In Search of Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave, Kukuchhina (Uttarakhand)

Aug 08 2009

Sri Guru Mahavatar Baba

Sri Guru Mahavatar Baba

Last Updated on May 4th, 2014

The following is a count of my journey to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave (Gufa) in Dronagiri area in Himalayas. I took the trek on 29th of July 2009 along with my Father. After several visions and signals from the Masters, I finally made the trek deep into the Mountains at about 9000 feet.

To view photos from my Trek to Babaji’s Cave, please click here.

Leaving Rohtak for Haldwani
After I could not make the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave in Pandukholi region during my visit to Almora, Himalayas in 2007 – I had accepted the fact that the time had not come yet for me to visit. During my summer 2009 vacation, I was determined to make the trip and after a small hiccup, it materialized into reality. I will try to be as faithful in remembering the little details as possible and provide you with my experiences during this extraordinary journey that I took with my Father.

My Father and I left Rohtak on Sunday, 26th July 2009 at about 10 AM for Haldwani where we would stop for the night. The drive from Rohtak to Haldwani takes about 7 to 8 hours and is about 340 KMs (337 in our case) if there are no traffic problems. The route is:

Rohtak to Delhi to Ghaziabad onwards to NH 24 all the way through Hapur, Muradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur to Haldwani. We stopped at Haldwani for the night where an old colleague and friend of my Father Mr. Bisht lives. Haldwani is the last stop in the plains on way to Nainital and surrounding areas and is known as the Pravesh-Dwaar (entrance) to the Dev-Bhoomi Uttaranchal (now Uttrakhand). It connects plains to the Kumaon region of the mighty Himalayas. The next morning was rather hot and muggy as we left Haldwani at around 10 AM for Almora. The drive was scenic as it normally is anywhere in Himalayas. By then we had learned that Monsoon rains had mostly evaded the state of Uttaranchal, but as we started ascending the mountains on NH 87, we noticed raindrops on our wind shield. Due to landslides that had occurred earlier, the normal route (via Bhimtal) to Almora had been closed to public and we had to take a detour and go through Ranikhet and enter from the backside of Almora. On our way, 4 ladies asked for lift to Pilot Baba’s Ashram that was on the way. We gladly accommodated them and dropped them at their destination.

Bhole Baba of Haidakhan

Bhole Baba of Haidakhan

Visit to Haidakhan Ashram, Ranikhet
As we reached Ranikhet, my Father and I decided to pay our respects to Haidakhan Baba and visit his Ashram on the outskirts of Ranikhet at Chiliyanaula. To visit the Ashram, one must enter the Ranikhet Cantonment and take the low road from the Main roundabout beyond the Sadar Bazaar. Here we found another older Gentleman who we asked for directions and we ended up offering him a lift into Ranikhet until the point where the 2 KM slip road took us directly to Haidakhan Baba Ashram. Since it was a cloudy day, we could not see any of the peaks Nandadevi, etc.) that are usually visible from the Ashram on a clear day. We spent about 30 minutes at the Ashram and I meditated for about half an hour. After paying our respects, we left the Ashram at 2:05 PM for Almora in hopes of making the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave the following day. Little did we know that it was not yet to be. We arrived at Almora at 4:03 PM (odometer 474 KMs).

Fury of Rain Gods
Later that night in Almora, my Father and I both woke up to the sound of raindrops. The next morning turned out to be immensely cloudy and carried dense fog. We could barely see the terrace of the floor beneath ours. The clouds were below us and it felt as if we were in heaven for a moment. At times the floating clouds seemed to enter our hotel room and the very next moment the rain would stop giving us a bleak hope of setting out for Pandukholi where Babaji’s cave is located. The day, however, stayed dismal and rainy for most of the time and by 10 AM we had dropped the plan of making the trek. Later that night, the TV news predicted heavy rains during next 48 hours in the state and my father even suggested that we leave the following day if rain gods continued with their fury. To our relief, rains finally gave way to a light drizzle at about 4 PM. We finally left the hotel room to take a walk on Mall Road and also visited the Almora Market. Before retiring for the night, my prayers seemed to be getting answered as I finally saw the mountains in front of us that had stayed hidden behind clouds for most of the day. The heavy cover of clouds seemed to be saying goodbye to the mountains and I thanked Babaji for keeping my hopes alive of making the trek the next day.

Bright and Sunny 29th, Trek to Babaji’s Cave
Bright sunshine greeted us the next morning as we woke up to almost clear blue skies. We left soon after our breakfast of Poori Bhaaji at 8:39 AM. Kukuchina was 86 KMs of drive from Hotel Shikhar, Almora. To reach the trekking point, one must leave Almora on NH 87 and pass through Ranikhet and continue towards Dwarahat. From Dwarahat, one must bear right towards Dunagiri Temple and continue towards Pandukholi. We reached Dunagiri Temple at 11:25 AM (odometer 557 KMs) and Pandukholi was still 5 more KMs to go. After driving for a few more minutes we reached Kukuchina, which is the last village before the 2 KM walk to Rathkhaal where the trek begins. We had a cup of hot Himalayan tea at Joshi Tea stall. Mr. Joshi, who runs the shop, carries Himalayan hospitality and a welcoming smile on his face. We were surprised that he remembered us from our brief stop from 2007 when I had failed to make the trek. We discussed the conditions and the weather in the mountains and requested him to arrange a Jeep ride along the 2 KM narrow path to take us to the trekking point. My Father and I decided against taking our own Ford Ikon car considering the extremely narrow and hilly path that, in my opinion, should either be travelled on foot or in a vehicle with 4-wheel drive.

Jeep Ride to Rathkhaal, facts about the Area
On many occasions, I thought the right tire of the Jeep would slide and slip over into the Valley taking all of us along and not to mention, I kept murmuring Babaji’s name all through the nerve-breaking Jeep ride. Once the Jeep dropped us at the point where the YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) board pointed towards the Cave up in the mountains, we chanted Babaji’s name and began our trek at 12:07 PM (Tuesday, 29th July 2009). Those who wish to get an idea of the geography and the trek must understand a few things. Babaji’s Cave is unlike most of the other sacred places such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, etc. which are visited by thousands of people each year. You will even find people in Almora area that have not heard of Babaji’s cave up in Pandukholi area. The area in particular is 86 KMs. from Almora and the trek requires sincerity, strong will, devotion and intuitiveness on your part. YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) along with others have done a great job in putting up a few boards and laying out a very basic raw mountain path, but one may still get easily lost if not attentive and intuitive.

Trek begins to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave
As we started climbing the stony and narrow path along the mountain edge, I felt a surge of strange energy and did not feel any fatigue all through the trek whatsoever. My father took frequent breaks while climbing and I went along capturing the extraordinary Mountains around us through the lens of my camera. Somewhere mid-way during our trek, it started raining heavily and we had to take out our raincoats from my backpack. Climbing a mountain path such as this one could be very dangerous especially when it’s raining. Rain along with pine needles along the path can make the mountain surface very slippery as we discovered during our trek. Interestingly, I slipped more than my father. May be his mountain skills acquired during childhood when he used to climb mountains in Kashmir, helped him along the way. After the rains became too heavy, I said a little prayer to Surya Dev (Sun) and whispered Surya Mantra so the sun would shine and rain would stop. Lo and behold within a minute or so, the rains subsided and sun came out. I was grateful to Babaji as it made the climb a little easier especially for my Father.

Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan
After an hour or so of climbing through the forest, we came to an ashram, which turned out to be Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan established on the hilltop by YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) on 25th July 2002. An elderly couple that met us in front of the Bhawan told us that the Cave was further up, about a couple minutes climb from the Smriti Bhawan. We also ran into a group from Andhra Pradesh that was visiting Babaji’s Cave. Their driver gave us the key to the Cave’s door after I convinced him that we would lock the Cave door and the Smriti Bhawan and hand the key over to a keeper that lived in the village down in the valley. Initially my father suggested that he would rest at the Bhawan and I should continue up to the cave, however, I did not think that he came all the way up here to miss out on visiting the sacred cave. After my suggestion, he accompanied me up.

Arrival at Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave

Finally we saw the steps and the door of the Cave. I asked my Father to do the honors and unlock the door. As soon he opened the door, a sudden rush of energy went through me as I saw the interior of the sacred Cave. On first look, one could say that 4 to 5 people could easily sit next to each other in the Cave. We noticed that drops of water were trickling down from the cave top, which we attributed to the recent rain. Although YSS has put up a marker, gate and the steps, the cave itself is natural and could be thousands of years old. I would like to refrain from making any claim on this, however. Since the plastic spread inside the Cave was wet, we decided to spread our raincoats and sit on them. I sat in the Lotus pose (Padamasana) and was immediately lost in a trance. One does not have to try and meditate as it comes naturally where one almost feels being present on a different plane far away from the mundane world. The silence and the grace that prevailed within the cave were unlike anything I had experienced before in my lifetime.

It’s time to leave
Call it the fury of the weather gods or Babaji’s signal to leave – within about 15 to 20 minutes clouds started thundering in the most threatening way and we knew that rains were imminent. I finally opened my eyes and my Father suggested that we get a move on. After taking a few pictures and paying our respects, we locked the door and descended back to the Smriti Bhawan. To our surprise we found that the group of people we had met earlier was still inside the Ashram where we also decided to stay put until the rain ceased. The Smriti Bhawan had 3-4 rooms where one could stay overnight. Since the rains were heavy outside, I decided to sit and meditate inside the Bhawan where a couple of other people from the group were already meditating. Within about 30 minutes, rains gave way to bright sunshine and we decided to leave.

Energy Circles
Later while viewing the photos, I found one photo clicked after another where energy circles could be seen on my right. I discussed this with my Uncle, Dr. Rajeev Kaushik, who is a Sahaj Yogi and has recently published a book with Rupa Publications on Kundalini Yoga describing his experiences and revelations. He explained that such energy circles and usually seen at charged and sacred places where sages have done tapas or establish their presence in astral form.

You are welcome to draw your own conclusion as to what these circles are. I personally do not indulge.

Lahiri Mahasaya

Lahiri Mahasaya

Losing our way in the forest
In a stroke of wisdom, I suggested to my father that we leave the group behind and be on our way. Little did I realize that the descent back to the village would be even trickier than the climb up. Due the rain, the mountain paths were filled with water and we both slipped at a few places. I tried to be more than alert despite handling my camera and capturing the serenity and beauty of the mountains and trees around us. At a sharp turn, we came to a narrow path off the mountain where despite my strong suggestion; we turned left per my Father’s instinct. It wasn’t too late before we realized that we had not come this way during our climb up. Instead of descending the part of the mountain on our right we had confused the surroundings and were actually heading in a totally strange direction. After ascending the mountain and then descending again, we found ourselves headed straight to the valley into deep forest. At one point we could even see a house in front of us at some distance away, however, it was on the other side of the mountain and it was not possible to reach it unless one crossed the forest that lay at the bottom part of the mountain that we were on.

I then suggested to my Father to bring back his mountain-instincts and guide us out of this predicament. As I mentioned earlier, he had climbed many mountains during his childhood in Kashmir, which at that time was full of wilderness as well as animals. He took a moment to study the surroundings and then eventually with some input from me, we headed to our right and started climbing the part of the mountain that lay ahead of us. It was my understanding that it would bring us back to our original path. At some places, we had some serious hiking on the cliff of the mountains that was also wet from recent rains. I was also worried about my Father and his ability to climb at such rough spots.

Himalayan Hospitality
By Babaji’s grace, we went through the rough path and also crossed a small waterfall hidden deep within the mountains and eventually ended up in a small field of Turnips. In front of us – lay a villager’s hut who, to our good fortune, was inside the hut and having his lunch at the time. My father told them that we were coming back from Babaji’s Cave and had lost our way in the mountains and requested him to show us the correct way to reach Rathkhaal and then Kukuchina. Before he showed us the correct way, he stressed more than once that we join him for lunch or tea at the least. We politely thanked him for his generosity and went our way after getting directions. This along with other minor incidents strengthened our faith that people in the mountains were still filled with the hospitality, trust and kindness that has almost disappeared from the plains.

After descending through another rough spot that was filled with water and stones, we reached the 2 KM stretch (Rathkhaal) that would take us to Kukuchina where our car stood parked near Joshi Tea Stop. Earlier we had taken a jeep ride to save time and avoid any fatigue before beginning the trek; however, we decided that it was best to walk back to Kukuchina so we could cherish the beauty and serenity of the sacred mountain.

Guide welcomes us!
On a lighter note, I later pointed to my Father a little incident that had happened earlier while were inside the Smriti Bhawan up in the mountains after our visit to the Cave.
Father had mentioned about the challenges involved in our trek (from the heavy rains to the difficult trek) and I had casually remarked back (almost boasting) “what more challenge can Babaji present us with?” We chuckled later that Babaji indeed gave us another small challenge by making us take the wrong route and getting us lost in the forest. Lord works in mysterious ways to teach us lessons, both big and small in life.
Our trek back became very tiring due to the extra fatigue we had to undergo after losing way up in the mountains.

We took frequent breaks and just sat in silence to breathe in the mountain air. At one spot, we came across a Black Dog who was waiting on the edge of the mountain by a boulder and came running towards us as we approached that spot. Since I have never been close to dogs (that’s another story), my father cajoled him into making him go away. On a very interesting note, the dog stayed ahead of us all the way to Kukuchina and even stopped and waited for us as we took breaks during our trek back on the stony Himalayan path. We both had our own ideas about the dog, which would be later revealed to us by Sh. Netraballabh Joshi at Joshi Tea Stall. The dog, as I found out a year later was taken away by a Leopard.

Arrival back at Kukuchina
After about 55 minutes, we arrived at Kukuchina at 3:30 PM and Mr. Joshi greeted us with a smile. My father was quick to request 2 hot cups of Himalayan tea and a couple pieces of bread to chase away the fatigue of the trek. We also met Shri Netra Ballabh Joshi with whom we held discussion on Mahavatar Baba, Mahabharat, Ashwatthama, and other related topics. Some excerpts from our conversation can be viewed on Youtube in form of Part 1 and Part 2 . He also told us about the dog that had been guiding visitors on the 2 KM stretch back to Kukuchina for a few years now. I silently bowed down to the humble creature for his generous services and we later fed him with Biscuits and Bread as a small token of our gratitude.

The extraordinary day ended when we finally took leave of Joshis, bowed down to the Dronagiri Mountain and Mahavatar Baba in reverence for making this trek possible. It was once in a lifetime experience and one must physically go there to feel the energy, aura and blessings of the Dronachal Valley and Mahavatar Baba.

Arrival back at Almora
We left Joshi tea stall at 3:55 PM (odometer 562 KMs) and arrived back at Almora Hotel at 6:44 PM (odometer 648 KMs). If anyone has any questions about the trip or our trek, feel free to contact me through this website. May Babaji guide us and bless us.

Pointers/interesting observations

  • Where to Stay: Based on your travel plans, you can stay at Ranikhet, Dwarahat (Mayank Hotel) or at Dunagiri Retreat (most expensive option, usually recommended for large groups).
    My personal recommendation is to stay in rooms/cottages run by Girish Joshi | +91-94113-18540 (Kukuchhina) where you will be closest to the trek and also receive the best hospitality. I have visited many times and have formed good friendship with Joshi Ji.
  • If you decide to visit Pandukholi and Babaji’s Cave on the same day, I would advise that you start no later than 9 AM. First visit the cave and then take the steep trek to Pandukholi (about 2 KM uphill). Do sit with Ram Baba there, who is a disciple of Mahant Balwant Giri Maharaj, who was a Naga Sadhu and did Tapasya at Pandukholi for 35 years. The ashram at Pandukholi was established by him and is called Swargpuri. Baba took mahasamadhi on 14 December, 1994. Another disciple of Baba Balwant Giri is Dhanwantari Baba – who is a wandering sage, but can be visited at Sant Kuteer located near Doonagiri Temple.
  • People in the mountains may frequently ask you for lift. This might be considered out of question in the Northern Plains. We were surprised when an elderly mother asked lift for her newly wed daughter!
  • Even the simplest and financially challenged person may turn out to be the most hospitable and courteous. Such is the culture in Himalayas!
  • It is best advised to not undertake the trek during Rainy season, but if you are as daring as us, do not forget to pack raincoats!
  • Lastly, I would quote what I once read in an article. “Leave your cold intellect behind before approaching the sacred and serene mountains.”

Om Namah Shivay.

Gautam Dhar/Anupam Dhar
8th August 2009, Rohtak, INDIA
Trek date: 29th July 2009


In Search of Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave: Photos

Videos of my conversation with (now Late) Shri Netra Ballabh Joshi: Part 1, Part 2

Comments So Far..
  • veena 8 August, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Thanks Rajeev, I am very happy for you . Please do post your experiences of this holy trip. It would not be possible for me to takeup the journey now . Veena

  • Jyotsna 14 August, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Rajiv, can you pls send the details of Gauri Shankar Peetam to my mail id too.

  • Nirav 19 August, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I would like to have a contacting information of Mr. Gautam including his phone number if possible so that I can contact him personally and plan my journey. You can contact me via email if that is easy and safe for you. I am not sure whether or not I will be able to access this website again.

  • Gautam 27 August, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Finally the write-up is complete of my Journey from this year and as requested, I have put it up on this site. You can read it here:

    Here are the photos:


  • sridhar 16 September, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Dear Rajeev,

    My email id is , can you please send me material regarding Gauri Shankar Peetham?



  • soaringeagle63 19 September, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for the article and the clear description. It will be of great help to us when we undertake our trek to Babaji’s cave in the near future, provided Babaji permits us to do so.

  • G Pant 24 September, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Babaji is living at Mukteshwar Dhooni Kutir Shiv Mandir Mukteshwar

  • Anupam Dhar 24 September, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Sri G.Pant:

    Who exactly is this Babaji you have mentioned staying at Mukteshwar?

  • sivakrishna 24 September, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Is that Mahavatar babaji you mentioned there ?
    pls give details…

  • Ghanshyam Pant 4 October, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Swami Sangsudhyanand Puri also known as “Lal Baba” is living there in Mukteshwar Shiv Temple, Dhuni Kutir. One of his devotee believes that he is Mahavatar Baba Ji. He also wrote a book on Mahavatar Baba Ji. His name is Rambare Mukhey, and he’s a Marathi. He also performs Guru Pooja every year in Mukteshwar Temple, believing that Baba Ji is Mahavatar Baba.

  • veena 5 October, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Dear rajeev , you may have not received my e-mail id which i sent you ling back for the Gauri shakar peetham material .I am sending it agian
    Please do send me the matrial .
    Thank you , Veena

  • Nirav 5 October, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Hi Ghanshyam Pant,

    Thank you for letting me know about the Mahavtar Babaji. Do you know the address of Mukteshwar Shiv Temple and/or Dhuni Kutir. I am not in India at present and it would be helpful to have proper address so that I can search and find out my way. Thank you very much.


  • Ghanshyam Pant 5 October, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Nirav,
    Mukteshwar is a small town in the District Nainital, and also one of the highest peak in the whole District. The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), dedicated to livestock research and development was established in Mukteshwar in 1893. The temple is situated in the topmost point of the mountain. The route to Mukteshwar from Delhi is as follows: Delhi-Haldwani-Bhowali-Mukteshwar. Mukteshwar is about 70kms from Haldwani. Haldwani is a major city in the whole district, also known as the Gateway of Kumaon. Regular bus and taxi services are available from Haldwani to Mukteshwar. Several hotels/resorts/rest houses of KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) are available here in Mukteshwar. KMVN’s Tourist Rest House is nearest to the temple.

  • Ghanshyam Pant 5 October, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Nirav,
    Mukteshwar is located at 29.4722°N 79.6479°E. It has an average elevation of 2,171 metres (7,123 feet). Mukteshwar is rich in scenic beauty, with magnificent views of the Indian Himalayas including India’s second-highest peak, Nanda Devi. Mukteshwar is a town and tourist destination in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. It sits high in the Kumaon Hills at an altitude of 2286 meters (7500 feet), 51 km from Nainital, 72 km from Haldwani, and 395 km from Delhi.
    Mukteshwar gets its name from an 350-year-old temple to Shiva, known as Mukteshwar Dham, situated atop the highest point in the town, within the IVRI campus, and close to which lie the overhanging cliffs, locally known as Chauli-ki-Jali, used for rock climbing and rappelling, with an excellent view of the valleys below. The sunrise point is at the government-run PWD Guest House. One can also visit the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. IVRI hostels and the PWD resthouse were the prominent shelters for ages. Now, KMVN operates a Tourist Rest house (can be booked from Delhi as well as on Phone / Wireless from other KMVN guest houses). Several other hotels, resorts, guest houses and seasonal tent / hut based camps come up. Valley Unwind Resort is one of the best resort for various eco-tour activities around the valley. Nice scenery can be viewed from Chaulli ki Jaali, where rocks jut out from the hill face at a bizarre angle. This is a great place to observe eagles and other feathered scavengers as they swoop down at their prey. IVRI laboratories (experiments on tiny rats, gold plated books, cattle-sheds), 16 mile x 14 mile wide Deodar forest, prestine 22 snow-peaks view, advanture of living among wildlife like tigers and bears, are some of the major attractions of this sleepy town. Mukteshwar is ABODE OF A SAINT – SHRI MUKTESHWAR MAHARAJ JI – who lived at the Top Cottage Temple where his samadhi is situated. One of his disciple – Swami Sanshudhanand ji – now stays there. Whole temple complex is a Tapovan, and an ideal place for meditation.
    Till 1893 the place was known for its shrines and temple before it was selected for serum production to protect animals from cattle plague. Later it was developed into the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), which later moved its headquarters to Izatnagar. Still Mukteshwar serves as the hill campus of IVRI, including various facilities such as an experimental goat farm. The noted nobel winner scientist Robert Koch visited this place on request of then GOI. The microscope used by him and other historical articles are kept in the museum maintained by IVRI. Hill carved cold room in 1900 is a place of attraction for visitors. It was made to store biological materials then.Because of the hilly topography, agriculture in the area consists chiefly of potato fields and fruit orchards on terraces cut into the hillsides.
    Robert Koch visited IVRI Mukteswar to work on cattle plague.

    Haldwani is well connected to the capital Delhi via road and air.
    The nearest airport is Pantnagar airport with connecting flights to Delhi.
    The railway station is Haldwani Railway Station with four trains running per day to delhi.

  • Ghanshyam Pant 5 October, 2011 at 8:27 pm
  • Nirav Bigelow 6 October, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Thank you very much Ghanshyam Pant for detail information about Mukteshwar. I will appreciate if you can be contacted via phone and willing to provide your phone number if located in USA so that I can discuss more about the trip I can plan.

    I highly appreciated your time for providing this details. Have a wonderful day.

  • Ghanshyam Pant 6 October, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Hi Nirav,
    You try to contact me when you’ll return to India. Till then, we can be in touch via Facebook, and you can have my e-mail ID:
    Here’s the link for my Facebook Account:

  • Ghanshyam Pant 9 October, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Dear Nirav Bigelow,
    You can contact me via
    let me koow your email id

  • debaprasad pal 28 November, 2011 at 6:03 am

    i am willing to remain at HIS Holy Charan for the rest of my life….and beyond till eternity………….

  • Biswajit Mitra 29 April, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Dear Anupam,

    First of all, I am grateful to you for an excellent account of your visit to Mahavatar’s cave.

    I shall make an attempt to visit the cave on 5th June. Bought ticket to Kathgodam on 4th night. I have some questions for you. Can you please answer them?

    1. Is it the right time for the visit? Hope the rainy season doesn’t start by then.
    2. How many days can I stay at the Babaji Smriti Sadan? Is any booking required? If yes, from where and how? If I get accommodation there for 2-3 days, I shall plan my return journey to Delhi accordingly.
    3. Are any woolen clothes required at that time?
    4. Is that 2-km car ride arranged by Joshiji still possible? In that case trekking will be less.
    5. How difficult is the trekking?
    6. Planning to book a car from Kathgodam. Is it OK? What kind of car is the best? A jeep?

    My email id is If you provide your ph no there, I may call you to discuss.

    Thanks and Regards

  • Gautam 30 April, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Hi there,
    1) Rains begin in July, so you should be fine.
    2) You will have to check there. Else stay in rooms/cottages provided by Joshi Ji. I am not sure if Babaji Sadan provides boarding
    3) May want to keep light woolens for night time or change of weather
    4) Jeep ride is provided by locals. If they are there, you can hitch it or walk slowly but leave early in the morning
    5) Trekking is medium difficulty. Go slow while enjoying the nature
    6) Just take any decent car from Kathgodam. Highway is more or less good.


  • Biswajit Mitra 1 May, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hi Gautam,

    Thanks for your quick reply. Is Joshiji’s ph no. 094113-18540? Can you please confirm?


  • Gautam 1 May, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Yes, Joshi Ji’s number is 94113-18540

  • Gautam Kar (aka Dev Kar) 31 May, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Gautam:

    This message is from an older Gautam (62 years) to a younger one. I loved reading your post on the immortal saints of India. I live in Northern Virginia and work as a Lead Economist at Global Financial Integrity (a think tank) in Washington DC.

    I was initiated in the Sri Vidya tradition by Guruji (Sri Swami Rama) in May 1988 and have, as far back I can remember, an avid reader of Indian spiritual traditions and biographies of Indian spiritual Masters. So naturally I loved reading your post. I am currently reading a book on Neem Karoli Baba; Guruji devotes an entire chapter to Him in Living with the Himalayan Masters.

    Keep up the great work. You write well and we would love to read about your spiritual “tirthas” and experiences. Om Guravey Namaha!

    Dev (Gautam is my nickname)

  • Gautam 13 July, 2012 at 3:10 am

    An update to my article. Yesterday my Mamaji (Uncle) and I discovered a strange face in a photo I took back in July 2009 when I visited the Gufa. There is a clear image behind the entrance that appears to be a mendicant with piercing eyes. I took this photo after we had been inside the cave and had locked it on our way back down.

    Could this be a divine presence? I prefer to not debate but nod silently 🙂
    Here is the image. Save the image and then open with about 200% zoom.

    P.S. The fuzziness in the pic is due to drizzle/rain droplets.

  • Raj 2 May, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Dear All,

    Can anyone suggest me any ashram near Babaji cave as I need to stay there for couple of days.Or any other alternate for staying near Babaji cave.

    Many thanks in advance


  • Gautam 2 May, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    @ Raj,

    See through the comments where the boarding aspect has been discussed heavily 🙂
    Best place is to stay with Joshi ji at Kukuchhina. You can go for a room or pick one of the cottages. Joshi Ji’s number is 94113-18540

  • Bibudha 17 July, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Dear Gautam,
    The book of Shri M & your elaborate story of visiting Babaji’s cave inspired me to visit Kukuchina recently. From Bhubaneswar to Delhi to Kathgodam – Ranikhet- Dwarahat & Kukuchina finally. Of course it is a tough trek, but we could make it in May 22 this year. Yogoda society is now constructing pathway up to the cave by putting stones. What a place indeed- calm quite & beautiful nature. Meditation in the cave was very satisfying. The re is no need to get the keys from Smruti Mandir now a days as the Society is keeping it open from Morning to evening. Incidentally a black dog also showed us the way up to Joshi restaurant, when we missed the track. From there we set our journey up to Karnaparayag- Joshimath & Badrinath & finally Kedarnath.

    Please do continue to write about your spiritual experiences .

    God bless you.

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