Prior to the establishment of Almora town, the region was under the possession of Katyuri king Baichaldeo who then donated it to the Gujarati king Sri Chand Tiwari. Under the Chand kingdom, Kalyan Chand established Almora in 1568. It was given the name of Rajapur. Almora became the administrative headquarters of the Kumaun subsequent to the defeat of the Gorkhas in the Anglo-Gorkha war of 1815.
Almora prides itself till date as the cultural capital of Kumaon on account of its rich heritage, its preserved practice of the traditional cuisine and its till date production and creation of authentic handicrafts made by the artisans of the region. The places name was coined from ‘kilmora’ a small plant that grows in the region. It is a small hill station surrounded by peaks and specs of pine trees, letting you drive into a cosy hill station getaway. Here are 5 things to do in and around Almora:
Well, if you are in the mountains you must catch a sight of them as soon as you arrive, right?!
Start your trip to Almora by heading to Zero Point, to feel the proximity to the peaks that you have been craving to see. A short 2kms long trek will bring you to the most scenic spot of Almora. From here you can spot the infamous Himalayan peaks of Kedarnath, Trishul, Nanda Devi and Shivling. It is the highest vantage point located inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Make sure to grab a pair of binoculars for your visit because this is your chance to gaze into the peaks from the entire 360 degrees angle!
Temples – Kasar Devi, Nanda Devi, Jageshwar Temple, Katarmal Sun Temple and Chitai Golu Devta Temple
As it prides itself as the Kumaon cultural capital, it lets you get a glimpse of the said culture at its temples. The Kasar Devi and Nanda Devi are undoubtedly the most popular ones.
Kasar Devi is a small and simple shrine but it has been here since the 2nd century CE. It makes for a comfortable 5kms day trek as you make your way to reach the shrine at the edge of the mountains, one which had the likes of Bob Dylan and Jawaharlal Nehru visit to pay respect to it.
Nanda Devi, the temple holds great reverence amongst the locals due to the piousness towards the goddess. Almora celebrates the annual festival for Nanda Devi in one of the most elaborate forms in the Kuamon region. The thousand years old temple has not seen a dwindling in the number of its visitors and still greets throngs of devotees regularly.
You can also go pay your respects at Jageshwar Temple, Katarmal Sun Temple and Chitai Golu Devta Temple.
When was the last time that you had a vacation? If it takes you too long to recollect, you know it’s been too long. Don’t worry, my friend, it is your holiday and there couldn’t be a better time to have yourself a picnic. Pack up a basket of munchies and snacks, maybe the book that is travelling with you on this trip, some card games or frisbees and whatever your heart pleases. This deer park is for the wildlife lovers as you can watch families of deer quietly grazing on the grass and sunbathing around, at peace in nature. On occasion, visitors have been lucky enough to even spot the Himalayan Black Bear and leopards. Maybe it could be your day too!
Near the town of Almora is this little hamlet called Martola.
With its thick woodlands and stretches of gardens, it invites you in for a quiet cosy afternoon. You could have another picnic or simply spend your time walking around here. The locals live a quaint life here and you can pass through observing it. The green densely covers the region and lets you breathe in and feel closer to nature in a calming way.
Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum
This one is for the history lovers. It honours the Kumaon and Naga regiments of the Indian Army. Displays from the Kargil war, Chinese rifles from the 62 war, photographs and exhibits can be found here as you read through and get connected with your patriotic roots.
Click here to read about Sunderdhunga Trek in Uttarakhand!
So, visit Almora for the culture, the heritage, the wildlife and most of all for the closeness to the mountain tops and the hills which this town truly lets you cherish in its simplicity and serenity.
Have you read Neeraj Narayanan’s book – This Guys’s On His Own Trip yet? It’s right now #1 bestseller in the travel books category on Amazon. Click here to buy your copy!