Introduction: 

Settled in the hills of the Kumaon region, this sacred Purnagiri Devi Temple is in the Tanakpur city or a municipal board in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand. This very religious site is located adjacent to the Nepal border and on the banks of river Sarda. The affiliated area serves as the Gateway to the mountainous part of the Kumaon Hills, till here it is all the plain area. You might not know that the Voyage to Kailash Parvat also begins from this point. 

To be precise, the temple is in the north direction of the city, hardly 21-23 km away. Among the 108 Siddhi peethas and 51 Shakti peethas, it is considered to be one and every year thousands and more devotees come here to seek the Darshana of the Goddess. Let’s move forward, and gain the complete information to visit this renowned site.

About the Purnagiri Temple: 

This spiritual sanctum is devoted to the Goddess Shakti, the wife of the Lord Shiva. The temple is perched at a certain height on the Annapurna hill. Fortunately, there is a well-maintained motorable road from Tanakpur to Thuligad. But to go a further 3 km, you’ll need to trek through stairs and slopes to reach the main entrance of the temple. An interesting saying is that Thuligad is the birthplace of Devi Sati. It might not be known to most people that the River Kali flows in the plains beside the Purnagiri Temple is the name of the Sarda River. With all the spectacular and serene views of the smoky misty mountain ranges, the southern-west part of Punaya Parvat is also visible. Hence this hill is also called Punyagiri.

Temple Religious Significance: 

As per the beliefs of Hindus, the Purnagiri Devi Temple is considered as one of the most significant and must-visit temples among all the pious tourist attractions in Uttarakhand. The local people of that region dictate that having Darshana at Siddha Baba temple after visiting the Maa Purnagiri temple becomes necessary. Otherwise, the yatra to this holy dham will not be as spiritually fulfilled as it should be. 

Every year, during Chaitra Navratri which falls between the month of March to April this sacred sanctum gets overcrowded with millions of devotees. They embark on the pilgrimage to the Maa Purnagiri temple to worship the Goddess Shakti here, and to catch a glimpse of her charismatic idol. 

Apart from that, there’s a locally famous tale, that once, of a Gujarati merchant around 1632 C.E. visited here. He along with King Gyanchand took shelter in this area. And when he went to sleep, he had a dream of Mata Shakti saying to construct a temple. Since then, this particular place has gained sacred significance and Devi Shakti devotees started coming here to offer their innocent prayers. The pilgrims’ inflow and ritual worship of the Maa Purnagiri has been going on consistently and dedicatedly since then. 

Purnagiri Temple History: 

According to the Hindu shreds of evidence, the history of this Purnagiri Devi temple dates back to a time. When the Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva immolated herself in the firepit of yagna. This yagna was happening in her father’s household. It’s said that when Devi Sati saw her father mocking and humiliating her husband in front of all the invited deities in his absence. 

She couldn’t bear this disrespect of her husband cum Lord Shiva and jumped into the fire. After this unfortunate accident, when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife’s remains in his arms and was mourning. Then the chakra of Vishnu ji parted her corpse into parts. And one of her body parts, her naval(nabhi) fell into this very part of the earth and started to be known as a Shakti peeth.

Why should you visit here: 

Overall there are a total of 52 Shakti peethas and 108 Siddhi peethas. So it might not be possible for one to visit all the Siddhi peethas. But reaching all the Shakti peethas can be comparatively less difficult and more affordable. Hence, if you are a religious person, and believe in spirituality. Then you should take time from your work life to visit religious sites like here. 

Most of the devotees get confused between Shakti Peeth and Siddha Peeth. So here we are telling you the main difference. The major difference between Shakti Peeth and Siddha Peeth is in the following lines. Shakti peethas are the place where the parts of Goddess Sati’s sacred body fell. While the Siddha peethas are where due to the hard penance of sages, the Goddess has arrived herself as a form of rock. 

However, some texts say there are 51 and some tell about 52 Shakti peethas. So visiting here must be on your to-do list once in your life at least. Not only this but a place in itself is a combination of religious and natural ambience. That helps the inner soul of a person come out of any form of grief and sadness. 

Purnagiri Weather: 

As we have told you in the above section, the Purnagiri temple is located close to Tanakpur town and beside the Indo-Nepal border. Almost all areas of Uttarakhand state are prone to cold climatic conditions. Purnagiri is also dominated by a cold climate and Northern India topography. In a nutshell, whenever you visit here, you don’t have to bear harsh winds and high temperatures.

Purnagiri Distance Chart: 

The specific area where Purnagiri temple is located is also known as the Danda Range. As a tourist, when you come here, you want to visit some other nearby places too. But, if you don’t have a rough map in your mind then it may trouble you to decide where you should visit next. Hence here’s a line-by-line guide to create a mind map. 

  • First of all, the Purnagiri to Tanakpur distance is approximately 19 Km only. If you go by any vehicle, then you can reach there in 30-40 minutes. But instead of a vehicle, if you prefer pedestrian mode to reach the doorstep of Maa Purnagiri, then it will take about 4.5 hours. 
  • The distance between Purnagiri to Nainital (Kumaon Jewel) is approximately 156 Km. If you wanna go to Nainital from Purnagiri. Then you must take the route that includes Tanakpur, Khatima, Sitarganj, Haldwani and then your destination Nainital sequentially. 
  • If you plan the visit for Nainital, then it would be budget and time-friendly to explore nearby locations such as Mukteshwar Dham, lakes of Kumaon, and Kainchi Dham. Kainchi Dham is only 1-3 Km away from the centre of Nainital. 
  • Ideally, the distance between Purnagiri and Mukteshwar Dham is 176 Km. 
  • You can visit the Jageshwar Dham also, which is 191 Km away from here. The route from Purnagiri to Jageshwar Dham goes via Champawat. 
  • The Pithoragarh which is also worth visiting place is 162 km distance from here. The route for Pithoragarh goes via Champawat and Lohaghat. 

Purnagiri Mela:

This famous Purnargiri Mela attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Which is organized annually near the Maa Purnargiri Devi temple during the holy month of Chaitra Navratri. This festival runs throughout the period of two months of March and April. And it is funded by the trust of the temple itself. To witness the rare confluence of the folk culture and the loveliness of the mountainous range, a huge rush gathers to commemorate goddess Shakti and to experience this fair. The colourful presentations done by the residents and the local shops, the variety of dishes served, and the performances of classical and local dances at the fair are loved by many tourists and that’s what allures and drags them here to participate. 

If you ever plan for this trip it is recommended to include this Mela in your itinerary and the opportunity to attend this annual fair should never be left behind. 

Conclusion: 

We are sure that now you will be well aware of the Purnagiri Temple visit. We have tried to introduce you to the Maa Purnagiri temple’s significance and history. Ideally, it’s a pure religious site dedicated to Devi Shakti. So most people come to visit here during Navratri. But if you don’t feel comfortable in a crowd, then you should plan the journey in the festival-free season. Apart from Purnagiri, you can visit other prominent religious sites of Uttarakhand like Naina Devi, Gopeshwar Dham, Panch Badri and so on. So now whenever you get leave from the office, book the tickets for Tanakpur and Trek to the Maa Purnagiri. 

Q3) How long is this Purnagiri Trek? 

A3) To Thulligad there is a paved road that can be travelled on a vehicle, from Thulligad onwards the pilgrimage starts and it is only about 3-4 km. That would only take 2-3 hours depending on your stamina and strength. 

Q2) What is the best time to visit Purnagiri Mata Mandir? 

A2) The temple of Purnagiri Devi can be visited throughout the year. Because the weather remains pleasant and serene due to being located on the plains of the Kumaon region. However, to never miss the opportunity to attend the popular fair of the temple, one must come for darshans during March and April. 

Q1) Is Purnargiri a Shakti peeth or a Siddhi peeth? 

A1) All the Shakti peethas across India are Siddh peethas but all the Siddha peethas are not Shakti peethas. It is written in religious Hindu texts that the Navel of Mata Sati fell into this very mountain range and turned it into a sacred and religious place.  

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