Have you heard about a place called Chaukori in Uttarakhand? Or are you planning to travel to Chaukori in Kumaon on your next Himalayan trip? Well, this Chaukori travel guide will help you get answers to all your questions about planning a memorable Kumaon trip.
Chaukori is a colorful little hill station of the Pithoragarh, Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. This sleepy town is shaped like a bowl (hence the name) and enveloped by Himalayan peaks all around. Fruit orchards, diverse flora-fauna, and lush green dense forests of pines, oaks, and rhododendrons define the landscape. However, its fame comes from the tea gardens, which were established by the British, thanks to the pleasant climate.
Let us explore this comprehensive travel guide of Chaukori and ensure you know about this offbeat Kumaon place like a local.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Chaukori Travel Guide
Famous for its tea gardens set up by the British, Chaukori is often called heaven in Kumaon by travelers. This peaceful little town has enchanting views of the Himalayas. While the Nanda Devi, Chaukhanba, and Trishul dot the panoramic views, this place firmly establishes itself as a must-visit offbeat place in Uttarakhand.
Why Visit Chaukori
Flying completely under the radar, it is one of those destinations that is completely untouched by tourism and the crowds. If seclusion and tranquillity appease you, then look no further than Chaukori in Kumaon. This dreamy village is the perfect recipe for an amazing weekend, which will surely turn dreamers into artists.
Also, the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets await you here at Chaukori. The magical views of the Himalayas during both sunset and sunrise will leave your mouth wide open. The nights are pleasant, and you’ll witness the opening of other worlds in the night skies. There’s something about the night sky that is so familiar yet so unique from each vantage point in the hills.
Nestled in the Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand, Chaukori height is perched at 2010 meters. Proud and mighty Himalayan peaks surround this sleepy little town of Kumaon region. To its north is Tibet, while Terai neighbors the south. The Mahakali River runs along with the little town.
Summer months are pleasant and winter months experience some snowfall in Chaukori. It is one of the places of Uttarakhand near Delhi to experience snowfall.
But, overall, Chaukori temperature is very pleasant and a delight to the senses. Expect a maximum of 30 degrees Celcius in the summer season and the coldest winter months experience around -5 to 10 degrees Celcius.
Best time to visit Chaukori
When visiting hills, it is always advisable to avoid the monsoon season, especially if you’re a novice. Months of April – June, and September – November are heaven-like and make for the perfect atmosphere to soak in the rays, the views, and calm your soul. Also, it is a fair warning that sometimes, in the summer months, forest fires may occur that can cause a dampener to your route.
Hence, the best time to visit Chaukori is anytime between June to October except for the monsoon months. I also like to travel to Chaukori in November – December, particularly year-end when you find rush everywhere else in the Uttarakhand and Himachal.
How to reach Chaukori from Delhi
The distance from Delhi to Chaukori is 420 km and may take about 11-12 hrs of drive. There are multiple ways to reach Chaukori hill station – so take your pick from below:
The nearest Airport to Chaukori is Pantnagar, which is located approximately 227 km from Chaukori. You can easily fetch a cab from Pantnagar Airport for Chaukori. It will take about 6 hrs to reach Chaukori from Pantnagar by road.
The nearest railhead is Kathgodam, which is situated at a distance of 193 km from Chaukori. There are two trains from Delhi to Kathgodam daily, as this is a gateway for the Kumaon region. Taxis/buses etc. are easily available from the Kathgodam railway station for nearby places in the Kumaon region.
Well connected by major road routes, Chaukori can be reached by catching a bus from ISBT, Delhi, or by driving to Chaukori from Delhi. Please note, the direct bus from Delhi to Chaukori is not available. However, one can catch a bus heading to Nainital or Kathgodam or Almora or Pithoragarh and hire a cab from there or shared transport. You can also travel to Bageshwar from Delhi and then travel to Chaukori from Bageshwar.
If you’re driving on your own then from Delhi to Chaukori will take you 11-12 hours of driving time depending on traffic.
Travel Tip: Do not forget to check my travel guide about Manila – An unknown place in Uttarakhand.
Perfect Chaukori Itinerary
With a lot of things to offer and yet not much written about the place, You can make a Chaukori trip one of the two ways – either you go where nature calls – or you put in some (very loose) structure to your thoughts.
I believe the below itinerary for the Chaukori trip will help pointing you out in the right direction. Hope this helps!
If you have enough days in hand, then you can always check my most recommended itinerary for the Kumaon region.
Day 0 – Let the journey begin
Leave from Delhi towards Chaukori by your chosen mode of travel. Try reaching as early in the morning the next day as possible, to fully utilize your time when you visit this place (which involves a huge amount of chilling!).
Day 1 – Chaukori Sightseeing
The natural beauty that surrounds Chaukori cannot be missed and should be uniquely fitted to you. So pick a trail and head on out and explore the in-and-around of Chaukori. Also, the village offers awe-inspiring views of Trishul, Chaukhamba, Nanda-Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchachuli. So, don’t forget to soak in the sun and the views.
Choose a good scenic spot for a spectacular sunset. Personally, I would suggest heading out to the Hanging Rocks for your evening stroll. The trek is relatively short- less than a KM long, but the views are surreal. You might be lucky and would be able to sport Musk Deer, which is extremely rare. You can push it further, carry foldable chairs, food and make a whole picnic out there. Chances are, you’ll have the entire place to yourself.
There is a hike to a Musk Deer Conservation Park that can also be taken to learn and spot some Musk Deers.
Travel Tip: If you are planning a trip to Himachal instead of Uttrakhand, you can check these 12 must-visit offbeat places in Himachal.
Day 2 – Head out on to the Tea Gardens or Patal Bhuvaneshwar
One of the very few places in Kumaon that has luscious green tea gardens, Chaukori does no disappoint. The acres of tea leaves with the aroma wafting through the air is quite a vivid memory to hold.
Established by the British during the Raj, you’ll be transported back to yesteryear charm when in Chaukori. With the birds chirping in the background and the sun kissing the snow-capped mountain peaks, you can easily spend an entire day just breezing through the gardens.
If you’re in the mood to visit some temples nearby, there are a tonne of choices. Villagers are usually happy and helpful and can fill you in on the histories and mythologies of the place.
Day trip to Patal Bhuvaneshwar from Chaukori – Alternate Plan
You can also plan to visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar on this day in case you covered Tea gardens on the first day. It is a 1.5 hr drive from Chaukori, about 38 km away.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a majestic limestone cave temple which is about 160 meters long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. If you are into mythology or geology, you will love the visit to this cave.
Day 3 – Time to head back
After soaking in a new sunrise, and some hearty breakfast, it is now time to bid adieu to this little town and head back to Delhi or continue exploring the Kumaon region.
Can I travel from Chaukori to Munsiyari?
You can easily plan to travel further from Chaukori to Munsiyari if you have a couple of days in hand. It will take about 4 hrs of a drive to cover a distance of 98 km between Chaukori and Munsiyari.
Do not plan a day trip to Munsiyari as it will be hectic. Rather start from Chaukori in the morning to stay overnight at Munsiyari. You can either stay the next day in Munsiyari or come back. When traveling between Munsiyari to Chaukori, you can stop at Birthi Waterfall as well.
Is there any waterfall near Chaukori?
Birthi waterfall near Chaukori is about 63 km that comes on the way to Munsiyari from Chaukori. If you are planning a trip, Munsiyari is further 35 km from the Birthi waterfall.
Where to stay in Chaukori
The trusty KMVN Chaukori, of course, offers the best views with a watchtower to witness the sunrise and sunset. Otherwise, among the rest of the Chaukori hotels, Ojaswi Resort has insanely gorgeous views and spacious rooms with an adjacent beautiful garden! Hotel Himshikhar is a simple, budget-friendly place and is situated right in the Tea Garden Area, making it easily accessible. While the rooms might be a bit dated, the washrooms are decent, and the in-room dining is round the clock!
Also, if you are up for new experiences, then you must venture out into homestays – and support local tourism. Check out the views from Passpas Homestay in the village. There are many other homestays, which don’t have an online presence, so you’re your sense of adventure take over and head out and speak with some people that might be happy to open their homes to you!
Where to eat
A small hamlet, Chaukori still provides decent food – in the resorts. Do try the local delicacies. Chaukori is unique in that most of the tourism is run by the residents. Hence, they are far more hospitable and want you to have the best experience. If you request, I am certain most residents would happily cook the local food for you to relish.
Otherwise, Chaukori KMVN serves food as well in their restaurant.
You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
When you plan a trip to Chaukori, you can delve deep into the mythology. There are many Hindu shrines nearby, including Dhaulinag, Kalinag, Feninag, Bashukinag, Pinglenag, Mostamanu Temple, Ghunsera Temple, Kedar Temple, Kapileshwar Mahadev cave temple. The place is steeped in mythology, and being an integral part of Dev Bhoomi, this should come as no surprise.
Do not forget the most famous Patal Bhuvaneshwar temple.
Other places of interest near Chaukori include:
- Binsar: I have already covered Binsar in my detailed travel guide.
- Dharamghar: Situated 9 km from away, the disciple of Gandhi, Sarla Behan spent her last days at Dharamghar.
- Berinag: At a distance of 10 km from Chaukori, Berinag is a small hamlet situated at an elevation of 1740 meters. This little town provides different perspectives on the ginormous snow-capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas.
Pro Travel Tip: Do not forget to check my list of things to carry on Himalayan trips.
Nature is at her best and bountiful in places like Chaukori. When you’re visiting the small sleepy hill-towns, you’ll often be stuck by how isolated, yet wonderful and slow yet peaceful life can be.
I hope this travel guide of Chaukori will help you plan a perfect trip to the Kumaon region in the upcoming season.
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I am forever grateful for the experiences of bonfires beneath the starry skies that help you reconnect with yourself. Chaukori is a perfect example of a place that helps in rejuvenation. Head on out and enjoy your own company.