Almora is one of the three hill districts in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand or Uttaranchal, in the north part of India. This place of scenic beauty is located at an altitude of 5900 feet. The town is in the shape of a horse shoe. It is perched on a five km mountain range between the river Kosi and river Suyal.
Almora was ruled by the Chand dynasty for over a thousand years. Raja Kalyan Chand of this dynasty founded the town in the year AD 1560. Later the British took it over from the Gorkhas. Swami Vivekananda meditated in a cave here and was enlightened. The Nanda Devi festival is celebrated every year which pulls lots of devotees towards Almora.
Almora is a perfect blend of mountain beauty, ancient culture, thickly wooded forests, scenic valleys, gushing rivers, quaint cottages and crystal clear lakes. All these together inspire one to call this place as the “Switzerland of India”.
Bright End Corner:
The Bright End Corner view point is just two km away from this town. Here tourists can enjoy seeing both sunrise and sunset.
The Chitai temple is eight km away from this hilly town. This temple houses Lord Golu. One can see a large collection of brass bells of different sizes which have all been donated to this temple by a number of devotees. Trekkers can reach this temple by a walk through the surrounding pine forest or else can hire a cart.
Nanda Devi Temple:
The Nanda Devi temple is 1000 years old and it is a prime attraction of Almora. In this beautifully carved temple, a dance festival is conducted every year.
Kasar Devi temple:
The Kasar Devi temple was built on a mountain peak in the second century AD. It is just five km from Almora. Many foreigners have built their houses in the surrounding area. All the above places can be explored within a day. There are also many more sites to be explored near Almora.
Kalimutt, a scenic spot which gives a panoramic view of the majestic mountains is just five km from the town.
Narayan Tiwari Dewan Deer Park:
Narayan Tiwari Dewan Deer Park is just three km from the town.
Tourists can see an 800-year old Sun temple with intricate sculptures at Kataramal, seven km away from Almora.
Spiritually inclined travelers must visit the Lord Shiva temples at Binsar (30 km) and Jageshwar (34 km). Nature lovers should visit Gannath, 47 km away from Almora. Here one can see a Lord Shiva temple with natural caves. Kausani, 52 km away from Almora is famous for its breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan peaks. One can enjoy the pollution free, greenery of oak and pine forests in Ranikhet cantonment region at about 50 km. This region is full of densely wooded forests and orchards with various fruits like apple, peaches, plums and apricots. Ranikhet is also an Indian Army Regimental Center. Dwarahat, 32 km away from Ranikhet has a Doonagiri temple dedicated to Goddess Durga amidst dense forests and tea estate. This temple is famous for having the herbal drug called Sanjivini.
The best season to visit is April-June and September-November. The nearest airport is at Pant Nagar (Nainital). The nearest railhead is at Kathgodam (90 km) which in turn is connected with other airports like Lucknow, Howrah and Delhi, the capital city of India. Almora is also connected with major places in Uttaranchal through roads. Taxis and buses are available for local transportation.