Pithoragarh is among the Eastern most districts of Uttarakhand, which has Tibet located in the North and the Nepal in the East. It is famous for its natural beauty and is also known as the ‘Little Kashmir’. The region is rich in natural beauty and offers breathtaking view of the majestic snow clad Himalayan Mountains. Pithoragarh offers a route of journey to the pilgrims of the holy shrine of Kailash and Mansarovar. The town is located in a valley known as Soar and Lays in the centre of four hills Dhwaj, Kumdar, Chandak, Thal Kedar. Pithoragarh hill station plays an important role in Uttarakhand tourism and has the potential of becoming one of the crucial hubs for Indian tourism.
Pithoragarh is a landmark with historical importance and had been a crucial Centre of Power during the reign of the rulers of Chand Dynasty in Kumaon. The surroundings speak the history. The district is believed to have been named after its headquarter. The Pals (Katyuri Kings), The Bam Dynasty Rulers, the Chand Dynasty rulers and the British took turns to rule over the region from its origin up till the dawn of Indian independence. In the year 1997, a part of Pithoragarh region was separated from the district of the Champawat.
Geography of Pithoragarh
Saur Valley being its headquarter, Pithoragarh falls under Kumaon division. As the geography claims, it is blessed with rich mineral deposits. Pithoragarh district is one among the five distinguished Tehsils. The location of Pithoragarh on map is at 29.58°N 80.22°E and the valley is elevated at an average height of 1,514 meters. The region is spread across an area of about 7110 km sq. If you are on a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash-Lake Manasarovar, then you have to make a stop in Pithoragarh.
Climatic Condition of Pithoragarh
Witness the amazing climatic conditions of Pithoragarh while you plan a lovely stay. The valley enjoys a pleasantly warm summer season and a cool winter season. The summer season sets in the month of April and lasts till the month of June, with an average maximum temperature of 20°C, while the chilly winter season sets in the month of December and lasts till the month of March with the average temperate lying between 4°C-8°C.
Best Time to Visit Pithoragarh
The best time to visit Pithoragarh is from the months of April to November as the weather is at its best during that period. The summer season is most suitable for sightseeing the famous tourist attractions, while the winter season is suitable for adventurous snow bound sports and activities. There are numerous places to visit when you are taking a trip in this magical hill station.
Pithoragarh Tourism: The Best Tourist Attractions
The region is rich in scenic owing to the presence of numerous hills, lush green forests, clear lakes and swift rivers. The presence of a number of shrines and temples draw the attention of pilgrims who seek true spiritual wisdom. The beauteous valley of Pithoragarh caters to the need of both nature loving and adventurous tourists. The experience of skiing, trekking and river rafting in Pithoragarh is outstanding and extremely uplifting.
Well, you can expect a sudden landslide but the government ensures you complete safety during those harsh times. Pithoragarh offers its tourist a complete travel experience and that is why it is truly among the best vacation spots in India. The following is a list of some of the popular places in the region which are promoted by tourism of India:
- Rameshwar Ghat:This is located 36 Km away from the main district on the edge of the Ramganga and Saryu Rivers. Here are two temples which are devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Rama.
- Abbott Mount: It is located at an elevation of 2018 metres. The place offers quiet and charming environment. It is completely covered with snow during winters. The snow covered Himalayas are easily seen from Abbott Mount. It is located 56 Km away from the district in a peaceful area.
- Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary: The wildlife sanctuary is spread across an area of 599.93 km² and is situated around the Askot which is nearby Didihat.
- Didihat: The place is situated at a distance of 54 km from Pithoragarh and is known for its lush beauty and clear view of the mountains and serene valley.
- Dhwaj: Situated at a distance of 15km from Pithoragarh, the majestic mountain of Dhwaj is elevated at a height of 2134 m. The place is an abode of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. As per the Hindu legends, the demons ‘Chanda and Munda’ were killed here by the goddess. The dense forests of the region are in a state of a conserved biome which harbours a large number of endemic species of plants.
- Adi-Kailash: This place is also known as the Chhota Kailash and is situated at an altitude of 6,191m on the Indo-Tibet border situated in the Himalayas. It is also among the renowned adventurous places and popular trekking joints.
- Narayan Ashram: The serene place was built by Narayan Swamy in the year 1936 and abounds in rare fruits and wild flowers. The ashram also has a number of The main purpose of the place was to serve the pilgrims of the holy Kailash-Mansarovar shrine.
- The Pithoragarh Fort: The fort is situated on the outskirts of the town and is set on the hills. This fort has a historic importance and was built by the Gorkhas in the year 1789. It is among the best tourist places and is currently serving as a girls’ school.
- Nakuleshwar Temple: it is one of the famous temples that are situated near the Pithoragarh. It is believed to have been built by the Pandava Brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva.
- Chandak: This scenic place is situated at a distance of 7 km from the headquarters, and is elevated at an altitude of 1,830 m. The location offers a panoramic view of the Pithoragarh Soar Valley. As per legends, the demon ‘Chandghat’ was killed here by goddess Durga.
- Chhipla Kedar: It is situated at distance of 34 km from the Tawaghat and elevated at an altitude of 4626 meters above sea level this place offers a picturesque view and is deemed as an excellent hub for the trekkers.
- Choukori: This place serves as one of the perfect romantic places for couples and offers a perfect panoramic view of majestic snow-capped Himalayan peaks in region. The place is situated at a distance of 10 KM from Berinag and is elevated at a height of 2010 m. This place is renowned for its lush tea gardens and orchards.
The other tourist spots in Pithoragarh are Thal, Dharchula, Gangolihat, Munsyari, Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Betuli Dhar, Kapileshwar Mahadev, and Chhiplakot. Lim Bagudiyar Fall, Birthi Fall, Pilsitti Fall, and Garaun Fall are some of the waterfalls in Pithoragrah you can visit.
Fairs (Melas) and Festivals of Pithoragarh
The land of incredible India is rich in diverse culture and heritage. The culture of Pithoragarh has the perfect blend of traditions and religion. Fairs and festivals are an integral part of the cultural traditions of the valley. Every year fairs are organized on the auspicious days of important festivals and dates.
- Jauljibi Fair & Thal Fair: Jauljibi fair is celebrated by the populace during February. The divine day of Makar Sankranti brings in pompous celebrations. It takes place near the Gori River Delta and Kali. However, the Thal Fair is held during Baishak Sankranti in the month of April. Cultural celebrations and trade of certain valuable items happen in these melas.
- Uttarayani Fair: It is celebrated with the belief that a dip in the holy water will definitely wash away all your sins for all the seven lives. Usually held on 14th January, Uttarayani fair is celebrated on occasion of the Makar Sankranti.
- Harela: This festival is celebrated thrice a year by the natives of Kumaon region and has a significance of its own. It is celebrated with grandeur during Navratris, Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri.
- Bhaituli or Bhitauli: A day when the girls receive all the special attention and gifts, Bhaituli celebrate womanhood.
- Phool Dei: The denizens of Uttarakhand consider Phool Dei as one of the major festivals. The young girls organize this festival and drop jagerry, coconut, rice, flowers and green leaves at their neighbours’ home. The first day of Chaitra brings in the Phool Dei Festival.
The popular folklore, stories and folk dances of the region include the Malushahi, Phag, Jagar, Chhapeli, Ramola, Ghaneli, Jhora, Anthoo, Hil Jatra and Chholiya Dance.
Shopping Hunt in Pithoragarh
Although there are no major shopping malls in Pithoragarh, a number of small scale local markets are popular among the tourists and the locals as shopping destination. The popular markets of the region are the Simalgair, Dharamshala, Cinema Line, Naya Bazaar, Purana Bazaar and Siltham. A variety of traditional handicrafts, decorative items, brass items, clay idols, woolen items, colourful carpets and rugs are available in the market of Pithoragarh. The handicrafts and artifacts showcase the traditional craftsmanship of the local artisans will make your shopping hunt an interesting one.
Interesting Facts about Pithoragarh
- As per the census of 2011, the Pithoragarh city’s population was 485,993.
- The district of Pithoragarh has a population density of 69 PD per square km.
- The average literacy rate enjoyed by the district is 82.93%.
- The district is divided into 5 Tehsils: Munsiari, Gangolihat, Didihat, Dharchula and Pithoragarh
- Highest Himalayan peak in Pithoragarh is Sunanda Devi (7434m).
- Highest international passes to Tibet in this district is the Nuwe Dhura (5650m).
- Highest intra district Himalayan pass in the city is Longstaff Col (5910m).
- The widely spoken regional language of the region is Kumaoni.
- The Kandali festival is one of the major festivities in the region of Pithoragarh and it is celebrated once in every 12 years.
- The nearest civil airport is the Naini Saini Airport.
Hotels and Resorts in Pithoragarh
The scenic locales offer the tourists with an array of sightseeing places. The valley of Pithoragarh is a well connected district and can be traversed to and from other Uttarakhand districts with ease. The natural and cultural beauty of the valley attracts tourists all around the year which directly benefits the hotel industry of the region. The availability of cheap hotels and spacious resorts enables the tourists to choose their best and most affordable hotel deals and holiday packages. The following are the names of some of the hotels and resorts in Pithoragarh:
- Ojaswi Resort: Bageshwar-Munsiyari Road, Tea Garden, Chaukori, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262531
- Vijay Mount View Resort: Thal Road, Munsyari, Pithoragarh , Uttarakhand 262554
- Hotel Baakhlee: Vadda Road, Tildhukri, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- Hotel Pandey Lodge: Munsyari-Madkot Road, View Point, Near Roadways Bus Station, Munsyari, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262554
- Hotel Jyonar Palace: Nagar Palika, Simalgair Bazar, Chowk, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
Educational Institutions in Pithoragarh
World is getting concerned about the education of individuals. To provide the natives of Pithoragarh a glorifying future, the best institutions for education had been established in this holiday destination.
- Seemant Institute of Technology Temporary Campus: Link Road, Jagdamba Colony, Kujoli, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262502
- L S M Government P G College: GIC Road, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- Maharishi Vidya Mandir: Jajardawal, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- Wisdom Nursery & School: Jeewan Chandra Marg, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- New Beersheba Senior Secondary School: Police Line, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
Hospitals in Pithoragarh
Even if you get severely ill, the well-equipped hospitals of Pithoragarh will serve even the critical purposes:
- Bisht Hospital: Link Road, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- B. Hospital: Link Road, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- Patanjali Chikitsalya: Road, Tildhukari, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand 262501
- District Hospital: Near Sildhar Bus Stop, Pithoragarh-262501
- Healing Touch Hospital: Bhatkot Road, Pithoragarh-262501
Let the Pithoragarh tourism flourish in this beautiful India and give a chance to the tourists to explore enchanting beauty of the Uttarakhand villages. Explore the goldmines or watch a movie in the movie theatres, Pithoragarh is fun.