When you have a list of followers that includes names like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Daniel Goleman, you are bound to raise some real quriosity. It is a small ashram now called Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram near Nainital, which attracts a long list of people visiting the place where famous Neem Karoli Baba spent ten years of his life. This is the most well known and famous Ashram of Neem Karoli Baba, followed by some of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world.
My Keen Interest To Visit Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba Ahram
I am also a recent addition to the list of entrepreneurs and this curiosity lead me to visit the ashram in Bhowali near Nainital. This is the summary of my experience and what followed during the journey.
Some experiences can’t be described in words, one of them is my experience with visiting Kainchi Dham the ashram and temple of famous Sri Neem Karoli Baba Marharajji.
My Journey Starts for Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
I started my journey from Delhi or Indirapuram which falls into Delhi NCR near the eastern side of Delhi to be precise. We started our journey around 7:10 AM and had to face a little bit of traffic while crossing NH24. We were travelling on a Friday morning and we were quite upbeat about our travel to the Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba ashram.
We had a stop at around 8:30 AM after Hapur for some real dhaba tea. I noticed my car tyres were running low on air and it came out to be flat tyre. Fortunately the dhaba itself had an adjoining workshop for flat tyres and we were good to go in no time.
We just also found a secluded spot adjacent to the dhaba where we really enjoyed our tea and went ahead with the journey.
Our First Major Stop For Breakfast
I love the food and taste of Dhabas all across Indian highways. I would highly recommend if you are into travelling a lot and are not experiencing eating at dhaba you should consider adding it to your list of must stop destinations. Dhaba hunting is a serious business I must tell you!
Just have a look at local Chhach or Butter Milk served to us. The curd mixed with spices is a real treat during summers.
Our stay on Bhowali Sattal Road Near Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
We had booked our stay for 3 nights at Bhowali Sattal Road, it was one of the best places to stay while travelling to Kainchi Dham Ashram, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram. The distance from our hotel to Kainchi Dham Ashram was around 8 KMs.
For those willing to know the route we took. We travelled through Hapur, Muradabad, Bajpur, Kala Dongi, Kathgodam and Bhimtal. Those travelling by train can book the train from Delhi to Kathgodam and Kainchi Dham Ashram through taxi which is approximately 31 KMs from Kathgodam Railway Station.
Nearest Major international airport is in New Delhi.
The Stay Was Wonderful And Reasonably Priced
We were not out for luxury and did not expect one. The resort was very reasonably priced and therefore our expectations were also in line with what we paid. “You get what you pay for” this old saying can nowhere be proved more wrong than on this particular occasion. The resort came out to be well above our expectations and the food was good. There were may other properties around the place which also looked good.
At this time I am not providing you a list of good stays near the location however please watch this space as I would soon come up with a list
Finally the Abode of Entrepreneurs Neem Karoli Baba Ashram Kainchi Dham
The very next day we started at around 8:30 AM and within 30 minutes by travelling through wonderful circular roads and great views of mountains and valleys we were at the place. Ladies and Gentlemen we were at Kainchi Dham Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
The road were full of Gambel oak tree. Remember were were travelling in the month of May and this made our the whole landscape more beautiful. The purpulish tint of our journey did add some extra bit of kick into the journey.
About Kainchi Dham, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
Kainchi is a beautiful secluded mountain ashram located in the Kumoan Hills in Uttarakand. This is one the oldest temple of Neem Karoli Baba and was inaugurated in June 1964.
The tolal distance that was showing on our odometer was 314 KM from our place. The precise distance from Delhi is 323 KM.
The place is in its full glory each year, during the famous June 15th bhandara, reportedly, more than one lakh (100,000) people are fed.
Rules mean a lot here and there are poeple to ensure it is followed properly. Furthermore people staying at the ashram are required to participate in morning and evening Arati. While the temples are open to everyone from 7am to 6pm in Winter, the ashram is closed for 4-5 months, because it becomes very cold.
We were of the 7 AM to 6 PM lot and we really could spend ample time at the ashram due to low turnout of people on the day.
Neem Karoli Baba and His Legacy
Neem Karoli Baba (Hindi: नीम करौली बाबा) or Neeb Karori Baba (Hindi: नीब करौरी बाबा) (1900 c. – September 11, 1973), is also known to his followers as Maharajji. He was a Hindu Guru, mystic and devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is famous inside and outside India for being the Guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s
Some of the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal, and Trevor Hall (Rampriya Das). His ashrams are in Kainchi Nainital, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Neem Karoli village near Khimasepur in Farrukhabad, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, USA.
List Of Disciples That Is Unmatched
His notable devotees and followers include humanitarian Larry Brilliant and his wife Girija, scholar and writer Yvette Rosser, filmmaker John Bush, and Daniel Goleman author of The Varieties of the Meditative Experience and Emotional Intelligence. Baba Hari Dass (Haridas) was not a disciple, however, he supervised several buildings and maintained the ashrams in Nainital area (1954-1968) before heading to the USA to become a spiritual teacher in California in the beginning of 1971.
Mr. Jobs Himself!
Steve Jobs, along with his friend Dan Kottke, traveled to India in April 1974 to study Hinduism and Indian spirituality; they planned also to meet Neem Karoli Baba, but arrived to find the guru had died the previous September. Hollywood actress Julia Roberts was also influenced by Neem Karoli Baba and later converted to Hinduism. A picture of him drew Roberts to Hinduism.
Mr. Facebook Follows Mr. Jobs
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of facebook, influenced by Steve Jobs, visited Neem Karoli Baba’s (Maharajji) ashram in Kainchi in October 2015. Larry Brilliant took Google’s Larry Page and Jeffrey Skoll, co-founder of eBay, on the pilgrimage
About My Experience with Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Kainchi Dham
We stayed at the Kainchi Dham Ashram for a couple of hours. It was interesting that no cameras or mobile phone pictures were allowed. You can carry the equipment but cannot take a picture. And yes there are people who keep constant watch to find any errands and you will not get away with it so don’t embarrass yourself by trying to take pictures. I am making that recommendation because I saw people exactly doing the same and politely being reminded of the deviation.
The Entry Gate of Kainchi Dham
If you know how to read Hindi you may have noticed the name mentioned as Neeb Karori Maharaj. Infact this is the correct spelling, however he is now more well known as Neem Karoli Baba.
After crossing the above main entry gate you will come across a small foot bridge which is over a small very clear water channel and we could easily spot some fishes there in the water at a height of 40 feet above from the bridge! Pic below
You can see the foot bridge leading to the main gate of the temple below in the picture
And yes a word of caution for these little monkeys. Where else to find them than a Hanuman Mandir. There are plenty of them and yes they can snatch food items from you so better keep yourself clean of anything which may look like food to them. One of the little monkeys pic below even jumped on my 5 year old daughter. Thankfully she screamed wild monkey and that was all to it. We had to check her thoroughly though for any scratches, it however came out as a naughty push to little one from another little one.
The last entry gate leading to the temple. Remember no photography beyond this point.
Inside the temple of Neem Karoli Baba
Just when you enter the gate need to get rid of your shoes or slippers. There is an unmanned rack where you can put all your belongings there.
The first temple on your right is a small temple and proceeding further you will find a right cut from where you will find Hanuman Temple, Baba Neem Karoli Temple. There is also a library where you can find some books about life, spirituality and philosophy on Neem Karoli Baba. We did buy a handful of them in English and Hindi. I am yet to read the book and will share my thoughts when I complete reading the book. Interestingly the book is also available on Amzaon and I am sharing the link for people who may like reading the book.