Narayan Ashram, a symbol of socio-spiritual development, is a quiet and scenic meditation centre and an educational hub. It is perched at a height of 2734 metres in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Narayan Ashram is located almost 23 km from Dharchula, en-route Kailash Mansarovar yatra. The ashram is surrounded by deep Deodar forest in a peaceful location.
Social worker and a hermit, Narayan Swami established Narayan Ashram in 1936. Late Kushal Singh Hyanki donated a large area to Swami ji to build this Ashram. They had to purchase extra land from people of Sosa. They initially build a hut and it took almost 13 years to build the Ashram completely.
During that time, the last motorable road was in until Almora. It took about a fortnight of walking to reach Narayan Ashram, spending nights in villages or caves. Before the Indo-China War of 1962, the Narayan Ashram also served as a resting place for pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar yatra.
The place has a large following of solace seekers and it attracts a large amount of visitors every year. Since the resumption of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in 1990s, the route of the Kailash Mansarovar yatra has changed.
The Narayan Ashram has a temple inside the main building of Ashram. It survives through donations from various institutions and individuals. The Ashram is one of the best options for those who are on their spiritual journey and like a quite and peaceful environment. The Narayan Ashram has a library with a rich collection of many ancient, rare and important books, scriptures and writings in many Indian languages. The Ashram can accommodate almost 40 people at a time.
During winters the Ashram remains closed because of heavy rainfall. The government organization “Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam” (KMVN) is running a lodge right next to the Ashram. It has 5 all weather fiber huts. Each hut includes 4 to 5 beds with attached washroom.
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Dharchula is well connected to Pithoragarh, Almora, Haldwani, Tanakpur and Dehradun. Buses to Dharchula are available from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi and ISBT, Dehradun. Being a remote place, there are limited number of buses going to Dharchula and one has check the timings too. Taking bus to Pithoragarh or Tanakpur and then hiring a cab or taking another bus going to Dharchula is another option.
The nearest railway station to Dharchula is Tanakpur, which is at a distance of 218 km. Cabs and buses are easily available from Tanakpur to Dharchula and Pithoragarh. Tanakpur railway station is well connected to all major cities of North India and trains are regular.
Naini Saini airport, Pithoragarh is the nearest airport but it is not active yet, this makes Pantnagar airport the nearest active airport. Pantnagar is 303 km away from Dharchula. One has to catch a bus or cab to Haldwani from the airport. From Haldwani there are regular buses and taxis to Dharchula.