Mahavatar Babaji's Cave in Kukuchina, Dunagiri

This was my first visit to Mahavatar Babaji's Cave in Kukuchina, Dunagiri, north India. not so far away from Dwaeahat and it has been an amazing experience. What an opportunity to sit in Babaji'scave for meditation after reading all those stories in Paramahansa Yogananda's book "Autobiography of a yogi". The surroundings were simply breathtaking. If you are a Kriya Yogi practitioner you should definitively come to visit this place and stay for a while.


Who is Mahavatar Babaji


MahavatarBabaji is an ancient yogi from the Himalayas who is said to have an eternal body. His story has been made known, thanks to the book "Autobiography of a Yogi" written byParamhansaYogananda. As mentioned in that book, Babaji is an avatar (divine incarnation) who has revived the science of KriyaYoga(an advanced pranayama technique that accelerates spiritual evolution) in this age of energy.Babaji imparted Kriya Yoga first to his disciple LahiriMahasaya on Dronagiri Mountain in Uttarakhand near Ranikhet in 1861 as described in the “Autobiography of a Yogi.” It is stated that LahiriMahasaya was working for the Military Engineering Department, in Danapur, in 1861 when he was transferred to Ranikhet. During his stay at Ranikhet he was roaming in the Dronagiri Mountains, when he arrived at a cave telepathically summoned by Babaji. This cave has since become a place of pilgrimage for devotees the world over and has come to be called as "Babaji’s Cave."


The secluded master Babaji has retained his physical form for centuries, perhaps for millennia…Babaji’s mission in India has been to assist prophets in carrying out their special dispensations. He thus qualifies for the scriptural classification of Mahavatar. The northern Himalayan crags near Badrinarayan are still blessed by the living presence of Babaji. Seeing that in the present scientific age, people were better prepared to receive higher knowledge, Babaji directed his disciple, LahiriMahasaya, to reintroduce the meditation science of Kriya Yoga to the world.

The conversation between Lahiri Mahasaya and Babaji where the secret science of kriya was again made available to the common man is recounted touchingly in Yogananda’s Autobiography:

‘The cries of many bewildered worldly men and women have not fallen unheard on the ears of the Great Ones,’Babaji went on. ‘You have been chosen to bring spiritual solace through Kriya Yoga to numerous earnest seekers.

The millions who are encumbered by family ties and heavy worldly duties will take new heart from you, a householder like themselves. You must guide them to see that the highest yogic attainments are not barred to the family man. Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment.’

“How remote seemed my family, the office, the world, as I listened to my guru in the high Himalayan solitudes. Yet adamantine truth rang in his words; I submissively agreed to leave this blessed haven of peace. Babaji instructed me in the ancient rigid rules which govern the transmission of the yogic art from guru to disciple.

“ Bestow the Kriya Key only on qualified chelas,’ Babaji said, ‘He who vows to sacrifice all in the quest of the Divine is fit to unravel the final mysteries of life through the science of meditation.’

‘Angelic guru, as you have already favored mankind by resurrecting the lost Kriya art, will you not increase that benefit by relaxing the strict requirements for discipleship? I gazed beseechingly Baba Ji. ‘I pray that you permit me communicate Kriya to all seekers, even though at first they can not vow themselves to complete inner renunciation. The tortured men and women of the world, pursued by the threefold suffering, “need special encouragement. They may never attempt the road to freedom if Kriya initiation be withheld from them.’

’Be it so. The divine wish has been expressed through you.’ With these simple words, the merciful guru banished the rigorous safeguards that for ages had hidden Kriya from world. ‘Give Kriya freely to all who humbly ask for help.’

Lahiri Mahasaya


Further spread Kriya Yoga in Varanasi and Sri Yukteswar was his one of the foremost disciples.


Sri Yukteswar


on the direction of Babaji, wrote a book called “Holy Science” underlying unity between the Christian and Hindu Scriptures and trained Yogananda for his mission abroad in USA.



was the author of “Autobiography of a Yogi” published in 1946 and remained under training for more than 10 years for his mission of dissemination in the West

to teach mankind the value the balancing the material with an inner spiritual life.

In 1920, Yogananda shifted to America, not to “dogmatize you with a new theology,” as he later told his students, but “to teach you how to commune with God directly.” He lectured to hundreds of thousands across the country. His Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, has become one of the most well-loved spiritual books of the last century, and a classic of religious literature. He was devoted to helping unite East and West by bringing the original teachings of Krishna and yoga to the West, and showing their underlying unity with the original teachings of Christ. He advocated the founding of what he called “world-brotherhood colonies” where people could live together in spiritually supportive communities.

Kriya Yoga


According to Paramhansa Yogananda in his “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Kriya Yoga is the most effective technique for reaching the goal of Yoga: Self-Realization. Self-Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all you need to do is improve your knowing


What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga is an advanced technique for spiritual evolution that has been taught by enlightened sages for thousands of years. Part of the ancient science of Raja Yoga, it is mentioned by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Kriya works by giving the practitioner control of the life force. Through life force control, the yogi is able to overcome all the obstacles preventing union with the divine.


How to Learn Kriya Yoga?

Those wanting to learn the advanced Kriya meditation techniques need first to develop a regular daily practice of meditation and the Energization Exercises. Further steps include lessons and courses in discipleship that are available. It typically requires a minimum of 9 months to one year of daily practice of the energization exercises and the Hong-Sau technique before one receives Kriya Initiation.


Visiting the Cave


For Cave first we have to go to Kukuchina, Dronagiri, India. Till Kukuchina one can drive, after that its really nice 50 minutes trek with incredible landscape to the cave. As soon as we reach the cave, we have to remove the shoes to go inside. We find a good spot to sit down comfortably so we can start our individual meditation there.


The cave is well ventilated and quite roomier to accommodate about 6 to 8 people who can sit comfortably and meditate.


The meditation in the cave gives the boast and energy and wipes out the whole tireness and also the blessing are received of Baba Ji by the disciples. The place sounds in positive vibrations and beauty of solitude and silence.


Babaji Caves-Near Ranikhet, Uttarakhand


Babaji’s cave is near Ranikhet. We have to go to Dwarhat which is nearly 35 km from Ranikhet. The cave is located near Kukuchina, which is around 15 kms from Dwarhat, Kukuchina is part of Dronagiri mountain in Uttarakhand.


Tourist Spots

From Kukuchina, 3 kilometer is the Pandukholi that can be reached only by strenuous trek. Pandukholi menas Pandavas shelter. It is said that when Pandavas went for 14 years exile as mention Mahabharata, Pandavas found this place most suitable in the last year of secret exile “Agyatvas”.

When the Pandavas were running from place to place hiding their true identity during the 1 year “Agyatvas’ period, the Kauravas were chasing them around in the hills of this region. It is said that Kukuchina is last point till which the Kauravas came, after which they returned. Hence, this place was named ‘ Kauravchina’ which in time, came to be called ‘Kukuchina’. The Ashram of Garg Rishi and Sukhdev Rishi are situated in Kukuchina Road.


When the Pandavas were running from place to place hiding their true identity during the 1 year “Agyatvas’ period, the Kauravas were chasing them around in the hills of this region. It is said that Kukuchina is last point till which the Kauravas came, after which they returned. Hence, this place was named ‘ Kauravchina’ which in time, came to be called ‘Kukuchina’. The Ashram of Garg Rishi and Sukhdev Rishi are situated in Kukuchina Road.



Day 1: Kathgodham - Woodsvilla, Ranikhet

ArrivesKathgodam. Proceed to Ranikhet, stoping at Kainchi (for meditation at NeemKaroli Baba Ashram).Check into Woodsvilla Resort, Ranikhet

Day 2: Ranikhet

Brakfast at Resort Bus to MAHAVATAR BABAJI CAVE Start walking to cave, meditation, and free time, Drive back to Woodvill, Ranukhet.

Day 3: Ranikhet - Kathgodham

Early morning breakfast checkout.


How to reach

From Delhi, you have to go to Ranikhet by road or go by train to Kathgodam, from where you can take cab to Ranikhet where you can stay and next day you can visit caves which are 35 kms away from Ranikhet. The most famous and preferred place for stay by disciples is Woodsvilla Resort in Ranikhet, where special arrangements are done for meditation in Resort itself for disciples. Normally disciples stay to 2 to 4 nights in Woodsvilla to do meditation and practice Kriya Yoga and also visit the Babaji cave as pilgrims. Since Woodsvilla Resort is just opposite Dronagiri Mountains, where the Dronagiri temple lights can even be seen in the night, it is general belief that the devotees get vibration from Babaji while doing meditation in Woodsvilla. Contact No. 05966-240374, 240381.