Champawat is a district of Kumaun region of Uttarakhand state. Champawat is the administrative headquarter. It is a part of the eastern Kumaon division of Uttarakhand. It is bounded on the north by Pithoragarh district, on the east by Nepal, on the south by Udham Singh Nagar district, on the west by Nainital district, and on the northwest by Almora district. As of 2011, it is the second least populous of the 13 districts of Uttarakhand, after Rudraprayag. As per history, this town was the capital city of Chand Rulers and it preserves ancient fortress of centuries ago. Champawat district came into existence on 15th September, 1997 by carving out from Pithoragarh and Nainital Districts due to adverse geographical situation, scattered population and rugged topographical situation.
Geographically, Champawat is located at 29°34'N latitude, 80°09'E Longitude and 1610 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 69.40% forest area of total geographical area. It has an average elevation of 1,610 metres (5,280 feet). As per census India 2011, the initial provisional data released shows that density of Champawat district for 2011 is 147 people per sq. km. In 2001, Champawat district density was at 126 people per sq. km. Champawat district administers 1,766 square kilometers of areas. The actual rainfall in the district was 1329.2 mm in the year of 2019-20.
The district is divided into five tehsils: Barakot, Champawat, Lohaghat, Pati, and Purnagiri. There are 717 villages including forest villages of which 662 villages are inhabited and 55 are uninhabited. The district has 290 gram Panchayats.
As per 2011 census, out of the total Champawat population, 14.77% lives in urban regions of district and 85.23% population lives in rural areas of villages. In total 38,343 people lives in urban areas of which males are 20,283 and females are 18,060 and in rural areas is 221,305 of which males and females are 110,842 and 110,463, respectively. The sex ratio in urban region of Champawat district is 890 as per 2011 census data and in rural areas it is 997 females per 1000 males. Similarly child sex ratio in Champawat district is 873 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 15.63% including 18.04% were males and 13.28% were females. Average literacy rate in Champawat district as per census 2011 is 79.83% (persons), 91.61% (males), 68.05% (females). The religion-wise data as per 2011 census in Champawat district are as follows: Hindu 249,563 (96.12%), Muslims 8,693 (3.35%), Christian 870 (0.34%), Sikh 336 (0.13%), Buddhist 24 (0.01%), Jain 28 (0.01%), and others 6 (0.00%). According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.18%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 3,788 including 2,035 were males and 1,753 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 917 including 580 were males and 337 were females.
In the year 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Champawat one of the country's 250 most backward districts. It is one of the three districts in the state of Uttarakhand which currently receives funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme. Even though it is rich in mineral resources such as many ores, minerals, soils and rocks are available in the hills of Champawat. According to geological survey of India this region have ample of lime, magnexide, soapstone, and gypsum. The district is rich with natural perennial rivers and rivulets. Due to Lohawati, Jagbura, Ramganga, Kali and other rivers the scarcity of water has never been felt, but uneven geographical condition is the major reason that the portion of water drains off through small rivers and rivulets. Only about 9% of total land is termed as agricultural irrigated land of the region. In this district, 65% of the area is under forest and net sown area is less than 10%. Lack of agricultural land and resources has always been a reason for the poor economic status of this region. A large number of males are serving in the armed forces of the country. Few villagers are also involved in animal husbandry. There are no small or medium scale industry in the region. As a result majority of population of the youth are unemployed. The region is well connected with hills and the plains through highways which has given rise to small shops and dhabas. Many people are engaged in this business. Although 68% of the villages have been electrified. The nearest rail head is Tanakpur a distance of 75 km. One bank branch is available for more than 8000 population. There are total 27 bank branches available. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 2,87,786 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,34,374 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 5,88,052 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,82,932 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 90,596 at current price and Rs. 73,356 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Being a remote district no important research institution is situated in the district. Only a few institutions such as Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Pantnagar Agricultural University exists at Lohaghat, as also one Polytechnic institution at Lohaghat. There are three ITIs at Tanakpur, Champawat and Khetikhan, respectively.
Champawat district has two assembly constituencies, Lohaghat and Champawat, for the Uttarakhand Assembly elections. Hemesh Kharkwal is an Indian politician from Uttarakhand who is a member of the Indian National Congress. In 2012, he was elected from Champawat district's Champawat assembly constituency of Uttarakhand.
The district of Champawat is a popular tourism destination boasting historical significance, pilgrimage sites and various outdoor activities. This district is very famous for the beautiful architecture and carvings on the temples, Baleshwar Mahadev Temple being one of them. Champawat is a beautiful town with breathtaking landscapes and terraced fields. Champawat offers the tourists with what they expect from nature, ranging from pleasant climate to varied wildlife and good places to trek. Lofty Himalayan Peaks offers heart-touching views. The mythological legends suggest that Lord Vishnu appeared here as ‘Kurma avatar’ (the tortoise incarnation). The story of Golla Devta is also associated with Gorilla Chaur of Champawat. Jim Corbett, the famous hunter came to this region in the first decade of the 20th century to hunt for man eating tigers. His first book, ‘Man Eaters of Kumaon’ is related to Champawat.