||11.9 sq km
|Best Time to Visit
||April-June and September-November
Almora - Location
Almora is one of the most popular hill stations of Uttaranchal. It is one of the five districts in the newly carved state of the Uttaranchal. It is also known as the cultural capital of Kumaon. Almora is on a three-mile long horse-saddle shaped ridge and is surrounded by hill ranges on all four sides by hill ranges. All the four ranges have the temples on the top of their peak. These temples are of goddesses Banari Devi, Kasar Devi, Sayahi Devi and the temple of Sun god.
Almora - Weather
Almora is situated at an altitude of 1,638 meters. The climate in Almora can be described as moderate. The summers are warm in the morning and pleasant in the evenings. The winters are cold and sunny during the daytime while the nights are very cold with snowfall a couple of time during the season. The best season for tourist is during the months April-June and September-November. one can have the view of the snow-capped mountains during the early summers and autumns. The best time to witness snowfall is from the end of December till the early February.
Almora - Origin
Almora was the seat of power of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the land of Kumaon for almost one thousand years. An interesting fact about the discovery of Almora is that unlike other hill stations, it was not discovered and developed by the British. The Katyuri Dynasty ruled the region around Almora from the 9th century AD. Raja Balo Kalyan Chand made Almora as his new capital in 1568 AD, when he transferred his capital from Champawat to Almora. The Chands occupied Almora till the 19th century AD. The rivers Kosi and Suyal flow through Almora providing a natural barrier. There is an interesting local legend about the discovery of Almora. Raja Kalyan Chand, the ruler of the Chand Dynasty was riding on the horseshoe shaped spur in the pursuit of a prey. The hunted quarry protected its life by taking refuge behind the thick bushes of Kilgore, a local wild bush and revealed the place to the king. The story might not be corroborated by any literary or archaeological evidences but continues to be told by the locals. The Gorkhas captured Almora in 1798 AD and finally British took it over from the Gorkhas after the Gorkha wars of 1814-1815.
Almora - To See
Almora is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, known as the king of the mountains and the abode of the gods. It is a very famous hill station. Almora is a good place to enjoy the spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains of the central Himalayas. There are some beautiful and interesting places to visit in and around Almora. The temple of Nanda Devi is 1000-year old temple and is one of the main attractions of Almora. a festival is held every year where youth from different region come to participate in this dance festival. The Chitai temple is 8 km away from the main city. The people of Kumaon have strong faith in the local god Golu. The temple of Chitai is dedicated to him. It is visited by thousands of Kumaonis living in Kumaon or outside. People write letters to the god to fulfill their desires and in return they hang bells in the temple. You can see several thousand bells hanging all around the temple. The 800-year old Sun Temple at Katarmal is 7 km from Almora. It is exceptional for its architecture and intricate carvings. It is one of the few sun temples of Uttaranchal and probably the biggest group in Uttaranchal. Jageshwar is 34 km away from Almora. There is a group of almost 125 temples dating back to 7th to 11th century AD. The majority of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and a few to various goddesses. The group of temples is situated amidst a dense Deodar forest. Jageshwar is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva.
Bright End Corner, 2 km from Almora, is a picnic spot. The spot gives a superb view of the sunrise and sun set. The Vivekananda Memorial and the Library is a little away from here. Swami Vivekananda stopped here while on his journey to Himalayas. Martola, another picnic spot surrounded by gardens, is 10 km from the town. Govind Vallabh Pant Museum is near the main bus stand. On the display are the idols and statues found during the excavation in the region of Kumaon.
Almora - Getaway
Almora has attracted many people including famous personalities and dignitaries. Swami Vivekananda visited Almora at the turn of this century. The famous lectures 'From Almora To Colombo' quotes that he was spellbound by the beauty of the mountains here as much as by the ocean at Kanyakumari. The headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission was earlier located at Mayawati Ashram then in Almora. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore came here to spend his summers to forget the personal loss of a beloved child and found the environs of the hill station salubrious. The internationally acclaimed dance choreographer Udaya Shankar fell in love with this place and set up a cultural center here. Sitar player Ravi Shankar, artist Zohra Sehgal, the film star Guru Dutt, painter Brewster, mystic Lama Govinda and scientist Boshi Sen have stayed and enjoyed the natural beauty of Almora. Jawaharlal Nehru served a term of imprisonment in the Jail at Almora during the British rule. He had left behind an elaborate account of the pleasures of solitude and the varied moods of nature in his various letters written from this place to his daughter.
There are quite a few hill stations to visit near Almora. Binsar is situated 30 km from Almora. You can have an unobstructed view of the important mountain peaks of Uttaranchal from here. Binsar has been made a sanctuary. The entire area is various species of exotic flora and fauna. Ranikhet is almost 35 km from Almora. It was one's the British cantonment and you will find buildings of the British period even today. There are several places to visit at Ranikhet. Bageshwar is 90 km from Almora and is a newly made district. There is an ancient and famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on the banks of the confluence of two rivers Gomati and Saryu. Baijnath is a small town famous for a group of temples. It is a small distance away from Bageshwar. Kausani is a small hill station mid way between Almora and Bageshwar. Mahatma Gandhi spent three weeks in the Anakshakti Ashram in this small hill station and described it as the Switzerland of India. The view of the snowline is spectacular from here. Sitalakhet is a small hill resort, which is yet unexplored. There is the temple of Sayahi Devi on the top of a mountain peak.
By Air - The nearest airport is at Pant Nagar, district Udham Singh Nagar. Regular flights operate during the summer.
By Rail - The nearest railhead for Almora is Kathgodam.
By Road - Almora is well connected by road with all the important cities.
Almora - Accommodation
There are Hotels, Inspection Bungalows, Private Cottages available to suit all types of budgets.