Crank’s Ridge 😇 Kumaon Hills 3 ❤️

Crank’s Ridge, sometimes called Hippie Hill, is a pine-covered ridge located on the way to Kasar Devitemple, above the town of Almora, Uttarakhand, India, the ancient capital of Kumaon.

Kasar Devi is a temple on the Kaashaay Hills, 7 km north from Almora, where Swami Vivekananda once came to meditate in the late 19th century. The place, got its popular name, Crank’s Ridge, ever since Timothy Leary streaked on the ridge in the 1960s, when it became part of the Hippie trail, during the peak of hippie movement.

The ridge, midway between Almora and Binsar, is amazingly picturesque and am told very heightened geo-magnetic activity (It is on Von Allen Belt) The view from the top of the ridge, Kasara Devi temple, is awesome- 360 degree view of the hills and the valley and the mountains 🏔 My favourite still is Kausani 😊❤️ It could be because I just visited Crank’s Ridge and didn’t stay here, which I did in Kausani

Kausani- Switzerland of India💕 Kumaon Hills – 1❤️

Kasara Devi temple- centuries old; wish they hadn’t painted it in pink😊

A Shiva temple has come up in recent years, a little above Kasara Devi

A photographer from Delhi, who lives here with his partner. They also run a small and neat restaurant and rent out rooms too

The ridge became a haunt for bohemian artists, writers and spiritual seekers in the 1920s and 1930s, including notable western Tibetan Buddhists, W. Y. Evans-Wentz, and Lama Anagarika Govinda, who in turn was visited by Anandamayi Ma and Neem Karoli Baba. Other early people connected to Crank’s Ridge were Earl Brewster, an American artist and his wife Achsah Barlow Brewster, author John Blofeldand Danish mystic Alfred Sorensen. In 1934, Alfred Sorensen who was earlier introduced to Nehru by Tagore, visited the home of Nehru’s sisterand brother-in-law at their house Khali, Binsar where he stayed and used his horticultural skills in the garden, while still travelling during the summer. It was while staying with the Nehru family that one of their friends offered Sorensen a piece of land where he could live on Crank’s Ridge, near Almora.

In the 1960s and 1970s, luminaries of the counter-culture, including Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens made pilgrimages to the ridge to visit these established inhabitants. In 1962, Allen Ginsbergcame with Peter Orlovsky, Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger to visit Lama Govinda. Ginsberg commented in a letter to John Kelley that “Rishikesh and Almora were not unlike the Catskills readily accessible, only more spiritual.” In late 1964, Ralph Metzner visited Lama Govinda on the ridge and was later joined by Timothy Leary on honeymoon with his wife Nena von Schlebrügge. The marriage did not last long. Leary wrote much of Psychedelic Prayers, a psychedelic version the Tao Te Ching composed from nine English translations of the book, on the ridge. Later in the decade Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), visited the ridge as a part of his own pilgrimage. Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing spent some time there in the early 1970s; as did Robert Thurman, the Buddhist scholar, who spent six months with his wife Nena von Schlebrügge and family, including their 3-year-old daughter Uma Thurman, studying with Lama Govinda as a part of his doctoral dissertation over the summer of 1971. Lama Govinda’s ashram was visited by many other spiritual seekers. Physician Karl-Heinz Gottmann, composer Peter Michael Hamel and the philosopher Volker Zotzvisited his ashram. In the mid-seventies Alfred ‘Sunyata’ Sorensen was taken to San Francisco by the Alan Watts society.

The village of Kasar Devi has now become a cult destination, many incognito celebs visit frequently and it also has a small community of backpackers. Participants of the hippie movement settled there ever since the place gained the reputation of being a Power Centre during the 1960s counter-culture. This reputation is due to the alleged gap in the Van Allen Belt above the ridge, a perception arguably strengthened by the free and easy availability of hemp on the slopes.

There is also a Buddhist meditation center on the ridge. This Center is in a Buddhist Ashram (Bodh Ashram), originally the estate of Evans-Wentz, then of Lama Anagarika Govinda, then of a Tibetan-Ladakhi family. The Center is affiliated to the Drikung Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Mayan and Hindu Temples❤️ – Kumaon Hills 2❤️

In addition to the natural beauty and awe inspiring mountains, Kumaon hills have so many beautiful and uplifting temples. And I found the Mayan temples I had seen in Guatemala and also some temples in Nepal had quite similar architecture 😊 And all are beautiful places. Am so blessed to have experienced so much beauty and divinity in the last few months ❤️🙏

Kausani- Switzerland of India💕 Kumaon Hills – 1❤️

Tikal National Park – Guatemala ❤️9

Buddha and Bhairav Harmony 💕– Nepal 2❤️🙏

Nepal-3/4 centuries old

Tikal – Guatemala 8-12th Century AD

Baijnath and other Kumaon Hills Temples 12-13th Century AD

Kausani- Switzerland of India💕 Kumaon Hills – 1❤️

Hills are always so pure and beautiful and inviting. And India is filled with beautiful and vibrant and scenic hills – North and South and East and North East 💕

But there is something very special and divine in Kumaon hills in Uttarakhand. Had first been here decades back but didn’t pick up these divine vibrations; maybe I myself wasn’t so receptive at that time. Last year I had the good fortune to visit these hills twice and was awestruck by the divinity and peaceful vibrations in every inch I traveled. And yet so scenic too. And I was in divine company – my beautiful sisters and daughter 😍 God willing shall visit these hills soon once more ❤️🙏

Mahatma Gandhi had spent quite some time in Kausani when translating or writing some of his work on Geeta and had said : Kausani is the Switzerland of India😊❤️

Early morning view of Himalayas from our resort

Trishul mountain on the left and Nanda Devi, the highest peak in this part of Himalayas hidden behind a thick and beautiful cloud ⛅️

Trishul peak in the reflected sun light at sunset 🌅

What looks like a giant wheel is Nanda Devi east ❤️

With didi in the morning ❤️
With Anita at sunset 😍

Our resort from where I took early morning pics

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