Pithoragarh Fort: An Iconic Landmark of the Kumaon Region
Pithoragarh Fort is a historical fort located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India. The fort is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 1,650 meters above sea level, overlooking the town of Pithoragarh. The fort is an iconic landmark of the Kumaon region, and it holds immense historical significance for the people of Uttarakhand.
The Pithoragarh Fort was built in the 14th century by the Chand dynasty. The Chand dynasty was a Rajput dynasty that ruled over parts of Kumaon and Garhwal regions of present-day Uttarakhand. The fort was constructed as a strategic military outpost to guard the trade routes between the Kumaon region and Tibet. The fort was built on a hilltop to provide a vantage point for the soldiers to keep an eye on the movements of the enemy.
The fort underwent several modifications over the centuries. In the 16th century, the fort was expanded and fortified by the Gorkha rulers. Later, during the British era, the fort was converted into a residential building for the British officials. The fort remained in the possession of the British until the independence of India in 1947.
The Pithoragarh Fort is a unique example of the architectural prowess of the medieval period. The fort is constructed on a hilltop, which makes it an imposing structure. The fort has a massive entrance gate, which is made of stone and wood. The gate has a wooden drawbridge, which could be pulled up in times of danger.
The fort has several buildings inside its walls, including a palace, a temple, and a mosque. The palace has several rooms, which were used as living quarters for the royal family. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has intricate carvings on its walls. The mosque is a testament to the secular nature of the rulers of the fort, as it was built for the Muslim soldiers in the fort.
The fort has a unique water management system, which is still functional today. The system comprises of a network of underground water channels, which bring water from a nearby spring to the fort. The water is stored in several tanks inside the fort, which were used for drinking, cooking, and other purposes.
The Pithoragarh Fort is a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. The fort is a living testimony to the rich history and culture of the Kumaon region. The fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys, which are breathtaking.
The fort is open to tourists all year round, and there is a nominal entry fee. The fort is easily accessible by road, and there are several accommodation options available in Pithoragarh town.