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View of Purnagiri Hills at Indo-Nepal border across Sarda river in Tanakpur
|• Body||Tanakpur Municipal Council|
|• Total||1.2 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||255 m (837 ft)|
|• Density||15,000/km2 (38,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||UK 03|
Tanakpur is a town and a municipal board in Champawat district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of Himalayas in the northern part of India as the gateway for Purnagiri Temple (around 30 km from here) as well as the 'Gateway to the Kumoun Himalayas'. Tanakpur is a calm and small town located on riverside of Sarda River and touched to Nepal border. It is the last plain area on the road to Kumaoun zone of Uttarakhand and acts as a junction for the Kumaon District's mountainous part. It is also the first point in the Kailash Manasarovar Pilgrimage. Gradually benefitting from the nationwide progress, Tanakpur is growing steadily into a buzzing town. Being on the Indo-Nepal Border Tanakpur is very important on the security perspective of India as a nation. Tanakpur is famous for Devi Purnagiri temple which is situated approximately 24 km. at the north of town.
This area was completely covered with forests till the first half of the nineteenth century. Tanakpur, a small village attached to the Nepal border, was a small village. Three miles from here was Brahmadev Mandi (currently in Nepal), which was built by the Katyuri kings (7th and 11th centuries C.E.) who were originally from Joshimath. The market was completely suppressed due to the landslide in the era, and after some time, a business town was started again.
In 1890, when an English traveler came to the place with his friend Manjar Hussi, being influenced by the scenic beauty of this place, Talak and Hussey were the first to come to Bagodora (Sailanigoth) and another Englishman Matsin built bungalows to live near the old tank. After this, efforts were made to settle this city in a planned manner. It was called Talakpur before the name of Lord Talak, but later this place was called Tanakpur. Earlier it was included in the area Almora. In the British period, a 6 feet wide pedestrian was constructed from Tanakpur to Tawaghat, which facilitated a lot of movement.
After many years of British time and independence, Bhotia merchants from Darma and Byas valleys used to come here and trade wool. There has also been a huge import-export with Nepal through this area. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, rail line connecting Pilibhit was constructed by Awadh-Tirhut railway company here. Along with this the city was connected by road to Delhi, Dehradun, Bareilly and Lucknow. Bageshwar Rail Project, Tanakpur-Jouljibi Motor Road, Pancheshwar Dam etc. Ambitious projects are proposed in this area. It had a population of 692 in 1901.
Tanakpur is located at  It has an average elevation of 255 metres (837 feet)..
According to the 2001 census, Tanakpur had a population of 15,810, which increased to 17,626 in 2011. As per 2011 census, 52.5% of the total population and 47.5% of the population are women. Tanakpur has an average literacy rate of 78.24%: 84.06% male and 71.84% of females are literate. 12.68% of the total population is under 6 years of age.
According to the 2011 census, 80.32% of people in Tanakpur are Hindus. 18.22% of people follow Islam, which is the largest minority group in the city. In addition, the percentage of followers of Christianity in the city was 0.55%, 0.08% of followers of Jain religion, 0.69% of followers of Sikhism and 0.01% of followers of Buddhism. About 0.13% of people do not belong to any religion.
The climate of Tanakpur is warm and temperate. Tanakpur is the city with heavy rains; Even in the driest month there is much rainfall. According to Köppen climate classification, the code of the city is 'Cfa'. The annual average temperature of Tanakpur is 24.4, and the average annual rainfall is 1739 mm. The warmest month of May year is 30.8 degree Celsius with average temperature. At 15.6 ° C on average, January is the coldest month of the year. Most work is 7 mm in rainfall in April, while the highest rainfall with 528 mm is in July. The driest month, and the difference between rainfall in the driest month is 521 mm. Throughout the year, the temperature can be seen at 15.2 degree Celsius.
Tanakpur was a major trade mart of the Kumaon division in British India. The local produces of the region included Timber, Catechu, hides, honey and other minor forest produces, which were traded between November and May. The Bhotiyas used to bring down Wool and Borax from Tibet, and carried back Sugar and Clothes. Sugar and Salt, on the other hand, were imported from the Hill tracts of Almora and Nepal, in exchange for Turmeric, chillies and Ghee. By 1890, the Taklakot-Tanakpur trade route, used by the Bhotiya traders, had complete control over the wool trade of Mansarovar region.
By Air: The nearest airport to Tanakpur is Pantnagar Airport situated 98 km away in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. Taxis are available from Pantnagar Airport to Tanakpur. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi with daily flights. Pant Nagar Airport is well connected by motorable roads with Tanakpur.
By Rail: A new broad gauge railway line project is constructed and is under trial. The future plan is to connect Tanakpur with Delhi, Lucknow and Deharadun
By Road: Tanakpur is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state and northern India. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi are available to Tanakpur. Taxis and buses are easily available to Tanakpur from major destinations of Kumaon region.
Places to stay in Tanakpur
Tanakpur is visited by up to 25 lakh people each year, mainly for purpose of visiting Purnagiri Temple, which in around 24 Kilometers from Tanakpur. Tanakpur being the last town before Purnagiri has many good hotels and guest houses for the comfort of the visitors. There is a tourist guest house by KMVN and privately owned hotels like Hotel Blue Empire, J.B. Hotel, Hotel Parvat, Hotel Taj, Hotel Classic, Panchmukhi Dharmshala and many others.
Tanakpur has an All India Radio Relay station known as Akashvani Tanakpur. It broadcasts on specified FM frequencies.
Places of interest
- Purnagiri Temple: One of the 108 Siddha Peeths, this Devi Temple is 21 km from Tanakpur, Tunyas is 17 km and from there 3 km trek leads to Purnagiri Temple. Tanakpur is linked by direct bus service with Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Dehradun, Kanpur and other Districts.
During Navratras, in the Chaitra month of the Indian calendar, devotees in large number come here to have their wishes fulfilled. After worshipping Mata Purnagiri, people also pay their tributes to her loyal devotee Bada Sidth Nath at Brahmadev and Mahendra Nagar in Nepal.
- Shri Adya Shakti Peeth (Boom Temple): A spiritual place near on the way to Purnagiri, famous for its white sand beach/river bank where pilgrims take a holy dip in river Sharda. Adhya Shakti Peeth (Boom Temple), enshrined by Guru Maa is just near to this place. One can also enjoy rafting and camping in Boom which is managed under government adventure program.
- Barrage Road Tanakpur Power Station, NHPC: At the shore of Tanakpur, this place is best for sightseeing. Local people do regularly visit here for evening and morning walk. Beautiful sunrise and sunset scenes can be recorded from here.
- Shyamlatal: Shyamlatal is a natural lake located in a beautiful hamlet at 30 km from Tanakpur town. As the name indicates, the lake is known by the word Shyaam which means little dark complex color used to describe Lord Krishna in Hindu religion. The blackish color of the lake is due to its muddy water and surrounded by hills.
Situated at an astounding height of 1500 meters above the sea level, the lake Shyamala Tal is located at 22.6 km from Tanakpur main market and about 56 km from Champawat Bus station. Shyamlatal Lake covers an area of more than 1.5 km2 area. There is a famous Swami Vivekananda Ashram located on the banks of lake visited by many people around the year.
- 8Mile: Famous place amongst local people for its natural waterfall and sightseeing views of Sharda valley.
- Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary: Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand, India that was created in 2012. The sanctuary is part of the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), a forest zone that stretches from Uttarakhand in India and extends into Nepal. A new gateway to enter this sanctuary was inaugurated in the year 2017. Tour-guides and Gypsy are available for hire at Tanakpur office so that tourists could take advantage of sightseeing, birdwatching, camping and jungle safari.
- 9th-11th century
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- Hotel Parvat