Almora - The Cultural Capital of Kumaon

Known for its cultural diversity, Almora, this bewitching hill station is situated at an average elevation of 1,638 metres and is spread across a 5 km ridge atop Kashyap Hill. Being surrounded by the dwindling pines and old oaks, the city has a divine aura that is enough to allure the backpackers. To make the scenery even more mesmerizing, the snow-capped Himalayas stand in utmost grandeur to please the visitant.

The place owes its name to "kilmora" a tiny plant found in the nearby regions, used for washing utensils of Katarmal temple. The people who use to bring the plant was referred to as Kilmori or Almori. Hence, the town came to be known as Almora.

Why Visit Almora?

Almora is famous for its alluring beauty, panoramic view of the Himalayas, rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts and delicious cuisines. The picturesque landscape of Almora attracts hundreds of tourists each year as it is one of the business hubs of Kumaon region.

Chitai Golu Devta Temple and Nanda Devi temple are the famous temples of Almora. Other important temples of Almora are Katarmal (an 800-year old Sun Temple), Jageshwar and Kasar Devi, built on a mountain peak near Kalimuth.

Almora city has several shopping centers which also includes the 200-year-old Lala Bazaar. Almora is also popular for Angora clothes, made from Angora rabbit's fur and Almora's special copper vessels.

You can also enjoy the beauty of sunrise and sunset at Bright End Corner, which is 2 kms from Almora. It was here that Swami Vivekananda stopped en route to the upper Himalayas. 

Activities in Almora

Almora offers vast array of activities for the tourists and backpackers alike. If one is travelling between October and March, the mesmerizing panorama of the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas is complementary.

Adventure activities: The rugged terrain and undulating hills of Almora makes it a perfect spot to try some adventure activities to test your strength and endurance. Rock climbing, Burma Bridge and Spider Web are some of the activities that one can partake in. 

Cycling: Cycling is a fun and healthy way to explore the nearby surroundings at Almora. One can cycle through the dense forest area of Binsar Wildlife with family and friends. 

Shopping: Being a commercial hub, Almora has one of the largest markets in Kumaon region and a perfect spot for shopalcoholic. Apparels made from Angora wool are quite popular in Almora. 

Nature Walks: The natural beauty that encompasses the vicinity of Almora is quite breathtaking. The possibility of exploring this beautiful region would be hard to resist. Nature walk to the nearby villages and hiking are quite popular at Almora.

Staying in Almora

Accommodation is the last thing one needs to worry about when visiting the cultural and commercial hub of Kumaon region – the multihued town of Almora. As one of the busiest town in Kumaon, Almora has accommodation options in abundance. One can easily find a luxurious 3-star hotel or a resort as well as a budget guest house in Almora. Half a dozen government guesthouses (KMVN) have also mushroomed in and around Almora.

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Almora Food Guide

Kumaoni cuisine is scrumptious beyond words and one would agree with the first savory bite of it. There are plenty of restaurants pepper all over Almora that would offer delicious North Indian, South Indian, Chinese and continental food, however finding a restaurant serving an authentic Kumaoni dishes like Gahat Dal, Sisunak Saag, Kappa, Chainsoo would be hard to find. Maybe you’d get lucky and a humble local would invite you for lunch, or maybe not.

Still, nothing can stop one from trying the delectable Kumaoni sweets that local confectioneries would have at display after every nook and corner. The iconic Bal Mithai (a milk sweet), Choklate (no, not your regular ‘Chocolate’ but a fudge like sweet) and Singauri (a kind of milk sweet draped in a green Malu leaf) is all yours to devour and take home! 

History of Almora

In 9th century AD, prior to its establishment, the ancient town of Almora was under the possession of Katyur Dynasty and the region around Almora ruled by a Katyuri King called Baichaldeo. The king donated a large part of his land to a Gujrati Brahmin called Sri Chand Tiwari. Later, during Chand dynasty's rule, Almora was founded by Kalyan Chand around 1560 at the place which he referred to as ‘Alam Nagar’. Under Chand dynasty’s rule, the place came to be known as Rajapur.

Interestingly, the historians have found many copper plates having ‘Rajpur’ name engraved on it. Almora remained under Chand dynasty’s rule until the 18thcentury and was annexed by the Gorkhas in 1790, who ruled it for the next 24 years. After the Gurkha war that took place between 1814-1816, the British conquered Almora and developed it.

Have a Rendezvous with Almora – A Culture, heritage, art and shopping destination 

There are numerous things that one can do in Almora such as visiting the old forts, historical monuments and the royal courts that are still standing tall. Those in search of peace and tranquility can pay obeisance at the sacred temples of Chitai Golu Devta and Nanda Devi. 

It is only at Almora that you relish Aipan, a traditional art form of Kumaon and other cultural munificence at the Govind Ballabh Pant Museum. Stroll at the 200-year-old Lala Bazaar which sees many tourists. And in case you are an admirer of old beauties then you can visit the 800-year-old Katarmal Surya temple, located nearby. 

So if you are all ready for a short trip to Almora then don’t forget to spruce your jaded palates with the local Kumaoni sweets such as Baal Mithai and Singauri which are the highlights of Almora. 

Things that you should know about Almora 

Almora is a municipal board and a cantonment town cocooned in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is also the home to the Gurkha Rifles. Not many people know that the town is famous for Angora clothes made out of the fur of Angora rabbit and for its copper vessels. When the great Hindu philosopher, Swami Vivekananda visited this place he at once fell in love with Almora, such is the beauty of this place.

  • Almora does see its fair share of snowfall in winter. So, if you plan your visit between January and March, chances are you’ll be greeted with snow at Almora.
  • Almora is around 370 km from Delhi. This makes it a plausible weekend getaway destination to spend some quality time with your family and friends amidst nature.
  • Being at an elevation of 1638 metres, Almora gets quite chilly at nights. So, always carry warm clothes with you when travelling to Almora.
  • As Almora is the busiest town and a commercial hub, facilities like ATMs, petrol pumps, eateries are easily available.

Almora is famous for?

Almora is famous among tourist as Hill Station.

Almora is recommended destination for Family and Kids, Foreigners, Solo.

Almora is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Business Hub, Hill Station, Shopping, Weekend Getaway.

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