Berinag: A colonial town famous for tea and temples

Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: Nestled at a height of 6,000 feet, Berinag in Uttarakhand is a small temple town in the lap of the Himalayas. Located in a green, serene valley, this town offers visitors a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of cities of the plains.

An ideal location from where one can see the Nepal Himalayas as well, Berinag is the perfect place from where one can explore other places of Pithoragarh district.

The town was a colonial establishment once, and remnants of its colonial past can be seen in the numerous tea gardens that flourish around the town. In fact, the tea of Berinag is so famous that it is hugely in demand in the aristocratic circles of London.

Tea gardens of Berinag
Tea gardens of Berinag

Places to Visit:

Nag Devta Temple:

A famous nag temple located in Berinag, it is dedicated to one of the many incarnations of Lord Vishnu. People visiting the temple are also treated to picturesque views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas.

It is also believed that Lord Krishna, upon defeating the ruler of the Yamuna River, Kaliya Nag, advised the vanquished ruler to settle somewhere in the Himalayas. The former ruler came to Berinag and settled here with his disciples, and has lived here ever since.

Chineshwar Waterfall:

One of the most famous waterfalls of Uttarakhand, the Chineshwar Falls are located in a tiny village called Garaun. Garaun is situated at a distance of around 4 kilometres from Berinag.

As per a local legend and myth, there is an ancient Shiva temple behind the 160 feet high waterfall, and only those people who have been blessed by the Lord himself, can access the temple.

Chineshwar Waterfall near Berinag
Chineshwar Waterfall near Berinag

Patal Bhuvaneshwar:

Named one of the most spiritual and mysterious places of Uttarakhand, Patal Bhuvaneshwar falls in Pithoragarh District and is close to 500kms from Delhi. Worship at Patal Bhuvaneshwar is equivalent to worshipping at the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand.

This hidden pilgrimage is situated about 1,350 metres above sea level and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave 160 m long and 90 feet deep where limestone rock formations have created various stalagmite figures. Almost every Hindu God is said to reside in the cave. Forms of Sheshnag, Kal Bhairav, Ganesha and others can be found here. It is believed that the cave is the abode of 33 crore gods and goddesses.

It is located at a distance of 35 kilometres from Berinag.

Chaukori:

Chaukori is a sleepy hamlet in Uttarakhand. At a height of 2,010 m, you can view the beautiful Kumaon hills especially the Nanda Devi and Panchachuli peaks.

Chaukori is a picturesque hamlet near Berinag
Chaukori is a picturesque hamlet near Berinag

Binsar:

A small, sleepy hamlet nestled in the Kumaon Himalayas, Binsar in Uttarakhand is a nature lover’s delight. Home to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, this place should definitely make it to your bucket list if you are an avid bird watcher and love wildlife. Boasting of panoramic views of snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, this serene village is an ideal place to for a digital detox.

Located at a height of 2,412 metres, Binsar was the summer seat of the erstwhile Chand rulers, who ruled over much of Kumoan. The region is also said to be the site of a mythological battle between the King of Binsar and Golu Devta.

It is located at a distance of 65 kilometres from Berinag.

Binsar, near Berinag, is famous for its wildlife sanctuary
Binsar, near Berinag, is famous for its wildlife sanctuary

Best Time to Visit:

Since Berinag is situated at a height of 1,860 metres, it experiences pleasant summers, where the days are cool but the nights tend to become slightly chilly. The average maximum temperature hovers around 22 degrees Celsius in the months of May, June and July the average minimum temperature hovers around 13 degrees Celsius. During the winters, the average maximum temperature hovers around 10 degrees Celsius, and the mercury consistently dips to below freezing point, since the region receives light to heavy snowfall during the months of December and January.

Thus, the months of April-July are an ideal time to visit this place.

How to Reach:

The closest airport to Berinag is in Pantnagar, which is located 195 kilometres away.

The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam, which is 160 kilometres away. One can also take a train to Tanakpur, which is 169 kilometres away from Berinag.

Pithoragarh, the district headquarter, is located at a distance of 88 kilometres. The headquarters of the Kumaon Division, Nainital is located at a distance of 157 kilometres. Dehradun, the state capital, is situated 382 kilometres away.

The cities of Chandigarh and New Delhi are located at distances of 629 kilometres and 445 kilometres, respectively.

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