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 of the musk deer.
At an elevation of 3,629 ft, Panchuli and Chiplakot peaks form the backdrop for Askot. The town has Nepal to the east, Almora to the west, Pithoragarh to the south and Tibet to the north.
Askot lies on a ridge on the route between Dharchula and Pithoragarh. The town lies on the popular Kailash-Mansarovar Pilgrimage route.
The name of the town, Askot, originates from ‘Assi Kot’ which means eighty forts that once stood in the region. Most of the forts are now in Dharchula district of Nepal.
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.
The region of Askot has been ruled by several rulers in the past including Doti Kings of Nepal, Rajbars, Chands, Gorkhas, Katyuris and the British. The Pal rulers migrated from Ayodhya and neighboring regions to the Kumaon.
The region was administered as two regions – Talla Askot and Malla Askot. In 1742, the land was under the rule of the Gorkhas and later the British defeated the Gorkhas to rule Askot and the surrounding regions. The official title of Askot was Rajbar given by Zamindars (feudal kings).
WHERE TO STAY
There are limited accommodation options in the town of Askot. Budget hotels are easily available in the town. A few mid-range hotels and resorts are also available in Askot that provide excellent services.
WHERE TO EAT
There are small eateries near the bus stand that serve basic vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Askot is between the months of April and September.
Pithoragarh: About 25 km north, Pithoragarh‘s natural beauty and scenic splendour has earned it the sobriquet of Little Kashmir. It is ideal for those seeking beauty and adventure.
Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary: Located at an altitude of 5400 ft, Askot Sanctuary hosts a wide variety of animals and birds such as chukoras, snow cock, bear, serow, etc.