Nestled between the Kosi and the Suyal rivers, Almora is famous for its picturesque landscape and a wonderful climate. Developed by Chand Rajas and nurtured by the British, Almora had been an important cultural and political region of the Kumaon for more than 400 years. It is famous for its temples like Chitai (Golu Devta Temple) and Nanda Devi, magnificent snowy peaks of the Himalayas, quaint cottages, and the abundance flora and fauna.
Location of Almora
Almora is located in the Kumaon region of Uttaranchal, about 5,400 ft above sea level. This beautiful hill district of Kumaon is spread across a 5-km ridge atop Kashaya Hill. It is surrounded by Pithorgarh to the east, Garhwal to the west, Bageshwar to the north and Nainital to the south. Almora is situated on a horse shoe shaped ridge of a mountain, the eastern portion of which is called the Talifat and the western one is known as Selifat.
What to see in Almora?
Katarmal: Katarmal is an 800-year old Sun Temple second in importance after the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. It is a temple of historical importance and a classic example of intricate sculpturing.
Bright End Corner:
If you wish to witness the beauty of sunrise and sunset through the Himalayan peaks, then you must visit Bright End Corner, which is 2 kms from Almora. You can spend some quiet time in the circuit house which is situated close by. Vivekananda Memorial is also located in this region. It is here that Swami Vivekananda stopped enroute to the Himalayas.
Govind Ballabh Pant Museum:
When at Almora, you can also visit the State Museum which remains openfrom 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Enjoy “Aipan”, folk-paintings and other treasures displayed in the museum.
Martola is a popular picnic spot 10 kms from Almora. Situated in the midst of gardens, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Panuwanaula from where you have to walk further down to reach the picnic spot.
Kalimutt is another picnic spot near Almora from where you can get an excellent view of the Himalayas
Catch the picturesque glimpse of the Himalayas along with the lovely pine and deodar trees in Simtola, 3 kms from Almora.
8 kms from Almora, the Chitai temple is an important attraction in Almora. The temple is dedicated to Lord Golu, a popular Kumaon deity. People hang little bells in the temple once their wish is fulfilled.
Nanda Devi Temple:
Nanda Devi temple is the most popular attraction in Almora. It is almost 1000 years old with exquisite carvings on the wall. The Nanda Devi Festival is held every year in Almora, where youth from several regions join in.
Kasar Devi, an ancient temple is built on a mountain peak near Kalimutt. The distance between Kasar Devi and Kalimatt is less than 1 km and you can be easily cover the region by foot.
What to do in Almora?
Almora offers a nature lover to muse over the snowcapped mountain peaks of Nanda Devi, religious minded people to spend some quite time at the Chitai temple, and wildlife lovers to enjoy a trip to Binsar. You can go shopping at Laal Bazaar or satisfy your appetite at various restaurants in Almora. When at Almora, you can also go on excursions to nearby areas like Kausani, Ranikhet, and Jageshwar.
Excursions from Almora
Ranikhet: The picturesque cantonment of Ranikhet lies about 50 kms from Almora. This quiet little township is famous for its lovely climate, pine and oak trees and panoramic view of the magnificent Himalayas. The regimental center of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army is also located in Ranikhet. Ranikhet is also famous for its green golf course and the Kumaon Regimental museum. Four kms from Ranikhet is the Chaubatiya gardens popular for its apple orchards, plums, peaches and apricots. Famous Hindu temples like Jhoola Devi Mandir, Ram Mandir, Herakhan Mandir, Kalika Temple and Binsar Mahadeva are located near Ranikhet. More information about Ranikhet
If you want to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Himalayas, then a visit to Kasauni is a must. Situated about 52 kms from Almora, you can experience the beautiful sunrise from the famous Katyur Valley. Anasakti Ashram has been made in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who stayed here for a brief period. There is also a museum dedicated to Sumitra Nandan Pant who was born in Kasauni.
Binsar is located 30 kms from Almora. Binsar was the summer retreat of the Chand rulers. The place derives its name from Bineshwar or Lord Shiva’s temple. It stands at a height of 7,913 ft and an important spot from where you can spot Kedarnath, Badrinath, Nanda Devi, Trishul and may other peaks. The entire area is a wildlife sanctuary with a host of wildlife like Panther and Barking Deer.
Bageshwar is situated about 90kms from Almora and is the new district headquarter and center of administration of Danapur. It is located at the confluence of Saryu and Gomti rivers. The popular Uttarini fair is held every year in January in Bageshwar. Bageshwar derives its name from Bagnath, a famous temple in this region. Every year, Bagnath attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over as it is believed that Lord Shiva wandered here as a tiger.
Shitla Khet is famous not only for its picturesque beauty of the snow capped mountains but also for its apple orchards. Camps for the scouts are held in Shital Khet. It is also famous for Syahi Devi temple about 3kms from Shitla Khet. A centenary memorial has been built in memory of Govind Ballabh Pant, the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who was born here.
Jalana is a beautiful place about 35 kms from Almora filled with orchards of apples, peaches, plums and apricots.
A unique creation of nature, Patal Bhubneshwar is located about 110kms from Almora. The underground cave of Patal Bhubneshwar has a vertical tunnel with a 40m path for getting inside from the ground. The most interesting bit of the cave is that it opens into several other horizontal caves, the longest accessible cave being 120 meters. There are natural carvings of animals, gods and goddesses on the walls of the caves. Patal Bhubneshwar is famous for its uniqueness and is gradually finding its place on the international tourism map.
35 kms from Almora, Jageshwar is an important religious place for the Hindus nestled in a narrow but beautiful valley and believed to be the abode of one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’. Surabhi and Nandini flow down the hills and meet the scared spot in Jageshwar. Jageshwar has over 124 temples, and many magnificent statues of exquisite craftsmanship. The biggest shrine is “Dindeshwara” while the oldest shrine is “Mrityunjaya”.
Accomodation selection in Almora
There are various places where you can stay in Almora. On one hand there is the expensive Mountain Resort a heritage hotel while on the rest houses like Tourist Rest House Danya which has rooms at the rate of 200-300 per day. Some of the hotels in Almora are Mountain Resort, Toursit Rest House Danya, Kalmatia Sangam, Snow View Resort and Club Mahindra Valley Resort.
How to reach Almora
April to June and September to November are the best time to visit Almora.
Best time to visit Almora
By Air: The nearest airport is a Pant Nagar in Nainital.
Kathgodam (90kms) is the nearest railway station for Almora. It is well connected with Lucknow, Delhi and Howrah. Take local or private taxis or buses to reach Almora from Kathgodam.
Almora is almost 380 kms from Delhi and 466 kms from Lucknow. It is connected by road with most places of Uttarakhand