Pithoragarh is a city with a Municipal Board in the Pithoragarh district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, was carved out of district of Almora in 1960.
Pithoragarh is a small town, which gives its name to the district. It lies in the centre of the western half of the Soar Valley which resembles the Kashmir valley on a miniature scale. It is prettily dotted with villages, generally placed on eminences. The view from some of the higher altitudes in Pithoragarh captures the snow-capped peaks of Panch Chulhi, Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot. The town is set in a valley popularly known as "Soar" and lies in the centre of four hills Chandak, Dhwaj, Kumdar and Thal Kedar, and stretches in the southern flank to Jhulaghat demarcated by the Kali river adjoining the barren peaks of Nepal Hills. It is snuggled in the folds of four kots Bhatkot, Dungerkot, Udaikot and Unchakot. Pithoragarh, is known as the gateway to the Himalayas from the north, as pilgrims trek through this town to the Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, and Om Parvat.
Places Of Interest:
Once the bastion of the Chand rulers, Pithoragarh town is littered with temples and forts belonging to that era. The town had two forts one of which has been demolished, its place being taken by the Government Girls’ Intermediate College building. The building of the other fort houses the treasury and the tahsil. Other places of interest in Pithoragarh are Patal Bhuvaneshwar (Gangolihat), Chandak, Dewalthal, Dharchula, Munsiyari and Kali Mandir of Gangolihat. Kumaon University College is the main educational institution in the district for higher studies. About 5 km. from the place there is a small and beautiful place named Chandag which houses an asylum for lepers. It is said that a goddess killed two devils, Chand and Mund, at this place. The episode gave the place the name Chandghat, Chandag appearing to be its corruption.
- 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 km): The cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva affords fine view of the Soar valley and lofty Himalayan peaks.
- Maharajke Park : This park was built by Indian Military in the memory of soldiers died in Kashmir and gives a lovely view of surroundings,mainly small peaks covered with only grass and bushes having almost no trees,its a lofty park with adequate area and a small canteen,many visitors from pithoragarh and surrounding places visit there for holidays like New Year parties etc.
- Kamakhya Devi Temple : Another beautiful site,temple of Kamakhya Devi,situated at the top of small hills near the town.Also gives the majestic view of surrounding valley and a peaceful place for one to leave the worldly up-downs for moment.
Some Other Attractions Around Pithoragarh Are:
- Ashur Chulaa: The scenic sanctuary 20 km from Pithoragarh nestles at a height of 7250 ft.
- Chandak (8 km): The beautiful hill affords a fine view of the Himalayas elevated at 6500 ft. 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 km by road and 4 km on foot from Pithoragarh. It is elevated at 8200 ft. It also commands a breath taking view of the snow capped peaks. It is a safe haven for snow leopards, Himalayan black bears.
- Thal Kedar (16 km): This Shaivite pilgrim site is also known for its scenic splendour. Its elevation is 8220 ft During the annual fair of Shivratri large number of devotees flock to Thal Kedar. You can enjoy a trek from Pithoragarh City or Aincholi or Nakuleshwara temple.
- Nakuleshwara (10 km): It is believed that Nakuleshwara Temple was built by Nakul and Sahdev (two brothers of Pandavas). The place is located at Athgaon Shilling area.
- 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 km north of Pithoragarh and 14 km from Tawaghat. This spiritual cum-socio educational centre is set at an altitude of 2734 metres amidst scenic surroundings. It has a school for local children's and imparts training to local youth. There is also a library, meditation room and samadhi sthal.
- Munshyari: Munshyari a small Himalayan township about 127 km north of Pithoragarh and 66 km from Jauljibi. It nestles at an elevation of 2135 metres and the entire region is known as Johar Valley. Munshyari is a base for treks to Milam and Namik glaciers. The trek from Munshyari to Milam Glacier, the source for Goriganga river is fascinating. Around Munshyari are alpine lakes of Maheshwari Kund and Thamri Kund. Munshyari Bugyal, an alpine meadow full of wild flowers is enchanting. Khalia Top and Betulidhar are suited for skiing.