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Label : Must Visit

Tags : Hills & Valleys

Best Time to Visit : November - December

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Also Refered As:

Hippie Hill

Kasar Devi, Almora Overview

The amorous view of Himalayas, from Nanda Devi to 5 snow-capped peaks of Panchachuli, unwrap the famous town of Kasar Devi. The place is famous for its home temple, the Kasar Devi Temple. The nearby area is home to pine and deodar trees, offering a panoramic view of the Himalayas along with an eye-pleasing view of Hawabagh Valley. A single road runs up high with 200 houses on each side.

The village derives its name from the namesake deity Kasar Devi, with the Kasar Devi Temple dating back to the 2nd century CE. In the 1890s, Swami Vivekananda visited the place and meditated here for days. This was the first time when people got to know more about Kasar Devi as a destination. It later became a powerhouse for the counter culture that erupted in the '60s.

The region around Kasar Devi has an enormous geomagnetic field as the region comes under the Van Allen belt. The causes behind the formation of this belt have been researched by NASA for quite some time now. Other famous locations which have been found to have similar levels of a magnetic field (Van Allen belt) are Machu Picchu in Peru and Stonehenge in England.

The Kasar Devi fair is a large fair organised every year on Kartik Poornima per the Hindu calendar. People often trek up to the temple from the town of Kalimath, through cosy little alleys carved in the hills. The place has limited yet good options for accommodation.

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History of Kasar Devi

The place provides immense peace and has been visited by many famous personalities and explorers. Swami Vivekananda visited the place in 1890's and also mentioned his experience in his diaries. Walter Evans-Wentz, a pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism also stayed here. In 1930s Danish mystic, Sunyata Baba came here and stayed for 3 decades. Slowly the spiritual seekers started visiting the place. Anagarika Govinda, born as Ernst Lothar Hoffmann, a Tibetan Buddhist Lama also visited the place.

Later during the Hippie Movement, it became a part of the Hippie trail. In a letter to John Kelley, Allen Ginsberg suggested that "Rishikesh and Almora were not unlike the Catskills - readily accessible, only more spiritual." It has been identified as a Power Centre of the '60s Counter Culture. Kasar Devi was visited by many eminent personalities including members of The Beatles, Cat Stevens and Robert Thurman throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

A popular destination that emerged out of this was Crank’s Ridge, also known as Hippie Hill which lies ahead of Kasar Devi. The ridge became home to several Bohemian theologians, musicians, artists and writers. It made its name amongst hippy circles after American Psychologist Timothy Leary streaked here. He is said to have written the majority of his ‘psychedelic prayers’ here.

Spirituality in Kasar Devi

The place is great for spiritual seekers. You can attain mesmerising mildness in the soothing weather of Uttarakhand. Thousands of devotees visit here every year. The place is well known among westerners as well as those who wish to attain peace. It is famous for its quiet and secluded atmosphere, with a spellbinding view from Kashyap Hill.

It is a place of high spiritual powers, perhaps attributed to a combination of its geomagnetic field and the attention it has received from various thinkers & theologians. Walking through the quaint pathways of the neighbouring pahadi villages is a spellbinding activity,

Tips For Visiting Kasar Devi

Apart from visiting the Kasar Devi Temple, walking through the village is enjoyable. The path originates from the forest, aiding a serene exploration of the village.

How To Reach Kasar Devi

It is located on the ridge of Almora-Bageshwar highway and hence could be reached by 8 km hike from Almora or 9 km by road. Also, it is 12 km from Lala Bajar, Almora. Local buses to Almora are available in Kumaon region. The cabs are easily available from Almora bus station.

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