Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Pithoragarh is the easternmost district of Uttarakhand, neighbouring Tibet in the north and Nepal in the east. A place of exquisite natural beauty and serenity, Pithoragarh is popularly known as the ‘Little Kashmir’. This captivating town with fascinating forests around, is located at an impressive height of 1645 m is nestled in a small valley. Pithoragarh town is a historical landmark, it was a major centre of power during the regime of Chand Kings in Kumaon. This town is also famous for its woolen clothes and cane handicrafts.

From Pithoragarh, pilgrims take their journey to the holy shrines of Kailash and Mansarovar. This valley also nestles the snow capped peaks – Nanda Devi East (7434 m) and Nanda Devi West (7817 m). Below these mighty peaks lies the alpine valley and glaciers like Milam, Ralam, Namik and Sundardunga.

Fast Facts

Height: 1645 m

Climate: The summer is mild and light cottons and light woolens are suggested. In winter, the sunny days are pleasant – though the nights are cold and fairly heavy clothes are required. Through the rest of the year, light woolens/cottons are suggested.

Getting There & Away: How to reach Pithoragarh

Road: Pithoragarh is well connected by a good network of roads with all the major towns in the area. The distance from the nearest major town Champawat is 75 kms, Lohaghat is 62 kms, Munsiyari is 135 kms and Tanakpur is 151 kms.

Rail: The nearest rail station is at Tanakpur at a distance of 151 kms.

Air: Naini Saini is the airport is Pithoragarh, just 5 kms away from the city centre. However, it is not in operation.

Tourist Attractions in Pithoragarh

Pithoragarh Fort: An impressive fort built by the Gorkhas in the 18th Century. The Government Buildings are housed in the fort.

Kapileshwar Mahadev: It is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated in the outskirts of the city. From here, one can have a panoramic view of the Soar Valley and the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

Dhwaj Temple: At an altitude of lofty 2100 m, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Jayanti. It is located at a point, which offers a scenic view of the valley, the hills around as well as the snow capped peaks. Distance from the city is 21 kms by bus and 5 kms trek.

Thal Kedar: Located at a distance of 20 kms from Pithoragarh, this place is of much religious importance. A large fair is held every year during Shivaratri.

Askot: Situated at a distance of 54 kms from Pithoragarh, it was the capital of the ancient Katyuri dynasty. This place is famous for Askot Wildlife Sanctuary established for conservation of the musk deer. The name is derived from Asi-Kot, which literally means 80 Forts. The remains are still visible. This place is surrounded by tall trees and waterfalls.

Dharchula: 96 kms from Pithoragarh, on the banks of river Kali, it is a transit point to Kailash-Mansarovar and Adi Kailash. It is a major wool and woolen products centre.

Gangolighat: 77 kms from Pithoragarh, this is a major cultural centre in the Kumaon hills, known for socio-religious activities. Situated in the midst of Saryu and Ramganga rivers, this is a place mentioned in the ancient Hindu literatures. Shankaracharya established the famous Mahakali Shaktipeeth in the 8th century; Goddess Kali is the reigning deity of the town.

Munsiyari: At a distance of 135 kms from Pithoragarh, Munsiyari is being developed as a major winter sports centre. Read More>>>

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