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Location : Kumaon (Uttarakhand)
Main Attraction : Nanda Devi Temple
Best Time : April to June And September to November
Languages / Dialect : Hindi, English, Kumaoni
Simplicity of Almora is the first striking feature for tourists. The glitz and glamour that is common in most of the cities in Uttarakhand is a rare issue in Almora, yet, you won’t be jaded by this simple city. The comparative disadvantage of Almora for having less showy nature than cities like Nainital and Ranikhet makes it a less crowded place. The virgin hill station of Almora teems with scenic beauty as this city of Uttarakhand is fortunate to have been blessed by Mother Nature and it is evident from the bountiful nature. Being the regional capital of Kumaon, city of Almora is far from the lights and hubbub of modern city that often hampers peace. Tourists can find a serene respite in this city while exploring the lifestyle of the humble natives.
The location of the city has a quaint shape since Almora is located on a horse shoe shaped hillock. The hillock is covered with lush greenery making the city overflow with oxygen. The city is a picturesque one since it is set against an immaculate white canvas of snow capped summit of Himalayas. The places for tourist’s attraction are many in this city and religious centers of Hindus form the main tourist attraction of Almora. The richness in Almora’s Culture can also be noticed through the colorful festovals during the languid stay in the city. However, you need to plan according the festival dates or else you will miss this chance of watching the fiestas of Almora.
Prime Attractions :
Nanda Devi temple : A holy place for Hindus, this temple stands its site from ancient times. The significance of the temple in the social and religious life of the people of Almora rests on the strong faith of the deity enshrined in it. The temple architecture and delicately carved images on its walls and pillars are a matter of astonishment for beholders. Nanda Devi fair held annually at the temple premises is an interesting celebration to see.
Chetai Temple : Located 8 km away from the region of Almora, this temple occupies a special place in the heart of local people. The site of the temple is within the natural settings and this attracts the nature lovers to this place.
Museums offer you avenues to travel back in time and know the history of a state. Govind Vallabh Pant Public Museum is located just adjacent to Almora Bus Stand. You can get important insights about the art, culture, religion and lifestyle of the people living in the region. The articles put for exhibition in the museum are plenty and you can spend hours scanning them. Tourists will find the articles of archeological importance interesting at the museum. Art gallery within the museum elaborately showcases ‘Apen’, which is a different form of native painting. The museum stays open from 10.30 a.m. till 4.30 p.m.
Other places to visit :
Deer park :
Within distance of 3 kms from Almora the deer park in situated. A leisurely evening walk in the park is a pleasurable experience.
Bright and Corner :
This unusual site is located just 2 km from Almora and offers breathtaking views of sunset and sunrise. The scenes of dawn and dusk are beautiful in two different ways. The place is located within a serene atmosphere and provision of a circuit house in the region makes it more lucrative fro tourists. If you are rapt reader then Vivekanand library located in Ramkrishna Kutir near the Bright and Corner can be treasured place for you.
This is an ideal picnic spot and is within a short distance of 3 kms from Almora. Pine and fur trees cover most of the part of Simtola and you can enjoy your picnic amidst a verdant setting.
Excursions in Almora :
Jageshwar : This place is situated within a distance of 34 kms from Almora. Jageshwar is an ancient series of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The articulate designs on the walls and pillars of the temples will insist a beholder to have a closer look to it.
Gannath : This area is famous for Shiva temple as well as caves. Tourists find the temples set within the natural surroundings a splendid place worth spending a day.
Katarmal : This Sun temple is the second most important among the sum temples of India. The ancient temple is almost eight centuries old but due to lack of knowledge tourist don’t visit it much. This gives the viewers a chance to explore this temple without barging into a crowd. Sheer negligence has made the temple turn in ruins yet, you can see the architectural finesse in some of the remains of the temple.
Kalimath : This is yet another ancient temple and it is situated at an altitude from where you can have a clear view of Almora city (4.5 km away) and its adjoining sites.
Binsar : This place is one more temple situated 30 km away from Almora city. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and its construction was done with the efforts of King Kalyan, who belonged to Chandravansi dynasty. The temple has been set at a lofty height of 2412 mts and this renders the serenity to this temple.
Bageshwar : This place a little far from Almora – 90 kms from the city. This place is an important commercial town and it is situated by the side of River Saryu. The place is derives its name from the deity Lord Bagnath worshipped in a temple in this place. Visitors of this place can fond well facilitated accommodations in this place. Touring Bageshwar thus become easy as one can take his own time to see the town and temple in details.
Martola : This place is set amidst beautiful gardens and forests. It is located just within a distance of 10 kms from Almora and one can complete the tour to Martola within a single day and return to Almora on the same day.
Bajinath : this place has a high historical I mportance and it is located at a distance of 71 kms from the city of Almora. Bajinath can also be reached from Bageshwar as it is located 21 kms away from bageshwar. At Bajinath one can get to see several ancient temples delicately designed by talented anonymous craftasmen. A closer examination of the temples will give tourist a clear idea about the artistic sense and potential for sculpting that the ancient craftsmen possessed.
Fairs and festivals :
Kasar Devi Mela :
The Festival is held at a picturesque old part of Almora town. The fair is held twice in a year.
Shravan Mela :
Jageshwar is the venue of this fair. The complex of temples of Jageshwar enshrining twelve jyotirlingas of India is set amidst the beautiful valley of Jatanga. There are two fairs held in this site; one is Shravan (held during the months of July-August) and the other is held during Shivratri.
Somnath Mela :
This fair is held on the day of Vishuwat Sankranti. The Somnath Fair is held in the Shiva temple and one of the attractive events during this fair is fish catching by local villagers.
Ram Lila :
This is an interesting enactment of the character of Lord Rama in the epic Ramayana. The pompous show of Ram Lila calls several spectators and the battle between Ram and Ravana is the main attraction in this drama. It is one of the popular shows held n the region of Kumaon.
When one has arrived Almora, he or she is certainly going to be fond of the sweets of theis place. Among the different forms of sweets Singora and Bal Mithaiare is the most popular one. The city is not just famous for sweets and rabbit woolen clothes have a good market at Almora. These clothes are quite warm and at the same time affordable enough. Picking up decorative items like brass utensils and other metal object will be a great idea as these items are found in plenty in the market of Almora. Lal Bazar and Chowk Bazar are two most busy markets of Almora where you can readily find gifts for your folks and friends.
Almora city is in its best spirit twice in a year; September to November and April to June. In case one misses these two time slot then it is better to visit Almora anytime avoiding the monsoon. During summer, this hull station stays comparatively warmer than the nearest hill stations and thus staying at Almora is a pleasure during summer.
Tourist Information Centres :
Uttarakhand Tourist Information Center at Mall Road, Nanital, Uttarakhand.
Kumaon Mandal Vikash Nigam (KMVN )Information Center on mountaineering tours at Nanital and Uttarakhand,.
Incharge of Tourist Office of Uttarakhand at Kumaon Mandal Vikash Nigam, Chandralok Building, 36 Janpath New Delhi - 110 001 India.