Unexplored India- " Pithoragarh"- A True Heaven in Himalaya

May 23, 2018

 

 

 

The journey to any place is always beautiful. This is what I experienced on this trip. A long-awaited trip finally begins for a guy who has left his job years ago, struggling to survive but still pushing hard himself to follow his passion and life. A passion which cost him to sleep empty stomach sometimes, a passion which cost him to ask for shelter to his friends for his trip, a passion for which he has put his life on stake, a passion which is root to every problem currently he is going through. Despite all odds, this passion is his Life and nothing in this world gives him the true smile and satisfaction on his face except Traveling, wandering and observing Life evolving around him and penning down it for the world.And this time his passion takes him so close to that place where there is a confluence of the 3 countries and imagine how beautiful it will be when you come to know that these three countries meet in somewhere in the lap of Himalaya. A place which is much bigger in the area and much developed and yet not much explored. A place which is much beautiful and scenic in comparison to its neighbouring famous destination called " Nainital" and yet not in reach and in the knowledge of the travellers. A place which can be a perfect destination for those who are in search of offbeat destinations or places in India. A place where families are as modern as a metropolitan people but still down to earth and rooted in their customs, culture and ordinations or rituals.  A place which is full of such Spot where you can seat in calmness and lost in thoughts while admiring the beautiful nature. A place which will leave you in awe, when you see mountains coming towards you while you are driving. This is what the definition of "Pithoragarh" as per my own experience. I invite you to come experience"Pithoragarh" through my journey.


 

How to Reach Pithoragarh from New Delhi

 By Air: There is Air Strip available in Pithoragarh city but it is only for Military Purpose. So there is no direct Air Connectivity. The Best way to reach either Delhi International Airport or Pantnagar Domestic Airport and then to take Uttarakhand Transport Corporation Buses for Pithoragarh.

❖ By Train:  There is no direct Rail line to Pithoragarh available. You have to either cover half journey either Barely Station or to Kathgodam Railway then rest of the journey you have to travel through Buses or Taxis available from both Stations frequently.

❖ By Road: The best way to explore this region is via the Road and to enjoy it to its fullest is via Bike ride. This area is well connected via National Highways and state highways. The distance from New Delhi is just 492 km or Buses can be booked online via Uttarakhand official Transport website. New Delhi’s Anand Vihar ISBT (Interstate Bus Terminal).

Bus/Bike Route 1 - Delhi → Pilkhuwa(Hapur) → Rampur→ Sitarganja →Tanakpur → Champawat → Lohaghat→ Ghat → Pithoragarh

Bus/Bike Route  2- Delhi →Hapur → Moradabad→ Bazpur→Haldwani→ Bhimtal→Almora→ Jageshwardham →Danya→ Chamtola → Pithoragarh

Bus/Bike Route  3 Delhi →Hapur → Moradabad→ Bazpur→Haldwani→ Drive along NH 109, Bhowali-Bhimtal-Haldwani Rd→  Bhatelia Dhanachuli - Bhimtal Rd→ Bhatelia-Dhanachuli-Bhimtal Road ... and Lohaghat - Devidhura - Almora Rd → Pithoragarh

 Distance chart from Major Touristic Spot

Delhi - 492 Km (Delhi→ Tanakpur= 341 km,  Tanakpur→Pithoragarh=151 km)

Haldwani - 203 (Via Almora)/ 183 km ( Via Dhanachuli)

 

I would recommend you to cover this journey if possible by Motorbike because mark my words you are gonna make several stops to admire the beauty of this Valley and the Journey, especially that 151 km distance from  Tanakpur to Pithoragarh. I missed my Motorbike desperately this time because my bike was stolen 6 months ago and I had to experience the more than 18 hrs long tiring, inspiring  Bus Journey.  For those who are going to experience Bus journey from New Delhi's Anand Vihar Inter State Bus Terminal(ISBT) for the first time to Pithoragarh this information is vital for You. There are a few AC direct Buses available and there is plenty of Ordinary Buses available at the regular intervals. One can book buses online Via Redbus or via UTC. To reach Anand Vihar ISBT stand you are advised to take metro up-to Anand Vihar Metro station. You can get the Buses for Pithoragarh from pillar no 151 of Uttarakhand Roadways stand.  it is advised to take buses in the evening because this journey is gonna be long and the bus is going to cover 341 km through plane areas and the real scenic moments starts from Tanakpur. The fare of an Ordinary bus is 685 rupees.

 

 

Driving Rules in the Mountains 

                        " Pyaar se chaloge to baar baar miloge

                             Raftaar se chaloge to Haridwar miloge "

 

Places of Attractions & Excursion In Pithoragarh

As I already mentioned this is an offbeat destination so Attractions and Excursions depend on how much you can explore this place? Although the Journey from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh is so scenic that my heart says that I should mention some places names in attraction which I came across while reaching Pithoragarh through Bus and I am going to do so. Because those are just in range of 30 km from Pithoragarh and one can retrace those points to capture the beauty of the valley and admire those points and naming it as a Attractions.

 

Ghat -<< A Gateway to Pithoragarh >>

If you are really willing to know ' How is your Place or City or State' then invite somebody who is not from that region. You guys were thinking suddenly why this man start talking like this? what is the Connection of his statements to this 'Title' he has given above?  I would like to say-' Don't worry, I am not drunk or not even writing while drinking but I am talking about a real incident that happened with me at this place especially in the bus in which I was travelling. Long Story short-" I heard someone behind me whispering to her co-passenger point me-" This  Person seems mad. He is taking to many pictures and excited too much as it's like he had never seen Bridge or even mountains in his life before. But Friends who go explaining her "How Beautiful her Town, Valley and Roads is? What kind of euphoria I, as a tourist going through. A tourist who was born and brought up in Plane area and living in one of the most Polluted City of the World. 

                         Friends, If you are Going to Pithoragarh and want to get some best pics for Your Photography, must take a pit stop at " Ghat" Bridge or above.The Scenery is so mesmerizing, I was wishing if I would have a 'Drone' Camera. This particular section has the best Location I bet. You will get several shots, for eg- Once, when you are coming closer to this Bridge, second when you will go on top of the Hill and then when you look back at it. Although the Whole 151 km stretch from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh is a kind of Goldmine for Photo enthusiast. Where ever you visit Pithoragarh must make it this point as one of the attraction. Here is my try to give you  some glimpse of this place :

 

★ " Gurna Mata Temple " 

Just approx 20 km ahead of 'Ghat' Bridge on the way to Pithoragarh you will find this famous Mata temple on the left side of the road.Every single, Bus Truck, Bike must stop here to take the blessing of this Goddess, whom they consider as an incarnation of Goddess Durga and not a single person missed to fill up their Bottle with the water coming down from the mountains at this place through a stream. Just Imagine - A temple on the running Highway in a Hill area and the surrounding is full of greenery and beautiful mountain peaks.  This spot is also the best spot to get a 'Drone' Footage of this amazing Valley.

Pithoragarh -<< A City in the Lap of Several Gaints Mountains >>

If you will ask me my first impression- no sooner did I enter the "Pithoragarh" City, you won't believe me what I am going to write here and trust me I uttered same sentenced to the person seating next to me in the Bus- "Wooooow! It is more beautiful than Nainital and Bhimtal But Why it is not as famous as them? I was literally searching for a reason behind this. As my bus was going down towards the valley, what my eyes were witnessing, hundreds of colourful building in the lap of almost more than 8 mountains and mountains were looking so amazing. Just Imagine, where ever you moving your sight you are finding mountains. one mountain is peeping through another one and this continues as these mountains are making a complete circle and in the middle like a stadium ground this beautiful 'Pithoragarh' city is shining no matter whether it is moonlight or Sunlight.

Kamakshya Mandir -'Kushouli Village'

What would be the best spot than a temple to get the Birds-Eye view of a city. Pithoragarh has plenty of such spots from where you can get the Birds-Eyes view of Pithoragarh Valley and believe me every spot has its Uniqueness. 'Kamakshaya Temple' of Pithoragarh is one such Beautiful, Scenic, Serene spot, situated behind the Cantonment area of Pithoragarh in a village Called 'Kusholi'. The amazing fact about this Temple is its Architecture and the colour. One can get the Sky view of the Naini-Saini Airport from this Temple and I bet you won't regret trekking this temple. You would feel like spending time over here. This temple is under Military area so for photography inside the temple, must ask for Permission.

 

Chandak Range- " Soar Valley " Attractions

While on the Bus to Pithoragarh when I came across peoples from Pithoragarh- I asked for a recommendation to See places in Pithoragarh. Everybody has only one name on their mouth-" Must go to Chandak ". Some of them were referring to it as " Suicidal Point ". Chandak is not a place but a name of the Mountain Range, which is just around 5-8 km away from the Pithoragarh Valley and this range extend up-to Nepal border. There are several beautiful temples falls in this mountain range and "Soar Valley " is one of its beauty. Chandak is cooler with respect to Pithoragarh. So you are advised to take some Woolen cloths even you are travelling this place in Summer. There is a drastic change in the climate too. You may get Rain. I will recommend you to either visit this place on a motorbike or go walking(i know its hard to walk almost 8 km). The roads and the scenery is amazing. Here are some of the places I visited in Chandak :

Maa Vardani View Point (Chandak)

 

 

Mostamanu Temple (Chandak)

The Mostamanu Temple is such divine temple of Pithoragarh in the Soar Valley, which will leave you spellbound and you really will wish to spend some quality time inside the premise of this Temple. 

 

Maa Chandika Temple (Chandak)- Soar Valley

 

If you ask me what is your favourite spot within the Pithoragarh- Then, with no doubt, I would say you " The roads towards  Maa Chandika Temple and this is perhaps the real " Soar Valley". Maa Chandika Temple is situated inside a Jungle on a Top Hill. The most amazing thing is from here you can get a clear glimpse of snow-capped golden shining Himalayan mountains. Maa Chandika Temple is ahead of  Mostamanu Temple and perhaps the name of this region " Chandak" derived from her. I was really into awe when I reached close to the temple. That day the weather was too pleasant and I reached when the sun was about to set. For the first time in life, I saw a Sunset taking place behind series on mountains. This is the best spot.I would recommend this if you ever go please visit this. And don't forget to take woollen clothes with you. Here weather changes suddenly. 

 

Excursion

I know whatever places name I am going to mention below is not exactly fit into the definition of excursion but my motive is to make to aware about the places that can be explored from Pithoragarh If you have plenty of time and money in your hand. As you all aware now that Pithoragarh is the only major city of this region on the international borders of Nepal and Tibet, so what would be a better place for any explorer to start exploring Himalaya making Pithoragarh its base. 

                         In my short trip to Pithoragarh, I was not able to cover all the below mentioned places due to some financial issues. I just went to see how a river divides India- Nepal and experienced the emotions of the people who reside their and that place is " Jhulaghat. Munsiyari is one such village which is close to Tibet border and gradually becoming famous in travellers community. Patal Bhubaneshwar is famous for long shrine Caves and for the sculpture that carved under the caves and it will give you the feel of Spiti valley to some extent. Almora, you all know about this place. Jageshwar Dham is famous for Pandavas era Temples. Dharchula and Gangolighat, these places that are suggested by peoples' of Pithoragarh. These places are famous among them and I need to explore them.

● Jhulaghat- 35 km


● Gangolighat -78km

● Patal Bhuvaneshwar-92 km

● Dharchula-100 km 

● Almora-100 km

● Jageshwar Dham-100 km

● Munsiyari-128 km

*Jhulaghat  ( Indo-Nepal Border )

So in this way, I came to end of my offbeat exploration trip of Pithoragarh and "Jhulaghat" was my last leg of this trip. Although I was willing to stay and explore more but my pocket was not allowing. 

                                               You all know this- " All well that ends well"

"Jhulaghat" gave me such true feeling of this Idiom.  Just 35 km away from Pithoragarh, this place "Jhulaghat" will take you to journey to travel some more heights through Himalayan road and look down to see the whole valley and believe me you can't bifurcate initially which mountain rage falls in India and which one in Nepal. I reached to this place travelling in a backside of Jeep by just paying 100 Indian rupees. Have you ever gone through an experience like where you literally felt that mountains are running towards you? I had this experience in this short journey to Jhulaghat. While seating on the backside I was experiencing that mountains are catching me up. This experience is almost same as when I used to see Moon in a night while walking home and I felt it is coming with me. Jhulaghat is not just a border but a phenomenon where you will experience How man has divided the border but nature did no injustice. People accepted a river " Kali" as no man's land and as long as this river goes, one side is India and another side is Nepal. Just a few steps and you land in a foreign country and then watching back your land standing there. Let's go with me on this journey through this small video clip.

 

 

Thank you wonderful people for being with me till last and experiencing my Journey. Please let me know your thoughts in comments below. Please Like , Share and Subscribe. Untill next post Sayonara ....

 

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