Almora: Kasar Devi Temple is a popular Hindu temple located in Almora district of Uttarakhand, India. The temple is situated at an altitude of 2116 meters above sea level, on the Kasar Devi hill, which is also known as Crank's Ridge. The temple is dedicated to Kasar Devi, an ancient goddess and is considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the region.
The history of Kasar Devi Temple dates back to the 2nd century CE, and it is believed that the temple was originally built by the Katyuri kings of Kumaon. The temple was later renovated in the 12th century by the Chand dynasty of Kumaon. The temple's main deity, Kasar Devi, is believed to be the protector of the region and is worshipped by locals and tourists alike.
The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings. The temple complex is surrounded by dense forests and offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas. The temple has a beautiful white dome and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. Inside the temple, there are idols of Kasar Devi and other Hindu deities.
The Kasar Devi Temple is not just a religious site but also a popular destination for meditation and yoga. Many spiritual seekers and yoga enthusiasts come to this temple to meditate and practice yoga. The peaceful and tranquil surroundings of the temple make it an ideal place for meditation and spiritual awakening.
Apart from the temple, there are many other attractions in the area. The Kasar Devi hill is popular among trekkers and hikers, and there are several trekking routes that lead to the temple. The hill is also home to many rare species of birds and animals, making it a paradise for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The temple is known not only for its spiritual significance but also for its association with many famous personalities. Here are some of the notable figures who have been associated with the temple:
Swami Vivekananda: The famous Indian philosopher and spiritual leader visited Kasar Devi in 1890. He meditated at the temple for several days and is believed to have had a spiritual experience that shaped his later teachings.
Walter Evans-Wentz: The American author and anthropologist visited Kasar Devi in the early 1900s. He stayed in a cottage near the temple and studied the local culture and religion. His book, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, is based on his research in the region.
Alfred Sorensen: The Danish painter and writer, also known as Sunyata, lived in a cottage near Kasar Devi in the 1960s. He painted many of his famous works in the area and was a prominent figure in the local expat community.
Bob Dylan: The American singer-songwriter visited Kasar Devi in the late 1960s. He stayed at a nearby hotel and wrote several songs, including "I Shall Be Released," during his visit.
Timothy Leary: The American psychologist and writer visited Kasar Devi in the early 1970s. He stayed in a cottage near the temple and was a part of the local counterculture scene.
Lama Anagarika Govinda: The Austrian-born Buddhist monk and author lived near Kasar Devi in the 1950s and 60s. He wrote several books on Buddhism and Tibetan culture, including The Way of the White Clouds.