Top 8 Places to Visit in Pithoragarh

Located at an average elevation of 1,514 meters above sea level, Pithoragarh is a small district which was carved out of the Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand. The town lies in the center of a valley known as ‘Soar’ and often described as the miniaturized Kashmir Valley. The town is the north entrance to the Himalayas and gives way to the important pilgrim spots of Kailash and Om Parvat and the holy lake Mansarovar. Due to its location among the hillocks of the mighty Himalayas the town is a popular tourist destination and is famous for its old forts and temples. Here’ the list of the best places you can visit in Pithoragarh.

1. Chandak

Photo by vinodpandey, CC BY 3.0

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Nature, Viewpoints, Hill peaks .
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days.
  • Duration: 1 hour.

About Chandak

Chandak refers to a hill that is famous for housing a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity ‘Manu’ and is situated at a distance of 8 kilometers from Pithoragarh. It also offers some scenic views of the surrounding locations and Himalayan ranges due to its location in Soar Valley.

Things to Do at Chandak:

  • Trekking.
  • Hang gliding.
  • Visit the Mostamanu temple here.

2. Askot Sanctuary

  • Famous for: Nature, Adventure, Wildlife.
  • Tickets: Not specified.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Duration: 1 hour.
  • Distance from Pithoragarh: 1 hr 53 min (54 km).

About Askot Sanctuary

Also known as the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, it is spread across an area of 600 sq kilometers. The elevation of the area differs from 600 meters to 7000 meters above sea level and is a home to various species of flora, fauna and avi-fauna. The various species of wildlife like The Musk deer, Leopard, Brown Bear, and Jungle Cat etc with a plethora of various resident and migratory birds can be found here.

Things to Do around Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary:

  • View Himalayan Peaks.
  • Trek to Chota Kailash.
  • Visit Narayan Ashram.

3. Ralam Glacier

  • Famous for: Trekking, Nature, Photography.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Subject to change according to climatic conditions.
  • Duration: Depends on the trek distance, the shortest being 4 hours.

About Ralam Glacier

One of the major Himalayan glaciers, The Ralam Glacier is located at an altitude of approximately 2,300 meters above sea level. Importantly, the glacier is one of the popular trek routes in Uttrakhand and therefore attracts several tourists each year. The maximum height of the trek is about 3,900 meters above sea level and can be covered in almost 8-10 days.

Things to Do around Ralam Glacier:

  • Trekking.
  • Visit the scenic villages.
  • Take a trip to Munsiyari, the base of Himalayan Wall.

4. Jhulaghat

  • Famous for: Nature, Adventure, Photography, Trekking.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Duration: 1 day.

About Jhulaghat

Jhulaghat is located at the Indo-Nepal border and is located 36 kilometers from Pithoragarh. The town is best visited during winters where the climate is cool and the views of the valley are amazing. The Kali River that flows through the town is one of the major attractions of the town and is also known for its rafting spots.

Things to Do around Jhulaghat:

  • See the Indo- Nepal border.
  • Visit the many religious sites.
  • Water sport activities at Kali river.

5. Pithoragarh Fort

  • Famous for: History, Architecture, Viewpoints, Ruins.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days till sunset.
  • Duration: 1- 1.5 hours.

About Pithoragarh Fort

Pithoragarh Fort was built during the reign of the Chand kings and was reconstructed by the Gorkhas in 1789. The fort is located on a hilltop near the outskirts of the Pithoragarh town. Even though the fort today is in ruins and most structures are in a dilapidated condition the location offers some scenic views of the surrounding valley.

Things to Do near Pithoragarh Fort:

  • Hiking.
  • Pithoragarh city view.
  • Explore the Soar Valley.

6. Thal Kedar

  • Famous for: Pilgrimage,Viewpoints.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days till sunset.
  • Duration: 1- 1.5 hours.

About Thal Kedar

A pilgrim spot that is reached through a narrow pathway, the Thal Kedar is nestled at an elevation of 880 meters above sea level. The place is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is mentioned in the ancient text of the Skanda Purana. The location also offers some really amazing views of the valley and is attracts several tourist during the festival of Shivratri every year.

Things to Do at Thal Kedar:

  • Trekking
  • Visit the Nakuleshwar Temple.
  • Scenic views of the nearby valley.

7. Gangolihat

Photo by vkumarzone, CC BY 3.0

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: History, Pilgrimage, Nature, Peaks.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days till sunset.
  • Duration: One day.
  • Distance from Pithorgarh: 2 hr 31 min (77 km).

About Gangolihat

A quaint little sleepy town, Gangolighat is the home of a famous temple known as Hat Kalika which is dedicated to Goddesses Kali. Interestingly, the deity here is also known as the protector of the Kumaun Regiment and is also very popular among many members of Indian Armed Forces. Apart from its religious significance, many underground caves are also found here with Patal Bhuvaneshwar the most famous one among them. For adventure and nature lovers, Gangolighat offers some great viewpoints of Nanda Devi and Gangolihat Panchchuli peaks.

Places to see around Gangolighat:

  • Hat Kalika.
  • Lankeshwar.
  • Vaishnavi Mandir.
  • Underground caves.

8. Dhwaj Temple

  • Famous for: Pilgrimage, Nature, Photography.
  • Tickets: No entry fee.
  • Opening Timings: Open all days till sunset.
  • Duration: 3-4 hour.

About Dhwaj Temple

A famous and much revered temple for the people of Pithoragarh, Dhwaj Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddesses Jayanti. The forests around this temple is considered sacred which has led to the prohibition of any kind of activity around them. This has led to the preservation of the vegetation and a plethora of fauna can be found here. Visitors can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city scape and even some parts of Nepal border.

Things to Do near Dhwaj Temple:

  • Trekking.
  • Viewpoints.

Other places of interest located at a short distance from Pithoragarh are Kapileshwar Mahadev Temple, Dharchula, Didihat, Munsiyari, Narayan Ashram, Nakuleshwar Temple and Berinag.

While it is a small town, the various pilgrim spots and other tourist attractions in Pithoragarh make it a popular tourist destination in Uttaranchal. The places mentioned above are a must visit in order to get a unique cultural experience and to enjoy the amazing views of the surroundings.

Some More Tourist Destinations In Uttarakhand:

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

2 thoughts on “Top 8 Places to Visit in Pithoragarh”

  1. Need to mention Patal Bhuvneshwar cave temple,Dhwaj peak,Khaliya Top(Munsyari)

  2. Thanks for giving this information.


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