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Home –» Kumaon Travel Guide –» Kumaon

About Kumaon

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Snow clad peaks , Loads of flowers , fruit orchards , picturesque grass fields ,breathtaking panoramic view of wild life , Dancing rivers ,clueless water sources and hard working women they all indicates to one region that is also termed as "Abode of Gods" (Dev-Bhumi) and better known as Kumaon .Kumaon is a beautiful region in the newly formed state Uttaranchal . It is in the northern side of Uttarpradesh . Uttaranchal consists of two main regions ,they are Garhwal and Kumaon . Both the regions are culture-wise similar.

After Katyuri kings ,the Chands of Pithoragarh became the dominant dynasty. The magnificient temple complex at Jageshwar with it's cluster of a hundred and sixty four temples, was built by the Chand rulers over a space of two centuries. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The lower Kumaon hills have a large number of tals or lakes. Nainital is of course famous, more so nowadays as a vivid example of environmental degradation. Others like Bhimtal and Sattal are in much better shape due to the absence of a major town on their periphery.

Kumaon is, or rather was, classic tiger country. Now-a-days most of Kumaon's remaining Tigers are resident in the Jim Corbett National Park, India's first National Park situated in the lower Kumaon hills (Near Ramnagar) . Jim Corbete with whom this national park shares its name was the famous tiger hunter and he described all about Kumaoni tigers in his book "The man eaters of kumaon" . The loss of tigers and scarcity of them shows the disruption in the natural order due to rising human and cattle population .

The weather of Kumaon is very pleasant . People come here for their treatment and for enjoying the natural beauty .However excessive tourism is deteriorating the natural balance of hills.

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History of Kumaon

Kumaon is derived from "Kurmanchal" which meanes Land of the Kurmavtar (the tortoise incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Preserver of Mankind as per hindu religion ).Kumaon consists of six Districts Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat and Udhamsingh Nagar. .Kumaon is situated in Central Himalayas .Himalaya in the north , "Kali" river in east , Garhwal in the west and Plain area in south make the typial boundry of this region. This region was mainly ruled by The Katyuri and Chand dynasties .They also construct different temples in this region.Some of them are very famous and attracts lot of tourists. The early medieval history of Kumaon, is the history of the Katyuri dynasty. The Katyuri kings ruled from the 7th to the 11th century . Their kingdom was over large areas of Kumaon, Garhwal and western Nepal. The town of Baijnath near Almora was the capital of this dynasty and a center of the arts. They have started architectural innovation and build lot of temples in which they have used heavy stones .One of the best example is Katarmal .On a hilltop facing east, opposite Almora, is the temple of Katarmal. This 900 year old sun temple was built during the declining years of the Katyuri dynasty.

Places of Interest in Kumaon

Almora Tourism :
Nature's Munificence - Of the three districts of Kumaon, Almora occupies a central location. Being further away from the plains than Nainital, this district provides tranquil spots where one can enjoy the mountain air without jostling against milling holiday-makers.
The town of Almora (1646 m), lies along a saddle-ridge amidst a lush amphitheatre of terraced slopes. Overlooking the arterial Mall, where the bus terminus, shops selling bal mithai (a famous milk confection of Kumaon), and private lodges and restaurants are located, is flattish bowl-the virtual picture of fertility with its canals, hamlets and the foaming Kosi river.

Beyond and behind the ridge lie tiers of hills and dales, edged ultimately by a Himalayan panorama. Unlike Shimla, Nainital and Ranikhet - north Indian hill stations discovered and patronized by the British. Almora is truly Indian hill resort. It was founded by Raja Kalyan Chand in 1560 (he shifted his capital here from Champawati).

There is Mohan Joshi Park, a favorite picnic ground close to the Mall. Bright End Corner, 2 km away, commands a grand view of the Himalayas - particularly spectacular at dawn and dusk. Deer Park and Simtola (both 3km away) offer lush environs. Kalimath (5km) is famed for its scenic grandeur and a panoramic view of Almora town. A kilometre from here is Kasar Devi temple, worth a visit for its superb surroundings.

Bageshwar Tourism :
Situated at the confluence of rivers Saryu, Gomti and latent Bhagirathi, lies the holy township of Bageshwar; also revered as the pious land associated with Lord Sadashiva, the redeemer of all sins. This quaint town abounds in religious legends, festive happenings and mind blowing surroundings. Famous primarily as a prominent Shaivaite delight, Bageshwar has its share of patriotic expressions and picturesque interludes. Bageshwar is 90 Kms from Almora.
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Baghwath Temple plays host to the Biggest Uttaryani Mela. Take a look around and you will find Bhileshwar mountains over looking in the East. Neeleshwar mountains meditating in the West. Suraj Kund basking in legends in the North and Agni Kund radiating in the South.

For trekking enthusiasts too, Bageshwar is an important destination. Because one can reach Pindari, Kaphni and Sundardhunga glaciers only through Bageshwar. So if your are planning a complete yet 'different break' come to Bageshwar.

Champawat Tourism :
Champawat, the ancient capital of the Chand rulers is well known for its temples and natural beauty. The historical town 76 kms from Pithoragarh has an ancient fort, which is now headquarters of the Tehsil office. The mythological legends suggest that Lord Vishnu appeared here as 'Kurma avatar' (the tortoise incarnation). The story of Golla Devta is also associated with Gorilla Chaur of Champawat. Jim Corbett, the famous hunter came to this region in the first decade of the 20th century to hunt for man eating tigers. His first book, "Man Eaters of Kumaon" is related to Champawat.
Champawat was declared as a separate district on 15 Dec. 1997 by then CM of UP Ms. Mayawati, then it was a part of UP. Earlier Champawat was only a Tehsil of Pithoragarh district.

Champawat once been the capital of the chand dynasty is a historical place of Kumaon. Besides its historical importance, its very famous for the beautiful architecture and carvings on the temples, Baleshwar Temple being one of them. Champawat is a beautiful town with breathtaking landscapes and terraced fields, which cover the valley. A river snakes past these landscapes and fields forming a beautiful picture. Champawat offers the tourists with virtually everything they expect from nature, ranging from pleasant climate to varied wildlife and good places to trek.

Since the time in memorial Champawat district is having its own importance in terms of religious and social aspects. It is believed that Champawat district is the source and origin of religion and culture of Uttaranchal. In the ancient time this region was the origin of Naga, Kinnar and Khas Rajas. The available historical pillars, manuscripts, archeological collection and folk-lore describe the greatness of the area during the period of Maha Bharata.

Nainital Tourism :
Naini, a word that brings the cool air with its name, is a secret hide out of the tourists each year. Situated at an altitude of 1,938 M, this dreamland town with its beauteous splendour is one of the most popular summer resorts of the country. The nucleus of Nainital's exquisite beauty is her lake which is a haven for water sports like Yachting, Kayaking, Canoeing and Boating.
The lake in the middle of the city is the main attraction of Nainital. The lake at south end is called Tallital and at north end is called Mallital. The city of Nainital is developed around this lake. The lake offers yatching and cool boat rides in its waters. A unique feature of the lake is that it hosts the only Post Office on a lake bridge in whole world. An evening walk on the road, on the banks of the lake, gives an unforgettable experience.
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Literally meaning seven lakes is a group of small lakes nested together, about 23 kms from Nainital at an altitude of (1370 MT) still untouched by modernisation, one can see the natural beauty at its best.

Pithoragarh Tourism :
While you are at a tour of Pithoragarh, you can check out a number of lakes around Pithoragarh. There are two of them which are quite famous, one of them being Jolingkong and the other one being Anchherital. While the former is at a height of 4,634 meters, the latter is situated at an altitude of 3,658 meters. The district is dotted all over with many old temples that you visit. There is a shrine at Purnagiri, which is only 20 kms from Tanakpur, and there is another Sikh shrine near Lohaghat called Ritha Sahib. According to a belief, Guru Nanak touched the bitter ritha and it turned sweet after his touch.

A tour to the White Manu Temple is also a must if you are in Pithoragarh. It is dedicated to the Goddess, who on invocation brings rain thus good fortune to the mountains.

Udham Singh Nagar Tourism :
Udham Singh Nagar district was carved out of Nainital district in October 1995 and was named after Shri Udham Singh, a great freedom fighter, who killed General Dyer and took revenge for the Jalianwala Bagh massacre. Udham Singh Nagar is basically an industrial district and many industry related professions are prevalant here, it is perfect example of 'Unity in Diversity' for which India is so widely known, on the other hand different cultures, religions and life styles are blended in absolute harmony.

It is also known as the gateway to Kumaon because on seeing the beauty of this district alone, one can very well imagine what kumaon is waiting to offer. Udham Singh Nagar is full of Wildlife and Natural beauty. The Himalayan ranges that surround Udham Singh Nagar are perfect in beauty and serenity.

Places of Interest

 » Atariya Temple
 » Nanak Matta
 » Chaiti Devi Temple
 » Giri Sarovar
 » Pantnagar
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