Haat Kalika Temple in Pithoragarh

Haat Kalika Temple

Nestled in the enchanting hills of Uttarakhand, the Haat Kalika Temple stands as a beacon of spirituality and devotion. Located in the serene town of Gangolihat in Pithoragarh district, this ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, an embodiment of Shakti and divine feminine energy. Haat Kalika Temple is not just a sacred site for the locals; it attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over India, drawn by its spiritual significance, historical importance, and breathtaking natural beauty.

A Glimpse into the Past

Haat Kalika Temple’s history is deeply intertwined with the legends and lore of Hindu mythology. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya, the revered 8th-century philosopher and theologian, established this temple during his travels to propagate the teachings of the Advaita Vedanta. According to local legends, the goddess herself appeared before Adi Shankaracharya, instructing him to construct a temple at the very spot where he encountered her.

The temple’s location, Gangolihat, has been a significant spiritual center since ancient times. References to this place are found in various Hindu scriptures, highlighting its long-standing religious prominence. The temple’s architecture, characterized by intricate carvings and traditional Kumaoni styles, reflects the rich cultural heritage of the region.

How to reach

By Air

The closest airport to Haat Kalika Temple is Pantnagar Airport, located approximately 210 kilometers away.

By Train

The nearest railhead is Kathgodam, which is about 180 kilometers from Gangolihat.

By Road

  • Gangolihat is approximately 450 kilometers from Delhi. You can drive or take a bus from Delhi to Pithoragarh and then continue to Gangolihat.
  • The distance from Nainital to Gangolihat is about 150 kilometers, and it takes around 5-6 hours by road.

Map of Haat Kalika Temple

Spiritual Significance

Haat Kalika Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, one of the fiercest forms of the divine feminine in Hinduism. Known for her powerful energy and protective nature, Goddess Kali is worshipped here with immense devotion. The temple is particularly famous for its Navratri celebrations, during which thousands of devotees gather to seek the blessings of the goddess. The air resonates with the chants and hymns dedicated to Kali, creating an atmosphere of profound spirituality.

The temple is also associated with the Indian Army’s Kumaon Regiment, which venerates Goddess Kali as their guardian deity. Soldiers visit the temple to seek blessings before embarking on their missions, and the temple holds a special place in the hearts of those who serve in the regiment.

Things to Do at Haat Kalika Temple in Pithoragarh

Visiting Haat Kalika Temple offers more than just a spiritual retreat; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and serene atmosphere of Gangolihat, Pithoragarh. Here are some of the top activities to enjoy during your visit:

  • Seek Blessings and Offer Prayers – The primary purpose of visiting Haat Kalika Temple is to seek the blessings of Goddess Kali. Participate in the daily rituals and ceremonies, offering prayers and making offerings to the deity. The serene and divine ambiance of the temple provides a perfect setting for meditation and spiritual reflection.
  • Attend Navratri Celebrations – If your visit coincides with the Navratri festival (held twice a year, in March-April and September-October), you can witness and participate in the grand celebrations. The temple is beautifully decorated, and special rituals and cultural programs are conducted. Devotees from all over India gather, creating an electrifying yet spiritual atmosphere.
  • Explore the Architecture – Take time to admire the intricate architecture and carvings of the temple. The traditional Kumaoni style and detailed sculptures reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region. Photography enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of the temple.
  • Enjoy the Scenic Views – The temple is set amidst the picturesque Kumaon hills, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Spend some time soaking in the natural beauty, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the distance.
  • Visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave – Located about 14 kilometers from Gangolihat, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a must-visit site. This limestone cave is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and other deities. The cave features stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, and exploring its depths is a fascinating experience. The spiritual and mythological significance of the cave adds to its allure.
  • Trekking and Nature Walks – For adventure enthusiasts, the area around Gangolihat offers several trekking and nature walking opportunities. Explore the lush forests, meandering streams, and tranquil surroundings. The treks range from easy to moderate, catering to different levels of fitness and experience.

Natural Splendor

Beyond its spiritual allure, Haat Kalika Temple is set against the backdrop of the mesmerizing Kumaon hills. The journey to the temple itself is a treat for nature lovers, offering panoramic views of verdant valleys, snow-capped peaks, and lush forests. The tranquil surroundings provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing visitors to connect with nature and experience a sense of peace and rejuvenation.

The temple is situated near the Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave, another significant spiritual site. This limestone cave, with its intricate stalactite and stalagmite formations, is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and other deities. A visit to Haat Kalika Temple is often coupled with an exploration of Patal Bhuvaneshwar, adding to the spiritual journey.

Nearby Places to Explore

Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave

Located approximately 14 kilometers from Gangolihat, Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a sacred limestone cave known for its mythological significance. It is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva and other deities. Explore the intricate stalactite and stalagmite formations while experiencing a sense of spiritual awe in this mystical cave.

Vaishnavi Temple

Situated nearby, Vaishnavi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Vaishnavi, another manifestation of the divine feminine. The temple attracts devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace. Take a stroll around the temple complex and admire the panoramic views of the surrounding hills.

Askot Wildlife Sanctuary

For wildlife enthusiasts, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit destination. Located about 35 kilometers from Gangolihat, this sanctuary is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including Himalayan black bears, snow leopards, and musk deer. Embark on a jungle safari or trekking expedition to explore the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region.

Thal Kedar

Thal Kedar is a small village located about 25 kilometers from Gangolihat. It is famous for its ancient Kedar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s serene ambiance and scenic surroundings make it a peaceful retreat for spiritual seekers and nature lovers alike.

Birthi Waterfall

Located near the village of Birthi, around 50 kilometers from Gangolihat, Birthi Waterfall is a breathtaking natural attraction. Cascading from a height of approximately 400 feet, the waterfall offers a spectacular sight amidst dense forests and pristine surroundings. Enjoy a picnic by the waterfall or simply soak in the beauty of nature.

Pithoragarh Fort

Venture a bit further to explore the historic Pithoragarh Fort, located in the town of Pithoragarh. This ancient fort offers panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks and the surrounding valleys. Explore the fort’s architecture, visit the museum, and learn about the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Berinag is a charming hill station located approximately 45 kilometers from Gangolihat. Surrounded by lush greenery and panoramic views of the Himalayas, Berinag is known for its serene ambiance and picturesque landscapes. Visit the Berinag Tea Gardens, enjoy nature walks, and witness mesmerizing sunrise and sunset views.


Situated on the banks of the Kali River, Dharchula is a quaint town known for its scenic beauty and cultural diversity. Explore the local markets, interact with the friendly locals, and take in the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. Dharchula also serves as a gateway to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route, making it a significant pilgrimage destination.


Haat Kalika Temple in Pithoragarh is more than just a place of worship; it is a spiritual haven where devotees find solace and seekers discover a deeper connection with the divine. The temple’s rich history, profound spiritual significance, and stunning natural surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the spiritual and cultural tapestry of Uttarakhand. Whether you are a devout pilgrim, a history enthusiast, or a nature lover, Haat Kalika Temple promises an experience that is both enriching and unforgettable.

FAQs about Haat Kalika Temple

What is Haat Kalika Temple?

Haat Kalika Temple is a revered Hindu shrine located in Gangolihat, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, dedicated to Goddess Kali, a fierce manifestation of the divine feminine energy.

Where is Haat Kalika Temple located?

Haat Kalika Temple is situated in Gangolihat, a serene town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India.

What is the significance of the Haat Kalika Temple?

Haat Kalika Temple holds immense spiritual significance as it is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th-century philosopher, during his travels to propagate Hindu philosophy. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is revered as a powerful center of divine energy.

What are the timings of Haat Kalika Temple?

Haat Kalika Temple is open for darshan (worship) from early morning to late evening. The exact timings may vary, so it’s advisable to check locally or inquire at the temple.

What are the festivals celebrated at Haat Kalika Temple?

The temple is particularly famous for its Navratri celebrations, held twice a year during the months of March-April and September-October. During Navratri, the temple premises are adorned with decorations, and special rituals and cultural programs are organized.

How can I reach Haat Kalika Temple?

You can reach Haat Kalika Temple by air, rail, or road. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, the nearest railway station is Kathgodam Railway Station, and the temple is well-connected by road from nearby towns like Pithoragarh and Almora.

Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with Haat Kalika Temple?

Yes, there are several nearby attractions worth exploring, including Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave, Chamunda Temple, Vaishnavi Temple, Gangolihat Tea Gardens, Birthi Waterfall, and the historic Pithoragarh Fort, among others.

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