Situated in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand about 220 km from the state capital Dehradun, Pithoragarh’s natural beauty and scenic splendour has earned it the sobriquet of Little Kashmir. It is ideal for those who seek beauty and adventure.
It is the easternmost hill district of Uttarakhand. Tibet lies to the north and Nepal to the east of Pithoragarh. Located at an altitude of 1650 metres towards the west of Soar Valley, Pithoragarh serves as the gateway to popular Himalayan treks such as Mt Kailash, Om Parvat, etc.
Popular with adventure sports lovers, Pithoragarh is a popular destination for high altitude treks and skiing during winter. Pithoragarh is also famous for the Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave temple and the 16th century Pithoragarh fort.
Various fairs and festivals like Hill Jatra and Chaittol add to the attractiveness of the town. Pithoragarh also serves as a stopover point in Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra.
The Pithoragarh Sinla Pass trek is amongst the most famous in Kumoan Mountains. The trail goes through lush green fields and beautiful forests. It also offers a splendid panoramic view of the Chhota Kailash peak. Treks to Namik glacier, Ralam glacier, Milam glacier and Sunder Dhunga glacier are also popular. Trails leading to peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi (east), Nanda Devi (west), Nandakhat, Panchchuli and Rajrambha in Pithoragarh are also popular.
Pithoragarh also boasts of some of the best skiing ranges in the country. Famous skiing ranges include Khaliya Top, Betuli Dhar and Chhiplakot.
Not much is known about Pithoragarh before the 14th century.
Three generations of the Pal dynasty ruled Pithoragarh since 1364. Following the death of Ghyan Chand in 1420, the Brahma dynasty of Nepal took over the control of Pithoragarh. However, their rule was overthrown by the Chand dynasty in the 16th century.
Though, most of the history does not have a written record, inscriptions on artifacts found in the region narrate the tale of Pithoragarh.
- Pithoragarh and its beauty have extensive mention in Bradley Swift’s novel ‘From Pithoragarh to Pittsburgh’.
Pithoragarh is not a shopping destination. Woolen shawls, blankets and locally crafted jewelries are popular tourist buys.
Where to stay
There are limited accommodation options in Pithoragarh. Budget hotels are easily available in Pithoragarh. Hotels in Pithoragarh are located close to tourist spots. A few mid-range hotels and resorts are also available in Pithoragarh that provide excellent services.
KMVN rest houses in Pithoragarh provide budget accommodation.
Where to eat
There are limited eating options in Pithoragarh. Street-side eateries serve delicious North Indian cuisine. Pithoragarh also boasts of a few restaurants. Most of the hotels in Pithoragarh have restaurants attached to them. Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines are generally served.
Best time to visit
Pithoragarh is an all-weather destination. However, during winters climate can be extremely cold with mercury levels dipping to as low as four degree Celsius. Summer remains pleasant. March to June and September to December is the best time to visit Pithoragarh.