Pithoragarh is cupped in a 1,240 metre high bowl in the Himalayas. The roads are walking roads, the climate is a sort of eternally balmy spring and the mountains shield the bowl from the harsher Himalayan winds. This is a walking town, an ambling town, a town to wander, browse and stroll in. You will meet people from the surrounding villages, shopping for binda pots carved from sanan wood.
There are used to make yoghurt in. You will see the gulail frames that women wear on their heads and shoulders, like backpack harnesses, to carry home enormous loads of grass for their cattle. You might even bump into Gaddi shepherds with their great flocks of goats and sheep, and heavy, shaggy, dogs who guard their camps through the still Himalayan nights.
There is a gentle expression in some of our Indian languages: 'Eating the Air'. It describes the sort of effortless relaxation that a person has outdoors on a cool evening, unwinding, walking, perhaps meeting a few old friends also engaged in eating the air. And for this most relaxing of activities, there probably isn't a better place than Pithoragarh.
Getting There By Air
The nearest airport is Pantnagar - 151 km.
The nearest railhead is at Tanakpur - 151 km.
Taxis are available from Pantnagar and Tanakpur, and buses from Tanakpur.
Accomodation is available in the tourist bungalow run by the state tourism department. There are also a couple of budget hotels.
Mosta Manu termple
Don't be misled by the simple, white appearance of this temple. Devotees believe its' goddess is powerful enough to bring rain to the mountains, if properly invoked. There is a large swing at the base of a flight of steps leading to the temple. Here the goddess and her sister from a distant temple swing playfully when the other goddess comes visiting. No one can see them, but the swing moves!
This small town on the Indo-Nepal border is the site of an annual autumn fair, where woolens, copper pots and small, shaggy-maned Himalayan horses are bought and sold.
Enjoy the sight of the five snow-covered peaks of Panchuli from this ridge, about 30 kms from Pithoragarh.