Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary

Askot or Askote, is a small town on the lap Kumaon Himalayan hills in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India. It is nearly 50 kilometers from district Pithoragarh. The town is also famous for the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary. It is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species of Musk deer.

Brief History Of Askote:

Historically, this place had a massive importance in the history of Uttarakhand. The area was ruled by the many rulers such as:

  • Doti Kings of Nepal
  • Katyuri
  • Rajwar
  • Chand
  • Gorkha
  • And British rulers, though Rajwars continue to be its ceremonial Head.

Kailash Mansarovar Pilgrimage route from Delhi – Kathgodam – Didihat – Dharchula, passes through Askot. The town lies between Pithoragarh to Dharchula road. Van Rawats- an endangered tribe of Uttarakhand, inhabits around Askot.

Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary:

Askot Wildlife sanctuary is set up with the mission of conserving the musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) and its habitat.

Other animlas that are found in this sanctuary include:

  • the Bengal tiger
  • Indian leopard
  • Himalayan jungle cat
  • Civet
  • Barking deer
  • Serow
  • Goral
  • And Himalayan brown bear.

Many species of rare Himalayan birds are also found in Askot sanctuary. Government has taken many efforts to conserve this rare species of musk deer.

Location Of Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary:

Askot Musk deer sanctuary covers almost 600 kilometers square (230 sq mi). The River Kali flows at the end of it and forms the international boundary. It separates it from Nepal in the east. To the west it is bounded by West Almora Forest Division. To the north by Tibet and the south by Pithoragarh Forest Division.

Nearby Places to Visit:

Mallikarjun Mahadev Temple Askot:

This temple has its own importance in Hinduism. Many devotees cover a long way to worship here. The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and Maa Parvati.

The famous peaks such as:

  • Panchchuli
  • Neodhura
  • Naukana
  • Chhiplakot
  • Najirikot are visible from Askot and are part of the sanctuary.

The Dhauli (Gori) and Kali ganga rivers originate from the area and Gori Ganga passes through it.

The passes such as Lipu lekh, Lumpiya lekh and Mankshang lekh lie near Askot. These passes are also part of the Askot sanctuary.

Some religious places and temples such as:

  • Bhanar
  • Chiplakot
  • Nirikot
  • Panchachuli
  • Kalapani
  • And Chota Kailash (Adi Kailash) form a part of the Sanctuary.

How To Reach Askot:

Askot is about 50 kilometers from Pithoragarh. There are many buses and taxi services from Pithoragarh to Askot.

By Air :

Nearest airport is Naini Saini airport in Pithoragrah, located at a distance of 50 kilometers.

By Train :

Nearest railway station is Tanakpur, at a distance of 204 kilometers. Or one can choose Kathgodam railway station, which is 230 kilometers away.

By Road : 

Askot is located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Pithoragarh. It is situated on the Pithoragarh – Dharchula highway. From Almora it is at a distance of almost 150 kilometers.