Champawat district, geographically divided into terai, Shivalik and high mountain ranges is widely appreciated as the origin of culture and religion in Uttarakhand state. Varied in geography, Champawat situates between 200-2000 meters above sea level experiencing different types of climate and weather in different heights. The beautiful region housing ancient temples and preserving original culture as part of life, Champawat maintains its flavor in language, culture and tradition.
The district gets its name from princess Champawati, the daughter of King Arjun Deo who ruled the region in historic time and had capital in Champawat.
History of Champawat District
Champawat district was formerly a part of Almora district. In 1972, the part came under Pithoragarh district. In 1997 September 15, Champawat was declared an individual, independent district.
Champawat is valued in Uttarakhand as the place of origin of culture and religion in Uttarakhand region. The Champawat land is considered to be the home of Naga and Kinnar described in Hindu Mythology. The region was ruled by Khash Kings in past. Historical pillars, monuments, manuscripts, archeological collections and folklores of the region are the evidences to its historical importance. The manuscripts make it clear that Katyur Dynasty ruled the region in the past.
The folklores describe the significant presence of the region during Mahabharata period. Mahabharata dates back to Dwapar Yuga when lord Vishnu had incarnated as lord Krishna and supported Pandavas in the holy war at Kurukshetra. Barahi temple of Devidhura, Sapteshwar temple of Sipti, Hidimba-Ghatotkach temple and Tarkeshwar temple of Champawat town are believed to date back to Mahabharata era.
Champawat District – Administrative Setup
Champawat district is divided into four tehsils, one sub tehsil and four development blocks. There are 10 allopathic hospitals, 2 primary health centers, 4 dispensaries, 194 beds in government hospital and 23 beds in ayurvedic hospital in Champawat district to address the health needs of general public. To provide easy and affordable access to education, there are 513 primary schools, 130 middle schools, 84 secondary and senior secondary schools and 3 colleges in Champawat district.
Champawat district is bordered with the neighboring country Nepal in east separated by Mahakali river, Pithoragarh lies on its North, Almora and Nainital in the west and Udham Singh Nagar in south.
Champawat District – Economy
Champawat district is comparatively less developed and in low economic condition due to less land usage for agriculture and lack of any kind of industrial development. With 65% of forested land, some forest based industries have potential stand but only 9% of the land is agricultural irrigated leading to high unemployment rate. Most of the male members in Champawat district are out of the district in search of employment and thus female members handle the household and all other responsibilities back home. Potential sectors for investment and development in Champawat district are education, health and income generating projects.
Many rivers and rivulets flowing in Champawat can be technically utilized to irrigate the fields and develop agricultural sector. The forest based industry, skill generation trainings and projects, internet education are basic needs for economic growth. Medium and small scale industries need be developed and public involvement must be encouraged.