Dharchula- An Ancient Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Dharchula town is a delightful destination for mountaineering, trekking, adventure enthusiast, birder, and Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims as well. It is a blissful stopover for the Mount Kailash pilgrimage and an ancient gateway to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

This serene town is skirted by the high sky soaring peaks and it sits in a valley along the Kali River. If you are here, on the westside, you see the great Panchachuli peak. It is an ancient trade- route between the India-Tibet

The Dharchula – Lipulekh Pass

The government has converted the ancient route to an 80 km long road – the Pithoragarh-Tawaghat-Ghatiabagarh road. The road starts from  Ghatiabagarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, an ancient gateway to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. In this 80-km road trip, you jump up from 6,000 feet to 17,060 feet above sea level.

Pithoragarh to Mansarovar ( Old Route)

The new route involves driving from Delhi to Pithoragarh (490 km), after which there are 130 km of road and 79 km (about five days) of trekking from Ghatiabgarh to Lipulekh Pass across the border; on the other side, it is a 97-km car ride and 43 km Parikrama around.

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The Location

Kali River Dharchula
Kali River Dharchula

The Mythology

Dharchula sets out as an ancient gateway to the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. It is the traditional route where our ancient one chose Dharchula village as Tapobhoomi ( penance grounds ).

The place was lived by Byas Muni.  The sage Byas Muni chose this place to meditate before going on the Kailash Mansarovar Pilgrimage.  It is said that  Pandavas visited this place and met here Byas Muni during their exile.

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The History

  • Dharchula was an ancient trans-Himalayan trading route. Dharchula is lived by the Bhootias community since ancient times and their main occupation raising sheep for trading. It was a very popular destination among traders of India & Tibet.
  • Dharchula was a very big trade center for traditional dresses and Tibetan traders came here to buy woolen dresses and monks robs wholesale.
  • Here, there were small-scale several manufacturing units that sprawl all over the village such as spinning, weaving, natural color dyeing wool.
  • After the Indo-China war of 1962, this scenario has changed the Bhootias people settled permanently in Dharchula instead of using it as their summer home.

Climate & Weather 

  •  December –January  Temperature between 5.5 °C and 8 °C.
  • February – March – temperature between 15 °C – 24 °C
  • Mid-March until Mid-June.  sometimes temperatures rise up to 40 °C.
  • July – September -average rainfall is 36.7 cm.
  • November -October – temperature between 18 °C – 30 °C
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Must-Do Activities

  • Nature Walk – The enchanting natural scener, rushing river,  wide-spread greenery, the meadows offer lots of natural trails to explore on foot.
  • Village Walks – Dharchula is a gateway to Mansarovar village and bordering Nepal. So, here you see the mixed culture Kumaoni, India, and Nepali.
  • Attend Festival –  Kangdali festival is famous and celebrated an interval of 12 years by the Bhotia or Bhutia tribe. This tribe is supposed to be the largest settlement in Dharchula.
  • Travel  Advice– The summer is the best time and in the winter, you may encounter bone-chilling weather.
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Getting there

By Road– Delhi  – Muradabad – Rudrapur – Tankapur – Dharchula, 600 km

By Train-  Nearest railhead is Tanakpur / Delhi – Tanakpur Express-145569  (300km) then by road 237 km from Tanakpur to Dharchula.

By Air – Nearest Airpor – Pantnagar – From Pantnagar to Dharchula  300 km Road Trip

Road Connecting Dahrchula - Malpa Camp
Road Connecting Dahrchula – Malpa Camp

Nearby Attractions

1- Kapleshwar Mahadeva Temple

The Kapileshwar Mahadev Temple is about 3 km from Pithoragarh city. You have to take an hour-long climb to visit the temple.

The temple is inside the cave that immerses in nowhere.  The cave is deep and you have to go through many narrowed small caves, will be a thrilling activity here.

2- Askot Wildlife Sanctuary 

Ascot is the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the Pithoragarh district. the sanctuary is about 5o km far from the center an elevation of 5,412 ft above sea level. The sanctuary is populated by the Askot Musk Deer.

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3- Dhwaj Temple 

It is  Lord Shiva and Goddess Jayanti temple. You have to take about a 4-km uphill trek, witnessing wildlife and natural scenery.

4- Milam Glacier & Village

Milam Glacier is at the height of 4250 meters above sea level. Once  Milam village was a densely populated district village, now there is almost nobody lives. In spite of zero population, it is still the world’s famous glacier. The river Gori runs down from Milam glacier and it is confluent of the river Kali

5- Pithoragarh Fort 

Chand king was built this fort and rebuilt it by the Gorkhas in 1789. It lies on the mountaintop in the neighborhood of the Pithoragarh. It offers the most stunning ariel views of Pitthoragrh City.

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Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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