Situated at an elevation of 1650m above the sea level, Almora has a magnificent charm, with the snow covered Himalayas, exotic greenery and rich cultural heritage. The site spans across a 5-km ridge atop Kashaya Hill. With the Pithoragarh on the eastern side, Garhwal region on the western side, Bageshwar on the north and Nainital on the south, Almora is situated upon a horse shoe shaped ridge of a mountain. Its eastern portion is called the Talifat and the western named as Selifat. This picturesque location hemmed in the scenic landscape attracts hundreds of tourists each year. Almora is one of the business hubs of Kumaon region. It remained the capital of the Chand Rajas. The location gathered its popularity during the British rule and was further developed by them. It was here where the famous Hindu saint, Swami Vivekananda.
Places to see at Almora: Almora offers some outstanding sight seeing spots for its tourists. These include:
Nanda Devi Temple
This temple is the prime attraction of Almora. Nanda Devi is said to have been the Goddess revered by the kings of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions. She is believed to be the destroyer of evil. Apart from Almora this temple is also located in Ranikhet and Nainital. Fairs are held at Ranikhet, Almora and Nainital in honour of Nanda Devi and thousand of people participate.
Bright End Corner
It is situated 2 km form Almora. This site is famous for picturesque sunset and sunrise seen through the Himalayan peaks. There is a library named after Vivekananda which has numerous books on literature and teachings. You can also visit Vivekananda Memorial where Swami Vivekananda had stopped for a while on his journey to the Himalayas.
It is an ideal spot for picnicking situated amidst lush green gardens. Situated 10kms from Almora, Martola is inhabited mostly with foreigners. Buses and taxis are available up to Panuwanaula and one has to cover the remaining distance on foot.
It is a scenic spot dedicated to Goddess Kali, situated at a distance of 5kms from Almora. The views of the snow capped Himalayan peaks are invigorating from here.
Deer Park is situated just 3km from Almora. Deer Park comes in NTD (Narayan Tiwari Dewai).
Gobind Ballabh Pant Public Museum
This museum is situated opposite to the bus stand. The museum remains closed on Mondays and other Government Holidays. It is open from 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
The ravishing views of the mountains covered with pine and deodar trees are enchanting from Simtola. Simtola is a popular spot for camping and picnicking and it is situated 3km from Almora.
Katarmal Sun Temple
It is the second most important temple to Sun God, the first one being Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Katarmal is more than 800years old. Situated 7km from Almora this historical important temple is an example of intricate sculpturing.
Chitai Temple or Gollu Devta
Chitai Temple is dedicated to Gollu Devta, an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav. Situated 8kms from Almora the deity of this sacred temple is reputed to make every wish come true, provided the worshipper ask for it with a clear conscience. All he asks for in propitiation is a bell, as was evident from the thousands of bells strung across the temple premises. Anyone can even seek Gollu Devta”s divine intervention by writing to him. Stacks of letter are pinned all over the temple along with bells.
Markets of Almora
The main markets or bazaar of Almora are Lala Bazaar, Malli Bazaar, Karkhana Bazaar and Thana Bazaar. You can buy local utensils, clothes, and other things of your necessity in these bazaars.
Kasaar Devi Temple
Kasar Devi Temple is situated at a distance of 7km from Almora. This sacred temple is also mentioned in Skanda Purana and it is also said that Swami Vivekananda meditated here in the year 1920. An inscription found on a stone boulder, indicates that the temple was built by a king named Rudrak. The place affords enchanting view of the splendid Himalayas.
Nearby places to see from Almora: You can also organize short tours from Almora to some prominent locations nearby. These are:
Located 47kms north of Almora, Gananath is famous for an old ShivaTemple. There are numerous natural caves in this region where people in ancient times used to stay while a visit to sacred shrines.
It houses a temple with Lord Shiva as its deity. Situated around 35kms from Almora, Someshwar was constructed by the founder of the Chand Dynasty, Raja Som Chand. The name of the temple is merged with Raja Som Chand’s and Maheshwara’s name. The temple holds great religious importance amongst locales.
Situated 35 kms away from Almora at an elevation of 1,870mts above sea level, Jageshwar is an important tourist destination of Kumaon. Jageshwar is a temple of Lord Shiva situated amidst dense Deodar forest having great mythological importance. Some people believe that Jageshwar temple is the 8th Dwadasa Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The temple is the artistic creation of medieval India.
Things to do in Almora: Just gaze at the natural beauty of the place and inhale the fresh air. This apart you can also explore the sightseeing locations of this historic town. Trekking is one of the outdoor activities in Almora worth enjoying here. The shoppers can buy unique handicrafts items from here.
Best time to visit Almora: The best time to visit Almora is during March to November.
How to go ?
Nearest airport is Pantnagar, which is about 125 km away from the heart of Almora. Taxi costs about Rs 1,600 from airport to Almora. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi on alternate days. Delhi (334 km) has the nearest international airport and is well linked to various cities across the world.
Nearest railway station is at Kathgodam. Kathgodam railway station to Almora city is about 91 km, which can be covered by nearly 2 hours.
Regular bus services are available from Delhi to Almora, the distance covered is about 334 km. State owned buses connects Almora to other cities in and around Uttaranchal.
Where to stay ?
There are few hotels in Almora. Some options are:
Tourist Rest House (Almora): +91-8650002532
Bharthi Palace: +91-05942-220402
Hotel Shikhar: +91-05942–230253, 230156 Website: www.hotelshikhar.in
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.