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Baleshwar Temple

The Baleshwar temple located in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand is an ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Shiva. This is one of the popular temples in the Hill state apart from the Char Dham. Devotees from all part of the country visit this temple and seek blessing of Lord Shiva.


There are no written evidences or manuscript to exactly forecast the dates of construction of the temple. But it is believed to be constructed between tenth and twelfth century AD by the Chand rulers. They are believed to be from the Rajput clan and ruled over the Kumaon region. The Chand Kings constructed several temples like Nagnath Temple, Golu Devta Temple, Gorakhal and Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple. This temple is a standing example of the excellent stone carving skills of the artisans during that period. Apart from the main temple, there are also two other temples dedicated to Champawati Durga and Ratneshwar in the temple campus. This temple is one of the National Heritage Monument as listed by Indian Government. It is being maintained by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) from the year 1952.


Stone carving is the main attraction of the temples in Champawat region including Baleshwar Temple. The architecture of the temple is South Indian based or the one found in the South Indian region. Wooden carvings depicting images of Gods and Goddesses are also some of the remarkable and worth watching architectural marvels in this temple. It is believed that the temple was originally constructed with a mandap and a sanctuary and had some minute carvings. The carvings are still visible on the ceiling, but the mandap has been destroyed. These available remains speak about the artistic skill and glory of the Chand Dynasty.


The popular legend says that Lord Vishnu appeared in Kurma Avatar in Champawat, which has earned the place the popular name of Kurmanchal. The whole of Uttarakhand is popularly called the ‘Devbhoomi’ or abode of Gods. The closeness to the mighty Himalayas has associated this land with several legends and Hindu Gods. 

Being the land of Gods, Champawat is popular for the temples of Hindu Gods and the local deities. These temples are a great area of interest for the scholar, archeologist, casual tourist and devotees. The local legends and faith have created lots of interest in attracting thousands of tourists every year to this place. People who visit this place once develop a desire to be here again and again. This is the impact these atmosphere creates on the human psychology which cannot be explained by logics of science.

Climate & Best Time to Visit

The summer season in Champawat commences from April and extends till June. The maximum and minimum temperature during the season is 300C and 200C respectively. The monsoon season falls between Jul to Sep and the area receives heavy rainfall during this period. It is not at all advisable to visit this place during the monsoons. The winter season commences from October and extends till February.  The winters are pleasant with temperature remaining at 100C. The best time to visit the temple is during the Maha Shivarathri festival or any period other than the monsoon period.

Places to Visit

Nagnath Temple

This is one of the popular temples built during the Chand Dynasty. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is popular for its excellent symmetric architecture in the Kumaoni style.

Ek Hathiya Ka Naula

Located at a distance of five km from Champawat, this excellent stone carving is believed to be constructed overnight by an artisan who had a single hand.

Kranteshwar Mahadev

This hill top temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on the eastern side of Champawat town. This temple is also called as Kandev Temple and Kurmapad by the locals.


This is a popular town located fourteen km away from Champawat. It is located on the banks of river Lohawati. This place has immense mythological and historical importance. There are various legends associated with the temples located in this region.

Mayawati Ashram

This Ashram located at a distance of nine km from Lohaghat and twenty two km from Champawat is a prominent ‘Adwait’ Ashram. This Ashram located in the scenic beauty of Himalayas invites thousands of spiritualists from all parts of the globe. In 1898, Swami Vivekanand shifted the publication work of 'Prabuddh Bharat' from Madras. It is being published from the Mayawati Ashram since then.

Abbot Mount

It is located at a distance of eight km from Champawat. This is the most pleasant place for holidaying and peaceful holidays. The striking views of the mighty Himalayas add to the joy of the vacations. The chirping of the Himalayan birds and the pollution free environment gives a perfect relaxation from the busy city schedules.


Located at a distance of forty five km from Lohaghat is the famous Barahi temple. The temple fair held on the auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan attracts thousands of devotees from the Kumaon region and neighboring villages of Nepal. The festival called Bagwal involves a unique custom where in two groups throw stones at each other and defends using large sticks. The people involve themselves without caring for the injuries which are otherwise considered auspicious. The place is also associated with the tale of Temple tiger by Jim Corbett and also offers excellent scope for trekking.


Pancheswar is located at the place where river Saryu and Kali meets near the Nepal border. Pancheshwar is popular for the temple of Lord Shiva. The Chaumu Jaat visit this temple and offer bells and milk to the God. Pancheswar is worshipped as the protector of animals by the locals. The locals believe that the worshiping of the God with a dip in the confluence of both rivers is very sacred.   


Vanasur ka Kila or fort is located at a distance of seven km from Lohaghat and twenty km from Champawat. This place is believed to be the place where Vanasur was killed. This is a mythological character, however, the fort was built during the medieval period. The River Lohawati flows from the nearby area.

Meetha Reetha Saheb

Reetha Sahib which is associated with the teachings of the Sikh Guru Nanak is a prominent place of worship for the people of Sikh religion. It is located at a distance of seventy two km from Champawat. It is believed that Guru Nanak conducted several religious discourses and spiritual discussions with Gorakhpanthi Jogis. The Gurudwara is located exactly at the meeting place of river Ratiya and Lodhiya in the Deyuri village.

Purna Giri Temple

The Purna Giri temple situated on the Purna giri hills is located at a distance of ninety two km from Champawat and twenty km from Tanakpur. This temple which is placed at a height of three thousand meters above sea level is visited by devotees round the year from different parts of the country. There is a heavy rush during the Chaitra Navarathri period in the month of March. During this period the devotees climb all the way to the hill top and this is regarded as very auspicious. Visitors can get excellent view of the river Kali and neighboring villages of Nepal from the hill top.

Gwal Devta

This local deity also called Goli or Goril is considered as the God of justice by the locals. As per the popular belief the deity provides justice to the helpless victims who have been deprived of justice and encountered injustice in their lives. This popular belief attracts thousands of devotees from all over the states.  


The Shyamlatal lake is blue in color and is spread at a distance of 1.5 sq km. It is famous for the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram created by Swami Vivekananda in 1913. This Ashram is located at a distance of fifty six km from Champawat on the Shyamlatal Lake. This Ashram has been dedicated to the services of the poor and needy since its inception. The doctors of the Ashram visit the fifty neighboring villages and render medical assistance.

How to Reach

By Air

Pant Nagar is the nearest airport located at a distance of one hundred and sixty km from Champawat. The airport is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand and is well connected with Delhi. Several low fare airlines operate between Delhi and Pant Nagar. Champawat can be reached by hired taxis or buses from the airport. The road connecting Champawat and Pant Nagar is in excellent condition. The other nearby airport is Naini Saini located at Pithoragarh. However, this airport is not in frequent use.

By Train

The nearest railway station to Champawat is Tanakpur located at a distance of sixty km. Tanakpur falls in the North Eastern Railway of the Indian Railways. It is well connected with destinations like Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow. Buses and Taxis are available from Tanakpur to reach Champawat.

By Road

Uttarakhand State Road Transport runs a number of buses between Champawat and other major destinations of the state. Frequent buses are also available between ISBT, Anand Vihar (Delhi) and Champawat. Apart from these several tour operators run private luxury buses from Champawat to important destinations.   


Maha Shivarathri is the main festival of the temple. An excellent fair with facilities of entertainment, eateries and local handicraft sales are available. The traditional folklores and dances are the main attraction.

Where to Stay        

  • Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Tourist Rest House, Lohaghat
  • Hotel cedar Valley
  • Mount View Hotel
  • Baleswar Resort
  • Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd Tourist Rest House, Champawat Bus Stand
  • Keshav Hotel, Champawat

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