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Pithoragarh district
Gori River Valley
Nickname(s): 
Mini Kashmir
Location in Uttarakhand, India
Coordinates: 30°00′N 80°20′E / 30.000°N 80.333°E / 30.000; 80.333Coordinates: 30°00′N 80°20′E / 30.000°N 80.333°E / 30.000; 80.333
Country India
State Uttarakhand
DivisionKumaon
HeadquartersPithoragarh
Area
 • Total7,110 km2 (2,750 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total483,439
 • Density69/km2 (180/sq mi)
Languages
 • officialHindi
 • NativeKumaoni
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
262501
Telephone code91 5964
Vehicle registrationUK-05
Websitepithoragarh.nic.in

Pithoragarh district is the easternmost district in the state of Uttarakhand. It is located in the Himalayas and has an area of 7,110 km2 (2,750 sq mi) and a population of 483,439 (as of 2011). The city of Pithoragarh, located in Saur Valley, is its headquarters. The district is within the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand state. The Tibet plateau is situated to the north and Nepal is to the east. The Kali River which originates from the Kalagiri Mountain flows south, forming the eastern border with Nepal.[1] The Hindu pilgrimage route for Mount Kailash-Lake Manasarovar passes through this district via Lipulekh Pass in the greater Himalayas. The district is administratively divided into six Tehsils: Munsyari; Dharchula; Didihat; Berinag; Gangolihat; and Pithoragarh. Naini Saini Airport is the nearest civil airport, but it does not have a regular scheduled commercial passenger service. The mineral deposits present in the district are magnesium ore, copper ore, limestone and slate. There are 11 tehsil.

Etymology

Some attribute the name to King Prithvi Pal {Had his empire to Nainital & parts of UP) / Piru Gusain (Gusain is referred to the younger son of a King, here the younger son of King of Askote (Pal)/ Pithora Shahi/ Pithora Chand from the Chand Dynasty, who built a fort named Pithora Garh in the Saur Valley.

History

Pals (Branch of Katyuri kings)

After its conquest by Bhartpal, the Rajwar of Uku (now in Nepal), in the year 1364, Pithoragarh was ruled for the rest of the 14th century by three generations of Pals, and the kingdom extended from Pithoragarh to Askot.

Bam Dynasty

A village of Pithoragarh district
A village of Pithoragarh district

According to a Tamra Patra (inscribed copper or brass plaque) from 1420, the Pal dynasty, based out of Askot, was uprooted by Chand kings. Vijay Brahm (of the Brahm dynasty from Doti) took over the empire as King. Following the death of Gyan Chand, in a conflict with Kshetra Pal, the Pals were able to regain the throne.

Chand Dynasty

It is believed that Bharti Chand, an ancestor of Gyan Chand, had replaced Bams, the ruler of Pithoragarh, after defeating them in 1445. In the 16th century, the Chand dynasty again took control over Pithoragarh town and, in 1790, built a new fort on the hill where the present Girls Inter College is situated. The Chand rule, at its zenith, is seen as one of the most prominent empires in Kumaon. Their rule also coincides with a period of cultural resurgence. Archaeological surveys point towards the development of culture and art forms in this period.

Modern history

British rule began on 2 December 1815 when Nepal was forced to sign the Sugauli Treaty. Pithoragarh remained a tehsil under Almora district until 1960 when its status was elevated to that of a district. There was an army cantonment, a church, and a mission school, resulting in the spread of Christianity in the region.

In 1997, part of the Pithoragarh district was separated to form the new Champawat district.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901135,083—    
1911156,541+1.49%
1921157,943+0.09%
1931173,716+0.96%
1941204,684+1.65%
1951230,180+1.18%
1961274,226+1.77%
1971313,747+1.36%
1981365,141+1.53%
1991416,647+1.33%
2001462,289+1.04%
2011483,439+0.45%
source:[2]

Religion in Pithoragarh district (2011)[3]

  Hinduism (98.28%)
  Islam (1.24%)
  Buddhism (0.04%)
  Christianity (0.29%)
  Sikhism (0.05%)
  Jainism (0.003%)
  Others (0.01%)
  Not Stated (0.09%)

According to the 2011 census Pithoragarh district has a population of 483,439, roughly equal to the nation of Suriname.[4] This gives it a ranking of 546th among the 640 Districts of India. The district has a population density of 69 inhabitants per square kilometre (180/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 5.13%. Pithoragarh has a sex ratio of 1021 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 82.93%.[5]

Native tribes in the district include the Van Rawats and Shaukas. Van Rawats are hunter-gatherers. Shaukas are traders. In Pithoragarh the Shaukas are divided into two main tribes. Johari Shaukas and Rung Shaukas. The Johari Shauka community inhabits the areas in Munsiyari while Rung Shaukas tribe are spread among the three valleys of Darma, Chaundas and Byans. Kangdali Festival, celebrated once every 12 years by inhabitants of Chaundas Valley, is one of the major festivals in this area.

Languages

Kumaoni, with its several dialects, is the most widely spoken language.[6] Hindi is the common language between the locals and outsiders, and English is spoken by some people, especially teachers, lecturers, and students in tertiary education.

Several Sino-Tibetan languages of the West Himalayish branch are spoken by small communities. These include the three closely related languages of Byangsi, Chaudangsi and Darmiya, as well as Rangkas and Rawat.[7] The Van Rawat tribe speaks their own variety of Kumaoni.[citation needed]

Pithoragarh district: mother-tongue of population, according to the 2011 Indian Census.[6]
Mother tongue code Mother tongue People Percentage
002007 Bengali 414 0.1%
004001 Dogri 396 0.1%
006102 Bhojpuri 1,654 0.3%
006195 Garhwali 1,634 0.3%
006240 Hindi 35,590 7.4%
006340 Kumauni 423,862 87.7%
006439 Pahari 653 0.1%
013071 Marathi 281 0.1%
014011 Nepali 7,259 1.5%
016038 Punjabi 383 0.1%
022015 Urdu 1,224 0.3%
031001 Bhotia (also called "Jad") 1,325 0.3%
046003 Halam 5,623 1.2%
103003 Rai 263 0.1%
Others 2,878 0.6%
Total 483,439 100.0%

Assembly Constituencies

  1. Dharchhula
  2. Didihat
  3. Pithoragarh
  4. Gangolihat (SC)

Climate

Pithoragarh town, being in a valley, is relatively warm during summer and cool during winter. During the coldest months of December and January, the tropical and temperate mountain ridges and high locations receive snowfall and have an average temperature of 5.5–8.0 °C (41.9–46.4 °F). Pithoragarh district has extreme variation in temperature due to the large variations in altitude. The temperature rises from mid-March through mid-June. The areas above 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) remain in a permanent snow cover. Regions lying at 3,000–3,500 metres (9,800–11,500 ft) become snowbound for four to six months. At places like the river gorges at Dharchula, Jhulaghat, Ghat and Sera, temperatures reach 40 °C (104 °F). The annual average rainfall in lower reaches is 360 centimetres (140 in).. ISBN 8170998980. Missing or empty |title= (help) After June the district receives monsoon showers. Winter is a time for transhumance – the seasonal migration of the Bhotiya tribe with their herds of livestock to lower, warmer areas.

Seasons

Glaciers of Pithoragarh

Locally, glaciers are known as Gal. Some important glaciers of the district are as follows:

Himalayan peaks of Pithoragarh

Peak Height (m)
Sunanda Devi 7,434
Hardeol 7,151
Trishuli 7,099
Rishi Pahar 6,992
Panchchuli II 6,904
Nanda Kot 6,861
Chiring We 6,559
Rajrambha 6,537
Chaudhara 6,510
Sangthang 6,480
Panchchuli V 6,437
Nagalaphu 6,410
Suitilla (Suj Tilla West) 6,374
Suj Tilla East 6,393
Panchchuli I 6,355
Bamba Dhura 6,334
Burphu Dhura 6,334
Panchchuli IV 6,334
Changuch 6,322
Nanda Gond 6,315
Panchchuli III 6,312
Nanda Pal 6,306
Suli Top 6,300
Kuchela 6,294
Nital Thaur 6,236
Kalganga Dhura 6,215
Jonglingkong or Baba Kailash 6,310
Om Parvat 6,191
Lalla We 6,123
Kalabaland Dhura 6,105
Telkot 6,102
Bainti 6,079
Ikualari 6,059
Nagling 6,041
Menaka Peak 6,000
Trigal 5,983
Yungtangto 5,945
Sankalp 5,929
Laspa Dhura 5,913
Sahdev 5,782
Ralam Dhura 5,630
Gilding Peak 5,629
Shivu 5,255
Tihutia 5,252
Draupadi Peak 5,250
Rambha Kot 5,221
Panchali Chuli 5,220
Gelding 50,29
Dunkhan 5'035
Halsyun 5'105
Lalla We 6'123
Adi Kailash 6'321
Rajrambha 6'537
Deo Damia 6'632
Bamchhu 6'302
Syakaram 6'258
Mangron 6'565
Latu Dhura 6'389
Bati ka Dhura 5'858
Nanda Lapak 5'782
Kalchhu Dhura 5'421
Mapa Dhura 5'206

Mountain passes of Pithoragarh

International passes to Tibet

Pass Height (m)
Lampiya Dhura 5,530
Lipu-Lekh pass 5,450
Lowe Dhura 5,562
Mangshya Dhura 5,630
Nuwe Dhura 5,650
Kungri Bhingri : In Gori Gunkha Valley 5,564

Intra-district Himalayan passes

Pass Height (m)
Ghantesh Baba 5,164
Nama pass 5,500
Sinla pass 5,495
Ralam pass 5,630
Keo Dhura 5,439
Belcha Dhura 5,384
Kalganga Dhura 5,312
Traills pass 5,312
Gangchal Dhura 5,050
Birejrang Dhura 4,666
Ghatmila Dhura
Unta Dhura pass
Yangkchar Dhura 4,800
Rur Khan 3,800
Bainti Col 5,100
Longstaff Col 5,910

Valleys of Pithoragarh

Flora

A wide variety of flora exist in the district, including many unique sub-tropical, temperate, and alpine plants. Bryophytes (mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers), and angiosperms (flowering plants) are present. Rare varieties of orchids are also present in the high-altitude valleys of Milan, Darma, Beyans, and Kuthi. Species present include:

Tourist attractions

See also

References

  1. ^ Hoon, Vineeta (1996), Living on the Move: Bhotiyas of the Kumaon Himalaya, Sage Publications, p. 48, ISBN 978-0-8039-9325-9: "The river Kaliganga forms a natural boundary between India and Nepal. It has two headwaters: the eastern one Kalapani is a collection of springs, and the western one Kutiyankti [Kuthi Yankti] rises from the snow fields of the Himadri near Kuti, the last Bhotiya village in Vyas."
  2. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  3. ^ "Pithoragarh District Population". Census India. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Suriname 491,989 July 2011 est.
  5. ^ "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b C-16 Population By Mother Tongue – Uttarakhand (Report). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  7. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2019). "India – Languages". Ethnologue (22nd ed.). SIL International.