Purnagiri temple is located on the top of a hill and is 20 kms from Tanakpur. Purnagiri It is located on the right bank of the river kali. Also known as Purnagiri (meaning the mountain of good deeds), the Purnagiri temple is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year. The temple fair is organized between the months of Poush and Chaitra (March) during which the entire valley of Purnagiri reverberates with the sound of chants, hymns and devotional songs.
As per the legend, in the Satya Yuga, Daksha performed a yagna (named Vrahaspati) with a desire of taking revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha was angry because his daughter Sati had married the 'yogi' God Shiva against his wishes. Daksha invited all the deities to the yagna except for Shiva and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not deter Sati from attending the yagna. She had expressed her desire to attend to Shiva who had tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually allowed her to go escorted by his ganas.
But Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect. Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was unable to bear her father's insults toward her husband, so she committed suicide by jumping into the yajna fire. Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, cut off Daksha's head, and replaced it with that of a goat as he restored him to life. Still crazed with grief, he picked up the remains of Sati's body, and danced the dance of destruction through the Universe. The other gods intervened to stop this dance, and the Vishnu's disk, or Sudarshana Chakra, cut through the corpse of Sati. The various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today.
In Purnagiri the Naabhi (Naval) part of Sati fell and people come here to worship the devi here. As per a common belief, every person who comes here with sincere faith and devotion has his prayers answered. During Navratris, in the Chaitra month of the Indian calendar, devotees in large number come here to have their wishes fulfilled. After visiting Mata Purnagiri, people also pay their visit to her loyal devotee Baba Sidth Nath at Brahmadev and Mahendra Nagar in Nepal.
Tanakpur is the nearest town from Purnagiri. Tanakpur is a rail head town of Champawat district,is among one of the few places in Uttrakhand which has direct rail connectivity with Bareilly and lucknow. Tankapur is also well connected with road to different parts of Kumaon as well as other parts of the Uttarakhand and other states. there is a motorable road till the Thulligad which is located at about 14 Kms from Tanankpur. Different types of public transport are available from Tanakpur to Thulligad. From Thulligad to Bairav Mandir also motorable road but limited jeeps are available thuligad to Bhairav Mandir.
From Bhairav Mandir people walk on foot to reach the Purnagiri Temple. Various temporary shops and huts are present on the road from Thuligad till Bhairav Mandir. On the way there are various temporary dharamshalas and hotels etc where people can have rest for few hours, and can have snacks or meals. From Bhairav Mandir,the Maa Purnagiri temple is about 2 Kms. Form here after walking some distance the 'Baans Ki Chadai' starts which is now made convenient by the stairs and iron railing.
It is not advisable to visit here during rainy season as there are frequent landslides in the hills and the path to temple is not well maintained during this season. Facilities: During the chaitra navratra mela, basic amenities like medicines,hospital,etc are available. The nearest petrol pump is in Tanakpur, 20 Km from here. Other Information: Altitude:3000 Mts. Climate: Cold in winters, Pleasant in Summers. Clothing: Summer cottons, Winter Heavy Woollens. Mandir Language: Kumaoni, Hindi.