Champawat is a scenic city, known for being the erstwhile capital of the famous Chand dynasty of Kumaon. According to a legend, it was in Champawat that Lord Vishnu took his Kurma avatar or Tortoise incarnation. The place is famous for its historical, archaeological and sculptural significance.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu take the tortoise incarnation (Kurm Avatar) and penanced for several hundred years on a mountain in Champawat. The place where he penanced became famous as Kurmachal and Kumaon is its natural temple evolution. The mount on which the temple of Ghatku, the illustrious Ghatotkach of the Mahabharata is sited is supposed to be the Kumarchal of Skanda Purana. This term was first applied to eastern part of present Kumaon and later extended to the entire region.
By Air: The nearest airport for Champawat is Naini Saini, Pithoragarh (80 kms). However, the nearest operational airport is at Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar.
By Rail: Nearest rail head for Champawat is Tanakpur at a distance of 75 kms
By Road: Champawat is well connected by road. Nainital (233 kms), Haldwani (193 kms), Pithoragarh (75 kms) and Tanakpur (75 kms)