Kasar Devi: The Haunt of the Hippies

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Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: Jawahar Lal Nehru, Swami Vivekananda, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Cat Stevens, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Ernst Hoffmann (better known as Lama Anagarika Govinda, founder of the Arya Maitreya Mandala, a tantric and Buddist order)  Alfred Sorensen, Walter Wentz, Ronald Nixon, Alexander Phipps, Robert and Uma Thurman, and D.H. Lawrence.

Lama Govinda, who was the founder of the Arya Maitreya Mandala order of Buddhism, spent considerable time in Kasar Devi
Lama Govinda, who was the founder of the Arya Maitreya Mandala order of Buddhism, spent considerable time in Kasar Devi

No. This is not just a random collection of extremely famous personalities. This is a list of all those people who came to, and fell in love with Kasar Devi in Uttarakhand.

Located in the Almora District of Uttarakhand, Kasar Devi was the haunt of hippies in the 1960s and 70s. But before that, it was a hub of spirituality, made famous by none other than Swami Vivekananda, who visited the place in the 1890s. Vivekananda spent time here, meditating, and wrote about his experiences in his diaries.

Spiritual thinkers Walter Wentz (who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism) and Alfred Sorensen (a mystic and horticulturalist) also spent a considerable part of their lives in this mystical place.

What adds to the extremely spiritual and religious feel of the place, is the presence of the Kasar Devi Temple, which has been an important place of worship ever since it was built in the 2nd century CE. Nearly 1800 years old, this temple is famous for being in a massive geomagnetic field due to its location in the Van Allen Belt. The only two other locations on Earth which are known to have such high magnetic fields are Stonehenge in England, and

Kasar Devi temple in Uttarakhand
Kasar Devi temple in Uttarakhand

Machu Pichu in Peru.

Kasar Devi is easily accessible from Almora, as it lies at a mere 8 kilometres from Kumaon’s ancient capital. The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam (89 kilometres) and the nearest airport is in Pantnagar (123 kilometres).

Chandigarh and New Delhi are located at distances of 541 kilometres and 357 kilometres respectively.

Panoramic views of the Nanda Devi peak and the Panchachuli peaks adds to the spiritual mysticism of Kasar Devi significantly.

Sitting on the

Robert Thurman, one of the most famous American Buddhist authors of the world, was deeply influenced by the time he spent in Kasar Devi
Robert Thurman, one of the most famous American Buddhist authors of the world, was deeply influenced by the time he spent in Kasar Devi

edge of the mountain while gazing out towards the mighty vastness of the Himalayas is something that has made this place unlike any other. Once the sun comes down and the stars start twinkling in the night sky, the place assumes a very friendly and warm air, as numerous bonfires, lit up by backpackers who frequently visit this place, spring up.

Sitting around a bonfire with a close knit group of friends, discussing about things both spiritual and otherworldly, one does tend to delve deep into one’s own thoughts.

That, and the magnetism of the place, is perhaps what attracts people here, from all four corners of the world.

 

—MORE FROM THE UTTARAKHAND TRAVEL SERIES—

Binsar: A sleepy village and a wildlife sanctuary

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