Kumaoun History-Kumaon derives its name from the ‘koorn’ or tortoise guise of Lord Vishnu, named after a hill top near Champawat. The region is reputed to have evidence of Stone Age settlements, with paintings from the Mesolithic period. However, the early medieval history of Kumaon is the history of the Katyuri dynasty (7th–11th century), that held power over large areas of Kumaon, Garhwal and western Nepal. Baijnath, near Almora, was the capital of this dynasty and was renowned for its arts. The Chands of Pithoragarh, with their magnificent temple complex at Jageshwar, came to power after the Katyuris. Uttarakhand has the distinction of having retained its sovereignty for a considerable period of time. This was due in part to the peaceful nature of the region, as well as its harsh terrain. While Dehradun and Nainital became centres of British power in the 1800s, the higher ranges of the region were hardly affected by the British occupation.