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Viva Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Home >> Hill Stations of India > Almora Hill Station








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Viva Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Almora
The small town of Almora is perched on a hillock at an altitude of 1650 meters above sea level, about 66 kms from Nainital. Almora looks like a 5 km. long horse – shoe shaped ridge, where the Sitoli forms the front arm and the bazaar the other arm. The town looks out over a fertile terraced valley and four ranges of hills – Banari Devi, Kasan Devi, Shyahi Devi and Katarmal. The Trishul and Nanda Devi peaks in the great Himalayas are located beyond them. In the 16th century the capital of the Chand rulers was shifted from Champawat to Almora.
 Almora
Almora is the district headquarters and the Vivekananda Hill Agricultural Research Laboratory is also housed here. The town is an amalgamation of social and cultural influences drawn from all over Kumaon. Almora was also the home of freedom fighters, writers, journalists, editors, administrators, soldiers and artists. Almora is one of the rare places in the hills where short distances take hours to cover because of twisty, winding hill roads which allows you to visit many places from one central point.

History
Almora was founded by the Chand dynasty in 1560. The Chands ruled over most of the Kumaon which comprises of the present districts of Nainital, Almora and Pithoragarh. Almora still claims to be the cultural capital of the area. Traces of the old Chand fort, paved roads, wooden houses with beautifully carved facades and homes decorated with traditional murals reflect its heritage.

Along with the rest of the UP Himalaya, it was overrun by the Gurkhas in 1798. In the Gurkha Wars of 1814-15, it suffered heavy bombardment by the British as they endeavoured to expel the Gurkhas. Now it is an important market town and administrative centre with an agricultural research station. The picturesque old part of the town is along the ridge. Swami Vivekananda came to Almora and in a small cave at Kasar Devi, 6 kms outside the town, he reputedly gained enlightenment and dreamt that he should share his message with the world.

Shopping in Almora
Almora has plenty of shopping centers with a 1.25 mile stretch of covered bazaars, including the near 200-year-old Lala Bazaar. Some of the interesting local products are Angora cloth made from the fur of Angora rabbits and tamta (copper) vessels. The bazaar, extends from Paltan Bazaar to Narayan Tiwari Dewal, that runs almost parallel to the motor road, and is full of lanes and by-lanes. The Almora's Tamta artisans still use the traditional methods to work with brass and copper. There is also a factory for Kumaon Woolens which produces tweed in the Harris Tweed Style. This is worth a visiting place in Almora.

Tourist Attractions in Almora
About 400 temples were built during 700 and 1300 AD in Almora district. The Sun Temple is one of the most famous temple in Almora. The other tourist attractions in Almora are Almora Fort, Brighton End Corner, Nanda Devi Temple, Kalimath and Simtola. From the Almora fort one can have a 360 degree view of Almora and the surrounding mountains.

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 for his cultural centre and studio. The Nanda Devi temple is approached through Lala Bazaar. The temple was an important meeting place during the freedom movement.
Sun Temple:
The Sun Temple, about 17 km from Almora, is one of the most famous temple in Almora.

Almora Fort:
From the Almora fort one can have a 360 degree view of Almora and the surrounding mountains.

Brighton End Corner:
Brighton End Corner is only 2 km from the bus station on the Mall. It is the most popular point for sunset and sunrise views of the Himalayas.

Nanda Devi Temple:
The Nanda Devi temple is approached through Lala Bazaar. The temple was an important meeting place during the freedom movement. In September, the Nanda Devi Mela is also held here.

Excursion from Almora
Binsar:
Binsar is situated about 30 kms. from Almora. Binsar is one of the most beautiful place in Almora, famous for the closer and wider view of the Himalayas. It was also the summer capital of Chand Kings. The whole region is now under the Binsar Sanctuary. This region is very rich in biodiversity and a centre par excellence for Himalayan views as well as for a holiday in uninterrupted solitude. On moonlit nights, the view of the sparking snow clad peaks is an exhilarating experience. Binsar is a deliciously quiet and peaceful wildlife sanctuary in the Kumaon Hills.

Jageshwar:
Jageshwar is situated about 34 km from Almora and a famous pilgrimage town. Jageshwar was a medieval center of Lakula Shaivism and is widely accepted as the eighth Jyotirlinga. Jageshwar is known for is magnificent cluster of 150 temples. These temples are profusely carved and built by rulers of Kumaon between the 8th century (early Katyuri Dynasty) to the 16th century (Chand Dynasty). There is a tourist bungalow for overnight stay.

Kausani:
Kausani is situated about 52 km from Almora at 1890 meters and is a popular holiday centre. This small settlement, on top of a mountain, offers views of nearly 400 km of snow peaks. The peaks of Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, badrinath, Nandghunti, Trishul, Nanda Devi Panchachuli, Api and Nampa are breathtakingly beautiful. Kausani is a little less accessible to the madding crowd, perched in a corner of Kumaon, who prefer not to venture further up from the yachts at Nainital.

Bageshwar:
Bageshwar is located at the confluence of the Gomti and Saryu rivers at 3,200 feet. The temple complex is one of the main tourist attraction. The Temple is strung with bells, the traditional Kumaoni offerings.

How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is located at Pantnagar.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is located in Kathgodam, about 90 km from Almora via Khariua.

By Road: Almora is linked with other places in the region including Nainital, about 67 kms away and Ranikhet, about 50 km.
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