5 places to visit in Pithoragarh
Bordering Nepal, Pithoragarh is located at an elevation of 1,645 meters. The town was a major center of power during the regime of the Chand Kings in Kumaon, Uttarakhand. Pithoragarh is also popular for being a hotspot for pilgrims who journey to the holy shrines of Kailash and Mansarovar. Here are a few noteworthy places to visit in Pithoragarh.
This cave temple of Kapileshwar Mahadev is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated 10 meters inside a dark cave. According to legend a sage named Kapil used to meditate here. You can see a panoramic view of the Sor Valley and the majestic Himalayan peaks surrounding it. Photographers will love every bit of time spent here.
Askot was the ancient kingdom of Katyuri dynasty, and at present is famous for the Askot Wildlife Sanctuary for the conservation of musk deer. The name is derived from "Asi-Kot," which literally means 80 forts which are visible and surrounded by tall trees and waterfalls. The Dhauli and Kali rivers originate from the area; Gori Ganga passes through it as well.
Pithoragarh Fort in Uttarakhand was built during Chand period by ruler Peeru Alias Prithwi Gusain. According to some records, this fort was constructed by the Gorkhas in the year 1789, after invading the town. The Pithoragarh Fort is presently in a dilapidated condition. However, the fort offers extraordinary views of the surrounding Kumaon region.
Gangolihat is famous for its Haat Kalika temple dedicated to the goddess Kali which Shankaracharya chose for the installation of Mahakali Shaktipeeth. The Vaishnavi temple on the Shail Parvat here has a beautiful and clear view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges. Gangolihat also has several underground caves frequented by tourists, namely Patal Bhuvneshwar, Shailashwer Gufa, Bhuleshwar Gufa, and Mukteshwar Gufa.
The Dhwaj Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Jayanti. Situated at an elevation of 2,100 meters above sea level, the temple is about 10 km from Pithoragarh. One needs to trek for about two hours to reach this temple. The hilltop temple also offers amazing views of the faraway mountains and the peaks of the China-Nepal border.