Almora is a charming hill station situated in the Kumaon mountains of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand India. Almora is also called as the Switzerland of India and The Town of temples.
The town of Almora was visited by a lot of famous personalities from Mahatama Gandhiji, Swami Vivekanand, Guru Ravindranath Tagore and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was jailed here during the freedom struggle of India. All of them have acknowledged the beauty of the place and fell in love with Almora.
Almora once headquarters of Kumaon and the Chand kings which ruled Almora has still maintained the old charm and traditional look while still providing the tourist with all the latest facilities available.
Almora has it all from pre historic stone age to the great freedom struggle of India sites combined with awesome natural beauty which will take you back in time.
Almora town lies in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. The town of Almora spreads over 20 sq km at an altitude of approx 1651 meters from sea level. Almora is surrounded by lofty green thick forests of pine and fir trees and rivers Kochi and Suyal. The peaks of majestic peaks of Trishul, Nandaghunti, Panchuli Nandadevi, and Hathiparvat are all clearly from Almora.
The population of Almora district according to the 2011 census was 6,22,506 in which Almora town has 34,122 which 17,358 are males while 16,764 are females as per report released by Census India 2011 with a sex ratio of 966 female per 1000 male. The literacy rate is about 94.51 percent.
Hindus form the majority of people in Almora and Hindi and Kumaoni and the major languages spoken by the people. Other languages spoken in the region are Garhwali and English. People of all religion live together in peace and close harmony with each other.
Almost all Hindu festivals are celebrated here in Almora. As it falls in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand Fuldeyi, Bikhauti, Harela, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Holi Uttaraini are most celebrated throughout the region.
Almora is around 300 km from Delhi and 180 kms from Dehradun. The city is divided into 11 small sub areas known as wards and elections are held every 5 years.
The town of Almora is also the second biggest town in Kumaon next to Nainital and is shaped like a horse shoe. The rivers Kosi and Suyal surround the town along with high snow covered peak of the Kumaon. The beautiful town has many temples, some of the Ram Shila Mandir, Nanda Devi, Doli Daana, Shyayi Devi, Khakmara, Asht Bhairav, Jakhandevi, Katarmal (Sun Temple), Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Baijnath, Kasar Devi temple and many more. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated beside the river Ram Ganga.
Almora also has its share of ancient history and has sites which gives ample proof such as graves, pottery and cave drawings of prehistoric stone age period. These sites are now maintained and preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Chand kings which ruled Almora built some of the above temples here and also started a tradition of yearly fair and festivals which are still celebrated here with great pomp and reverence.
Almora has a favourable climate throughout the year and also receives occasional snowfall during the winters so no need to can be enjoyed equally during the summer as well as winters. Avoid the rains if possible.
The picturesque Almora with a touch of history, clean air and nature at its best around the high lofty mountains make Almora a truly heaven on earth and a travellers paradise.
The Nanda Devi Temple is almost 1000 yrs old temple which dates back to the Chand era. Thousands flock to the Nanda Devi fair and festival held every year during the month of September. It is situated in the main bazaar on the central mall rd.
The GB Pant Museum is a little ahead on the central mall rd . The museum has many artefacts and posters related to the freedom struggle of India. The museum also has a vast collection of historical and cultural significance of Almora and Uttarakhand.
The Tagore Bhavan is a huge house which was once occupied by the Great Ravindranath Tagore. He composed many of his great poems here in Almora. Presently has a government office.
Bright End Corner 2km from Almora, has one of the best sunset view in the region. The place also provide a great view of the huge mountains surrounding Almora. Must visit when in Almora.
The Kasar Devi Temple holds a legendary belief that goddess Durga here killed daemon lords Shumbha and Nishumbha. The highly revered temple dedicated to goddess Durga is at a distance of 5kms from the town. One can get a beautiful view of the snow covered mountains peaks of Almora from here in Kalimath. Kalimath means the home of goddess Kali.
The Deer Park is a small park for tourist and local who come in for a leisurely stroll at the end of the day..
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The Chitai Temple ( approx 8 kms ) from Almora is a well known temple dedicated to Lord Golu Devta. Golu Devta is the god of justice. People from far and wide come to visit the temple and offer bells as offerings to the Golu Devta. Must visit and write letters to the justice God.
Katarmal sun temple The sun temple of Katarmal is the second important in the world. The sun temple is located 16km from Almora. It is one of the earliest sun temples in India dedicated to the Sun God .The Sun temple is now protected and preserved by the ASI.
Lakhudiar Rock Shelter ( approx 20 kms from Almora ) are prehistoric caves full of rock painting dating back to stone age. They are one of the richest cave shelters preserving the scenes and activities of the then primitive inhabitants of the region during the stone age period. Now maintained by the ASI.
The Jageshwar ( approx 60 kms from Almora ) : This are a cluster of 125 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of the world. There are also temples dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Ganpati in the vicinity. Must visit place when in Almora.
Almora has a some good Indian restaurants that can be found in Almora main market Lal Bazaar, Thana Bazaar and Chowk Bazaar. The restaurants there serve local Punjabi and Chinese foods.
Some of the restaurants also serve Kumaoni food such as Ras, Baadi, Aloo Ke Gutke, Madua ( Buck wheat ) - Koda ki roti. A must buy are the local Kumaoni sweets called Bal Mithai and Singauri.
Lal Bazaar is one of the places in Almora where you can buy souvenirs and gifts to distribute back home. One can buy home made jams and juices, decorative candles and wollens here.
Almora is also well known for it's beautiful handicraft and copper ware and wood products etc.
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