Destination Khirsu, in the lap of Kumaon Himalayas
Khirsu at 1700 meters altitude in Kumaon Himalayas in India is a perfect opposite of city life. It is about 19 km from Pauri town, and 127 km from the nearest railway station at Kotdwar. If you are flying, it is 174 km from the nearest airport, Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun. If you are driving then then are a lot of interesting places you get to see on the way too! Other than roads from Pauri, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Kotdwar, there is a trek route to Khirsu, through the Kandoliya hills.
The food is North Indian dhaba fare, and a treat awaits right here in authentic Kumaoni cusine: Gehet dal, Chainsoo, Jagoora kheer, Jakhiya potatoes, Sisunak sag, pahari raita, Bhang seeds chutney, Kappa, pahari chai, Himalayan mint chutney, local apples and many surprises.
Khirsu is all about nature, apple orchards, pine, oak and the famous Himalayan rhododendron trees at their wildest best. A bottle of rhododendron squash and Himalayan honey are favourite takeaways, other than the lifetime of memories. Village walks, nature walks with bird choir and sound of the winds rustling in the treetops and the crunch of leaves underfoot are ethereal. Khirsu offers a view of about 300 Himalayn peaks at a stretch!
Village temples from ancient times and traditional fairs and festivals add to the already happy feel of the place.
Ghandiyal Devta temple in this area and Jwalpa Devi temple on the Pauri-Kotdwar road, add a whole new rhythm to life here. Navratri is a community festival here.
Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation sets up Eco-Tourism camps in Khirsu between March and October. Being with nature is the biggest high that one gets here! Khirsu introduces one to the silence and joy within as nature joyfully embraces all that come here. The ferns, flowers, streams, trees, temples, genuine people -- content and hardworking, leave a happy impression on the mind.
Near by places:
Khirsu is about 16 km from Srinagar, an important township on the banks of river Alaknanda (Ganga), and the earlier capital of Garhwal kings. A visit to the museum at Srinagar is unforgettable too. It has so many artefacts from local culture and history! I want to go here again as we had less time here, last time.
Dhari Devi, Deoprayag, Rudraprayag, Chandrabadani, Maletha and Devalgarh are (just to name a few) some of the other interesting places on the way or near by Khirsu.