THE LAND OF KURMAVTAR
Situated 1,615 m above sea level, Champawat was originally the capital of Chand Raja of Kumaon. Located 76 kms. from Pithoragarh, it was at Champawat that lord Vishnu is said to have incarnated as Kurmavatar, hence Kumaon came to be known as Kurmanchal.
A small fort and the temples of Baleshwar, Champadari, Ratneshwar and Durga adorn the city. Champawat is famous not only from historical and archaeological point of view but also for its abundant scenic beauty and marvellous sculptures.
The places worth seeing near Champawat are Narsinh Danda, Hingla Devi, Hidimba -Ghatotkach Temple, Maneshwar, Karanteshwar & temple of Surya at village Ramak.
The group of temples dedicated to Baleshwar, Ratneshwar and Champawati Durga, built by the early Chand rulers, stand with intricate structural carvings that enthrall the visitors. The carvings and paintings on the ceilings of these temples are evidence of the ancient glory and artistic excellence of the era.
This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva was devastated by Rohilla and Gorkha invaders, in the 18th century. A huge carved doorway and a double-storeyed wooden structure remain now. The Nagnath temple is an excellent example of traditional Kumaoni temple architecture.
Punyagiri Temple: (55 kms.)
It is one of the most famous temples of Kumaon. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine during the period of April to June. A distance of 6 kms, has to be trekked.
Mayawati Ashram: (23 kms.)
Headquarters of Adwait Ashram, it was sanctified by Swami Vivekanand and is also known for its charming surroundings.
Devidhura: (45 kms)
Situated at a height of 1615 m, Devi Dhura is well known for the temple of Barahi Devi. A fair is held here annually on Raksha Bandhan.
Situated amongst thick forests of oak and deodar, Abbot Mount is one of Kumaons idyllic hill resort for peaceful secluded holidays.
Air: Nearest airport is Pithoragarh,
Rail: Nearest railhead is Tanakpur 89 kms.
Road: Well connected to Nainital, Haldwani & Tanakpur. Local Transport: Jeeps, Taxis, Ponies, Dandi.
Accommodation options are available at Kurmanchal Tourist Hotel. Kamal Hotel. Chand Tourist Rest House (KMVN)
Banks: State Bank of India.
Post & Telegraph: Head Post Office, Champavat.
Tourist Information Centre: Tourist Office, Pithoragarh.
Area: 5 sq. km.
Population: 1702 (1991 census).
Altitude: 1,615m above sea level.
Clothing: Summer:Light Woollens.
Winter: Heavy Woollens.