Almora is one of the most beautiful places in Kumaon region. The glamour and glitter which is seen in Ranikhet and Nainital is totally absent in Almora. In this point of view Almora is very virgin hill-station and is full of scenic beauty. It appears that mother nature has spread and blessed this place with her pure love. Nestled in the lap of nature this region has small houses built on the slopes and splendour of this place are added colourful attire of the natives. Just besides city flows the Koshi (Kaushaki) and Suyal (Salmali) rivers.
Prime Attractions of Almorah (Almora)
In the 9th century Almora was ruled by Katyur dynasty. By 16th century this place was ruled by rulers from Chandravansh. This town was established by King Balo Kalyan Chand in 1563. This place was then capital city of Kumaon region. The forts, monuments and palaces built by the rulers of Chandravansh and Katyur dynasty are even today evidence of the splendour this place had in the past. In 1790 Almora passed in the hands of Nepali Gorkhas. The Britishers gained control of this place from Gorkhas in 1815.
Almora is situated on a hillock which is in Horse shoe shape and is surrounded by dense forests of fur and pine trees. In the backdrop are the lovely snow-capped peaks of Himalayas. Almora has been able to retain the tradition and ancient culture even when other places are being influenced by modern trends. The absence of any town planning and inclusion of tiles and stones on the pavements and houses prove that this place has not yet adopted the modern technology in a big way. Right in the middle of the town is the Nanda devi temple and Narsingh temple are evidence of the great faith of people in their God. Culturally also this place is very rich and all round the year Almora celebrates many festivals and cultural events.
The picturesque old part of the town of Almora is the venue for a fair held twice a year during the summer and winter months.
Shravan Mela Jageshwar lying in the beautiful Jatganga Valley in Almora, housing one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India, is a complex of 12 temples in all.
Chetai Temple The local people have much faith on this temple. The Chetai temple is located eight kms from Almora. This temple is surrounded by dense fur and pine tree forest. If you are a nature lover then you will certainly enjoy this place.
Deer Park Deer park is located some three kms from Almora. An evening stroll in Deer park has its own pleasure.
Gananath Mela Situated at an elevation of 2116 mts. above sea level, Gananath is 47 km. from Almora and is known for its natural landscape.
Nanda Devi Temple This ancient temple is one of the main attractions of Almora town. This temple is hundreds of year old and carries deep faith of many people from this area. The images and statues on walls of this temple are intricately and delicately carved. They are very attractive and almost true to life depiction has been done. Every year a fair, Nanda Devi Fair, is organized here. People from all over the place come and participate in this fair. Groups of young men & women dance on the pulsating music of the mountains.
Somnath Fair The Somnath Fair held on Vishuwat Sankranti day is celebrated in the Shiva Temple at Masi, Almora. It is a famous fair of Pali Pachhaun.
Excursions from Almorah (Almora)
Filled with the religious aura and peace of the soul and mind after the visit to Baijnath, the visitor, inevitably becomes a pilgrim and his steps lead him to the confluence of the sacred Gomti and Saryu, at Bageshwar.
Binsar, once the summer capital of the Chand Rajas (7th to 8th centuries) is located at a distance of 34 kms from Almora.
From Kausani, the road descends to Garur & Baijnath (70 km Almora, 26 km from Bageshwar and 19 km from Kausani) on the bank of Gomti river in a flat valley. Perched at an altitude of 1126 m. below Kausani is the famous temple complex of Baijnath in the Garur valley of Katyur. A group of ancient temples dating back to the 12th & 13th century line the banks of the river, presenting a beautiful sight. The temples are remarked upon, for its carving stone work & heritage. Built by Katyuri Ruler, these have over the time become synonymous with India's rich mythology. The mail 10th century temple houses a beautiful idol of Goddess Parvati chiseled in black stone. Shiva & Parvati are believed to have married at the confluence of the Gomati & Garur Ganga. Innumerable tales of Lord Shiva & Parvati make these temples a fascinating experience. The Katyur Dynasty is believed to take their name from Kartikeya the mythical son of Shiva & Parvati.
Bright & Corner (2Km.)
Two kms from Almora is situated Bright and Corner. This place became famous for excellent sight of sunset and sunrise. From Bright and Corner a different kind of view is obtained of dawn and dusk. The unusual calm and peacefulness during this time is rarely felt on any other hill station offering a similar view. Serene and calm circuit house very close to this point is an added attraction. Nearby is the Vivekanand library in Ramkrishna Kutir. In this library one can find many books relating to philosophy and spiritual thinking. There is also a place dedicated to Swami Vivekanand. It was at this place Vivekanand spend few days while his stay in Himalayas.
Gannath is known for natural caves and ancient Shiva temples. This place is 47 kms from Almora. It is good place for nature lovers and ideal for spending your day with surpassing beauty. Every year on Kartik Purnima day a fair is organized here.
Jageshwar is located 34 kms from Almora. There is an ancient Shiva temple at Jageshwar. This temple is surrounded by huge fur trees. In fact, this temple is in the series of ancient temples which were built in Kumaon region many centuries ago. The Jageshwar Shiva temple carries archaeological importance too. the architecture of this temple is worth giving a close examination.
From Kalimath one gets a good view of Almora town and the adjoining area. The sight of the nearby hills is amazing. This place is 4.5 kms from Almora. Close to Kalimath is Kasar Devi. There is temple dedicated to Kasar devi. This temple dates back to second century. One can go on foot from Kalimath to Kasardevi which is hardly one kms.
After the Sun temple at Konark, Orissa, Katarmal has the second important sun temple in the country. This temple is almost 800 years old. But this temple has not received the amount of attention it must have received. Due to neglect, the sun temple at Katarmal is in very bad shape. One feels very sad that a monument of such historical importance has been left to decay like this. This temple has some unique architectural style and the images carved on the walls are very intricately done. All this is bound to attract attention of the visitor. This place is 17 kms from Almora.
Natural beauty of this place surpasses any other place. Koshi is 12 kms from Almora. The Govind Vallabh Pant Environment Research Institute is located here. There is guest house which provides good and comfortable stay at Koshi.
This lovely place with gardens and forests is located 10 kms from Almora. Martola is so scenic and picturesque that many forgeiners decided to settle here. This place is a good picnic spot.
Fairs & Festivals - Almora
This is a picnic spot about three kms from Almora town. The whole place is covered with pine and fur trees. The calmness and peaceful environment has fun of its own kind.
Kasar Devi Mela
Leisure - Almora
The picturesque old part of the town of Almora is the venue for the fair held twice a year.
Jageshwar lying in the beautiful Jatganga Valley, housing one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India, is a complex of 12 temples in all.
The Somnath Fair held on Vishuwat Sankranti day is celebrated in the Shiva Temple at Masi.
The Devidhura Fair is held on the day of Raksha Bandhan in August, at the Varahi Devi Temple.
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and show all over Kumaon.
How To Get There - Almora
When one comes to Almora one does not forget to taste the sweets here which are quite famous. Particularly Singora and Bal Mithaiare liked by one and all. Apart from sweets, Almora is famous for Rabbit wool cloths. A special breed of Rabbit, Angora produces wool which is very soft, fine and very warm. Warm clothes made from this wool is famous all over the world. In Almora one can get good bargains at comparatively low prices. Then there are decorative items, brass items and other kind of metal utensils which are quite popular among the visitors. One can purchase woollen garments at reasonable rates from the Garud woollens. This shop is part of the Kumaon Schedule Tribe Development Corporation at Shikhar Hotel compound. For Bronze and Brass wares & decorative items one can have a look in shops at Lal Bazaar and Chowk Bazaar.
The best way to access Almora is by bus. The winding and spiralling roads take you though deep valleys and dense forests. One enjoys the journey to Almora by bus as the speed is slow, scenic beauty of the region are clearly visible. There are bus services to Almora from almost any where in Uttar Pradesh and some of the services operate from outside the state too. The conducted tours by private travel agents and tour operators are always there. The nearest airport is that of Pantnagar. The nearest broad gauge railway head is Kathgodam. Kathgodam is 91 kms from Almora and is connected by trains from cities all over the nation. The small gauge line terminates at Lalkuan which is 112 kms from Almora.
Climate - Almora
April to June and September to November are the best seasons to visit Almora. In fact except the rainy seasons, Almora can be visited any time of the year. During summers the temperature of this place is comparatively more than any other hill stations. Even then evening and morning temperatures are low enough to wear light warm cloths. The fun of walking among hills in warm sunlight can not be described in words. During winters festival of Dussehra has its own added attraction.
General Information - Almora
Location Kumaon (Uttar Pradesh).
Main Attraction Nanda Devi Temple.
Best Time April to June And September to November.
Languages Hindi, English, Kumaoni.
Population About 54,000 people resides in this city