Champawat is famous for its ancient temples which have been erected here for years. Some of the sacred Hindu shrines of Champawat include Baleshwar temple, Nagnath temple, and the Kranteshwar temple, displaying its remarkable architecture. The people of Champawat have kept their culture alive as they still follow the rituals which they used to perform in 10th century.
The district of Champawat constituted in the year 1997 is situated between 29 degree 5 minutes and 29 degree 30 minutes in northern latitude and 79 degree, 59 minutes and 80 degree, 3 minutes at the center of eastern longitude. The Ram Ganga River acts as a border between Champawat and Pithoragarh in the north while Jabgura and Pannar rivers in the south and west act as a border between Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar and Almora districts simultaneously.
The long chain of mountain in southwestern region acts as a border between the districts Champawat and Nainital district. It is important from the defence point of view, as in the east Kali River acts as the international border between Nepal and India. The geographical coverage of Champawat is about 1613 sq. km and It includes 5 Tehsils.
Places of Interest
Baleshwar, 76 kms from Pithoragarh, situated at Champawat is the most artistic temple of the district. There are evidences that the group of temples dedicated to Baleshwar, Ratneshwar and Champawati Durga were built by the early kings of the Chand dynasty. The temple once had intricate structural features and a sanctuary with a mandap. The intricate carving still visible on the ceilings of these temples is an evidence of their ancient glory and artistic excellence.
At an elevation of 1706 mts., Lohaghat is 62 Kms. away from Pithoragarh on way to Tanakpur and 14kms from Champawat district headquarters. Lohaghat, which is situated on the bank of river Lohawati is a centre of historical and mythological importance. In 1841, so overcomed by its beauty, a Pilgrim (Barron) was surprised, that why the Government of India was not developing it as its summer capital. In the summer season, Lohaghat is full of Burans flowers.
Gurdwara Reetha Sahib is only 60 kms. by flying distance north of Nanak Mata, but the distance by motorable road is 209 kms. It is 166 kms. from Tanakpur, the last railway station on Bareilly-Tanakpur section. Here, too, Guru Nanak Dev had an encounter with the Nath Yogis whom he tried to bring to the path of active humanitarian service along with remembrance of God's Name. The story is not mentioned in the Janamsakhis, but locally a strong tradition has grown that Guru Nanak Dev miraculously made the normally bitter fruit of a soapnut tree, sweet for Bhai Mardana to feed on.
A soapnut tree (not the original one) is still here and pilgrims are given prasad of sweet soapnuts. However, the common belief that the nuts of only one branch, under which the Guru had sat, are sweet is not true and also, not all the nuts were given as prasad from this one tree. About ten kilometers from the Gurudwara, there is a tract of land where such trees are grown and their fruit is collected and brought to replenish the Gurudwara's stock of prasad. It is called Nanak Bagichi (Nanak's garden).
22 km from Champawat and 9 km from Lohaghat, this ashram is situated at an altitude of 1940 meters. Mayawati shot into prominence after the Advait Ashram was established here, which lies amid the Old Tea Estate. The ashram attracts spiritualists from India and abroad. During his third visit to Almora in 1898, Swami Vivekanand decided to shift the publication office of 'Prabuddh Bharat' from Madras to Mayawati Ashram, and since then, it is being published from there. The only presence that has become a part of the peace and solitude of Mayawati, is that of the mighty Himalaya in all its splendor. On request, the Ashram provides boarding and lodging to visitors. There is also a library and a small museum at Mayawati.