Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tourism      Hill Stations      Uttarakhand     Almora    


Place : Almora, Uttarakhand
Altitude : 1638 meters (5500 feet) above the sea level
Temperature : Summers: 30°C°- 11.5°C
Winters: 23°C to 4°C.
Significance : Famous for handicrafts
Best Season : September to November
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Rich with cultural heritage and a long history, Almora, is a cantonment town in Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Located at an altitude of 1638 meters (5500 feet), amidst the southern part the Kumaon Hills of the Himalayas, it is situated at the top a peak that is half circular. Spread out along the horse shoe shaped ridge of a mountain, Almora is blessed with scenic natural splendour and salubrious climate all year round.

Founded in 1568, the hill station was under the rule of the Katyuri Dynasty of Kumaon from the 9th century AD. In 1560, Raja Balo Kalyan Chand made Almora as his new capital in 1568 AD and the Chands occupied Almora till the 19th century AD. 

It is located in the foothills of majestic Himalayas, dense pine and fir forests all around and the rivers Koshi (Kaushiki) and Suyal (Salmale) flowing beside. In Almora, one can find the art and culture of the Kumaon region. Paved roads, wooden houses with beautifully carved facades and homes decorated with traditional murals reflect its heritage. It has noted temples, including Kasar Devi, Banari Devi, Chitai, Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Garhnath, Baijnath etc. and many fruit orchards like apples, preaches, apricots etc. It offers its visitors to see many places from one central point. The hillstation is also famous for its handicrafts. The traditional Panchmarchi Shawls in soft wool, decorative candles, drift wood statues and copperware are popular.

Places of Interest in Almora

Govind Vallabh Pant Public Museum In Almora
Situated near Almora bus stand, it contains archeological pieces from 11 th century Katyuri and the Chand Era. Apen, a folk style of painting found in this region is a part of the museum collection. Closed on Mondays and other Government Holidays. Opens : 10:30 am. to 4:30 pm.

Nanda Devi Temple
Dedicated to the patron goddess of the local population and the Chand rajas, Nanda Devi Temple is one of the main attraction of Almora. This temple is hundreds of years old. Every year a festival is held here (September). The images and statues on walls of this temple are intricately and skillfully carved.

Almora Fort
Located at the highest point of Almora bazaar, one can get a 360 degree view of Almora and the surrounding mountains from here. Belonging to the Chand Dynasty, the fort is now converted into the District Collector’s Office.

Simtola is situated about 3 km from Almora. It is a popular picnic spot covered by a thick blanket of pine trees. Simtola was selected by Uday Shankar, a world renowned Indian dancer and choreographer for his cultural centre and studio. The impressive ‘Granite Hill’ close by.

Kalimath is situated about 5 kms. from Almora. One can see the magnificent Himalayan peaks and the view of Almora Town.

Kasar Devi
It is here Swami Vivekandanda gained enlightment in a small cave on Kalmatiya Hill. From here one can get good views of the surrounding areas. There is a temple near Kalimutt. This was built in the second century.

Chitai Temple
It is the most and crowded temple in this area. It is dedicated to Lord Golu. Once a wish is fulfilled people hang little bells in this temple. From here one can get a fine view of the Himalayas. 

Bright End Corner

It is just 2 kms from Almora bus station. It is famous for the sunrise and the sunset view of the Himalayan peaks. Near to this is Vivekananda Library in Ramakrishna Kutir. It is said that Swami Vivekananda had stayed here during his visit in Almora.

Also known as Sun Temple, it is a must-see for people interested in ancient architecture. It houses the famous Sun temple built by the Katyuri Rajas, about 900 years ago, atop a steep hill. It is a 12th century temple with fine sculpture typical of its period. This temple is second in importance after the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. It is 17 kms away from Almora.

Deer Park
This park is 3 kms from Almora. It offers pleasant walks.

Around Almora

Bageshwar is tourist place. It is 90Km. far from the Almora. Bageshwar is the main place for the Pindari Glacier tour. Bageshwar is placed at altitude of 3,825 meters.

Baijnath is 70 kms. from the Almora. This is very old temple and bank of Gomti River in a plane valley. Baijnath at an height of 1126 m. The temples are observed upon, for its heritage and carving stone work. This temple was built by Katyuri leader.

Jageshwar is situated 34 kms from Almora. There is an old temple at Jageshwar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva it is considered as one of the most sacred 'tirthas' in the Kumaon region. The linga considered to represent one of the 12 Jothirlingams in India. The temple holds much significance for the devout and it is a must-see destination in Binsar. The temple complex comprises 124 temples. The Mrityunjaya temple seems to be the oldest dating back to the 8th century.