Heritage city, with history dating back to around 11th century
Capital of erstwhile Chand dynasty
Home to several temples dating back to the Chand dynasty
Attracts devotees who throng to the popular Baleshwar Temple
Jim Corbett's first first book, 'Man Eaters of Kumaon' is set in Champawat
What to know
The capital of the Chand dynasty (10th to 16th century), Champawat is steeped in history and heritage. Today, it is best known for its temples, many of which date back to the times of the Chand rulers. As per Indian mythology, Lord Vishnu appeared here in the form of a tortoise, called "Kurmavatar". The architecture of the temples is noteworthy and a callout of the skill and intricacies of the artistes of that time. Chief of these is the Nagnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The popular temple is one of the finest examples of Kumaon architecture. Another noteworthy temple is Baleshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kranteshwar Mahadev is another spiritual site here, and one of the most revered in the region. Perched on the top of a hill to the east of Champawat, this temple of Lord Shiva is also known as Kurmapad or Kandev. Other than temples, a stunning piece of architecture is the Ek Hathiya Ka Naula. A beautifully carved work on stone, Ek Hathiya Ka Naula is situated around 5 km from Champawat and it is said it was built in one night by a one-handed artisan. Locals say that Champawat gets its name from princess Champawati, the daughter of King Arjun Deo, who ruled the region and had his capital here. Folklore also says that Champawat finds a reference in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Surrounded by lush tea gardens, which produce one of the finest teas in the region, the bustling town is also the administrative headquarters of the Champawat district.
Best Time to Visit
Champawat is pleasant year-round, except in monsoons. It's covered in snow in winter.
What To Do
Champawat is home to many Kumaoni villages and hamlets. The people are warm and friendly and welcome visitors to enjoy a cup of locally brewed tea or regional delicacies. You can learn all about local art and culture and get a lesson or two in organic farming.
Tea Garden tours
There are several tea gardens around Champawat town and most allow day tours.
Pancheshwar, around 40 km from Champawat, is very popular for golden mahseer angling and rafting. There are several hotels and resorts here that offer this facility.
How to reach
The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, about 160 km away.