Dharchula is a town that is located in the PIthorgarh district of the state of Uttarakhand. Dharchula is a small and remote place and it is located along an ancient trade route through the Himalayan Mountains. The town is completely surrounded by hills on all sides and the views are breathtaking. The people of the town of Dharchula have any similar characteristics to the people of the town called Darchula in Nepal, which is just across the border. There are a few places of tourist interest that are located in the town, however most tourists who travel here, come to witness the unique culture and diversity of the people.
A major trading centre since medieval times, Dharchula is a beautiful town located on the Indo-Nepal border in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. The snow clad Panchchuli peaks located on the west of Dharchula separate it from the Johar Valley. Situated at an elevation of 915 m above sea level, Dharchula is surrounded by hills and offers breathtaking views of the grand Himalayan peaks. The hill station gets its name from ‘Dhar’ and ‘Chula’; Dhar means peak and chula means stove in Hindi. The name was given to Dharchula as it resembles a stove. Dharchula was an ancient trading town on the Trans-Himalayan trade routes. Trade was based on barter system and was the only source of income for the inhabitants of Dharchula. Local handicrafts like carpets which are known here as ‘dan’, were exchanged with the Tibetans for food and clothing. After the Indo-China War in 1962, all trading ties with the Tibetans came to a stop which caused innumerable hardships to the people of Dharchula. The difficulty forced people to look for alternate means of earnings. Soon the locals engaged themselves in farming, small businesses and cattle farming. With government intervention, good tourism facilities have developed in the town.
Dharchula is considered strategically sensitive as it is situated on the Indo-Nepal border and separated from its Nepalese twin by the River Kali. Dharchula shares its borders with both Nepal and China. Visiting the Nepali town of Dharchula makes for one of the best excursions. The people of both towns have common traditions, culture, and lifestyle and are allowed to move across the border without any strict checking of the passport or visa, but there is a customs checkpoint for large goods. Kumaoni and Dotiyali languages are spoken in the town. Dharchula is inhabited by the people of Rung tribe famous for their dynamism, culture attachment and resilience. The hill station is an important camp on the Kailash-Mansarovar, Chotta Kailash and Narayan Ashram route. The town after Dharchula, Tawaghat, is where the trek to most of the yatras begin.
Culturally, Dharchula has huge significance as it is the meeting ground of the Shauka, Nepalese and Kumaoni during the Jauljibi International Mela. The fair is held every year in November at the confluence of the Kali and Gori rivers near Dharchula. The best time to visit Dharchula is between the months of March and June and again between September and December. Summers are pleasant, whereas the winters are cold and blessed with snowfall.
The climatic conditions have allowed the vegetation of the region to thrive. Trees of oak, pine, apple and deodar are common. Wild animals like leopards, bears, foxes, monkeys and deer make up the animal kingdom of the region.
Best time to visit Dharchula:
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Dharchula is as given below. The best time to visit Dharchula is also specified.
Month MIN. TEMP (°C) MAX. TEMP (°C)
May 7 15
June 9 15
July 6 16
August 7 14
September 8 14
October 4 12
Places to visit in Dharchula
An erstwhile princely state, the Himalayan town of Askot is located in Pithoragarh district of the state of Uttarakhand. The town is popular for the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, an important site for the conservation…
Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
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Adi Kailash and Om Parvat
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Around 101 km from Dharchula via the Delhi-Dharchula highway, Chaukori is a hill station situated at western Himalayan range. Elevated at a height of 2010 m, it offers…
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How to reach Dharchula
Pantnagar is the closest airport about 130 km away. Regular flights connect Pantnagar to Delhi. Delhi is well connected to most cities within the country as well as major cities across the world. Taxis are available at the airport to reach Dharchula.
Tanakpur is the nearest railhead, located at a distance around 150 km from Pithoragarh. This railway station is well connected to major cities of North India like Delhi, Jammu, Ranikhet, Kanpur, Kolkata and Dehradun. Taxis and regular buses are available from the station to Dharchula.
Dharchula is well connected by road to most major neighbouring cities. State-owned buses connect Dharchula to Pithoragarh, Almora, Kathgodam, Munsiyari, Tanakpur, Lohaghat, etc. Daily buses ply between Delhi and Almora.