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A Complete Tour Guide To Pithoragarh Hill Station

Pithoragarh is a hill town located in the eastern most regions of the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand. The town was the headquarters of several medieval Indian kingdoms like the Pal and the Chand dynasty. It was taken over by the British after signing the Sugauli Treaty with Nepal, and it was developed as a cantonment town. The town is located at an elevation of 1,514 meters above sea level and is known for its views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas and provides entrances to several valley passes, meadows, waterfalls and forests. It also has several glaciers, rivers, and a variety of flora and fauna species. The pilgrimage route to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarover in Tibet passes through Pithoragarh and makes it an important rest stop for the pilgrims. The town is also close to the international borders with Nepal, China and Tibet.

pithoragarh-hill-station
Photo by rajkumar1220, CC BY 2.0 

Climatic Conditions

Depending on the altitude, Pithoragarh experiences a varied climate. The summers start in the month of March and lasts till mid-June. The temperatures remain a little warm during these months can rise up to 40 degrees Celsius during the peak summers. The monsoons in Pithoragarh start from the late June and continue till the mid of September. The North-West monsoons bring plenty of rainfall to the region. The winters start in the month December with freezing temperatures that usually range between 8 -5 degrees Celsius. The winters continue till February and the higher altitude areas also receive plenty of rainfall.

Best Time to Visit

Unlike other hill stations that offer refuge from the burning summers, Pithoragarh is a little different. The lower areas near the river stay relatively warm during the summers and temperatures can get to levels where it can be really unbearable. The humidity in the lower areas also remains high so visitors usually avoid this season. The monsoons rains turn this place into a picturesque paradise but rainfall in the mountains cab is really heavy and entry and exit into the town can be affected by landslides and rivers are prone to flooding. The winters are the best season for the tourists to enjoy the sceneries in and around the town. The time between September and November when the monsoons retreat is also a great time to visit the place as the scenery around the hill station is at its best.

Attractions/Things to Do

Pithoragarh is a gateway to the numerous nature reserves of the western Himalayas and provides way to several mountain passes, waterfalls, valleys and views of various Himalayan peaks. The town was also a headquarters of a few medieval royal dynasties and also has two historic forts. The town is also a gateway to several Himalayan glaciers which are located in the upper regions of Pithoragarh. Pithoragarh fort, Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir, Maharajke Park, Kamakhya Devi Temple, Kali Mandir, Hilltop Buddha Monastery, Bhatkot, Chandhag, Jhulaghat and Thalkedar Temple are must visit places if you visit the place for the first time.

How to Reach

Getting in Pithoragarh can only be done by road as there is no railway station in the district. Buses and taxis are available from Delhi and Almora. The nearest airport is the Nainisaini airport with only a few flights operating from Delhi on a weekly basis.

Distance from Major Cities

  1. Almora – 115 Kilometers
  2. Haldwani – 185 Kilometers
  3. Nainital – 171 Kilometers
  4. Ranikhet – 158 Kilometers
  5. Dehradun – 478 Kilometers
  6. Shimla – 706 Kilometers
  7. Chandigarh – 643 Kilometers
  8. Lucknow – 450 Kilometers
  9. Delhi – 475 Kilometers
  10. Jaipur – 695 Kilometers
  11. Kolkata – 1,438 Kilometers
  12. Mumbai – 1,656 Kilometers
  13. Hyderabad – 1,777 Kilometers
  14. Bangalore – 2.367 Kilometers
  15. Chennai – 2,400 Kilometers

Accessibility and Accommodation

Getting around in Pithoragarh is easy and is usually done via buses and taxis. Walking is also a good option if you are visiting during the winter months when the pleasant climate doesn’t let you feel fatigued. There are various budgets and mid ranged accommodation facilities available in Pithoragarh as it is an important rest stop for the pilgrims and the trekkers. The luxury accommodations are usually located at the best viewpoints and are best for viewing the great Himalayan valleys and hill tops.

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