Himalyan view from Pithoragarh
|Elevation||1,514 m (4,967 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Pithoragarh was the historical capital of the Gurjar-Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan. In 1841 Pilgrim (Barron), while passing through Pithoragarh, wrote : "... The first view of Pithoragarh is striking, in one instant, when you reach the top of the pass (Chandak) which overlooks it, a wide valley bursts on the view, with the small neat military cantonment, fort and scattecyan villages, and meandering streams, which distribute fertility to thousands of well-cultivated fields.... I was apprehensive, too, that the beauties of Nainital had exhausted the store, and found that I was never in my life more mistaken."
After its conquest by the Rajwar of Uku Bhartpal in 1364, Pithoragarh was for the whole of the remaining 14th century ruled by three generations of Pals. The kingdom extended from Pithoragarh to Askot. According to a tamrapatra (brass plate inscription) dating back to 1420, the Pal dynasty was uprooted by the Vijay Brahm of Brahma (Bum) dynasty of Nepal but subsequently, following the death of Gyan Chand in a conflict with Kshetra Pal, the supremacy of Pal dynasty was restored.
It is believed that Bhartichand, an ancestor of Gyan Chand, had replaced Pals, the ruler of Pithoragarh, after defeating them in 1445. In the 16th century, the Chand dynasty again took control over Pithoragarh town and built a new fort, in 1790, on the hill where the present Girls Inter College is situated. Subsequently, under the British rule, Pithoragarh remained a tehsil under Almora district until it was elevated to a district in 1960.
The district is named after its headquarters town, Pithoragarh. Tradition has it that during the reign of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon, one Piru, also called Prithvi Gosain, built a fort here and named it Prithvigarh which, in the course of time, got changed into Pithoragarh."
Places of interest
Sumeru Resort: Beautiful site and complete entertainment on the lap of nature with modern facilities.
- Askot Sanctuary:
The scenic sanctuary 54 km from Pithoragarh nestles at a height of 5412 ft. in Kumaon Himalayas and is popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a safe haven for snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, musk deers, snow cocks, tahra, bharals, mona/s, chirs, koklas, pheasants and chukors. The lush sanctuary area dotted with temples is also a fine place to view the beauty of the Himalayas.
Chaukori Trekking Routes. Following are the three popular trekking routes. 1. Chaukori – Berinag – Patal Bhuwaneshwar – Gangolihat (3 days). 2. Chaukori – Kotbaniya – Dharmghar – Gangolihat (3 days). 3. Chaukori – Thal – Pithoragarh (2 days)
A quaint little town on the banks of river Kali, it is a stopover point en route the famous Mansarovar Yatra. A rope bridge connects India and Nepal. Local residents from both countries frequently cross over. As a result, the locals are well conversant in Nepali. Currency from both countries is easily accepted here.
- Patal Bhuvaneshwar:
Patal Bhubaneshwar, literally means the subterranean shrine of Lord Shiva. The cave temple is 91 km from Pithoragarh and 14 km north of Gangolihat. The way to the temple is through a tunnel which leads into the cavern through a narrow dark passage of water. The electrified sanctum sanctorum is deep inside the cave. The main passage also leads to several small caves where water oozing from limestone rocks have created various shapes arid figures. Some of them resemble various gods and goddesses of Hindu pantheon. In fact cave temple complex is said to be the abode of thousands of deities and people believe that these deities were consecrated by Adi Shankracharya. Large numbers of pilgrims visit the shrine during the fair of Maha Shivratri.
- Chandraabhaga aincholi: Chandrabhaga is small mohalla in Pithoragarh district whose p.o. is aincholi is door of Pithoragarh town. From this place a panoramic view of Pithoragarh can be seen.
Pithorgarh is known for its unique culture. Sharadotsav has played the significant role in conserving and sharing this culture.
Sharadotsav in Pithoragarh in 2014
Sharadotsav in 2014 was organised by Nagar Palika Pithoragarh and District Administration from 1 November 2014. Men behind the program were Chairman Nagar Palika Shri Jagat Singh Khati, District Magistrate Shri Shemwal and Executive Officer of Nagar Palika Pithoragarh who entirely gave shape to the festival from concept to reality. Shri Ramesh Chandra Sharma (Erstwhile Principal) played the very important role is organising various musical events in Sardotsav. Various renowned groups such as Prince Dance group entertained the hill population. Famous Garhwali singer Gajender Sing Rana mesmerized the crowd with "Babli tero Mobile" Garhwali Song. Duplicate Dev Anand Kishore Bhanushali excited the event with his presence. Various dignitaries such as MLA Mayukh Singh Mahar, MP Shri Tamta Ji, and District Magistrate were present at various occasions.
In popular culture
The small town has been extensively described in a novel by American author Bradley Swift titled, From Pithoragarh to Pittsburg.
How to reach Pithoragarh
Pithoragarh is connected to the outside world by road although it has a seldom-used air strip. Haldwani and Tanakpur are two entry points for entering Pithoragarh from plains. Both these places are connected by railway services. Regular state bus transport services along with private taxi services are available at both places.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pithoragarh.|