Although Tanakpur proximity with Haldwani, Nainital, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal has made it into an emerging business hub. I still miss spending my holidays in my sleepy hometown which is a calm, quite small and a beautiful town located on foothills on the riverside of Sarda River. It is the last plain area of Kumaun zone. It is also the first point in Kailash Manasarovar Pilgrimage and snuggling between Indo-Nepal border.
About Tanakpur Jim Corbett writes in Man-Eaters of Kumaon. His description talks volume about the richness of flora and fauna of the area. “There are few places in Kumaun where a fortnight’s holiday could be more pleasantly than along the eastern borders of Almora (Now Champawat) district. Hiking in the Himalayas is becoming a popular pastime and I could suggest no more pleasant hike for a sportsman or party of young army men or students that the following..”
What to do in Tanakpur ?
As it is the first point in Kailash Manasarovar Pilgrimage so to avoid a hectic journey you can have a relaxing and beautiful stay here. At the shore of Tanakpur, on barrage road, one can do sightseeing at the time of sunset and sunrise which looks simply beautiful. A few decades ago the forest along the Sharda river was filled with plentiful Gurrals, Sambars; Barking Deers fitted through the woods and River Sharda was full of mighty Masheer and Gangetic Dolphins.
Numerous Nepalese and Indian poachers have led to the demise of what could have been an excellent Biosphere Reserve. Nevertheless much is still not lost. A proper conservation strategy from both countries so that the forest regain the echo of Tiger roars and Sambar calls. Barking deer would reappear on the slopes, and leopards would again be an everyday sight.
Purnagiri Temple is one of the 108 ShaktiPeeths, the temple of Devi Purnagiri is located at an altitude of 3000 mt above sea level just 21 Km away from Tanakpur. The small town is the gateway for Purnagiri Temple. According to mythology Shiva, distraught with grief at the demise of his consort Parvati. Thus, Shiva started doing Tandav Dance, till Lord Vishnu intervened to destroy her body and scatter all 108 parts which fell at 108 different places which are known as Shakti Peeths.
The place where the belly button of Sati fell is known as Purnagiri. Goddess Purnagiri is the reincarnation of Goddess Anapurna (One who provides food to the world). There is a practice of carrying a handful of rice when villagers visit the temple. Purnagiri Fair is organised on Navratras of April month. The view from the top of Purnagiri Temple is spectacular and river Sharda looks fabulous.
Bada Sidh Baba Temple was the loyal devotee of Mata Purnagiri and after visiting worshiping Purnagiri you should go to Baba Sidh Baba’s temple in Mahendra Nagar or Brahm Nagar in Nepal, to complete the spiritual tour of Purnagiri.
Boom, a holy place on the way to Purnagiri pilgrims, can take a holy dip in Sharda river and one can also enjoy rafting and camping managed by the government.
The beauty of boom is boosted up by its white sand beach.
Nepal: A foreign country is at a distance of a few kilometres. Everyone visiting Tankpur must visit Mahendra Nagar. Get a selfie or two clicked in a foreign land for which you require no visa. Mahendra Nagar was much popular, a market for cheap Chinese goods, but since the restrictions have been lifted Indians have stopped going for shopping to Nepal. As for me, many of my initial birthday gifts came from a foreign country,
Where to stay in Tanakpur?
There are many good hotels in Tanakpur as well as tourist guest house to stay.
How to reach:
By Airways: The nearest Airport to Tanakpur is Pantnagar Airport situated 98 Km away. Taxis are available from Pantnagar to Tanakpur.
By Train: Tanakpur is well connected with Trains from major places like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, etc.
By Roads: Tanakpur is well linked to motorable roads one can easily get taxis, jeeps and buses to Tanakpur.
Tanakpur Tourist Places –
Tanakpur is accessible throughout the year. But we suggest you to visit it during Navratris so that you can take the holy experience of Maa Purnagiri with other devotees.