Pithoragarh district is named after the Pithoragarh town of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state. Pithoragarh is also popularly known as mini Kashmir because of its virgin beauty. Pithoragarh town is situated at an astounding elevation of 1650mts above sea level and the average elevation of Pithoragarh is 1514mts above sea level. Pithoragarh town is littered with temples and forts of the Chand dynasty. Pithoragarh is situated on the soar valley which resembles Kashmir. Pithoragarh is a picturesque hill station of Uttarakhand which is not only luring tourists because of its natural beauteousness but it also hosts adventure activities like rafting, mountaineering, trekking, skiing etc. There are many glaciers in Pithoragarh district which acts as a major source of water for northern region of India. Pithoragarh is the easternmost district of Uttarakhand state and it is also bordered with Nepal on east and Tibet on north. The northern part of the district is thinly populated as there are glaciers and snow laden lofty peaks in this region. Pithoragarh is home of the popular glaciers like Milam Glacier, Namik Glacier, Sunderdhunga Glacier and Ralam Glacier.
Location of Pithoragarh
Pithoragarh is located at an elevation of 1650mts above sea level. The distance from Delhi to Pithoragarh is 515kms. Pithoragarh town comes under Pithoragarh district. Pithoragarh town is situated in soar valley which means a valley with cool temperature. Pithoragarh is situated on the old ancient route to Tibet and still many devotees follow this route to visit heavenly places like Chota Kailash and Kailash Mansarovar.
Places to see in Pithoragarh
Pithoragarh Fort: Pithoragarh Fort was built by the Gorkhas in 1789. This fort is perched atop of the hill on the outskirts of the town.
Kapileshwar Mahadev: It is situated at a short distance of 3km from Pithoragarh. There is cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at this place. The views of the Soar valley and snow laden Himalayas is captivating and invigorating from Kapileshwar Mahadev.
Chandak: It is situated at a distance of 8kms from Pithoragarh affording ravishing views of the gigantic Himalayan range. There is a Manu Temple here is which holds great importance amongst the locales.
Dhwaj Temple: You can either reach this place by a trek of 4kms or you can drive 10kms to reacj this majestic place. This shrine is visited by people of the Kumaon region and is revered by the locales. This sacred temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Jayanti. The view of the legendary Himalayas is astonishing from Dhwaj Temple.
Thal Kedar: Thal Kedar is situated 16kms from Pithoragarh. This place is visited by many Shaiva pilgrims – ‘followers of Lord Shiva’. This place offers is visisted by large number of Shaivite’s during the annual fair of Shivratri.
What to do in Pithoragarh
Enjoy a comfortable holiday in the salubrious weather of Pithoragarh. Visit nearby temple and all popular excursions as these places have great mythological association. Capture the scenic vistas of nature in your camera. Pithoragarh is an ideal destination for adventure lovers as it hosts trekking, skiing and rafting facilities.
Excursions from Pithoragarh
Rameshwarghat: Rameshwar Ghat is situated 36kms from Pithoragarh at the confluence of the Ramganga and Saryu Rivers. There are two principal temples here dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Rama. A large fair is held here during Makar Sankranti.
Abbot Mount: Situated at an elevation of 6500mts Abott Mount offers a peaceful and picturesque environment. The enchanting snow clad Himalayan peaks can be seen from Abott Mount. Abott Mount is located away from the city and there are only 13 secluded cottages spread over this hill. Abott Mount is situated in 24kms from Champawat.
Jauljibi: Jauljibi is situated 68kms from Pithoragarh at a picturesque location. Jauljibi is located at the confluence of Gori River and Kali River. A fair is held at this place which attracts people from different places. The fair is held here in the month of November. The people of Nepal also visit this place during this fair as the river holds great importance for them.
Gangolihat: Gangolihat is located 77kms from Pithoragath and is elevated at 1800mts above sea level. There is an ancient temple here dedicated to Kali. Gangolihat was once an important religious center of the Kumaon hills. The famous caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar are just 14kms from Gangolihat.
Dharchula: Dharchula is an important destination of the Kumaon region as the route to Kailash Mansarovar and Chota Kailash follows this place. Dharchula is well connected with motorable roads and it is situated 96kms from Pithoragarh. It is situated on the border of Pithoragarh district.
Munsyari: Munsyari offers splendors of natural beauty as it is nestled in the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. Munsyari is situated 154kms from Pithoragarh at an altitude of 2298mts above sea level. Munsyari is famous for its scenic beauty and trekking excursions. Munsyari is the camp of the trekkers to the Milam, Ralam and Namik Glaciers.
Shyamlatal: It is beautiful lake situated 56km from Champawat at an astounding elevation of 1500mts above sea level. There is a Swami Vivekananda Ashram on the banks of this emerald lake. The lake is spread over an area of 1.5sqkms. The famous Jhula Fair of Kumaon region is held at this place. The ruins of the Chand Dynasty can still be seen at Shyamla Tal.
Askot Sanctuary: This sanctuary is not only rich in varied flora and fauna but it also affords the charming vistas of nature’s beauteousness. Askot Sanctuary is located 54kms from Pithoragarh at an elevation of 5412ft above sea level. You can see bharals, monals, snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, chirs, koklas, pheasants, musk deers, snow cocks, tahra, and chukors.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar: Patal Bhubaneshwar is sub-terranean shrine of Lord Shiva situated 91kms from Pithoragarh. The way to the temple is through a tunnel which leads into the cavern through a narrow dark passage of water. You can see many rocks having various shapes and figures which resembles many gods and goddesses. This cave temple is also said to be the abode of thousands of gods. This site is visited by thousand of pilgrims every year and especially on the auspicious day of Shivratri.
Champawat: The place is rich in varied flora and fauna and also an ideal spot for bird watching. Champawat is surrounded by Nepal on the east and is covered by four districts of Kumaon region. Champawat is situated 76kms before Pithoragarh at an elevation of 1615mts above sea level.
Accomodations Hotels in Pithoragarh
There are numerous hotels in Pithoragarh providing comfort and luxury at affordable prices. Some popular hotels of Pithoragarh where you can enjoy a comfortable stay are Zara residency, Pine Resort, P.W.D Inspection House, Circuit House, Hotel Shivam, Ulka Priya Darshani, Hotel Punetha Inn, Neelkanth Hotel, and Forest Rest House etc.
Best time to visit Pithoragarh
The best time to visit Pithoragarh is throughout the year. Carry light woolens while a visit in summers and carry heavy woolens if you are planning a visit to Pithoragarh in winters. You will be blessed with snowfall at Pithoragarh in winters. Monsoon months receive heavy rainfall but the greenery is tempting during this time. Summers are pleasant in Pithoragarh.
How to reach Pithoragarh
By Air: The nearest airport to Pithoragarh is Pantnagar Airport. Pantnagar airport is situated 241kms from Pithoragarh in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. Taxis are easily available from Pantnagar to Pithoragarh.
By Rail: The nearest railhead to Pithoragarh is Tanakpur. The distance from Tanakpur Railway station to Pithoragrh is 138kms. Taxis and buses are easily available from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh.
By Road: Pithoragarh is well connected by metallic roads with all major destinations of Uttarakhand. The distance from Delhi to Pithoragarh is 515kms which can be covered in 15 hours drive. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar are available to Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora, Tanakpur and many other destinations.