Kasar Devi near Almora is a temple and a peaceful destination in the Kumaon Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. It is only 8.5 km away from Almora district. The area is known for its scenic beauty, peaceful location and the Kasar Devi temple, dedicated to goddess Kasar Devi.
Perched at the height of 2,116 meters, it provides the magnificent views of the city of Almora and the Hawalbagh Valley. It also offers the panoramic views of the great Himalayan range from Bandarpunch peak on the Himachal Pradesh border to Api Himal of Nepal.
Kasar Devi has the privilege to be one of the favourite destinations of many world famous personalities. Some of them include Swami Vivekananda, musician Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Timothy Leary, and Allen Ginsberg. Swami Vivekananda meditated at the hilltop Kasar Devi Temple. The place is quite popular among the travelers with a mellow vibe and clear-day Himalayan views.
Kasar Devi Temple:
There is a shrine dedicated to Kasar Devi in the village. The history of the temple dates back to the 2nd century CE. This area is home to some of the finest deodar and pine forests. A large fair, known as Kasar Devi Fair is hosted at Kasar Devi temple on the occasion of Kartik Poornima, corresponding to November and December. Many devotees from across the country visit the temple to be a part of this fair.
Brief History of Kasar Devi:
The structure of the Kasar Devi temple dates to the 2nd century CE. One of the greatest personalities of India, Swami Vivekananda visited Kasar Devi in 1890s and meditated here. Some of western philosophers and seekers such as Sunyata Baba, Alfred Sorensen, and Lama Anagarika Govinda has also visited the place many times.
There is a place just outside the village, which is also known for Crank’s Ridge, which was a popular destination during the Hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It continues to attract trekkers, tourists, and devotees not only from India but the whole world.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the area was visited by personalities of the counter-culture, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Cat Stevens, Western Buddhist Robert Thurman, and writer D. H. Lawrence, who spent two summers here. Kasar Devi has a mellow vibe and clear Himalayan views to offer. It’s a great place to calm and find inner peace.
Kasar Devi – Binsar Trek:
The trek passes through pine, oak, rhododendron and deodar forests in the Kumaon Himalayan hills. The Binsar forest is a treat for the bird watchers. The trek starts from Almora, which is the nearest city to Kasar Devi.
Nearly about five hundred meters into the route you will see yourself surrounded by beautiful pine and deodar trees. These stay with you throughout the whole trek. That’s when you realize why Swami Vivekananda chose Kasar Devi village for meditation.
The trail is a gradual climb on the hill. In an hour, the mighty Himalayan peaks will be standing there with pride to welcome you. As the Binsar forest area starts, a lot of beautiful migratory Himalayan birds such as Woodpeckers, Blackbirds, Forktail, Pheasant, Laughing Thrush, Kalij etc grab the attention. As the month of November starts, these birds start arriving in this part of the Himalayas.
How To Reach:
Kasar Devi is located only 8.5 kilometers from Almora. One can easily reach here by taxi or bus from Almora anytime.
Nearest railway station to Almora is Kathgodam railway station about 94 kilometers away. From Kathgodam and Haldwani there are a number of taxis and buses available to Almora.
Nearest Airport to Almora in Uttarakhand is Pantnagar airport, which is 124 km from Almora. From here one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Haldwani and then to Almora or directly to Almora. Nearest international airport from Almora is IGI airport Delhi, which 352 km away from Almora.