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KAUSANI

Standing 1890 mts above the sea level, Kausani is nature's own reserve of solitudes and greenery. Even the father of the nation, Mahatama Gandhi has contemplated on the beauty of this region. Several snow capped peaks stand in a stately row, over 300 kms in length, shining against the azure sky making the horizon as seen from Kausani and enviable spectacale. The glory of the snow crowned Himalayan range reaches it's pinnacle when the sun rays turn them into crimson and gold. Mahatama Gandhi, who spent 12 days in 1929 at Kausani, penned his memorable commentary on the Geeta-Ana-Sakti yoga inspired by the scenic grandeur of this richly gifted spot. The guest house where the Mahatama stayed is now know as Anasakti Ashram. Hindi poet laureate Sumitranandan Pant was born at Kausani. Some of his early poems composed here have described nature in it's myriad manifestations. There is small museum to earmark that sacred spot. Kausani is ideal for those who seek to escape from the din and dust, hustle and bustle of big cities and wish to spend a quiet holiday in the lap of nature. Indeed, Kausani is a veritable heaven of beauty to which an excursion must be made on visiting Kumaun. The wide expanse of the famous Katyur Valley lies in front of it as you wake up to experience the Kausani sunrise.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Altitude 1890 mts
Temperature Summer - Max 26 deg C, Min 10 deg C
Winter - Max 15 deg C, Min 2 deg C
Rainfall Max 3048 mm Min 1777 mm
Season Round the year
Clothing Summer - Cotton or light woollen
Winter - Woollen
Language Hindi, Kumauni and English
TRANSPORT
Air Nearest airport Pantnagar, 178 kms.
Rail Nearest railway station Kathgodam, 145 kms
Roads Well connected by road with the nation

BAIJNATH

Lying in the Katyuri valley, 19 KMs away from Kausani and 26 kms from Bageshwar, is the small but ancient town of Baijnath. It was once upon a time the capital of the Katyuri dynasty of kings and the place was then called Kartikyapura. In Kumaun socio cultural region, Baijnath is one among remote antiquity and of historical importance. The remnants of those glorious days lies at the bank of the Gomti river in the form of a group of temples. The temple is famous for it's ancient and magnificent stone idol of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Around 8 KMs from Baijnath on the Gwaldam road is lies the famous Kotkimai temple. One can also visit Pandusthal which lies nearby.

KANDA

This picturesque place is a treat for nature lovers and is situated at a distance of 25 kms from Bageshwar. An ancient Bhadrakali temple stands very near to Kanda.

New!

International Rural Home Tourism-Eco/Bio Tourism in the Kumaon Hills .Kanda , Bageshwar, Uttaranchal, India.

The beautiful hill station, and home of peace (Shantinikitan ) Kanda is situated at 1500-1900m above sea leave. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and terraced fields it captivates the senses and imaginations of the locals and visitors alike. Both the local people and the visitors appreciate the beauty here and benefit from the pure air and healthy environment that mountain scenery presents. According to legends, and the older inhabitants, there once lived a local caste of Kanyal. Kanda is named after this caste. The hills of Kanda are very attractive to foreign visitors, and is often likened to the Swiss Alps.

Tourist Host Village Sonargaon (kanda), Bageshwar, Uttaranchal

From 1988 tourists of different nationalities have come to stay at the center for paying guests and ecotourism as volunteers. During their stay at Sonargaon, which can last from a few days to several months, visitors watch, join and enjoy community life. They also gain a good understanding and knowledge of Kumoani culture and way of life and of the deep spiritual and religions beliefs, and so have a unique and enjoyable experience.

Visitors can learn about local food preparation techniques, which is done using specific spices and locally grown organic vegetables. Experiencing this local cuisine can be one of the highlights of life at Kanda.

In their leisure time, visitors enjoy the stunning natural environment. The sweet fragrance of local flowers, the deep chattering of beautiful birds and the colourful butterflies make life here deeply calming. This experience can give a new personal strength to visitors, and the peace and calm can provide an opportunity for the stresses and pressures of life to crumble away and give peace of mind with the deep effect of this intellectual meditation. Many visitors take advantage of the calm atmosphere by practicing yoga.

Heritage Building, Kanda, Market, Bageshwar, Uttaranchal

Visitors can explore on foot the area surrounding Sonagaon cillage and see the members of the local community carryout their daily tasks, and so gain an insight into this way of life.

Another wonderful experience to be gained by a visit to ROSE is learning about the religious aspects of community life. There are different religious events, some held in the temples and others n people’s homes. Events of religious significance include celebrating various Hindu deities such as the celebration of Ramayana, Bhagwatgita, and Shivachana(worship of lord Shiva), the religious speeches of the priest and the nine days of Nawabriti (where there is worship everyday). These rituals give meaning to peoples lives and also serve as entertainment. During their stay, visitors may observe various religious customs and traditions, such as marriage ceremonies, the naming ceremony of a baby, and Rakhi, the ceremony of sacred thread. Rakhi is an important ceremony whereSiblings tie thread around each other’s wrists, and by doing so, sistyers are assured of their brother’s support and protection. There are many small and extraordinary religious events, including Jagar, the Kumoani folk songs, and the classical dance Chaachari, to name but a few. The women wear many different types of Jewelry, made from Gold and Silver, such as nose and ear studs/rings, necklaces, toes rings, anklets, and many colouful bangles on their wrists.

International Tourists Watching Himalya from Vijaypur (Kanda), Bageshwar, Uttaranchal

Kumoani people inherit a long tradition of culture and local environmental knowledge. They have a great understanding of the area, and are able to put the land to good use growing various different crops at different times of the year. They are also very skilled at animal husbandry, and many families own cows, buffalo, poultry and goats, as well as dogs and cats as pets. Creative knowledge regarding local arts and crafts is taught to the younger generations, and many are skilled in artistic pursuits such as dried flower decoration and painting special designs and patterns on the houses, which is called Alpana and Rangoli. Visitors are able to observe and participate in many of these activities and through this gain a deep understanding of the local heritage. If so inclined,Visitors can use their time here to conduct detailed studies of local culture, mythology, architecture and artwork, and so students of many disciplines make good use of the opportunities for study here at Kanda.

Making of woolen blanket

Participation in the organic farming is enjoyed by visitors at ROSE. Some people come here as part of the international Willing Work on Organic Farms scheme. Students of geography, biology, or those who are simply interested, can learn a great deal about local biodiversity and organic farming. ROSE operates many schemes to provide eco-friendly and sustainable energy, such as biogas for cooking that comes from cattle manure. Anyone with an interest in ecological issues, or anyone who has any ideas and proposals about sustainable development, will find plenty of scope to explore these ideas further here in Kanda.

US visitor doing practical on solar light system

While visitors stay here at ROSE , they can use their own personal skills to contribute to toe community, and take on the roles of eco/bio tourist. Ecotourists staying here are able to learn about the area while contributing to the host community, for example by teaching English, helping with construction projects, or with environmental projects such as reforestation. Through these activities ecotourists can satisfied their aims of sharing their skills with the community and positively contributing to the lives of the rural poor, whose environment and culture the tourists come to experience. Visitors can also spend some time learning Hindi and the local language Kumoani, can learn how to cook Kumoani food and mix the unique and medicinal herbs and species, and learn about traditional farming and building technologies.

Tourist attractions in the Kanda region.

Sunning views of the Himalayan peaks, an ideal location for bird spotting and animal watching in their natural environment. These include: Ghigaratola, Dhapoli, Dhallan, Chandrapur, Annapuran, Vijaypur, Kandamaidan and Kabashna.

Ancient temples of Kanda’s heritage, and of the surrounding areas:

a) Badrinath Narayan, 500m from Kanda

b) Kalika Mandir in the center of Kanda market.

c) Gopeshwar Mahadev, 7km from Kanda market by road.

Religious temples at Kanda:

a) Kalika Mandir-center of market.

b) Golu mandir Sokhula-1km.

c) Jawala Devi Mandir-1km.

d) Annpurna Mandir-2km.

e) Dholinag Mandir-5km.

f) Hanuman Mandir- 2km.

g) Pheninag Mandir- 15 km..

"Kalika Temple, Kanda Market (Kanda),Bageshwar, Uttarakhand"

Regional fairs of Kanda:

a) Dashara fair at Kanda market, 10 days, 5 sacrifices.

b) Shiva Ratri-Lord Shiva worship, Gopeshwar.

c) Panchami fair Dholinag in September/October.

d) Bashi Jagaran, 11days celebration, Golu and Ganganath temples.

e) Dashahara-5 sacrifices of 9 night celebration in other temples.

Local Kumaoni festival:

a) Harela (Greenary) April-July-September.

b) Fooldaie (flower presentation on doors), March.

c) Basant Panchami (welcome of spring), March/April.

d) Ghee San Kranti (use of butteroil in the first day of the month), August.

e) Rakhi (sacred thread from sister to brothers wrist), August.

f) Krishna Janamastami, (Lord Krishna’s Birthday), August.

Regional festivals:

a) Dashara.

b) Deepawali.

c) Holi festival.

Regional customs and traditions:

a) Marriage ceremonies.

b) Ceremony of the sacred thread.

c) Ceremony of naming a child.

d) Daily worship.

e) The religious rite Sharaad.

Rural culture and tradition:

a) Rural folk songs and group singing – Chaachari.

b) Jhora.

c) Dholnagara – drums, music and dance.

d) Choliya dance.

e) Huraka Baden – small hand drum bcating.

f) Basuri –flute.

g) Jagar, Bashie, nawabriti.

h) Astabali, Panchabali – goat and buffalo sacrifice.

i) Religious customs – the tradition of fasting.

j) Pilgrimage – to religious temples.

k) Group songs and dance by women.

The cultural heritage:

a) The designs on the houses are beautifully carved into the doors and window shutters, which are opened daily.

b) Local uses of silver, bronze and copper.

c) Grains are stored in buildings made of well-cut stones, which open into paved courtyards.

d) The main doors of the houses are decorated with welcoming carvings.

e) Daily life includes worshipping deities, working in the terraced hills, ploughing the fields, and using the water mills.

f) The decorations and carvings on the houses sometimes signify aspects of daily life, such as gods and goddesses, wildlife and the natural environment.

g) Painting on the houses which is called Alpana and Rangoli.

Kumoani culture:

a) Local language, style of dress way of life.

b) Local people farm the land and raise animals.

c) There is a division of labour between men and women.

d) Men inherit property.

e) Families eat together.

f) There are many religious events in the community, e.g. weddings, funerals.

g) People prepare their own food, and grind grain, pulses and spices.

h) Food is usually prepared by the mother of the family and given to the family with her love, and hospitality is offered to guests to enjoy this food.

i) Guests are treated like God in Kumoani homes, with much respect.

j) There are celebrations when people part.

k) Worship of Tulisi (Basil, the holy plant in the courtyard).

l) Compost is produced, bio-agriculture used and the fields are well irrigated, and the cow dung and urine are used as antiseptic and are considered holy.

m) Respect is given to elders, and from children to their parents.

Tea gardens. The tea gardens Vijaypur and Saniudayar were established in the time of British rule. They are 5km from Kanda, and the tea is completely organic.

Musk deer farm. Situated along the route of Kotmania Dharamghar, 20km from Kanda organized by the Indian Government department of ayurvedic treatment for research.

The experience of meditation and concentration. The calm and peaceful atmosphere and natural environment, of flowers and birds, and the views from the hills, create an opportunity for meditation and can enhance psychological peace and well-being.

An opportunity for education. There are opportunities for national and international visitors to study various subjects relating to culture, architecture and organic farming, and all can experience and learn about fieldwork.

Opportunity for cultural exchange. There are many chances for visitors to interact with the local community, and also to talk about their own culture, so there is a learning experience for everyone.

Outdoor pursuits:

a) Trekking, mountaineering, paragliding, golf.

b) Wildlife spotting.

c) Bird watching and butterfly spotting.

d) Enjoying the wonderful scenic views in the region, and seeing the Himalayan peaks in the distance.

Group of visitors

Welcome to the Jeewan Lal Verma paying Guesthouse to enjoy all the attractions here.

Address: Village Sonargaon, PO Kanda, Dist. Bageshwar, Uttaranchal, India.

Email: jlverma.rosekanda@gmail.com ,  jlverma_rosekanda@hotmail.com ,   
          jeevanverma@rosekanda.org ,   jeevan_rosekanda@yahoo.com

Phone no.: +91 9412167186

Article written in Hindi by : Mr. Jeewan Lal Verma in 2003

Translated to English by: Mr. Rajesh Joshi, Lecturer, Government Inter College Kanda

Corrected by: Matt Way (British Student), Cecilia Thorpe (British Social Worker), Natalie White (British Anthropology Student), Abigail Hathway (British Engineering Student.)

Printed by: Natalie White (British Anthropology Student) on 24.07.04

PANDUSTHAL

According to legends, Pandusthal was the battle ground where 'Kauravas' and 'Pandavas' had fought. There exists a natural ground half a km in breadth. The Himalaya is so near that one can get an excellent view of the ranges. To reach Pandusthal, a bus service is available from Garur to Jakheda. From Jakheda it is 20 km trek through the mountains.

VIJAYPUR

It is situated at a distance of 30 kms from Bageshwar town. One can have a panaromic view of the snow capped Himalayan range from here. Because of it's high altitude the view is breath taking.