Almora, the most popular hill station of Uttarakhand is the cultural capital of Kumaon. This island of peace on a 5 kms mountain range situated at an altitude of 1650 m is in the shape of a horse shoe. Almora was not discovered and developed by British; instead it was the seat pf power of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the land of Kumaon for almost a millennium. The town has maintained the same old tradition which is visible in the construction of the houses and in the roads made out of slate stone. The forts, the historical monuments and the royal courts are still present here. Kaushik (Koshi) and Shalmali (Suyal) are the two rivers which encircle the town, overlooking the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. A picture perfect destination at the lofty heights, the salubrious nature, misty mountains, green valleys, fruit-laden orchards, smiling faces and innumerable temples make Almora a traveler’s paradise.
Almora has attracted people through the ages. Swami Vivekananda visited Almora; the Ramakrishna Mission at Mayawati Ashram bears his footprint. Rabindranath Tagore spent the memorable summers here. The internationally acclaimed dancer Uday Shankar fell in love with this place and set up the cultural academy here. Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, artist Zohra Sehgal, the film star Guru Dutt came here and became earnet lovers of the town. Even Jawaharlal Nehru served a term of imprisonment in the Jail at Almora during the British rule.
Height: 1650 m
Climate: The summer is mild and light cottons and light woolens are suggested. In winter, the sunny days are pleasant – though the nights are cold and fairly heavy clothes are required. Through the rest of the year, light woolens/cottons are suggested.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Almora
Rail: The nearest rail station is at Kathgodam at a distance of 90 kms.
Air: Pantnagar is the nearest airport at a distance of 127 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Almora
Public Museum: Govind Vallabh Pant Public Museum is near the bus stand. This museum provides a deep insight of the development of art, culture and lifestyle of this region. It has a rich collection of items relating to archaeological, historical and cultural significance. This museum has unique collection of ‘Aipan’, a folk style of painting. It opens from 10.30 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening.
Nanda Devi Temple: One of the main attractions of Almora, this temple is almost a thousand years old. The images and statues on the walls of this temple are of exquisite beauty. Every year, the Nanda Devi Fair is organized in a big way.
Bright End Corner: This place is famous for the excellent view of sunset and sunrise. A picturesque and calm circuit house is close to this point.
Deer Park: At a distance of 3 kms, set amidst idyllic settings, it is a popular tourist sopt.
Chitai Temple: 8 kms away from the city, this temple of Chitai dedicated to GoluDevta is surrounded by dense fir and pine forests and is visited by thousands of devotees. People write letters to the God to fulfill their desires and in return they hang bells in the temple. You can see thousands of bells hanging and ringing in the hill air, around the temple.
Kalimath: From Kalimath, one gets a good view of Almora town and the adjoining areas. This place is 4.5 kms from Almora. Close to Kalimath is a temple dedicated to Kasar Devi. This temple dates back to second century.
Gannath:Gannath is known for natural caves and ancient Shiva temples. This place is 36 kms from Almora. Every year a fair is organized here during Kartik Purnima.
Katarmal: After the Sun temple of Konark in Odisha, Katarmal is the second important Sun Temple in India. This temple is of archaeological and architectural importance which is about 800 years old. This place is 17 kms from Almora.
Binsar: At a distance of 30 kms from Almora, Binsar has bewitching scenic beauty. The ancient Shiva Temple here at a height of 2420 m, was built by the King Kalyanchand. This is a place for the absolute peace of mind and soul. Read More>>>
Jageshwar: 34 kms away from Almora, this place amidst a dense Deodar forest has a group of almost 125 temples dating back from 7th to 11th century AD. The majority of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered as one of the 12 holiest Jyotirlingas. Read More>>>
Lakhudiyar: Literally means one lakh caves, this is one of the most important pre-historic sites in the hills. Fascinating pre-historic rock paintings are discovered within the caves. It is at a distance of 20 kms from Almora.