Almora district is endowed with exceptional natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, exquisite handicrafts, delectable cuisine and exotic wildlife.This charming hill resort was the flourishing capital of the Chand dynasty. The region was earlier under the reigns of the Katyuri king Baichaldeo, who donated this area to a Gujarati Brahmin Sri Chand Tiwari.
In 1560 the capital of Chand Dynasty was shifted to Almora (from Champawat) by Kalyan Chand. The beautiful town is set on a 6 kms long horse saddle shaped ridge. It affords breathtaking views of the snowy summits of Himalayas and is an excellent place for a peaceful holiday.picturesque district of Almora is a fine blend of mountain beauty; ancient cultural influences, sanctified spots, thickly wooded forests, scenic valleys, quaint cottages, crystal lakes and gushing rivers all inspiring one to call it the 'Switzerland of India'.
Almora is a hill district in the central Kumaon region of Uttaranchal. It is a beautiful scenic place situated at an altitude of 5900 ft. It was founded by Raja Kalyan of Chand Dynasty in 1560 AD. Almora is a town in the shape of a horse shoe perched on a 5 km long mountain range in between the river Kosi and SuyalThere is a cave where Swami Vivekanand meditated and was enlightened. Almora was captured by British from Gorkhas, who have left their mark on this town. Nanda Devi festival is celebrated here, during which devotees from all over India visit this place.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi, meet assist at the Airport Railway Station transfer to hotel. after lunch half day sightseeing tour of Delhi covering Laxmi Narayan Temple, Qutab Minar, India Gate, President house. Night stay in Delhi.
Day 2: Delhi - Mussorie
Morning drive to Mussorie enroute visit Haridwar covering Ashrams and temples- Mansa Devi and Chamunda Devi etc. Arrive and transfer to hotel and rest of the day is at leisure. Night stay in Mussoorie.
Day 3: Mussorie
Morning visit the most beautiful 'Kempty Waterfalls' and enjoy an optional cable car ride at the Gun Hills for a beautiful views of the Dun valley. Evening free to explore various scenic sights / visit mall road and individual activities. Night stay in Mussorie.
Day 4: Mussorie - Ranikhet
Meals: BreakfastMorning after breakfast check-out from hotel. And drive to Ranikhet 'The Queens Field', transfer to hotel and rest of the day is for a leisurely walks of this gorgeous town of Ranikhet. Night stay in Ranikhet.
Day 5: Ranikhet
Meals: BreakfastAfter breakfast excursion to Kausani, nature own reserve and idle to spend a quiet holiday in the lap of nature with stunning view of the Himalayan Ranges. Afternoon picnic near the River Kosi and day to explore the beauty of nature. Evening return to Ranikhet. Night stay in Ranikhet.
Day 6: Ranikhet - Almora
Morning drive to yet another beautiful hill station of Almora. Arrive and transfer to hotel and rest of the day is at leisure to explore the unspoiled flora & fauna of this beautiful hill station. Night stay in Almora.
Day 7: Almora
Full day excursion to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary a 30-minute drive from Almora. Day at the sanctuary. Night stay in Almora.
Day 8: Almora - Nainital
Meals: BreakfastMorning after breakfast check-out from hotel. Drive to Nainital, the most beautiful hill station of Kumaon. Check in to your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Evening you will walk to Naini Lake and enjoy a boat ride. Night stay in Nainital.
Day 9: Nainital
Full day is at leisure to explore the hill retreat of Nainital. It is blessed with scenic natural splendour and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the epithet of 'Lake District' of India. Night stay in Nainital.
Day 10: Nainital - Delhi
Nestled amidst the misty and green Kumaoun Himalayas, Almora near Nainital is one of the beautiful tourist attractions of Uttaranchal. Almora is a little picturesque hilly town which has excellent scenic beauty and allures the nature loves from world over. Tucked away amidst the Himalayas this city is a perfect blend of vintage flavor with the rustic charm. Indian Holiday offers you online information on Shopping in Almora.
Nanda Devi Festival
Nanda and Sunanda ( Photgraph : Anoop Shah)The best known fair of this region, held in the month of September at Almora town, is organized since the Chand kings ruled this place. It is believed that 'Nanda' used to be the family Goddess of Chanda dynasty. The word meaning of the word 'Nanda' is prosperity. The temple of 'Nanda' in Almora was built by Dyot Chanda in seventeenth century, the then ruler of this place. Presently this temple remains the core of the festival. The duration of the festival is five days and approximately twenty five thousand people tourist come to attend this festival.
Uttraini Festival Bageshwer
One of the largest fair of Kumaun region, the Uttraini festival of Bageshwer, is organized in the month of January for a period of one week and is frequented by Almora traders, on barter or money lending intent, and by the Bhotiyas from the snows, as well as by a great multitude of people from the surrounding villages. The town of Bageshwer, 90 km from Almora town, is a junction of two rivers, namely Saryu and Gomti. At the junction of these rivers stands a large temple with it's conical tower. Here is the shrine of Bageswar or Vyagreswar, the, "Tiger Lord", an epithet of Lord Siva.
Jageshwer Moonsoon Festival
The festival of great religious and historical importance, Jageshwer Monsoon Festival is organized from 15 July to 15 August. The temple of Lord Jagnath , erected somewhere in 8th - 9th century is one among the twelve 'Jyotirlinga' of Lord Shiva in India. Having it's archeological importance the group of temples of Jageshwer consists of 125 small and big temples of ancient times. This festival is of great religious importance for Kumauni society. The daily inflow of the number of tourists in this month long festival remains one thousand approximately.
Dushara Festival Almora
Dushera at Almora ( Photograph : Anoop Shah)The famous festival of Hindus, Dushara, in October, commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, the monstrous ten-headed king of Lanka or Ceylon, as described in Ramayana, is celebrated in a very unique way in Almora town. Approximately five to six thousand tourists from the outskirts come to attend the festival in Almora town. Showing the symbolic victory of the truth the effigies of devils are prepared in a very artistic manner in almost all the 'Mohallas' (wards) of the town. Finally in a social gathering all these effigies are burnt. The festival is generally celebrated in the month of October.
Other Festivals in Almora
In addition to these, various other local festivals are organized in this region, which are religiously or otherwise associated with the heritage, art and culture of this region. Out of these very famous areSrikrishna Janmasthami Festival,Ranikhet, Nanda Devi Festival of Nainital and Ranikhet, Autumn Festival Nainital and Ranikhet, Syaldey - Bikhauti Mela, Dwarahat, Somnath Mela, Masi, Mahashivratri Festivals of Binsar Mahadev, Sauni;Hedakhan, Chiliyanaula ; Bhikiyasain; Punyagiri Navratri Maila, Devidhura Raksha Bandhan Mela, Doonagiri Mela, Mustamanu Fair, Kapileshwar Fair, Krishnajanmashtami Fair of Kalapani Gunji Kanardevi fair at Baram at Gori Valley Honkara Devi Fair at Birthi Dhanlekh Fair at Askot Laccher Fair of Naini Patal.
Bright End Corner: It is situated 2km form Almora. This site is famous for picturesque sunset and sunrise seen through the Himalayan peaks. There is a library named after Vivekananda which has numerous books on literature and teachings. You can also visit Vivekananda Memorial where Swami Vivekananda had stopped for a while on his journey to the Himalayas.
Martola: It is an ideal spot for picnicking situated amidst lush green gardens. Situated 10kms from Almora, Martola is inhabited mostly with foreigners. Buses and taxis are available up to Panuwanaula and one has to cover the remaining distance on foot.
Kalimut: It is a scenic spot dedicated to Goddess Kali, situated at a distance of 5kms from Almora. The views of the snow capped Himalayan peaks are invigorating from here.
Deer Park: Deer Park is situated just 3km from Almora. Deer Park comes in NTD (Narayan Tiwari Dewai).
Gobind Ballabh Pant Public Museum: This museum is situated opposite to the bus stand. The museum remains closed on Mondays and other Government Holidays. It is open from 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Simtola: The ravishing views of the mountains covered with pine and deodar trees are enchanting from Simtola. Simtola is a popular spot for camping and picnicking and it is situated 3km from Almora.
Katarmal Sun Temple: It is the second most important temple to Sun God, the first one being Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Katarmal is more than 800years old. Situated 7km from Almora this historical important temple is an example of intricate sculpturing.
Chitai Temple or Gollu Devta: Chitai Temple is dedicated to Gollu Devta, an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav. Situated 8kms from Almora the deity of this sacred temple is reputed to make every wish come true, provided the worshipper ask for it with a clear conscience. All he asks for in propitiation is a bell, as was evident from the thousands of bells strung across the temple premises. Anyone can even seek Gollu Devta"s divine intervention by writing to him. Stacks of letter are pinned all over the temple along with bells.
Markets of Almora: The main markets or bazaar of Almora are Lala Bazaar, Malli Bazaar, Karkhana Bazaar and Thana Bazaar. You can buy local utensils, clothes, and other things of your necessity in these bazaars.
Kasar Devi Temple: Kasar Devi Temple is situated at a distance of 7km from Almora. This sacred temple is also mentioned in Skanda Purana and it is also said that Swami Vivekananda meditated here in the year 1920. An inscription found on a stone boulder, indicates that the temple was built by a king named Rudrak. The place affords enchanting view of the splendid Himalayas.
Best Season / Best time to visit Almora
Almora has a pleasant and cool climate all through the year with the annual average maximum temperature is around 23°C and average minimum temperature is about 11.5°C.
Summers (April to July) are moderate with maximum temperature below 30°C and is ideal for all sight seeing visits.
Monsoons (August to October) are associated with moderate rains, it makes Almora beautiful and attractive with fresh greeneries.
Winters (December to February) offer chilly cool climate with temperature touching down to 4°C. December and January months are freezing.
Best time to visit Almora is during March to November.
March to June months are inviting for outings and sight seeing.
July to November months are really beautiful with intermittent showers and those who like to be in rains are welcomed.
December to February months are chilly with snow fallings and dew.
How to Reach Almora
By Air: The nearest airport for Almora is Pantnagar. Pantnagar Airport is situated 115kms from Almora. Taxis are available to Nainital, Haldwani and Almora from Pant Nagar Airport. Buses are available from Haldwani, Kathgodam and Nainital to Almora.
By Rail: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Almora situated at a distance of 83kms. Kathgodam is well connected with major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata. Trains are frequent to Kathgodam as it is the gateway of Kumaon region. Buses and Taxis are Available to Almora from Kathgodam.
By Road: Almora is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of northern India. Buses to Kathgodam and Almora can be taken from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi. Almora is connected with NH87 and NH87E. Taxis to Almora are easily available in Kumaon region. The distance from Delhi to Almora is 365kms if you travel via Moradabad and Bilaspur. This distance can be easily covered in 9-10 hours of time.