Chaukori~ A tiny hamlet nestled in the Hills with amazing views of the Himalayas.
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Looking for a vacation and don't want to head to the usual touristy routes? Then, Chaukori may be the perfect place for you! Located almost 108kms away from Almora, 196kms from Haldwani and 500 kms from New Delhi, this place is free from crowds and you can sip your coffee in peace whilst taking in the amazing views of the himalayas from the balcony of your room. Chaukori part is tiny little hamlet with nothing much to boast about apart from its breathtaking views of the Himalayas. It has a couple of cafes and some local restaurants, a few tea gardens, a lot of nature trails for trekking and a beautiful hidden waterfall.
Driving from Delhi, it was impossible to reach Chaukori in one stretch. So we halted in Lamgara(another tiny hamlet near Almora) for a couple of nights on the way. Will write an entire blog on Lamgara next. The roads upto Chaukori were in a fairly good condition. We stayed at the KMVN Guest House at Chaukori(You can book in advance by calling them. Online reservation is not available as of now). The rest house itself was beautiful and spread over a large area and there were magnificent views of the Himalayas. We had booked a deluxe room, so breakfast and dinner came complimentary with the room and the food was tasty and homely.
On our first evening, as soon as we had checked-in to our room, we went straight to the Paharan cafe to have some of their delicious momos! And boy,were they delicious!!! We were informed by the owner that people from a radius of 30-40kms come to them especially for their momos and the average wait time can range between an hour to an hour and a half! We were famished already and the thought of waiting an hour made us cringe. However, the owner was very accomodating and got us our momos in barely 15 minutes! If you are ever travelling this way, you should definitely check out this cafe. We highly recommend it.
Our initial plan was to stay in Chaukori for a couple of nights and then proceed to Munsiyari. But Mother Nature had other plans for us. On the evening that we reached, the rains started and continued for the next two days. Non-stop. The lower reaches of Uttarakhand were heavily affected, but thankfully, we were spared the ravages of nature. Since we had limited leaves and we had to spend two whole days inside our room, drinking countless cups of tea and enjoying the rain from our large window, we decided to stay another couple of days after the rains ended in Chaukori and explore the nearby areas. In any case, the roads to Munsiyari were badly damaged and we simply did not want to take any risks. In the evenings we would venture out to the Gur Cafe just 50 mts down the road for their steaming cup of chocolate filled delicious coffee to beat the cold vibes!!! It was tasty indeed!
On the evening of Day 3, when the rains had reduced to a drizzle, we ventured out like a couple of madmen and went to a hidden see a hidden waterfall. It was only known to the locals and we decided to check it out for ourselves. Once we reached the waterfall, we were astounded by the beauty of it. Because of two days of incessant rainfall, the waterfall was raging across the valley in all its glory. We just stood there and watched, dumbfounded. By then the rain had again intensified, so we decided to go back to our guest house while picking up some drinks and "chaknas" on the way back!
On Day 4 the rains finally receeded and we woke up to clear blue skies and birds chirping outside our windows. It was gloriously magnificent outside! The Himalayas, which were covered with clouds for the past two days, could be seen in the distance again in all their glory. We decided not to waste any time and hurriedly got ready, had our breakfast and went back to see the magnificent falls. By the way, its call Tungkhola falls or Kaali Tal in local parlance. Today the falls were less glorious than the day before. The flow of water had reduced considerably. We took a trail leading upwards and went to the source of the waterfall and spent some time in perfect isolation there. There was not a single tourist anywhere. Nor any locals. It was just us and the mountains, the stream and the trees. It was like we were in blissful oblivion.
After spending a couple of hours at this wonderful place, we reluctantly decided to go and check out another place called Patal Bhubaneshwar. Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a limestone cave temple 14 km from Gangolihat in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Legend and folklore have it that this cave enshrines Lord Shiva and thirty three type demigods. The cave is 160 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various hues and forms. This cave has a narrow tunnel-like opening which leads to a number of caves. The cave is fully electrically illuminated. Built by the flow of water, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is not just one cave, rather a series of caves within caves. However, our bad luck, combined with two days of incessant rainfall meant that the caves were filled with water and hence closed for public viewing. We really missed the opportunity to see this unique cave formation(this means we will come back here once again!!!).
We were greatly dissapointed at not being able to enter the caves. On the way back we decided to have some tea and eat some maggi with the view of the mountains at Hotel Bhuvneshwari, just adjacent to the entrance to the caves. On our way back, we stopped at various beautiful location to take in the views of the Himalayas and for some photoshoots as well! After reaching our guest house, we went for a long walk just to soak in some more of the virgin nature that was all around us, tempting, beholding, teasing and embracing us at the same time.
t had touched our souls like the sweet melody of a song.