bageshwar – Kausani
Day 3: Kausani – Almora – Nainital – Kaladhungi – Bazpur – Moradabad – Akshardham Temple

Total Distance: 1000 kms approx.


Going to Neverland
Rahul picked me and Praveer at Akshardham Temple Metro station and picked up Rakesh in the end at U.P. Gate at 11.00 pm and started the journey. Traffic till Dasna toll was heavy, even at close to midnight. We got a respite only after crossing the Dasna toll. Thereafter, we only halted for some refreshments at Gajraula. Rahul was behind the wheels all this time. He carried on till Bilaspur and asked me to take over after getting fed up with the bad-stretch between Rampur and Rudrapur. The four laning activities and recent rains had a devastating effect on the road condition which only got better when we reached Rudrapur.

Another smooth drive saw us reaching Kathgodam by 6.00 am where we took a tea break and stretched ourselves. 20 minutes break and views of the green mountains reinvigorated us and we kept moving making good speeds before halting for breakfast near Almora at the River View restaurant. Parathas were passable but the tea was good. After freshening up we kept moving at comfortable speeds. We stopped few times in between for tea to keep away the fatigue. We took the Almora-Binsar-Bageshwar route to Chaukori which was a bit longer then the Almora-Sheraghat-Berinag route. Since we wanted to return via Kausani, we avoided the Almora-Kausani-Baeshwar route. We reached Chaukori by 2.30 pm but before that we has a simple lunch consisting of Daal-Chawal at Kanda some 25 kms before Chaukori. So far the rain gods had spared us. But the weather was little spicy at Chaukori.

S-Cross, the Trip Carrier

Rakesh, Praveer and Rahul (Left to Right)

tea break outside Kathgodam railway station

Lunch Break at River View restaurant near Almora

river view

har marz ki dawa (for teetotallers only)

parathas take precedence over the pictures

idyllic setting for a home in hills

nestled beauty




beautiful Bageshwar


ready for final push to Chaukori


Going to Neverland
On reaching Chaukori, we straightaway checked into Ojaswi Resorts, my favourite spot in Chaukori. We booked a suite on the first floor to enjoy the views and the weather. We ordered some tea and pakodas and rested for a while. The weather was misty to begin with which soon turned into downpour. It kept raining lightly forcing us to indoors. We had come prepared for this only. We increased consumption of tea-pakodas and other snacks. We even headed for a stroll outside. The entire town was empty, bereft of any tourists. Even the Ojaswi resort was only hosting us. Locals were busy playing carom. With rain getting heavy again, we headed back to the dry confines of our rooms. A combination of saatvik and taamsi dinner was requested before another round of tea followed. After long session of bakar and comic book reading, we called it a day. It was a long day after all.

Ojaswi Resort


beautiful rooms



after first round of snacking

views from our room

getting dramatic



Going to Neverland
Plan was to start as soon as the breakfast is done with. However, unrelenting rain, even though not hard, meant we had to cancel on the destinations we had planned to cover earlier. We came to enjoy the weather and that’s what we did. We checked out around 12.30 pm and headed towards Kausani, thereby enjoying a 100 km journey full of rain, mist and empty roads in great condition. We had some lunch again consisting of daal-chawal at Baijnath before paying a visit to the ancient group of temples at Baijnath.

morning weather

absolutely magical


on the way to Bageshwar


reached Skull Island - have an appointment with King Kong


Baijnath temples






Going to Neverland
Rain followed us till Kausani. We reached Kausani at about 5.00 pm and checked into Kausani Best Inn. The resort had a great view of the cloud filled valley below. Again we were the only guests in the resort. After checking in, we headed to Anasakti Ashram and spent some quite time before a loud Gujarati family came and disturbed the peace and tranquility of the ashram. We came back to our resort and had the customary tea-pakodas before ordering a nice spread for the dinner. We played carom while we waited for the dinner to arrive. The rains had turned into drizzle but it never left us. Dinner was followed by Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety before we called it a day.

lovely weather at Kausani

Kausani Best Inn

Kausani Best Inn


New morning again brought good amount of rain with it. A fulfilling breakfast was ordered and consumed swiftly. We left for Delhi by 10.30 am amidst light rains which kept increasing and decreasing its intensity till Almora. Thereafter it completely went away. We made good speeds with clear sky and minimal traffic. In return leg we took the Nainital – Kaladhungi – Bazpur – Moradabad route to Delhi. With a KFC break included at Gajraula, we comfortably reached home well before mid-night.

morning at Kausani