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Askot, Pithoragarh Overview

Nestled at an elevation of 1106 metres, the small town of Askot is situated in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Bordering India with Nepal and China, the spectacular town is known for its rhododendron carpeted hills, enchanting valleys, meandering streams and picture perfect setting. Enveloped by the Chhiplakot and the Panchchuli ranges, the offbeat hilly hamlet is especially popular for its Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary. The rocky mountains offer perfect trekking opportunities for both amateurs and professionals. Besides, the surreal natural landscape attract a lot of nature lovers as well as photography buffs who want to capture the picturesque landscape in their cameras. In short, the hill town is perfect for a relaxing getaway away from the din of the city in the lap of nature.

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Etymology

Askot was once home to 80 forts and therefore, it came to be known as ‘Assi Kot’ i.e. 80 forts. Some of these forts were also situated in Darchula district of Nepal.

Things to Do in Askot

  1. Trekking
    Surrounded by dense woods of Pine and Deodar, Askot is considered a trekker’s paradise as it provides innumerous trekking opportunities at all- easy, mediocre and difficult levels. Some of the popular trekking trails in the region include the treks in Dharchula Range, Kailash and Mansarovar Parvat etc.
    Trekking
    (Source)


  2. Askot Deer Musk Sanctuary
    Visit the renowned Deer Sanctuary and spot the beautiful musk deer. The sanctuary takes rampart measures for safeguarding the rare species as the musk deer is highly in demand and is hunted to make perfumes and fragrance products.

  3. Interact with the Locals
    The region is home to Van Rawat which is an endangered tribe. They reside in a village called Ghangdura which is based on the hilly slopes inside the Askot Deer Musk Sanctuary. You can watch these people carry out their daily lives and interact with them to get an insight about the local way of living.

  4. Photography
    The area around Askot boasts of an affluent wildlife with a diverse variety of flora, fauna and avifauna species. The rich wildlife attract a lot of photographers who visit to capture  the beautiful nature around them.

  5. Sightseeing
    There are a couple of villages around Askot which you can tour. The most popular of them all is Lakhanpurkot which is located across the River Kali. The village boasts of picturesque landscape and various vantage points from where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the valley below. The village is also home to the ruins of an ancient fort which is the highlight of the hamlet.

How to Reach

The nearest airport is Naina Sani in Pithoragarh which is just 60 kms away from Askot. The nearest railway station is Tanakpur which is 204 kms away from Askot. Alternatively, regular buses run from all major cities to Almora. From Almora, you will have to take another bus to cover the 160 kms distance.

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