Kainchi Dham Nainital: Your Travel Guide to Neem Karoli Baba Ashram

Nestled in the hills and trees with a river flowing by its side, stands a sacred, old temple called Kainchi Dham. It was established by Shri Neem Karoli Baba in 1964 in the Kainchi village located on the Nainital Almora road. Interestingly, the temple is between two hills that cross each other as if cutting one another in the shape of a scissor, hence the name ‘Kainchi’ Dham. Here are some travel tips to get here and places to see in and around this tranquil temple.

Visiting Kainchi Dham: What You Need to Know Before You Go

  • You could take a taxi or bus from Nainital to Almora to reach Kainchi Dham. It is located just 17 kms away from Nainital on the Almora road. Kathgodam located 37 kms away from Kainchi Dham is the closest railway station while Pantnagar Airport, which is 71 kms away, is the nearest airport from Kainchi Dham.
  • So, if you decide to take a flight, reach the Pantnagar airport and from there, take a taxi or any other local transport mode to get to Kainchi Dham.
  • If you decide to come by train, take a bus or taxi from the Kathgodam railway station.
  • Going by road is also an option worth considering, since there is a good network of roads heading to Kainchi Dham. Come to Nainital and from there, take a taxi or a shared vehicle, Kainchi Dham is just 20 kms away. The other way is to come to Delhi, then take a train or bus to Kathgodam, and then a taxi or bus to Kainchi Dham. Private taxis can also be hired to reach here.
  • Kainchi Dham is less than 300 kms away from major Uttarakhand cities like Haridwar and Hrishikesh.
  • The driving distance from Delhi to Kainchi Dham is 339 kms and that from Noida to Kainchi Dham is 309 kms.
  • From famous tourist places like Nainital and Bhimtal in Uttarakhand, Kainchi Dham is just 20 kms away. So, during a trip to any of the Uttarakhand cities, especially those mentioned here, you could consider visiting Kainchi Dham to experience a sense of calm and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

Best Places to See Around Kainchi Dham

Kainchi Dham Neem Karoli Baba Ashram

‘What is Kainchi Dham famous for?’ if you ask, Neem Karoli Baba ashram is the obvious answer. The main temple is dedicated to Neem Karoli Baba, who was a highly respected saint in India and abroad. There is a marble structure in which there is a statue of Neem Karoli Baba wrapped in a purple blanket, and the place is lit with candles and incense.

Neem Karoli Baba Kainchi Dham

Visitors seek blessings of Neem Karoli Baba, and pray and meditate at this spiritual site. The temple is well-decorated and visitors can take part in bhajans and sathsang (spiritual discourses) that are organized in the temple.

Hanuman Temple is another tourist attraction at Kainchi Dham. Located next to Neem Karoli Baba temple, this temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey God worshipped for his strength and devoted nature. Visitors pray to Lord Hanuman, seek his blessings and protection, for which they visit this place in the Kainchi Dham Complex.

Located at the entrance of Kainchi Dham is the Vaishnavi Temple, dedicated to Vaishnavi Devi. It is a newly built temple, which is popular among devotees who come to seek blessings of the goddess and pray or meditate in this sacred space.

Kainchi Dham: Intriguing Facts

What is the story behind Kainchi Dham? As per a legend, Neem Karoli Baba visited the site in the 1960s, before which he had a dream about this place which led him to name it as Kainchi Dham, which means two sharp bends.

Kainchi Dham Neem Karoli Baba Ashram

This Hanuman temple features the idol of Hanumanji, which Maharajji made with his own hands.

The Kainchi Dham complex consists of three main temples, offices and quarters for stay. Those residing or visiting here, are given meals that primarily include lentils, potatoes and rice. Devotees are seen helping the visitors explore the site. Prayers are organized in the mornings and evenings.

In the 1970s, Steve Jobs visited Kainchi Dham. Later, Mark Zuckerberg also visited this place. Intrigued by Neem Karoli Baba, they visited Kainchi Dham to explore his life and work, and are known to have meditated in the ashram and experienced the tranquil and spiritual vibe of this place.

The famous cricketer Virat Kohli and popular actress Anushka Sharma who is his wife, also visited the Kainchi Dham temple.

Jeffrey Skoll, co-founder of eBay and Larry Page of Google are known to have visited Kainchi Dham Ashram.

Every year on June 15th, a fair is held at the ashram which draws several locals and tourists. This event called Bhandara has a footfall of about 100,000 people.

There are wishing bells of different sizes in the temple. Devotees believe that ringing them would fulfil their wishes.

The best time to visit Kainchi Dham is from March to June, as the weather that time is pleasant. The temple and ashram are open an all days of the week including public holidays and the timings for visit are from 5.00 am to 4.00 pm. Visiting this place on Tuesdays is considered to be more sacred.

What is the dress code for Kainchi Dham? Wearing short or revealing clothes is not allowed as this type of dressing is considered disrespectful. Devotees are advised to wear traditional attire or clothing that covers the body well.

Photography and videography inside the temple premises are prohibited.

How to get permission to visit Kainchi Dham and can you stay inside the ashram? To visit and stay inside Maharaj ji’s ashram, you have to write a letter requesting a stay and send it with a reference letter from a senior devotee and a recent photograph of yourself, to the Kainchi Dham manager at kainchidham@gmail.com. Usually, visitors are allowed to stay for a maximum of 3-days at the ashram.

Thus, Kainchi Dham in Nainital is not only a place of worship but also a place where one can spend time in self-talk, meditation, prayer, and deep introspection, and find mental peace. Mountains already create a meditative space; add to it the energy of Neem Karoli Baba who spent considerable time here meditating and spreading his teachings, and the vibe created by his devotees who frequent this place adding to its sacredness. So, this pilgrimage site is definitely a must-visit for the spiritually-inclined as also for those wanting to experience an amazing combination of sanctity and scenic beauty.

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