Kainchi Dham or Neem Karoli Baba Ashram is located in the Bhowali Range of Uttarakhand and near cities like Nainital, Bhimtal, and Jim Corbett. This place is a perfect representation of divinity combined with beauty of the nature. Neem Karoli Baba (originally known as Laxman Narayan Sharma) also known as Maharaj Ji, is popular for being a spiritual master of several Americans who traveled to India back in the 1960s and 1970s. His prominent disciples include Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. There are several ashrams of Maharaj Ji over the world at places like Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Farrukhabad, Bhumiadhar, Hanumangarhi, and Delhi in India and Taos, New Mexico, United States.
About Neem Karoli Baba
Maharaj Ji was born as Laxman Das around 1900 in the Akbarbur village of Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh in a wealthy Brahmin family. He got married at the age of 11 by his parents but later he went away to become a sadhu. However, he came back later to live a family life; he became the father of two sons and one daughter. During his lifetime, he got recognized by different names like Handi Wallah Baba, and Tikonia Walla Baba, Tallaiya Baba (Gujarat). Local inhabitants of Vrindavan addressed him Chamatkari Baba (“miracle baba”).
Throughout his life, Neem Karoli Baba was a dedicated practitioner of Bhakti yoga. He always emphasizes the paramount importance of selfless service (seva) as the ultimate expression of unwavering devotion to the supreme lord. Neem Karoli Baba Ji left his body during the night of 10 September 1973. His remains were brought to Kainchi Dham in a kalash few days later. The renovation of this place was started in 1974 without any proper plan or design in hand.
Steve Jobs traveled to India in April 1974 with his friend Dan Kottke to study Hinduism and Indian spirituality. During their visit, they planned to meet Neem Karoli Baba, but when reaching the Kainchi Dham Ashram, they find the guru died the previous September. Hollywood actress Julia Roberts was also a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba. Later Mark Zuckerberg also visited Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram in Kainchi after getting influenced by Steve Jobs.
How to reach Kainchi Dham?
- Start by researching the location of the ashram you plan to visit
- Whether you travel by car or public transportation planning is the key
- Keep navigation apps open for accurate directions,
- Take guidance from the locals after reaching the town
- Ensure you have everything necessary and respect local customs
There are no entry charges for visiting the ashram and temple. One can arrive at any time of the month here for a time span of 5:00 pm to 40:0 am.
How to stay near Baba Neem Karoli Ashram?
If you want to stay in this ashram, you need to make the arrangements in advance so that you can be here in comfort. You will have to take permission from the manager while requesting the stay. The ashram authorities usually allow the guests to stay for a maximum of three days. Therefore, plan this beforehand to avoid any hassles. There are several bhandaras, satsangs, kirtans, and bhajans performed regularly on the premises. Every year on 15th June, during the birthday of Maharaj Ji, a grand fair is arranged at the ashram which receives thousands of local and international tourists.
For those that don’t want to stay in the ashram, there is a beautiful hotel in Bhimtal, located around 27 km away from here. The Seven Cozy Stay will be great to live in the lap of nature where you will enjoy waking up in the morning amidst the chirping of birds and the beauty of the town within the hills. This is one of the best hotels in Naukuchiatal that provides you stay at affordable prices and the food served is also just of the top quality.
Why do you need to visit Neem Karoli Ashram?
- Kainchi Dham is a sacred site having blessings by Lord Hanuman and Neem Karoli Baba, exuding profound spiritual energy that brings about transformative experiences.
- Kainchi Dham has verdant forests, flowing rivers, and majestic mountains in its surroundings offering a picturesque escape from urban life.
- The temple within Kainchi Dham conducts daily rituals and prayers open to visitors. Engage in offerings to deities, melodious devotional singing, and serene meditation sessions.
- Neem Karoli Baba’s teachings on love, service, and devotion have inspired global figures like Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Julia Roberts.
- Drawing spiritual seekers from across the world, Kainchi Dham serves as a magnet for those seeking growth and enlightenment.