INTRODUCTIONPithoragarh is the eastern most district of Uttranchal, bounded by Tibet to the North and Nepal to the east. It is strategically an important location. A place of exquisite natural beauty and serenity.Pithoragarh is popularly known as the "Little Kashmir”. The
captivating town with fascinating forests around at an impressive height of 1645mts, is nestled in a small valley.Pithoragarh town is a historical landmark. It was a major centre of power during the regime of the Chand Kings in Kumaon.This valley also nestles the snow capped peaks.Pithoragarh is known for woollen clothes, wooden and cane handicrafts.
ORIENTATIONPithoragarh is situated in the northern state of Uttaranchal. The district covers an area of 8,856 square kilometers and it borders both Nepal and Tibet.
HISTORYIt is the main town of a region bordering both Nepal and Tibet. On Feb 1st, 1960 Pithoragarh became a separate district. The first recorded history is from the time of the great Rajputa King Prithviraj Chauhan. It is said that when he expanded his kingdom, he named this place as ‘Rai Pithora’ since it was a Rajput tradition to name a place after settling there. But soon this name was changed to Pithoragarh.Pithoragarh has been ruled by many different dynasties and kings.
BEST TIME TO VISITThe finest time to visit Pithoragarh is between the months of April-June and September-October.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALSPithoragarh is noted for its cultural and religious fairs which reflects the culture and tradition of the people of Pithoragarh.Probably the most popular festival is held in autumn at Jaul Jibi, where copper pots, woolens and even shaggy-maned Himalayan horses are bought and sold. These fairs concentrate more on the trade aspects of this area.
PLACES OF INTERESTS
KAPILESHWAR MAHADEV TEMPLEA cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the outskirts of the city. From here one can have a panoramic view of the Soar valley and the surrounding Himalayan peak. This cave temple is situated at a distance of about 3kms away from Pithoragarh and hundreds of people visit this temple everyday to offer their prayers.
DHWAJ TEMPLEAt an altitude of lofty 2,159 ft., this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Jayanthi.It is located at a point which offers a scenic view of the valley and hills around. It is about 10 Km away from Pithoragarh if you want to go by road, otherwise there is a trek route covering a distance of about 4kms.
THAL KEDARAt a distance of about 25kms from Pithoragarh, this place is of great religious importance.A large fair is held every year during Shivarathri.Thal Kedar is noted for its famous Mahadev temple.
Jaul JibiAt a distance of about 68 km Jaul Jibi is a significant trading centre bordering Nepal. Lying at the confluence of rivers Gori and Kali, it truns into a lively fair ground annually.
CHAMPAWATChampawat, 76 km from Pithoragarh, was once the capital of Chand Rajas, whose fort now houses a government office; the town has many architecturally beautiful temples. Of these, Baleshwar and Nagnath temples are noteworthy. Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam maintains a tourist bungalow at Champawat.
Dharchula is about 95kms from Pithoragah on the banks of river Kali, it is a transit point, to Kailash -Mansarovar and Adi Kailash.It is a major woollen and woollen products centre.
CHANDAKChandak at an altitude of 1.830 meters is about 7 km from Pithoragarh.Chandak the valley of Pithoragarh is awesome. In the Mostmanu temple in Chandak a major fair is held every year in the month of August.
GANGOLIHATGangolihat is situated at a distance of about 77kms away from Pithoragarh and it is here where the Shakti peeth is established by Adi Shankaracharya.The temple for Chamunda Devi is located in the close vicinity where there is a folktale which believes that he evil forces conquered by the Goddess still dwell in the adjoining caves.
There is another temple located at a distance of about 14kms from Gangolihat in Patal Bhubaneshwar whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva.Gangolihat is a sacred site that is known for Hatkalika Fair that is held at the Kalka temple.
ASKOT SANCTUARYThis place is surrounded by tall trees and water falls at a distance of 54kms from Pithoragarh.Popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, this picturesque sanctuary is located at an altitude of 5412 ft above sea level. This place accommodates snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, musk deer, snow cocks, tahra, bharals, Mona, Chirs, koklas and chukors.
SHOPPINGPithoragarh is a beautiful hill station that has its share of traditional handicrafts and other local products you can shop for. Here you can look for traditional woven woolen shawls and blankets, apart from other woolen products. Also, you can shop around for traditional gems and jewels found here.
The main shopping area in Pithoragarh includes Simalgair, Naya Bazar, Dharamshala, Siltham, Cinema Line and Purana Bazar.
There are quite a few small joints to eat at in the main market. A variety of Vegetarian and non - vegetarian cuisine is available at several restaurants and wayside eateries. Some of the restaurants here are
Cooks Restaurant, Link Road.
Neel Kanth Hotel, Bus Station.
Uttaranchal Deep Hotel, Bus Station.
Samrat Hotel, Bus Station.
Ulka Priya Darshini, Siltham.
Raja Hotel, Tanakpur Road.
Ranjana Hotel, Bus Station.
Hotel Trishul, Siltham.
Alankar Hotel, Siltham.
Rest House, Chandak Road.
Forest Rest House, Chandak Road