Askot or Askote is an erstwhile princely state in Didihat Tehsil in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand State. Set amidst huge forest tracts and a breathtaking valley, it is a small Himalayan town lies on a ridge on the route between Dharchula and Pithoragarh. The town borders Nepal to the east, Almora to the west, Pithoragarh to the south and Tibet to the north. Asko't unique bio-system contributes to the mystique in a large way.
Situated at an average elevation of 1,106 metres above sea level, Askot has been ruled by several rulers like Doti Kings of Nepal, Rajbars, Chands, Katyuris, Gorkhas. Administratively, at that time, Askot had two parts one in known as the Malla Askot and the other is known as Talla Askot. In 1742, the land was under the rule of the Gorkha and they were pushed back into Nepal by the British in 1815. The official title of Askot was Rajbar given by Zamindars. An endangered tribe of Uttarakhand, Van Rawats inhabits around Askot.
The name 'Askot' is derived from the word 'Assi Kot' which means 80 forts that once stood in the region. Still, there are few remains of the ancient forts. This area, with its difficult hills and uneven, unpredictable terrain, forms the starting point for the popular Kailash-Mansarovar Pilgrimage route.
Askot is a picturesque area blessed with natural beauty and waterfalls. Set amidst huge forest tracts and a breathtaking valley, it is popular for the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, an important site for the conservation of the musk deer.
The famous Panchuli and Chiplakot peaks form the backdrop for Askot at an elevation of 3,629 ft. Down below the Gori Ganga valley, within which lies the Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, the undulating Gori Ganga-Kali flows amidst the unending stretches of pine, shisham, oak and sal trees. The river, which originates at the Milam Glacier, meets the Kali Ganga at Jauljibi. Perched on the ridge of Kumaon Himalayas, at an elevation of 5,412 feet makes Askot a stunningly beautiful location. Its unique bio-system contributes to the mystique in a large way.
The , has been identified as an area of high agro-biodiversity.
It is best for the tourists to visit Askot in July and and September. The hottest month of the year in Askot is May and the coldest month here is December. Temperature in Askot drops abruptly during the nights.The rains in Askot can be experienced in July and the dry month in November.
Places to Visit
This sanctuary was set up primarily for to protect the musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) and its habitat. Established in 1986, the sanctuary covers an area about 599.93km².
Set amidst snow-capped peaks, glaciers, ridges, beautiful valleys and pristine forests in the Indo-Nepal border, the sanctuary is really a haven for wildlife, birds and butterflies. The two main rivers Dhauli and Ikli rivers originate from here and and Gori Ganga flows amidst the unending stretches of pine, shisham, oak and sal trees through the sanctuary.
Perched on the ridge of Kumaon Himalayas, at an elevation of 5,412 feet makes Askot sanctuary is a stunningly scenic sanctuary. It offers magnificient view of the famous peaks such as Panchchuli, Neodhura, Naukana, Chhiplakot and Najirikot. read more...
Narayan Swami Ashram
It is situated at an elevation of 2,734 metres at the top of a hill at Narayan Nagar. Established by Sri Narayan Swami, this ashram is the branch of the original ashram set up by the Swamy in 1936. He established this, to help the pilgrims on their trek to the famous Kailash Mansarovar. Several social and spiritual activities are organised at this ashram which has the capacity to accommodate around 40 people. The ashram is closed in the winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Just 15 km away is Jauljibi, where the Gori and the Kali Ganga meet. Don't miss this place when visit Askot. Tourist can also visit spiritual centre from Ogla and Tawaghat which are in close proximity.
There are many excursion opportunities near the town like Pithoragarh, Munsiyari and Mount Abbott. Askot also boasts of some of the best skiing ranges in the country. Famous skiing ranges include Panchuli and Chiplakot.
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary Uttarakhand
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is a majestic destination located in the middle of a snow covered peak in the Kumaon Himalayan at an elevation of 5412 feet in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is a majestic destination for the nature enthusiast.
The Sanctuary is rightly known as the green paradise of India. The wildlife sanctuary is positioned 54 km from Pithoragarh near Ascot in Uttarakhand. The sanctuary covers an area of 284 square kilometers.
The Askot Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1986 with the object of conserving the musk deer and its habitat. Though the musk deer are present in significant numbers in the sanctuary, they required further protection as they are an endangered species.
Flora and Fawn
The Ascot sanctuary has been is blessed with a large collection of herbs, shrubs, trees and climbers. The rich vegetation in this locality such as Teak, Grevelia, and Eucalyptus makes it one of the most prolific places to visit.
Species Found :Leopard, Black Beer, Spotted Deer, Snow Cock, Kakar, Tahr, Musk Spotted Deer, Chukoras, Pheasant , Sparrow and a number of species of birds and many more.
How to Reach
By Air : Adjacent airport is Naina Sani in Pithoragrah, At a Distance of less than 60 kms.
By Rail :Adjacent railway station is Tanakpur ,Distance 204 kms.
By Road : From Pithoragarh at a distance of 55 kms, From Almora at a distance of 150(approx.) kms.