Almora – temple town of Kumaon hills

Almora – a picturesque hill station in the Kumaon region, east of Uttarakhand in India is known to tourists for its alluring grandeur of natural beauty. Perched atop a 5 Km long, horseshoe-shaped ridge in between river Kosi and Suyal, Almora is an ideal hill station for those weary hearts who wishes to spend time in peace and solitude. Apart from offering breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayas, Almora is known for its rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts, sumptuous cuisine and magnificent wildlife. This ancient hill town has retained much of its old world charm providing a perfect ambience for a peaceful holiday.

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View of the hill town of Almora under cloud cover

Where is Almora?

Almora is a picturesque district town of the district of Almora in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It lies in the Kumaon region among Kumaon hills.

About Almora

Almora – situated at an average altitude of 5900 ft above sea level is endowed with exceptional natural and unspoilt scenic beauty which has not yet been spoilt by urbanization. Almora is indeed a good place to conveniently enjoy the spectacular snowscape of the central Himalayas. This picturesque and unspoilt hill town is surrounded by four hill ranges – Banari Devi, Kasar Devi, Shayahi Devi and Katarnal. The first three peaks have temples of Goddesses while Katarnal has an ancient Sun temple worth visiting.
This charming hill resort of Uttarakhand was founded by Raja Kalyan Chand in 1568 and was further developed and nurtured by the British. From time immemorial people have visited Almora in search of peace, solitude and liberation of the soul.
Almora is also known for being the starting point of several trek routes to the glaciers. This beautiful hill station is also known for “Baal Mithai”, – a kind of sweet delicacy.

Sightseeing in and around Almora

Nanda Devi Temple – Apart from its scenic beauty, the greatest attraction of Almora is the old temple of Nanda Devi which was the presiding deity of the Chandravanshi kings of Almora. The typical Kumaoni style stone temple with rich carvings on the wall is an architectural masterpiece in itself. Apart from pilgrims, large number of tourists visits this grand temple in large number.

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Nanda Devi Temple

Nanda Devi fair held in the temple complex every year in September draws large crowds. Youth from various mountainous areas in the region come here to participate in this dance festival, which is an integral part of the fair.
Bright End Corner – About 2 Km from Almora is this hilltop site offering breathtaking view of the valleys and soaring snowy peaks of Kumaon. The place is extremely popular among tourists for magnificent view of the sunrise and sunset. This calm and peaceful place is an ideal spot to relax, meditate and rediscover oneself. A circuit house close by allows tourists to spend some time in this peaceful surrounding.
Nearby is Vivekananda Library and Vivekananda Memorial which is another major attraction of Almora. The great Indian philosopher and spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda is known to have stayed here for some time. This very fact has made the place a must visit sightseeing destination in the tour of Almora.
Binsar – About 30 km from Almora lies Binsar at an altitude of 2412 m above sea level. Perched on the top of Jhandi Dhar hill this peaceful place was once the summer capital of the Chand rulers. The place offers wonderful views of the snowcapped Himalayan ranges, like the peaks of Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Panchchuli and Nanda Knot. Tourists who like to spend time in solitude should definitely visit Binsar which is an epitome of secludededness, quietness and natural beauty. One can also go trekking with abundant nature trails available from Binsar. Walk through the forests of Oak, Pine and Rhododendron with your loved ones beside you will definitely bring back the lost romance in your life.
Chitai Temple – About 8 Km from Almora lies the famous Chitai temple in the middle of Fir and pine forest. The temple is dedicated to Golu Devta who is known to fulfill the wishes of its devotees. Once a wish is fulfilled people hang little bells in the temple as is evident from thousands of bells strung across the temple premises. View of the snow peaked ranges of the Himalayas from here is awesome. Locals as well as tourists visiting Almora make it a point to visit this sacred temple and offers prayer for fulfilling their wishes.

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Katarmal Sun Temple Complex near Almora

Katarmal Sun Temple – This 800 year old temple perched at an altitude of 2116 m above sea level is at a distance of about 17 Km from Almora. The temple dedicated to Sun god was built by Katarmalla, a Katyuri king in the 9th century A.D. The temple complex has one main temple, surrounded by 45 smaller shrines. The temple though in ruins stands as a testament of the bygone era. One needs to walk through forest to reach the temple. The temple is noted for its magnificent architecture, artistically made stone and metallic sculptures and beautifully carved pillars and wooden doors. Tourists visiting Almora definitely make it a point to visit this temple of Sun God.
Almora has several other temples worth a visit, like Kosi temple, Gananath temple, Shiva temple at Jageshwar, Kasar Devi temple and few others.
Places like Martola (scenic spot), Koshi (scenic spot and the site of Govind Vallabh Pant Research Institute), Kalimath (enchanting view of Almora town) etc are few sightseeing spots around Almora that are worth a visit.
Ranikhet (50 Km), Nainital (71 Km), Kausani (51 Km) are some of the other famous and popular hill resorts close to Almora that are known for their enchanting beauty.

How to reach Almora?

By Air – Pant Nagar (Nainital) at a distance of about 120 Km is the nearest airport of Almora. Regular flights are operational during summer.
By Rail – Kathgodam at a distance of about 90 Km is the nearest railway station of Almora. Kathgodam is well connected with all major cities like Delhi, Kanpur, and Kolkata.
By Road – Almora is well connected with all major cities of Uttarakhand and adjoining states.
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Where to stay at Almora?

Being a popular hill station, Almora offers a wide range of staying option for tourists. Some of the better hotels of Almora are :-
Hotel Sikhar (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230156)
Hotel Almora (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230250)
Hotel Shikar (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230253)
Hotel Shavoy (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230329)
Bhagavati Palace (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230222)
Hotel Kailash (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230624)
Hotel Himsagar (Booking contact number – 05962 – 230711)
Hotel Alka (Booking contact number – 05962 – 231693)

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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