Almora is a small town situated in the great Himalayas. It is situated in Kumaun mountains in the eastern Uttarakhand. Known for its cultural diversity, Almora is an alluring hill station spread across 5 km ridge atop of Kashyap Hill. This place has divine atmosphere which is enough to attract the travel junkies. To make this place more alluring to the travelers the snow-capped Himalayas stand majestically to please the tourists. Almora is also known as the town of temples and Goddess Nandadevi temple is situated at the centre of the city. Almora is also famous for its largely spread agriculture. An amazing fact about the exploration fact about the exploration of Almora is that unlike other hill stations in India, it was not discovered and developed by the Britishers. The rivers Kosi and Suyal flow around Almora to give the natural boundary. The unknown fact about this scenic beauty is that Jawaharlal Nehru served a term of imprisonment in the jail of Almora during the British rule.
History of Almora
History of Almora is dated back to the mythological time of Mahabharata. A Chinese pilgrim wrote a detail about a kingdom names “Brahmaputra”, this was the first time Almora had its mention in the history. Katyuri dynasty had just established the kingdom in this area. The Katyuri kingdom ruled from Dwarahat in Katurya valley. The region where present day Almora is located was reined by King Baichaldeo. Almora was founded around 1560 by Kalyunchand and named it “Alam Nagar” which was also called “Rajpur”. Almora was raided by Ali Muhammad Khan Rohilla. Later, it was also conquered by the Gurkhas in 1790 and was ruled by them for 24 years until it was taken away by the Britishers in 1815. The mountain on which Almora is situated has its mention in the great epic Mahabharata. This place is named after the tiny plant “Kilmora” which is found in the nearby province of Almora. Kilmora plant was used for washing the utensils of the Katarmal temple. According to the ancient lore, the earliest inhabitants of Almora were Tewaris. At present Almora is the hub for trade and other social, cultural, political activities. It is a district place for Uttarakhand state.
Culture of Almora
Almora region of Kumaun hills has ample of folk lore and folk tales of Narsingh and Ghana, Parukh Pant and the fable of courage of Gangnath and legendary tales of Golu, Kalsem, Bin-bhat, Ganwara, Pari, Churmal Airi and Anchari are well-known. Almora is known as the heart of Kumaon culture and has a fascinating rich cultural heritage. The folk songs in this region are in the poetic form narrating the grandeur of the Himalayas, inherent delight of Nandadevi, Panchhchuli, Trishul and mesmerizing nature. The folk songs are frequently dedicated to the fields, forest, streams, rivers, fauna and the snow-capped mountains. Their folk dance and music are inspired by the daily life of people of the town. Nandadevi mela festival starts on the day marked for the Devi’s visit to her parents’ home and ends with the return to her husband’s home. Folk songs of Uttarakhand beautifully explain this tradition. At the time of Nandadevi festivals, the travelers can enjoy the glimpse of their traditional folk dance “Jhora” and “Chanchari”. Almora has eye-catching handicrafts and prominent copperware industry of its own. The festival of Basant Panchami as per Hindu calendar is the second last month of the year “Magh”. On this pious day goddess Saraswati is worshipped and everyone wears yellow color clothes.
How to Reach Almora
By Air– There is no availability of airport in Almora. Pantnagar is the nearest airport, located 115 kms away from Almora. Regular buses and taxis are available from airport to Almora and is well connected by highways to Almora.
By Rail– The Nearest Railway station to Almora is Kathgodam which is 83 kms away. It does not have a railway station of its own. Most of the trains from Kathgodam are via Delhi. You can hire taxi to reach Almora from kathgodam.
By Road– Road is the best way to reach Almora as they are well connected to all major cities of North India and other hill stations. There are buses are run by private and government operators that connect to Almora and are mostly overnight. Private taxis are also easily available.
Best Time to Visit Almora
Almora is open for visiting all year round. Although winters here are a bit severe therefore, it recommended to visit in summer season or light winter. March, April, may, June, September, October and November are the most ideal months to visit this scenic beauty.
What you will like
The natural beauty and charm of nature is the major attraction of this hill station.
What you might not like
This place is not suitable for the travelers who want to go to fancy hotels, resorts. It’s a nature lover’s paradise.
Everyone especially people with the lust and passion for photography and adventure sports.
Food of Almora
Almora has a variety of mouthwatering cuisines to offer its tourists and tickle their taste buds. The food variety includes North Indian food such as dals, vegetables and rice and traditional Kumauni delicacies to make you experience authentic food. Majority of the restaurants are located from the mall road.
Glory Restaurant – It is one of the most popular and best place to experience multi-cuisine food in a beautiful and calm environment.
Bansal café – For all the caffeine lovers, Bansal Café’s cup of hot tea and coffee is a must try option to relieve themselves from the tiring day of exploring Almora city.
Mohan Singh Kheem Singh Rautella – This sweet shop is all over famous for its sweets especially, Bal Mithai. It is advised to visit the shop before 11 in the morning as all the sweets are sold out by then.
Valley Restaurant – It is located at the main road; therefore, one can also walk down to this place enjoying the serene view of the hills and valleys. It serves dishes varying from continental to Chinese.
Shopping in Almora
This city is equipped with several shopping centers. This place is famous for Angora clothes, made from Angora rabbit’s fur and the copper vessels made from the copper industry of Almora. Few of the main markets in Almora are:
Lala Bagh Market – This market offers everything ranging from sweets, bronze items, brassware items to rabbit wool clothes and handicrafts. This buzzing market is a 200-year-old and offers the purest quality of wool.
Thana Bazar – Thana Bazar is the heart of Almora city. It is also known as Almora Bazar. This market is spread on 1.5 kms with no availability of vehicles inside the market. This place is a must visit place for all the foodie. Shop named “Mohan Singh Kheem Singh Rautela” is the most famous shop of Almora city to buy sweets from.
Almora 3 days Itinerary
Day 1- Your travel destinations for this day should include Nandadevi Temple, Lala Bazar and Bright End Corner. After visiting Nandadevi temple head for Lala bazar where you can shop for the traditional handicrafts, copperware and the woolens. To experience the most beautiful sunset head towards the Bright End Corner and relax yourselves in the arms of mother nature. After this treat yourself with the multi-cuisine food at the Glory Restaurant to make a delicious end of your tiring day.
Day 2- This day should include places like Binsar Sanctuary. It is a bird sanctuary but if you are lucky enough, you can also spot a fox or a leopard. After having a tour of the sanctuary head to Valley Restaurant for a delicious lunch. Now, get yourself ready to experience the adventure that waits for you, i.e. Mountain Biking, Trekking. Relax yourself at the Budden Memorial church to fill yourself with the glorious history of Almora with the tasty dinner followed.
Day 3- Start your day going to Mohan Singh Kheem Singh Rautella sweet shop to purchase your favorite sweets and start heading towards Mall road for shopping around and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place.