Pithoragarh Home > Uttarakhand > Attractions > Hill Stations > Pithoragarh


Tranquility, peace and serenity are the words best suited to the small town of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. This beautiful valley is filled with beautiful varieties of flora and fauna, waterfalls, glaciers, trekking tracks and many more and is located in the center of the western half of the Soar Valley in the state of Uttarakhand. It is a region full of lush greenery all around with snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys and variety of fruits and vegetables. The town is also known for its cultural heritage as it houses various old temples and forts.

Pithoragarh was carved in 1960 from a district of Almora due to Chinese aggression having extreme border areas. It is basically located in a valley known as ‘SOAR VALLEY’. It lies in the heart of 4 hills known as Chandak, Dhwaj, Kumdar and Thal Kedar. It is located at an altitude of 1650 kms above sea level. Kumauni, Hindi and English are the three languages widely spoken in the area. The area is strategically important and sensitive with two international boundaries as China (Tibet) in the North and Nepal in the East.


Pithoragarh for the whole of 14th century was ruled by 3 generations of Pals. Their kingdom was extended from Pithoragarh to Askot. According to Tamrapatra, the Pal dynasty was uprooted in 1420 and was taken over by Vijay Brahma of Brahm (Bum) dynasty of Nepal. But in 16th century, Chand Dynasty finally took over the ruling of the area and built a fort in 1790 which is now presently a girl’s inter college. The statue of Pithoragarh was elevated in 1960 before that it was just regarded as a tehsil. In 1997, part of Pithoragarh was separated to form a new district known as Champawat district.


Being surrounded by greenery, mountains and all possible natural beauties, the climatic conditions are pleasant, windy, sunny and cool throughout the year. There are extreme variations in temperature in the area due to variations in altitude. During winters most of the area is covered with snow and temperature fall to a minimum of 5 degree Celsius. It is a beautiful hill station and a resting place for city people from their daily routine tension and stress. One can visit the place throughout the year. The tourist footfall is round the year as they enjoy the shady sunny side of the Sun and the cool windy side of the mountains together.

Attractions and Excursions

Pithoragarh Fort

It is situated on the outskirts of the district and was built by the Gorkhas in 1789. It currently serves as a girl’s school.


In the north of the soar valley, Chandak is located at a distance of 7 kms from the main district. It is situated at an altitude of 6000 feet, and a vast and panoramic view of the mountains of the Soar valley can be enjoyed. It has a legend which says that demon ‘Chandghat’ was killed by Goddess Durga. There is also a magnesium mining factory located in the area.

Thal Kedar

This place is 16 kms from Pithoragarh. An ancient Lord Shiva temple is present which attracts huge number of pilgrims especially during the annual fair of Mahashivratri.

Kapileshwar Mahadev

Right above the villages of Takaura and Takari, there is Shiva cave temple situated dedicated to lord Shiva. The legend that a great saint Kapil meditated here. The cave is very long and deep and the temple is about 10 meters inside the cave.

Dhwaj Temple

At a height of 2100 metres above sea level, about 15 kms from Pithoragarh, a shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Jayanti. It is mostly visited by the local residents. A breath taking view of the snow capped mountains of the Nanda- Devi and Panch-chuli hills with all its astonishing beauty can be easily seen from.

Ascot Musk Deer Sanctuary

It is 54 kms from the nesties at a height of 5412 feet in Kumaon Himalayas, a must place visit for nature and animal lovers. Rare animals like black beers, musk deers, snow cocks, tahra, bharals, chirs and pheasants can be sighted here. The area is also surrounded by small temples and is a place to view a splendid beauty of Himalayas.

Rameshwar Ghat

It is located at a distance of 36k.m. from Pithoragarh at a confluence of river Ganga and Sarayu. A large fair is held at this place every year Makar Sakranti, and large number of tourists visits the district also. Shrines of Lord Shiva and Lord Rama are the main tourist attractions.


A 68 kms drive from Pithoragarh, at a confluence of river Gori and Kali, Jauljibi valley is full of pine, bhojpatra and juniper forests. A large trade fair is held every year in autumn season which adds to the economic and cultural prosperity of the region. There is also a route to the Kailash Mansarovar (3500 metres) and tourists too can enjoy the peace walk to Kali valley to visit Kalapani. There is also a cave known as Vyas cave said to have belonged to Rishi Vyas and is known as Byans. A hot spring is also there at Kalapani.


This is situated at a distance of 77 kms from Pithoragarh, is particularly famous for its rich and ancient culture. There is a famous Mahakali Temple where Shakti Peeth was put up by the Shankaracharya himself. Large pujas and fairs are held during Navratris which attracts lots of devotees. Ruins of the old fort of Manikotis of an ancient dynasty and Bharbhayo Cave are also situated a few miles away from Gangolighat.


Situated at a distance of 94 kms from Pithoragarh, Dharuchula is an important base camp for Kailash Mansarovar, Chota Kailash and Narayan Ashram pilgrims. Currencies of both Nepal and India are easily accepted and traded and the area is a daily crossing route for the localities.

Patal Bhuvneshwar

This is a sub-terrene shrine of Lord Shiva and is 91 kms from Pithoragarh. The way to the temple is through a tunnel leading to a cavern through a narrow passage of water. The main passage also leads to many small caves where water is coming from limestock creating number of formations which resembles various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The temple is said to be the house of many deities. Large number of tourists and pilgrims visit the area every year particularly during Maha Shivaratri.

Other Places

There are many other beautiful places of travel and excursion in and around Pithoragarh naming as Berinag, Chaukari, Champawat, Didihat, Munsiyari, Jaulaghat and Kot Gari Devi. One can find temples in almost every nook and corner of the district and every temple possess a legend or a story in its lap.


Accommodation includes hotels, guest houses, cottages, dharamshalas can be found in almost every place of excursion at reasonable rates and number easily. One can enjoy and relish the local foods available from the variety of vegetation grown all around the area.

How to Reach

By Road

Pithoragarh is well connected with metallic roads to all major destinations of Uttarakhand. Taxis and buses are easily from the main state and one can hire or take their own vehicle to the main district. Pithoragarh is connected to NH- 125.

By Rail

The nearest railway station to is Tanakpur and from here, Pithoragarh is nearly 138 kms far. Tourists usually ply to private or local means of transport to reach the main destination. Tanakpur is widely connected to all major destinations of India and have frequent service.

By Air

The nearest operational airport near Pithoragarh is Pant Nagar, near Udham Singh Nagar which is situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. From here, Pithoragarh is at a distance of approximate 241 kms. Taxis and buses are easily available from the airport and one can enjoy the lush green forests, alpine meadows, beautiful mountains and valleys throughout the trip. The scenic beauty of the trip is worth a breath taking and memorable experience.

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