I Just Added Another ‘Killa’ To My India Wishlist, And This Time In A Beautiful Himalayan Town


While reading a book or watching a movie, have you discovered a destination and have your heart set on it? A few days ago, while doom-scrolling through my phone, I came across a charming destination in Uttarakhand that gave me yet another place to add to my ‘Desi Travels’ wishlist.

This beautiful place is Pithoragarh.

In general, Uttarakhand has been a dream destination for me, and when I say dream destination, I actually mean daydreaming and imagining myself there, whether it is discovering Harshil Valley, or finding myself on the Valley of Flower’s trek, or just walking around Landour Bazaar and walk through the lanes Ruskin Bond writes about.

But Pithoragarh was one place that I had never heard about till I found this article on my finger tips, and soon, I was zooming in on every photo on Google and found myself making plans. And while most people are drawn to Pitthoragarh's beauty, I was most attracted to the ‘Gorkha Killa’ or ‘London Fort’.

This picturesque fort runs through the outskirts of this old town, and was originally constructed to protect against the Gorkhas in the late 1700’s. Today it goes by the name ‘Pithoragargh Fort’ but colloquially it’s still called ‘Gorkha Killa’ or ‘London Fort’ (the fort was renamed once the British conquered the territory). I am no stranger to palaces, castles, forts, but something about the ‘Gorkha Killa’ stood out for me - it was probably the view, that I am already imagining in my head.

The name originates from King Prithiviraj Chauhan - who was called ‘Rai Pithora’ - however what keeps Pithoragargh special is that it is on the borders of Nepal and China - hence the ‘gorkha’ connection. The more I think about Pithoragargh as a place, the better it gets, when I think of the proximity to other places in Kumaon, like Mukteshwar, Kausani and more. These old towns have a vibe that no tourist guide or travel blog can really explain. This quant little Himalayan town, I am sure is filled with old alleys, buildings and more importantly heart warming stories.

How To Reach Pithoragargh

By Air: Closest airport is Pantnagar, which is over 200Km from the town

By Rail: Nearest railway station is Tanakpur, which is over 130KM from the town

By Road: Seems like the best option, one can drive from Nainital via Almora and witness amazing views. It’s also approximately 450Km from Delhi so those from the capital planning a road trip - you can map out a very interesting route!

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