The district of Pithoragarh is a picturesque place blessed with breathtaking sceneries of nature, calm and serene surroundings, dense jungle, steeped in history, tranquil rivers, woody forests and warm-welcoming locals. The town was ruled by Chand Rulers in ancient Times and by Britishers laterly. This exotic town is delight for mountaineers, trekkers, adventure seekers, botanists, pilgrims as well as sightseers. It is an important halt on the famous Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route. The rivers originating from the Pithoragarh mountains are perfect for water sports, while the lush jungles here teem with rich variety of flora and fauna.
The northern parts are studded with majestic peaks like Nanda Devi (east), Nanda Devi (west), Trishul, Nandakot, Rajrambha, Panchachuli group etc. The alpine meadows and glaciers below these majestic mountains has made the district a virtual paradise for nature lovers.
Pithoragarh District Stats
- District Headquarters: Pithoragarh
- Area: 7110 sq km
- Total Population: 4,85,993
- Literacy: 76.48%
- Altitude: 1514 m
- Languages: Kumauni, Hindi
- Best Season: Mar – Jun, Sep – Dec
Places to Visit in Pithoragarh
- Pithoragarh Fort: It is set atop a hill on the outskirts of the town. The fort was built by the Gorkhas in 1789.
- Kapileshwar Mahadev (3 kms): The cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva affords fine view of the Soar valley and lofty Himalayan peaks.
- Chandak (8 kms): The beautiful hill affords a fine view of the Himalayas. The Manu Temple here is highly revered by the locales.
- Dhwaj Temple: This famous shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Jayanti and is 10 kms by road and 4 kms on foot from Pithoragarh. It also commands a breath taking view of the snow capped peaks.
- Thal Kedar (16 kms) : This Shaivite pilgrim site is also known for its scenic splendour. During the annual fair of Shivratri large number of devotees flock to Thal Kedar.
- Nakuleshwara (10 kms): It is believed that Nakuleshwara Temple was built by Nakul and Sahdev (two brothers of Pandavas). The place is located at Athgaon Shilling area.
- Askot Sanctuary: The scenic sanctuary 54 kms from Pithoragarh nestles at a height of 5412 ft. in Kumaon Himalayas and is popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Chaukori: The small hill town affords balmy weather and great views of snowclad peaks. The entire area teems with tea gardens and orchards. It is 112 kms from Pithoragarh via Gangolihat and Berinag.
- Gangolihat: The sacred site is famous for the Hatkalika Fair held on the ashtami of Chaitra month at the Kalika temple. Devotees visit the shrine during this time with drums and flags to pay homage to Goddess Kalika.
- Jhulaghat : This small town on the Indo-Nepal border is named after a hanging bridge on the Kali river. One can enter Nepal through this bridge. The small market here deals in Nepali goods and other electronic items.
- Narayan Ashram: The ashram was established by Narayan Swami in 1936, about 136 kms north of Pithoragarh and 14 kms from Tawaghat.
- Patal Bhuvaneshwar : Patal Bhubaneshwar, literally means the sub-terranean shrine of Lord Shiva. The cave temple is 91 kms from Pithoragarh and 14 kms north of Gangolihat.
How to reach Pithoragarh
- By Air: The nearest airport for Pithoragarh is at Naini Saini (5 kms). However, the nearest operational airport is at Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar.
- By Rail: The nearest rail head is at Tanakpur (151 kms).
- By Road: Pithoragarh is well connected by road with important towns of the region and other states as well.