Anasakti Ashram, Kausani is a place of historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. It stands as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, who stayed here on his two-week trip in 1929. Join me, as I take you through this wonderful retreat and tell you why it is one of the best places to visit in Kausani.
Kausani: An Overview
Kausani is a vacationer’s delight, offering something to everyone. Whether you wish to immerse yourself in nature’s embrace, indulge in cultural experiences, or simply unwind amidst the grandeur of the Himalayas, this sleepy hill station promises an unforgettable vacation. Trust me, you’ll leave this place with cherished memories and a desire to return back for more.
- Suggested Reading: Kausani: Travel Guide to the Serenity of Himalayas
The breathtaking vistas of the Himalayan peaks and the lush green valleys attract nature enthusiasts. At the same time, adventure seekers can expect some thrilling treks and nature trails in the Himalayan wilderness. For peace seekers, the serene environment provides the perfect setting for meditation and reflection.
History buffs can explore the rich cultural heritage of Kausani, including ancient temples and other historical landmarks like the Sumitranandan Pant Gallery and Anasakti Ashram. Even if you are a food connoisseur, shutterbug, or birder, this Himalayan haven has much to explore and cherish.
|Tehsil: Garur||District: Bageshwar|
|State: Uttarakhand||Country: India|
|Languages: Hindi, Kumaoni||Population (2011): 2,408|
|PIN Code: 263639||Time Zone: UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle Registration: UK-02||Telephone Code: 05962|
Known as Kôsānī in the local dialect, Kausani is a village in the Bageshwar District, sitting pretty at an altitude of 1,890 m (6,200 ft) above sea level. Spread across 5.2 km2 (2.0 sq mi), Someshwar Valley flanks the place on one side and Garur and Katyuri Valley on the other. You will find Kausani on the Almora-Bageshwar-Didihat Highway, 40 km (25 mi) from Bageshwar City.
|Area: 5.2 km2 (2.0 sq mi)||Elevation: 1,890 m (6,200 ft)|
|Coordinates: 29.8541°N 79.5966°E||Recommended Stay: 2- 3 days|
|Nearest Rail Station: Kathgodam (132 km)||Nearest Airport: Pantnagar (192 km)|
Anasakti Ashram: Historicity
Located in the heart of Kausani, this ashram once hosted Mahatma Gandhi for two weeks in 1929. During this historic trip, Gandhiji authored a commentary on Anashakti Yog, which deals with selfless action (Karma) and non-attachment (Anasakti). Inspired by its incessant charm, Gandhiji called Kausani, “The Switzerland of India.” It was a statement big enough to bring this unassuming but incredibly beautiful town into the limelight.
For starters, Anashakti Yog urges us to perform our duties without thinking about their outcomes. This is the only path toward true fulfillment, lasting peace, and spiritual growth. Through insightful anecdotes, philosophical reflections, and practical examples, Gandhiji illustrates the significance of Anashakti Yog in promoting social harmony, ethical living, and pursuing truth and justice. This timeless commentary remains relevant in contemporary times, inspiring us to lead a life of purpose, sincerity, simplicity, and selflessness.
Anasakti Ashram: Etymology
The word “Anashakti” is derived from the combination of two words in Sanskrit: “An” which means “without” or “non,” and “Ashakti” which means “attachment” or “desire.” Therefore, the literal meaning of “Anashakti” is “non-attachment” or “without desire.” It also referred to as “Geeta Anasakti Ashram.” However, the locals prefer to call it “Gandhi Ashram” due to its deep connection with Mahatma Gandhi. As a side note, an ardent Gandhian, Sarla Ben commissioned the construction of Anasakti Ashram to promote Gandhiji’s teachings.
Anasakti Ashram: Virtual Tour
Anasakti Ashram is a small Victorian property, located in the heart of Kausani. You might be tempted to dismiss it as just another old, worn-out property. But behind its unassuming facade lies a place of profound historical significance. The calmness and charm of this small cottage inspired Gandhiji to pen his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, titled “Anasakti Yoga.” Even to this day, Anasakti Ashram stands tall to tell the tales of Gandhiji’s historic visit, his teachings, and his association with Kausani.
The building is largely Victorian-styled but with profound elements of local architecture. With the green wooden windows set up against white-washed walls and a red tinned slanting roo sheltering it all, the cottage exudes simplicity and elegance at the same time. The sprawling green lawn just adds to the building’s overall charm. Just stand at the edge of the lawn, and savor some stunning views of the Trisul, Nanda Devi, and Panchchuli Peaks. The sight simply gets magical at sunrise and sunset.
As you step inside the compound, a life-sized statue of Gandhiji welcomes you. Inside the ashram, you will find a small museum showcasing photographs and memorabilia related to Gandhiji’s life and his stay in Kausani. In every nook and cranny of this cottage, you will find imprints of what Gandhiji stood for, non-violence, self-reliance, and simplicity. Gandhiji’s teachings, quotes, and historic photographs are scattered across the cottage walls that will transport you into the bygone era.
Suggested Reading: Top Ashrams in Kedarnath.
If you love seclusion and a simple lifestyle, this ashram could be your vacation home in Kausani. You have 24 small but well-kept rooms to choose from. However, I recommend prior bookings, especially during peak season. Also, you need to follow certain restrictions, failing which the management can ask you to leave.
- Total Rooms: 24 (with kitchen and bathrooms)
- Room Rent: INR 300 per night (Subject to change)
- Booking Required: Yes (at least 15 days before)
- Contact Number for Bookings: +91-5962258028
Things to do at Anasakti Ashram:
From exploring history and pursuing meditation to hiring accommodation for a few days, there’s a lot you can do here. It’s not for nothing that they call it one of the best places to visit in Kausani.
Explore the Museum:
You can start by exploring the museum within the ashram. Here, the photographs and memorabilia related to Gandhiji’s stay give insights into his life, principles, and his time spent at the ashram.
Meditate & Reflect:
The calm and peaceful environment of the ashram provides an ideal setting for meditation and reflection. Sit quietly in the peaceful surroundings, and contemplate the teachings of Gandhiji.
Enjoy Panoramic Vistas:
The ashram sits pretty on a hilltop, treating you to a 180-degree view of the snow-kissed Trisul, Nanda Devi, and Panchchuli Peaks. The views become surreal every time the sun rises and sets behind these peaks. Even the surrounding areas are also a feast for the eye.
If you are keen on religion, don’t miss the morning and evening prayers held in the ashram daily. As a fellow traveler, Ashish Verma told me, “These group prayers help me connect with the divine.”
The ashram’s picturesque setting offers several opportunities for photography. Capture the beauty of the Himalayas and the peaceful ambiance of the ashram with your camera. Your social media is bound to attract eyeballs.
Read Books from the Library:
The ashram’s library is a godsend for those fond of reading. You too can get a membership of the library and read your heart out. From historical books to journals, there’s a lot to keep you engaged for hours.
Connect with Fellow Travelers:
Anashakti Ashram attracts visitors from different parts of the world. That’s your chance to engage in meaningful conversations with fellow travelers and share experiences and thoughts.
How about staying amidst history and culture? Well, you can choose one of the 24 rooms available for vacationers. The management will provide you with healthy vegetarian food and good service. At just INR 300, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay where once Gandhiji stayed.
Enjoy Tea & Snacks:
All that exploring might turn you hungry. Breathe easy, and head straight to the small Chai Shop at the parking. Feel free to enjoy some tea, coffee, and other snacks while interacting with the shop owner.
- Adhere to the ashram rules or else face eviction.
- Do not litter around or carry plastic bags.
- Meals are available in the ashram. So, don’t bother to carry eatables.
- Be prepared to deal with fog and mist in the early hours of the day
- Wear plenty of layers to stay warm when visiting in winter
- Book accommodation at least 15 days before to avoid disappointment
How to Reach Anasakti Ashram?
Anasakti Ashram is just a few hundred meters away from the Kausani Bus Stand. All it takes is an easy 15-minute walk through the town to get here. After covering about 300 meters, you’ll come across another historical landmark in Kasauni, the Sumitranandan Pant Gallery. The museum gallery celebrates the life and works of Pantji, who was born and brought up in this town. However, there are no signboards on the way to the ashram. So, you might have to seek directions from the locals.
In Kausani, the summers are pleasant with mostly clear skies. The monsoon months receive heavy rains, making sightseeing impossible and potentially dangerous. The winters are cold with snowfall expected in January.
Here’s the breakdown of the annual weather.
- Annual Average Temperature: 14.8 °C (58.6 °F)
- Annual Average Rainfall: 1860 mm (73.2 inches)
- Warmest Month: May (Average maximum temperature of 28°C)
- Coldest Month: January (Average maximum temperature of 13°C)
- Driest Month: November (7mm (0.3in) of precipitation)
- Wettest Month: July (275mm (10.8 inches) of rainfall)
Starting in March and lasting till June end, summers are pleasant with temperatures hovering between 30°C and 19°C. So, it’s the best time to visit Anasakti Ashram.
From July to early September, the town receives heavy rainfall, ranging from 3048 mm (120 inches) to 1777 mm (70 inches). Such heavy rains may damage roads and cause landslides and flash floods.
During winter months (mid-October to February), the temperature may dip to as low as -2°C. You can expect snowfall in the months of January and February.
Best Time to Visit
Anasakti Ashram is best visited during the summer months (March to June). At this time of the year, the weather is just fine to explore the town and its tourism offerings. However, you can consider visiting in winter if you are ready to put up with the chill. Witnessing the ashram and its surroundings clad in pristine snow is an experience in itself.
Anasakti Ashram: Helpful information
- Entry Fee: INR 10 per person
- Anasakti Ashram Contact Number: +91-5962258028
- Famous For: Mahatma Gandhi’s Historic Stay in 1929
- Best Time to Visit: January to June, September to October
- Visiting Hours: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, Daily
- Engagement Time: 1 to 2 hours
- Activities: Prayer, Historical and Cultural Tourism
- Location: 800 meters from Kausani Bus Stand
- Address: RJV3+CJ4, Kausani, Someshwar Range, Uttarakhand 263639
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Q: What is Anasakti Ashram?
A: Anasakti Ashram, also known as Gandhi Ashram or Gandhi Anasakti Ashram, is a serene and historic place located in Kausani, Uttarakhand, India. It is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation, who stayed here in 1929.
Q: Why is Anasakti Ashram famous?
A: Anasakti Ashram gained fame as Mahatma Gandhi stayed here for two weeks and wrote his book “Anasakti Yoga.” The ashram’s peaceful ambiance and connection to the freedom struggle attract visitors seeking to learn about Gandhi’s philosophy of non-attachment.
Q: What is the significance of Anasakti Yoga?
A: Anasakti Yoga, often referred to as the “Yoga of Non-Attachment,” is a philosophy propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. It emphasizes selflessness, non-attachment to the fruits of one’s actions, and serving humanity with pure intentions.
Q: Can visitors stay at Anasakti Ashram?
A: Yes, visitors can stay at Anasakti Ashram, which offers simple accommodation facilities. Staying at the ashram allows guests to experience a tranquil environment and follow the principles of simple living advocated by Gandhi.
Q: Is there an entry fee to visit Anasakti Ashram?
A: No, there is no entry fee to visit Anasakti Ashram. It is open to all, and visitors can explore the ashram, its museum, and the surrounding scenic beauty free of cost.
Q: What are the timings of Anasakti Ashram?
A: Anasakti Ashram is open for visitors from morning to evening. The exact timings may vary, so it is advisable to check the local schedule or inquire at the ashram for specific opening hours.
Q: What can visitors do at Anasakti Ashram?
A: Visitors can explore the ashram’s museum, which houses photographs and memorabilia related to Mahatma Gandhi’s stay and his teachings. They can also meditate, read Gandhi’s writings, and enjoy the serene ambiance.
Q: Are there any rules or guidelines to follow at the ashram?
A: Yes, visitors are expected to maintain a peaceful and respectful atmosphere at the ashram. They are encouraged to observe silence in certain areas and follow the principles of non-violence and simplicity.
Q: Is photography allowed inside Anasakti Ashram?
A: Yes, photography is generally allowed inside the ashram, except in areas where it might disturb the peaceful environment or affect the privacy of the residents.
Q: What else can visitors explore near Anasakti Ashram?
A: Visitors can explore nearby attractions like Lakshmi Ashram, Rudradhari Falls, and Kausani Tea Estate, which are within a short distance from Anasakti Ashram. These places offer additional insights into the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.