Pithoragarh Fort, Uttarakhand

pithoragarh fort

Featured Image By- Abhayjocee CC BY-SA 4.0

Pithoragarh Fort, also known by many other names like the London Fort, Baulaki Fort (bowl-shaped fort), and the Gorkha Killa is among the top places to visit in the Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand. This small fort gives a majestic top view of Pithoragarh nestled in the Kali Kumaon Hills.  

So, let us explore this tiny but beautiful fort…

Location of Pithoragarh Fort-

Pithoragarh Fort is located in the easternmost district of Uttarakhand state, Pithoragarh, also famous by the name of Mini Kashmir of Uttarakhand.

It is situated at an approximate altitude of 1650 meters from the sea level, as written on the plaque outside the fort.

Distance of Pithoragarh from main cities of India is given here- Delhi-496 km, Mumbai-1885 km, Chennai-2356 km, Kolkata-1423 km, Haridwar-436 km, Dehradun-489 km, Jaipur-736 km, Shimla-803 km, Lucknow-441 km Ahmedabad-1409 km and Bengaluru-2363 km.

History of Pithoragarh Fort-

The fort is said to be constructed by Peeru Alias Prithvi Gusain, who ruled the region in the Chand Period, in the year 1789.

The town was ruled by the Chand dynasty and got its name Pthoragarh from the ruler Pithora Chand. Also, the fort was named as Pithoragarh Fort after the name of the town Pithoragarh.

In 1815, the area of Kumaon was captured by the Britishers and they changed the fort’s name from Baulaki Fort to London fort under the leadership of E.Gardner.

For more than 130 years, since 1881, this fort was used as a working office for tehsil, but now it is being converted to its original form to attract tourists.

Efforts are continuously made to save this fort from getting ruined and adding new features like museum to it for promoting tourism and declaring as a National Heritage.

The Architecture of Pithoragarh Fort-

It is spread over an area of about 6.5 Nali or 1300 sq. meters. Nali is a unit to measure area of land and is mainly used in Uttarakhand. 1 nali (drain land) =200.6 sq. m.

It mainly contains open grounds, with around 6-7 feet high walls, meant to be safe from attacks of enemies. The length of the walls is about 88.5 meters.

The thick walls also have 152 holes for firing guns on the enemies without being get noticed by them.

A memorial plaque is also located inside the fort that states that 1005 soldiers participated in the World War I from Pithoragarh and 32 of them lost their lives.

Many rooms with tilted maroon roofs, are also present within the fort premises to house museum and art collections in them.

How to Reach Pithoragarh Fort-

The nearest Railway Station to the Pithoragarh Fort is the Tanakpur Railway Station, which is located at a distance of 148 km from the fort. Cars and taxi services can be used to reach the fort.

The nearest Airport to the Pithoragarh Fort is the Naini Saini Airport, at a driving distance of 7 km and can be accessed within 20 minutes.

Pithoragarh district is well connected with the other parts of the state through roads also. Buses are the best mode of transport from nearby areas in Uttarakhand.

Entry Fee-

The entry fee charged to the visitors is INR 10 per person and that seems to be optimum with the less management and development works done there.

No entry fee is charged to children below the age of 5 years.

Timings of the fort-

The timings of this fort are from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. And it is open for the visitors on all the days of a week.

Hotels and Restaurants Nearby-

Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam guest houses and hotels are the best accommodation that one can have in the close vicinity of the Pithoragarh Fort.

Saraswati Restaurant, Meghna, and Jyonar are some of the places to eat nearby the fort. A canteen is also located within the fort premises.

Travel Tip-

  • The average time taken to explore the fort is around 1 hour.
  • Do carry supplements of packed foods and water with you.
  • Have proper warm clothes if you visit there in winters.
  • Walk carefully as there are rocks and slippery ways everywhere.
  • Always carry your ID Cards with you for security reasons.

Location on Map-

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