Almora Hill Station, India

Almora is one of the most popular hill stations of Uttaranchal and is in a shape of a horseshoe. It is one of the five districts in the newly carved state of the Uttaranchal and is situated at the height of 1,638 meters. It is also known, as the cultural capital of Kumaon. It is surrounded by four hill ranges, each having temples on top of its peak. These temples are of goddesses Banari Devi, Kasar Devi, Sayahi Devi and the temple of Sun god. 

Known for its scenic beauty, here you can conveniently enjoy the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas together with beautiful blue and green ridges. It offers breathtaking views that ensnare many tourists and makes this hill station one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India. 

There are many places in and around Almora that are a must see for any tourist. The Chitai Temple dedicated to Lord Golu is very famous with people from Kumau. People hang little bells in this temple once their wishes are fulfilled. A beautiful pine forest surrounds it. The 1000-year old temple, Nanda Devi Temple is one of the main attractions of Almora. Its has beautiful carvings on its walls and young people from various neighboring areas come here to participate in the dance festival, which is held every year. Other beautiful places in Almora include Deer Park, Bright End Corner and Kasar Devi Temple. 

Chitai Temple : 
This is a very busy area. This temple is dedicated to Lord Golu. The people of Kumau worship him. Once a wish is fulfilled people hang little bells in this temple. Therefore there are thousands of little bells hanging there. The view of the Himalayas is extremely beautiful from here. This temple is 8 kms away by walk through a beautiful pine forest, but one can go by cart too.
Bright End Corner: 
Almora is 2 kms away from here. A highlight of this point is the sunset and the sunrise seen through the Himalayan peaks. A circuit house close by allows tourists to spend some time in this peaceful surrounding. Close by is the Vivekananda Library which has many books on literature. A little away is the Vivekananda Memorial where Swami Vivekananda had stopped for a while on his journey to the Himalayas.
This 800-year old Sun Temple is the second in importance after the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Seven kms away from Almora this historical important temple is an example of intricate sculpturing. This temple is in need of restoration now.
Deer Park : 3 kms from Almora this park is in NTD (Narayan Tiwari Dewai).
Nanda Devi Temple : This 1000-year old temple is one of the main attraction of Almora. Its walls have carvings on them. Every year a festival is held here in which youth from various mountainous areas come here to participate in this dance festival.
Kasar Devi: 
Near Kalimutt is the temple of Kasar Devi. This ancient temple was built on a mountain peak in the second century. The distance between Kalimatt and Kasar Devi is less than 1 km and can be easily covered by foot. The surrounding area has become the home of many foreigners. The main town is 6 km away.

State Museum: 
This museum is near the bus stand . It is closed on Mondays and other Government Holidays. It is open from 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Around Almora:
Bageshwar (90Km.)
Bageshwar and Sitalakhet are other places of tourist interest. Bageshwar is one of the main camping sites for the journey to Pindari Glacier, which is situated at a height of 3,820 meters.Sitlakhet is the new tourist resort on the Syahi Devi hill.Kafni Glacier is also close by(around 3,870 meters above sea level).

Binsar (30Km.)
Binsar, once the summer capital of the Chand Rajas (7th to 8th centuries) is located at a distance of 34 kms from Almora.

Baijnath (70Km.)
From Kausani, the road descends to Garur & Baijnath (70 km Almora, 26 km from Bageshwar and 19 km from Kausani) on the bank of Gomti river in a flat valley. Perched at an altitude of 1126 m. below Kausani is the famous temple complex of Baijnath in the Garur valley of Katyur. A group of ancient temples dating back to the 12th & 13th century line the banks of the river, presenting a beautiful sight. The temples are remarked upon, for its carving stone work & heritage. Built by Katyuri Ruler, these have over the time become synonymous with India's rich mythology. The mail 10th century temple houses a beautiful idol of Goddess Parvati chiseled in black stone. Shiva & Parvati are believed to have married at the confluence of the Gomati & Garur Ganga. Innumerable tales of Lord Shiva & Parvati make these temples a fascinating experience. The Katyur Dynasty is believed to take their name from Kartikeya the mythical son of Shiva & Parvati.

Gannath (47Km.)
Gannath is known for natural caves and ancient Shiva temples. This place is 47 kms from Almora. It is good place for nature lovers and ideal for spending your day with surpassing beauty. Every year on Kartik Purnima day a fair is organized here.

Jageshwar (34Km.)
Jageshwar is located 34 kms from Almora. There is an ancient Shiva temple at Jageshwar. This temple is surrounded by huge fur trees. In fact, this temple is in the series of ancient temples which were built in Kumaon region many centuries ago. The Jageshwar Shiva temple carries archaeological importance too. the architecture of this temple is worth giving a close examination.

Kalimath (5Km.)
From Kalimath one gets a good view of Almora town and the adjoining area. The sight of the nearby hills is amazing. This place is 4.5 kms from Almora. Close to Kalimath is Kasar Devi. There is temple dedicated to Kasar devi. This temple dates back to second century. One can go on foot from Kalimath to Kasardevi which is hardly one kms.

Katarmal (17Km.)
After the Sun temple at Konark, Orissa, Katarmal has the second important sun temple in the country. This temple is almost 800 years old. But this temple has not received the amount of attention it must have received. Due to neglect, the sun temple at Katarmal is in very bad shape. One feels very sad that a monument of such historical importance has been left to decay like this. This temple has some unique architectural style and the images carved on the walls are very intricately done. All this is bound to attract attention of the visitor. This place is 17 kms from Almora.

Koshi (12Km.)
Natural beauty of this place surpasses any other place. Koshi is 12 kms from Almora. The Govind Vallabh Pant Environment Research Institute is located here. There is guest house which provides good and comfortable stay at Koshi.

Almora is definitely not a shopper’s paradise but its local handicraft items are unique and must-buys if you are holidaying there. The Woollens at Showroom Mall Road and Copper Works at Tamta Mohalla are the most famous Almora handicraft buys. The Almora women are excellent weavers and most of the woolens in the neighboring Nainital shopping hubs are exported from here. A special breed of Rabbit, Angora, produces this wool which is extremely soft, fine and very warm. The Garud Woollens of the Kumaon Schedule Tribe Development Corporation at Shikhar Hotel compound also has good priced woolens. For Bronze and Brass wares and decorative items you can hunt about in shops at Lal Bazaar and Chowk Bazaar.

Woolens apart, Almora’s other pride of place are sweets, especially the Singora and Bal Mithaiare. Glory Restaurant (The Mall, across the Madras Cafe) is a very good vegetarian place with Indian and Continental food. Mount View Restaurant, in the Hotel Shikhar, Swagar Restaurant (next to the Hotel Shikar), Soni Dhaba (at The Mall bus stand) are names gourmets should mug-up.

“In these hills, nature’s hospitality eclipses all men can ever do. The enchanting beauties of the Himalayas, their bracing climate and the soothing green that envelopes you leaves nothing more to be desired. I wonder whether the scenery of these hills and the climate are to be surpassed, if equaled, by any of the beauty spots of the world. After having been nearly three weeks in Almora Hills, I am more than ever amazed why our people need go in Europe in search of health.” -- Mahatama M.K. Gandhi

“These mountains are associated with the best memories of our race: Here, therefore, must be one of centers, not merely of activity, but more of calmness of meditation, and of peace and I hope some one to realize it.” -- Swami Vivekananda

Hollywood connection : The popular Hollywood star, Uma Thurman (of Kill Bill fame) spent considerable period of her childhood at Almora and being devout Buddhists, the Dalai Lama used to be one of their notable guests.

Kasauni (51 km): The Katyur Valley, the picturesque hills, Mahatma Gandhi’s Anakshakti Ashram and the innumerable treks make Kasauni more than a part of the Almora vacationers itinerary. Pinnath (10 km), Bura Pinnath (5 km) and Bhakot are the highest points near Kausani.

Binsar Hills (30 km): Binsar hill, locally known as Jhandi Dhar, rises to a height of 2,412 m and plays a host to some of the most enchanting wildlife like the Panther and Barking Deer in its little wildlife sanctuary. A temple legend there threatens - should anyone take away anything belonging to the God or his worshippers and avenging spirit and compels him conscience stricken to restore it twenty fold.

Bageshwer (90 km): Situated at the confluence of the rivers Saryu and Gomti, every January Bageshwar hosts the famous Uttaraini fair. Visit its temples or explore the glaciers of Sunderdunga, Kafni and Pindari near Bageshwar.

Ranikhet (50 km): Ask an Indian army man and he will tell you, with pride, the lores of Ranikhet. Officially, this is where the prestigious Kumaun Regiment of Indian Army has its center. The Kumaun Regimental museum and amicably maintained green golf course are sites of interest for vacationers. From here, some 4 km away is Chaubatiya gardens famous for their sprawling orchards of delicious apples, plums, peaches and apricots. In and around Ranikhet there are some famous temples of the Hindus for religious minded like Jhoola Devi Mandir, Ram Mandir, Herakhan Mandir, Kalika Temple and Binsar Mahadeva.


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