Rich in Heritage and culture, Champawat was the first capital of Chand Rulers of Kumaon. It derives its name from Champawati, King Arjun Deo’s daughter. Champawati was a sister of Nags, and now Baleshwar temple stands at the place where she used to pray. Champawatpuri was the capital of nine naag kings as mentioned in Vayu Purana. Pandavas of Mahabharata also spend their some part of 12 years of exile at this place. Champawat is regarded as the place where Kurmavtar or the turtle incarnation of Lord Vishnu took place. Champawat is also noted as the home of the Champawat Tiger. Champawat is famous for its intrinsic natural beauty and historic temples.
The people of Champawat are rich in cultural heritage and they still perform the rituals and fairs with equal interest, which they used to perform in 10th century. Champawat is one of the easternmost town of Uttarakhand state perched at an elvation of 1,670mts above sea level.
Champawat has a wide variety of fauna and flora as almost 65 per cent of the district is covered with fauna and flora. Teak, Babool, Eucalyptus, Sagon Bail and Jamun are some of the important trees found in the district. A large variety of minerals are ores are available in the hills of Champawat. The important attractions are Baleshwar temple and Nagnath temple which displays fine architectural excellence. Another popular attraction of Champawat is 'Ek Hathiya Ka Naula' which is 4-5 kms from Champawat. Other notable attractions are Mayawati Ashram at Lohaghat, Reetha Sahib on the Lohaghat -Devidhura road. You can visit Champawat any time of the year but try to avoid the monsoon months.
Places to see in Champawat
Baleshwar Temple: Baleshwar temple was built by the rulers of Chand Dynasty in the 16th century. The deity of the Baleshwar temple is Lord Shiva. Baleshwar Temple is one of the most artistic temple of Kumaon region with innovative and precise stone carving work. The intricate carving on the ceilings of these temples is an evidence of the ancient glory and artistic excellence of the people of that period and their devotion towards gods.
Ek Hathiya Ka Naula: It is a beautifully carved work on stone. Ek Hathiya ka Naula is situated 5km from Champawat and it was constructed in just one night by a one handed artisan.
Kranteshwar Mahadev: This sacred shrine is situated perched on the top of a hill to the east of Champawat. This place is also known as Kurmapad or Kandev.
Patal Rudreshwar: It is believed that Lord Shiva used to meditate at this peaceful cave. Many rishis and yogis meditated in this cave to acquire salvation. Patal Rudreshwar was discovered in the year 1993 when Goddess Durga appeared in the dream of a local boy and told him about the location of Patal Rudreshwar. The cave has a length of approximately 40 mts and width of 18mts.
Meetha Reetha Sahib: Situated 72kms from Champawat, Reetha Sahib is an important Sikh pilgrim centre. The Gurudwara is situated at the confluence of Lodhiya and Ratiya rivers, near village Deyuri. There are trees of Reetha (Sapindus emarginatus) in the Gurudwara premises, have become sweet due to the miraculous touch of the Guru. Reetha is served as prasad in Reetha Sahib Gurudwara.
Lohaghat: Lohaghat is a popular destination in the Kumaon region situated 13kms from Champawat at an elevation of 1745mts above sea level. Lohaghat holds great historical and mythological importance and it is situated on the banks of Lohawati River. During summers the area is covered with ‘Burans’ Rhododendron, the state flower of Uttarakhand.
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