History of Champawat
Champawat was the capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon.
The tradition of the present appellation of Kumaon is
also associated with Champawat. It is believed that Lord
Vishnu take the tortoise incarnation (Kurm Avatar) and
penanced for several hundred years on a mountain in
Champawat. The place where he penanced became famous as
Kurmachal and Kumaon is its natural temple evolution.
The mount on which the temple of Ghatku, the illustrious
Ghatotkach of the Mahabharata is sited is supposed to be
the Kumarchal of Skanda Purana. This term was first
applied to eastern part of present Kumaon and later
extended to the entire region.
Tourist Attractions in Champawat
For the time being, the ancient shrines of Champawat
have lost their main sanctum, but the remaining
structure, the ancient temples of Baleshwar, Nagnath and
Ratneshwar and as well as the ruins reflects the
boundless creative energy of the hill artists. The
places which can be seen in Champawat are the Narsingh
Danda, Hingla Devi, Hidamba Ghatkach temple, Maneshwar,
Kranteswar, and the Surya temple at village Ramak.
Maneshwar is regarded as the place where Yudhishthira
perfomed the ‘shraddha’ ceremony of his father. It is
also famous for its Shiva temple.
Excursion from Champawat
Mayawati Ashram is situated about 22 km from Champawat
and 9 km from Lohaghat. Mayawati Ashram is the cherished
dream of Swami Vivekanand. The monastery has got
extensive land, and at one time it even had a small tea
plantation. At Mayawati, one can clearly visualize how
nature supplies to a Man’s soul spiritual sustenance.
The most elevating sight in Mayawati is the magnificent
snow range of Himalayas and its silvery dazzle on a
moonlit night reminds of Lord Shiva sitting in a
Abbot Mount is situated about 25 km from Champawat and
11 km from Lohaghat. Abbot Mount is situated amidst
thick forests of oak and deodar. This place was
developed by Mr. Abbot in 1914, and known for its scenic
grandeur and a breathtaking view of the Himalayan peaks.
Shyamla Tal is situated about 30 km from Tanakpur along
the route to Champawat and then 4 km on foot from
Sukhidhang or on jeep. This place has some ruins dating
back to the days of early Chand rulers and others which
are associated with the Pandavas. Shyamla Tal is famous
for its beautiful lake which is spread over an area of
1.5 km. In 1915, the Vivekanand Ashram was also
Lohaghat is situated about 14 km from Champawat on the
banks of the Lohawati river. It is a center of
historical and mythological importance. The town is
situated amidst tall deodar trees and has a Degree
College, two inter colleges and a Polytechnic college.
Vanasur’s Fort is situated about 7 km from Lohaghat and
20 km from Champawat. To reach Vanasur's Fort, you have
to travel to Karnakaryat from Lohaghat for 6 km by road
and from there you have to negotiate a distance of 1 km
by bridle path to reach Vanasur's Fort.
Manch and Tamli
Manch is situated amidst thick forests towards the river
Kali at distance of 40 km from Champawat. These forests
are manifestations of the deep rooted local tradition of
forest preservation. The dhune (sacred fire which burns
continuously) of Guru Gorakhnath is situated here and
the entire hill has been dedicated to him. The Tamli
village is situated downhill near the river Kali. Tamli
is the last village of India.
Meetha Reetha Sahib
Meetha Reetha Sahib is situated about 72 km from
Champawat. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev visited this
place and had spiritual discussions with the jogis of
Gorakhnath sect. The Gurudwara was built in 1960 at the
confluence of Ladhiya and Ratia rivers near village
How to reach Champawat
The nearest airport is Naini Saini.
The nearest railway station is Tanakpur.
Champawat is linked with various places like Nainital,
Almora, Ranikhet, Pithoragarh and other places in the
Kumaon and Garhwal region.