Thursday, 25 August 2011


Champawat is small district in Uttarakhand state located near Pithoragarh and named after King Arjun Deo’s daughter ‘Champawati’. It is known for being the erstwhile capital of the famous Chand dynasty of Kumaon. As per a legend, the place has mythological importance as well. It is said that Lord Vishnu once appeared in Champawat, in his Kurmavatar. The place is famous for its historical, archaeological and sculptural significance. A small fort and the temples of Baleshwar, Champadari, Ratneshwar and Durga embellish the city. 

There are numerous famous temples situated near Champawat, like Narsinh Danda, Hingla Devi, Hidimba Ghatotkach Temple, Maneshwar, Karanteshwar and Sun Temple (at village Ramak). Other than this, the area is known for the magnificent scenic vista it offers. Situated at 1,615 meter above the sea level, Champawat boasts of a topography that varies from Terai areas to the high mountain ranges. 

The Terai areas of the district are very hot, whereas the hilly ranges are relatively cooler. Around 65 percent area of Champawat is sheltered with flora and fauna. Rest of the areas is made up of agricultural land, residential land and meadows. The plains of Champawat are covered with plenty of exotic and traditional species of plants, like Amla, Ayur, Ecliptus, Babool, Teak, Sagon, Jamun, Bans, Bail and Madar.

Places to See:

Baleshwar Temple

Baleshwar temple, was built during the reign of Chand dynasty, is located in the heart of Champawat city. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. The temple is known for its magnificent stone carvings.

Nagnath Temple

Known for its wonderful ancient Kumaoni architecture, Nagnath temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was destroyed by the Rohilla and Gorkha invaders in 18th century. Today, the glorious carved doorway and a double storey wooden structure, the temple's only remains, tell the tale of its magnificent architecture.

Mayawati Ashram

Located at about 22 km from Champawat, Mayawati Ashram is a major centre for spiritual learning in Uttarakhand. People in search of spiritual satisfaction come here from various parts of India and abroad.


Vanasur-Ka-Kila is a fort located approximately 20 km away from Champawat, at an elevation of 1859 m from sea level. A legend about the fort goes that the assassination of Vanasur, a demon, took place here.

Ek Hathiya ka Naula

Approximately 5 km away from Champawat, Ek Hathiya ka Naula is a uniquely structured place. It is said to be constructed by one-handed artisan, overnight. 

Kranteshwar Mahadev

Dedicated to Kandev, Kranteshwar Mahadev temple is situated at a lofty hilltop, in the east of Champawat. It is also called ‘Kumarpad’.

Lohaghat is a small town situated on the banks of Lohawati River, in Tanakpur district. It is basically known for housing a number of beautiful temples, scenic beauty and historical-mythological associations. Apart from that, this place is also famous for its grand Holi and Janmashtmi celebrations.

Tanak Pur...........

Tanak Pur

Tanakpur is a quiet little town located on the edge of Tarai areas of Champawat district in Kumaon within the hill state of Uttarakhand in India. Tanakpur is just 3 Km away from the Indo-Nepal border. 

Situated at an elevation of 245 meters above the sea level, Tanakpur is a beautifully laid out town by the banks of river Sharda. The roads and pavement of this town are wide and one can comfortably explore Tanakpur on foot. 

In terms of things do here, one can choose from a variety of activities like visiting places of worship, taking a stroll by the river side or just walking through the town. Tanakpur is also the doorway to the venerated Purnagiri temple and offers interesting excursions in the areas close by. 

Places To See:

Sharda Ghat 

This Ghat, well known as Ma Purnagiri Sharda Ghat, is located near the bus stand in Tanakpur. It is here that people bathe to cleanse themselves before visiting the revered Ma Purnagiri shrine which is close to the town. This Ghat is also utilized for performing Hindu religions ceremonies like 'Mundan' (ceremonial shaving of child's first hair). For the locals, this Ghat also serves as a place of socialization. People come here to relax and spend time with friends. Hawkers are seen selling delicious 'chaat' along with other traditional snacks, adding to the joy of the visit. 

Panchmukhi Mahadev Temple

This is a famous temple in Tanakpur, dedicated to Lord Shiva in his panchmukhi or five faced form.  

Purani Jama Masjid 

Built around 1886 while the road to Champawat was being constructed, this is a mosque located on the banks of river Sharda, close to the bridge to Nepal. 

Tanakpur Methodist Church 

This church was built in 1988 with donations from the Parish. It is today the only church in the area within the radius of about 25 Km. 

Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sahib 

This Gurudwara serves as an important resting point for the pilgrims en route Sri Ritha Sahib which is an important Sikh pilgrimage.


Tanakpur Excursions

Some interesting places to visit near Tanakpur are:

Shakti Peeth Purnagiri

Adya Shakti Peeth, Boom

Vivekananda Ashram, Shyamlatal...........

Abbott Mount

This beautiful hamlet of Abbot Mount is situated approximately 8 km away from Lohaghat, in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand. A less exploited destination, it is very calm and serene region, far away from the maddening crowds and hullabaloo of cities. Situated at a height of approximately 2001 meters, in the eastern side of Champawat, this area gives awe-inspiring panoramic views of the 600 km-long Himalayan ranges like Nanda Devi and Panchauli. 

In Abbot Mount, there is a famous bungalow built by Mr. Abbot, in 1914, amidst the dense forests of oak and deodar. It is after this bungalow only that the place is named ‘Abbot Mount’. Today, the place stands adorned with a number of magnificent colonial architectural bungalows, built during the British Raj. In order to give a boost to the tourism here, various activities and games are held close to the field situated at the Mount. One of the most popular sports is trekking. 

On the hill top of Mount Abbot, there are two places surely worth a visit, a quaint and beautiful church set amidst the forest and an old cricket pitch with an unparalleled view of the mountains. The place is an ideal destination for those who want to spend their holiday in serene silence amidst nature. Abbot Mount is also frequented by the enthusiasts of Mahaseer fishing, a type of fishing popular in nearby city of Pancheshwar, at the confluence of Saryu and Mahkali rivers............


Lohaghat is located within Champawat district of Uttarakhand state in India. It is a quiet little hill station, blessed with natural beauty in abundance. Situated at an elevation of 1645 meters above the sea level, Lohaghat is often referred as one of the most scenic places in Uttarakhand

The beautiful hill station of Lohaghat is situated along the banks of river Lohawati. Nestled amidst tall pine and oak forests, Lohaghat promises to enthrall any visitor with its scenic splendor. 

Lohaghat is an idyllic destination to holiday. For those searching for a resort to retreat from the maddening crowds of usual urban surrounds, Lohaghat is where their search ends. The town's old world ambience is sure to do wonders in calming your soul and rejuvenating your flagging spirits. 
Places To See: 

The Town

Interestingly, the bus stand is the focus of all activity in this beautiful little hill station. The market place which is small but busy has a handful of eateries and shops selling all essentials that you may require. A walk though the town gives you a feel of a tiny hill settlement whose culture has yet not been eroded by regular urban developments that have completely taken over most of the hill stations of India. There are a couple of old buildings in the market place, bearing beautiful wood carvings which will give you a glimpse into the town's rich heritage. 

Lohawati River

The town is situated on the banks of pristine Himalayan river - Lohawati. A walk by the river side is a soothing experience. Also you can visit, a relatively new temple of Rikeshwar Mahadev, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located outside the main town, on the banks of river Lohawati. 


Lohaghat Excursions

Some interesting places to visit around Lohaghat are:

Advait Ashram


Banasur Fort

Mount Abbot


How to reach Lohaghat

Nearest Air Port is at Naini Saini, 80 kms away (Pithoragarh).

Nearest railhead is at Tanakpur, 75 kms away.

It is well connected to other parts of district............


Kanatal is one of the most beautiful hamlets in Uttarakhand. A quaint little town, it is located on the Mussoorie-Chamba road, in the district of Tehri Garhwal. Perched at an altitude of about 8,500 feet, Kanatal offers a magnificent vision of the snow-capped mountain ranges and verdant green forests. It is merely 40 km from Mussoorie and 300 km from Delhi. The town has one big advantage over the other more well-known and popular hill towns in North India i.e. it is away from over gathering, ultra-urbanization, contamination and commercialization. 

Kanatal offers a mystic and peaceful experience to the tourists, in the lap of the untouched, unscathed environment. It is the perfect destination for those people who love to have a word with untouched, untamed and unspoilt nature. With pleasing weather throughout the year, Kanatal offer a welcoming interlude from the scorching heat, humidity and dust-filled environment of polluted cities and towns in the plains. It has a pleasing range of 10-25 degrees Celsius temperature in summer and is chilly in winters.

The high point of the weather at Kanatal comes between December to February, when more than 50 inches of powdery snow flooring its grounds, creating an amazing scenario and transforming the entire area into a stunningly beautiful white wonderland. Other than the beautiful scenic vista it offers, its strategic location, on the Chamba-Mussoorie highway, also develops its prospects of becoming a major tourist spot in Uttarakhand, in the near future.

What Activities to Do...........

Sunday, 21 August 2011

What Activities to do in Kanatal

Trekking & Hiking

Outdoor activities like trekking and hiking are an exciting option for the more adventurous souls. The mountainous terrain of Kanatal offers interesting options to trek and hike. However, if trekking is the overwhelming concern, it should be ensured that you go to Kanatal in the summer season. Trekking can be combined with camping in the area to complete the amazing experience and make it more fun. Make sure that you carry your trekking shoes and hiking equipment along. 

Ayurveda & Spa

Kanatal Resorts, a concept based spa resort, offers an enticing opportunity to pamper yourself through spas and a full body Ayurvedic treatment. One can specifically go for the Ayurvedic treatment as the nature is at its unadulterated best in Kanatal. The traditional herbal cures to counter mental and body stress through a variety of spa treatments is something to check out for. 

Nature Walks

Kanatal is the perfect choice for nature lovers who constantly seek the company of nature. One can find some natural hide-outs to relax and unwind. Nature walks are just the right thing to unwind and enjoy the phenomenal beauty and charm of this small hill station. Tourists can go for nature walks in the evening. Take care to return before it's too dark. Early morning is also a great time to explore the flora and fauna of the area when everything is as fresh as morning dew. Ensure that you make minimum noise and do not disturb the nature. Take your binoculars along............

How to Reach Kanatal

The nearest airport to Kanatal is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (95kms) and Indian Airlines operate regular flights from Delhi to Dehradun.

The nearest railway links to Kanatal is provided by Dehradun and Haridwar.

Kanatal is also well connected by roads. It is at a distance of 300 km from Delhi............

Binsar, Uttarakhand

Binsar Mahadev temple is situated at an altitude of 2,480 meters ASL. It is about 22 km from Thalisain. Binsar Mahadev temple is famous for its archeological significance, being an ancient construction of 9th century. It is believed to be constructed in just one day. Though the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the sanctum also houses idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddesses Parvati and Durga.

This Temple was constructed by King Kalyan Chand of Chand Dynasty.

Places to See:

Bineshwar Mahadev Temple

Dating back to the 16th century, Bineshwar Mahadev Temple is an important landmark and a must-visit place in Binsar. It was due to this temple that the region was named Binsar. King Kalyan Chand, one of the scions of the Chand Raja dynasty, is believed to have built this temple. The temple enshrines the deity of Lord Shiva. Apart from being a religious place, Bineshwar Mahadev Temple boasts of great architectural excellence. The temple can be an ideal stoppage point on the way to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Nestled amidst the Himalayan range overlooking the Almora valley, Binsar is a beautiful, quiet and wild destination to explore in the Uttarakhand state of India. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988, mainly for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak (Quercus) forests of the Central Himalayan region. An epitome of serenity and tranquility, the place extends tourists an unexploited and unruffled beauty. 

Khali Estate

Set amidst the Binsar Sanctuary is the Khali Estate - a 26 acre of serene and beautiful land. The estate was once the home of Sir Henry Ramsay, the commissioner of Kumaon from 1856 to 1884. Khali Estate is an epitome of natural beauty and soothing silence. The charming view of the Himalayan range is beautifully coupled with the cooing of the birds. Apart from just resting in the estate, one can also indulge in long treks down to the little villages or up to the Binsar top.

Pariyadeva Pashan

Historically, Binsar has been a great archeological site, thanks to the relics which date back to the Megalithic Age. Pariyadeva Pashan is one such relic, having long stone with cup-marks at the place. Situated on the Almora-Binsar road near Dinapani, it is a must see for tourists. So, if you were of the opinion that Binsar is nothing more other than mountain range and varied flora and fauna, this would surely come as a surprise.


Binsar Excursions

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary - Spread across 45.59 Sq. Km, this sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Binsar Sanctuary Museum – Provides valuable information about the flora and fauna of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Almora – Famous for Chitai and Nada Devi Temples and panoramic view of magnificent snowy peaks of Himalayas

Jageshwar – Famous for housing one of the twelve Jyotirlingas

Katarmal – Famous for Sun Temple built by Katyuri Rajas some 800-900 years ago............

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled amidst the Himalayan range overlooking the Almora valley, Binsar is a beautiful, quiet and wild destination to explore in the Uttarakhand state of India. Once the summer capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon, the place today, serves as the home of wild animals and birds. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988, mainly for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak (Quercus) forests of the Central Himalayan region. An epitome of serenity and tranquility, the place extends tourists an unexploited and unruffled beauty. 

Binsar wildlife sanctuary is nothing less than a paradise for nature lovers and adventure freaks, what with the numerous birds and animals found in the region. Couple this with the wide variety of flowers and greenery dominating the region. From Binsar, one can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Himalayan peaks such as Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and majestic Nanda Devi. Sprawling over 45 sq kms, Binsar is rich in its flora and fauna. The compelling and enthralling view together with the diverse range of flora and fauna make the place a truly blissful abode for nature. 


Neora Valley National Park seems to be honored with nature's choicest blessings, what with its plethora of animals and birds adoring this beautiful and picturesque park. The fauna of the place includes leopard (Panthera Pardus), Nemorhaedus goral (goral), Chital (Axis axis), Serow (Capricornis sumatiensis) , Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), Sus scrofa, Black Bear, pine marten, Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Porcupine, Flying Squirrel (Petaurista petaurista) and Barking Deer(Muntiacus muntjak), amongst others. Apart from this, there are about 200 species of birds housing the sanctuary, including tits, forktail, nuthatches, blackbirds, parakeets, laughingthrush, magpies, kalij pheasant (lophura leucomelana),monal, koklas and woodpeckers. In addition to this, Binsar is also home to reptiles and innumerable invertebrates


The eco-system of Binsar wildlife Sancturay is unique, as the place sprawls to a large area that has a wide range of altitude variation. While the lower levels are dominated by the pine forest, oak and rhododendron are profound at the higher altitude. There is an abundance of alpine flora, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, hanging mosses and many other species of wild flowers. The flora found in the region includes, Kaphal (Myrica esculenta) , Pinus roxburghii, Engelhardtia spiicata, Macaranga pustulata, Quercus gloca, Quercus incana, Quercus leucotricophora(Banjh), Quercus semicarpifolia, Quercus dilatata, Cedrus deodara, Alnus napalensis, Aesculus indica, Pinus wallichiana , Quercus lanuginosa and Quercus floribunda amongst others............

How to Reach Binsar

Pantnagar Airport, located at a distance of 127kms, is the nearest aerodrome that connects Binsar to the other parts of the country.

The nearest railway station to Binsar is located at Kathgodam. Located at a distance of about 121 km from Binsar, Kathgodam railway station is well-connected to the important cities of New Delhi, Kolkata, Dehradun, Jammu and Kanpur.

Binsar is located at a distance of 380 km from Delhi. It takes nearly 10 hours from Delhi to reach Binsar, via NH24 to Rampur, NH87 to Kathgodam, then the state highway 37 via Bhowali, Khairna, Almora, Kaparkhan and Ayarpani to Binsar............

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Pauri Garhwal is a district located in the south western part of the state of Uttarakhand. Its administrative headquarter is located in Pauri, a town in Pauri Garhwal district. Pauri Garhwal district is blessed with natural and picturesque beauty, lush green forests, turquoise blue sky and extremely hospitable people. 

Pauri Garhwal is spread out across an area of 5,230 sq km (2,019 sq miles). Its location in the high altitude ensures that the weather here remains comfortably pleasant throughout the year. One can wear cottons and light woolens for summers and heavy woolens for winters and get by perfectly. 

Pauri Garhwal district is well connected by road with major towns and cities of the region like, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and so on. Tehri-Moradabad State Highway connects major destinations of the district like, Lansdowne, Kotdwar and Srinagar. 

Pauri Garhwal is not only an important pilgrim destination but also very popular with casual tourists who seek to retreat from the hustle bustle of the city life into this quite Himalayan abode.

Places to See:


The Shiva temple, also known as Kandolia Devta, is situated just two kms from Pauri. The temple complex is surrounded by impenetrable Oak and Pine forests. The temple has Ransi, Asia’s highest stadium, as its neighbor. One can have a stunning observation of the city of Pauri and Gangwarsyun valley. 

Binsar Mahadev

Located at an altitude of 2, 480 m, the Binsar Mahadev is situated about 114 kms from Pauri. Binsar Mahadev is enclosed with thick forests of trees such as Birch, Rhododendron and Deodar. The resident deities of this temple are Hargauri, Ganesh and Mahisasurmardini.

Tara Kund, situated at a height of 2, 200 m, is a charming place amidst high and mighty Mountains in the Chariserh development area. A miniature lake and a prehistoric temple adorn the place. 

Kanvashram is situated on the bank of River Malini, about 14 kms from Kotdwar. Also known as the Kanva Rishi Ashram, this place is famous for being the supposedly the foster home of Shakuntala, the heroine and muse for the epic poem Abhijananashakuntalam.


Khirsu is located about 19 kms from the main Pauri city. Since it is located at a height of 1, 700 m, one can see many awe-inspiring high mountain peaks. Khirsu is absolutely pollution free so the oxygen laden will be the first thing that surprises you. One can spend the night here in the government made Tourist Rest House and Forest Rest House............


Pauri, situated on the northern slopes of picturesque Kandolia hill ranges of middle Himalayas at the height of 1814 meters above the sea level, is the district headquarters of Pauri Garhwal District of Uttarakhand state in India. 

Pauri with a population of 24, 743, offers a breathtaking view of snow clad Himalayan peaks like Bander Pooch, Gangotri Group, Kedarnath, Chawkhamba, Neelkanth, Hathiparvat, Nandadevi and Trishul.

Pauri is well connected by road with major towns and cities of the region like, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and so on. Tehri-Moradabad State Highway connects major destinations of the district like, Lansdowne, Kotdwar and Srinagar. 

Pauri is not an important pilgrim destination but also very popular with casual tourists who seek to retreat from the hustle bustle of the city life into this quite Himalayan abode............


Tarakund, situated at an altitude of 2, 200 meters ASL, is a picturesque destination amidst snow capped Himalayas in Chariserh Development Area of Uttarakhand state in India. 

Tarakund is a place with scenic grandeur clubbed with mystic environs. It offers a breathtaking view of the snow white higher Himalayas that is sure to leave any visitor spellbound. 

Tarakund is well known for its shimmering lake and a revered ancient temple. Trek to Tarakund is truly captivating and attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world every year. Thus, the enchanting Himalayan destination of Tarakund more than satisfies both, the trekker tourist and the pilgrim. 

To get to Tarakund, one needs to drive upto Padani which is about 44 km from Pauri. From Padani, Tarakund is a 5 km trek............


Kanvashram, 14 km from Kotdwar, is an important destination from historical and archaeological point of view. As the legend goes, it is believed that sage Vishwamitra meditated at this place. Fearing Vishwamitra’s intense meditation, Indra, the king of sub-Gods sent a charming heavenly damsel Menka to distract him. 

Menka succeeded in seducing and thus, distracting the sage. A daughter was born as fruit of their union. She was named Shakuntala who was then, left in the ashram in the care of Rishi Kanva. Shakuntala later, upon marriage with Dushyant, the ruler of Hastinapur, gave birth to prince Bharat. It is by virtue of this name - Bharat - that India came to be called Bharatvarsha and thus Bharat.

Kanvashram has a lot to offer for visitors of all kinds. Those seeking solitude can relax amidst serene and forested surrounds of Kanvashram while a number of long and short trekking routes are sure to satisfy the quests of the adventurous kinds. One can reach the captivating Sahastradhara Falls after a one hour trek. For those unwilling to take any tiring trek, a simple walk to Malini barrage will surely be an unforgettable experience.

There is also a Gurukul that one can visit. This Gurukul – traditional school for boys – provides services like massages and conducts Yoga Courses besides making available a host of ayurvedic medicines.


How to Reach Pauri Garhwal

The nearest airport to Pauri Garhwal District is Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun), located at about the distance of 155 kms away from Pauri. Jolly Grant Airport is well-connected to Delhi through regular air services.

The closest railway station from Pauri is Kotdwar, about 108 kms away from Pauri Garhwal. The Kotdwar Railway Station is linked with other cities in India through the extensive rail network. 

Pauri Garhwal District is well connected with many cities and towns in the region of Uttarakhand by state and private buses. Pauri Garhwal is connected to Haridwar, Dehradun and Mussoorie via Rishikesh and Kotdwar............

Friday, 19 August 2011

Chamoli, Uttarakhand

Also known as the Abode of Gods, Chamoli is a must visit for anybody who is stressed and needs a vacation. This place is a perfect destination for someone who is looking to unwind in the lap of nature, away from the maddening crowd. Two of the most important pilgrimages in India - Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib - are located in the Chamoli district. Chamoli is a visual delight with all the snow clad, sky touching mountains, the olive green grass, the dense forests and the right nip in the air. 

Chamoli is well connected to almost all the major cities in Uttarakhand through road. Chamoli rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s with the spreading of the Chipko Movement. It is a place of nature lovers and tranquility seekers who come here in large numbers just to feel their souls in unison with Mother Nature.

Places to See:

Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park along with the nearby Valley of Flowers was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Nanda Devi National Park is a forest reserve cum national park (established 1982) in the area surrounding the Nanda Devi peak and covers an area of 630.33 sq kms.

Also known as Auli Bugyal, Auli is a recently developed Ski resort to the Chamoli territory. Auli can be reached by road (by hiring a private taxi) or taking a ropeway from Joshimath. The months of January to March see the place covered in thick blankets of snow. This snow blanketed destination then becomes the perfect place for a Skiing holiday.


Gopeshwar, located at the elevation of 1, 308 m in Uttarakhand, is the administrative headquarters of the Chamoli District, famous especially for its pleasant weather and temples. Gopeshwar is surrounded by major Hindu Pilgrimage such as the Tungnath, Rudranath and Badrinath on its sides.

Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is one of the holiest Gurudwaras in India. Hemkund Sahib is located at a very high altitude amidst snow clad gigantic Himalayan crests in Uttarakhand. Hemkund Sahib gets its name from the nearby Hemkund Lake.

Vasuki Tal

Located at an altitude of 14,200 ft, Vasuki Tal can be reached by an eight kms trek through the Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhimpul and Vasudhara Falls. All these places are important in Hindu mythology and form a part of the Badrinath pilgrimage.


Joshimath is an ancient rest house cum praying hall established by Adi Shankaracharya. It is located at an elevation of about 6, 150 ft and 14 kms from Helang, a town on the way to Badrinath. 

Tapt Kund and Surya Kund

This place is the meeting point of two natural hot water Sulphur springs. Both have an innate temperature of 550 C . though they are supposed to purify the soul and body before reaching the temple, this train of thought probably originated in the various medicinal properties hot Sulphur springs have with them.

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