Tanakpur is a town and a municipal board in Champawat district of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. This quaint little town is located on the banks of Sharda River and is the ideal destination for a heavenly abode. It is situated in the foothills and is the last plain area in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Surrounded my mystical mountains away from the concrete world, it takes you to fairyland. The city is visited by an estimated 25 lakh people who mainly visit Purnagiri Temple.
Tanakpur acts as the junction for Kumaon district’s mountainous parts and the first point in the very popular Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage tour. It is situated just 3km from the Indo-Nepal border, thus very important from border security point of view.
Geography and Climate of TanakpurTanakpur is located at 29.08°N 80.12°E and has an average elevation of 255 meters.
Given below is the location guide of Tanakpur:
Summers in Tanakpur commence in April and continue till June. The average temperature reaches up to 30 degree Celsius and average minimum temperature is around 20 degree Celsius. July to September is monsoon season in the entire region. Heavy rainfall is witnessed by the region during this time. Following monsoons, it is time for bone chilling winters. Early October is quite pleasant and winters start to set in from late October and continue till February. The average maximum temperature during this time is 15 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature falls as low as 4 degree Celsius.
Demographics of TanakpurAccording to the 2001 census, the population of Tanakpur was 15, 810 out of which 53% were males and 47% were females. The average literacy rate was recorded to be 65% which was way higher than the then national average of 59.5%. Male literacy was recorded to be 71%, while female literacy rate was recorded to be 58%. 15% of the total population was under the age of 6 years.
Tourist Attractions in Tanakpur
ShyamlatalShyamlatal is a natural lake located at a distance of about 20km from Tanakpur on NH 125. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and a great picnic spot. The lake derives its name from Shyaam, a name of Lord Krishna. The dark color of the lake is due to the muddy water from the hills and that’s why the name Shyamlatal. Soak in the beauty of nature, spend quality time with friends and family or enjoy fishing, there is lots to do at Shyamlatal. Swami Vivekananda Ashram is situated on the banks of the lake and is visited by many tourists.
It is also known as Mahakali River or Kali Ganga. The river originates from Kalapani in Pitthoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It enters the state of Uttar Pradesh below the Nepal-Uttarakhand border flows southeast across the plains to join the Ghagra river, a tributary of the Ganges. The stretch from Jaulijbi to Tanakpur (117km) is great for river rafting. The rapids are grade IV and the entire stretch can be covered in 3 days. Below Tanakpur, the river reaches the plains and becomes a tad bit calmer.
Sharda Barrage is divided into two parts – Upper Sharda Barrage and Lower Sharda Barrage. Both these are a part of the irrigation project of the district. Water is diverted from the Upper Barrage to the Sharda Right Bank Canal for irrigation. Apart from irrigation the barrage is also used to generate hydroelectricity from the canal head power station. The lower barrage is constructed about 163.5 km from the Upper Sharda Barrage. It is a part of part of the Sharda Sahayak Pariyojana (SSP).
Pancheswar DamPancheshwar Dam is another popular tourist attraction. It is situated near the beautiful Pancheshwar Mahadev Temple. The dam is a joint venture with Nepal for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. It was proposed in 1995 and was named Sarayu. But due to political changes both the countries were unable to reach a decision on the 5,600-MW dam project. Talks and negotiations started again in 2013 and the project was kept in the list of priorities.
Purnagiri Temple is one of the most popular and famous tourist attractions in Tanakpur. It is located at a height of 3000m above sea level and is just 20km from Tanakpur city. It is here that River Kali or Sharda originates and flows to the plains. The temple is one of the 108 Siddha Peeths. Although devotees flock to the temple all round the year, but it is particularly visited during Chaitra Navratras b a large number of devotees. From the highest point (the temple) of Purnagiri hill the pilgrim can see the expanse of Kali, its islands, the township of Tanakpur and a few Nepali villages. One can easily reach the temple using both public and private transport.
Places to visit around Tanakpur
Lohaghat is a postcard perfect hill station in Champawat district. It is located at a distance of about 87.3 km from Tanakpur via NH 125. It is situated at an altitude of 1745 m above sea level on the banks of Lohawati River. The beautiful snow covered mountains in the distance, sun kissed peaks, warm and amicable people and untouched beauty of the place would leave you mesmerized. It is a great weekend getaway destination from Tanakpur. During summers the area is covered with beautiful rhododendron flowers. There are numerous ancient temples all over Lohaghat that have great religious and historical importance.
Kranteshwar Mahadev TempleKranteshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on top of a hill, 6100m above sea level on the east of Champawat city, 6 km from the main market. The temple is popularly known as Kandev Temple by locals. The picturesque view of the snow clad Himalayas all around is spellbinding. A large number of tourists and devotees visit Kranteshwar Mahadev Temple. They offer milk, curd, and desi ghee and seek blessings of Lord Shiva.
Champawat was the first capital of Chand Rulers of Kuamon. It derives its name from Champawati, daughter of King Arjun Deo. She was the sister of Nag’s and used to pray at the site of Baleshwar Temple. Champawat is a beautiful mountain abode. It is a great getaway destination and is steeped in history. Nature lovers, photographers, peace seekers and adventure buffs, Champawat is ideal for everyone. Perched at an elevation of about 1600 m above sea level, it has a wide variety of flora and fauna. Champawat is located at a distance of about 73 km via NH 125 from Tanakpur.
Baleshwar TempleBaleshwar Temple was built by the Chand Dynasty rulers and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built during the 16th century and is known for its architectural beauty. The intricate stone carvings make the temple one of the most splendid temples in the Kumaon region.
Pancheshwar Mahadev TemplePancheshwar Mahadev Temple is located near River Sharda and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is also known as Chaumu, by locals. There is a beautiful idol of Lord Shiva in the temple and a Shiv Lingam at the Naag Temple.
It is believed that a dip in the confluence of Rivers Sharda and Kali is very scared. Located amidst the beautiful mountain range away from the concrete world it certainly takes you closer to nature.
It is visited by a large number of pilgrims, especially Garwahli and Kumaoni people during Chaitra Navratri which is celebrated during April – March. Lord Shiva is offered bells and milk as bhog.
How to Reach Tanakpur
Tanakpur is well connected to Delhi through state transport buses. In fact state transport bus service connects Tanakpur to nearly all major towns in Champawat district and various tourist attractions like Pitthoragarh, Almora, Nainital etc.
Tanakpur has its own railway station. The train services connect the city to various other cities in the district. The passenger trains that originate from Tanakur are –
Tanakpur – Pilhibit Express
Tanakpur – Shahjahanpur Express
Tanakpur – Kasganj Express
Tanakpur – Aishbagh Express
Pant Nagar is the nearest domestic airport at a distance of 93km from Tanakpur. Travelers can hail a taxi from the town and reach the airport. The nearest international airport to Tanakpur is Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at a distance of 343km.
Fact File of Tanakpur
- District - Champawat
- Official Language - Hindi
- STD Code - 05943
- Pin Code - 262309
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