Overview of Almora:-
Almora is a municipal board and a cantonment town in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the administrative headquarters of Almora district.
If you want a perfect refuge from your hectic busy life, head towards Almora. A place which is in the lap of nature with lush greenery in the divinely beautiful state of Uttarakhand, yes, it is Almora. Situated in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas, Almora takes pride in its natural beauty. Also known as the Town of Temples, a famous Hindu Temple is situated in the heart of the town, called Nanda Devi.
There are many places to visit in Almora are temples like Nanda Devi temple, Patal Devi temple, Maa Dunaguri temple, etc., and few other astounding sites. You can hire a taxi for sight-seeing.
Almora has a lot of hotels and resorts where you can stay comfortably. A few of them are Hotel Bhagwati Palace, Khim’s Guest House, Binsar Resort, Khali Estate, etc. If you are a foodie and wondering what and where to eat, there are some really great restaurants offering finger-licking foods and some suggestions for you are Lali’s Inn and Restaurant, Kasar Rainbow Restaurant, Essence of Nature, Dolma Restaurant, etc.
You should definitely try singauri, ginger tea and choklate in Almora.
If you love shopping, you should definitely visit the street side markets in Almora. The Chowk Bazaar sells some premier quality angora wool garments. Copperwares are also sold there. Another market where you will get a lot of good things to take home is the Lal Bagh Market.
The nearby tourist destinations that you can visit from Almora are Nainital, Kathhgodam, Chaukori, Binsar, Kausani, Ranikheit, Saltakhet, Bageshwar, etc.
Best Tourist Places in Almora:-
Zero points, Katarmal Sun Temple, Kasar Devi Temple, Chitai Temple, Kasar Devi Temple, Bright End Corner, Kalimath, Martola, Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum, Gobind Vallabh Pant Museum and many more places
Almora is a small district situated on the Kumaun hills, which belong to the state of Uttrakhand. The township is located on a crescent-shaped hilltop, surrounded with magnificent sceneries and panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges. This district is a part of the state, which is also called as Devbhoomi and hence possess a number of religious attractions that surround it.
Almora’s tourist places are quite popular for its cultural heritage sites, handicrafts, luscious cuisine and exquisite wildlife. This place is of great value to the tourists and travellers as it offers a variety of things for them to explore.
Almora is surrounded by other famous tourist holiday destinations, like Dehradun, Mussoorie and Rishikesh that add to the list of places that you can cover in one holiday around this township. All these destinations can be reached overnight from Almora. Nestled amidst nature’s beauty, there exist wonderful places to visit in Almora that you can explore time and again.
Things To Do in Almora:-
Trekking:- If you find adventure in trekking, Almora has a number of treks for you which will surely mesmerize you. The Jageshwar trek is the best among all. What makes this trek so captivating is the enchanting natural beauty all along the trek. The lush greenery of the pine and rhododendron trees, the interesting wildlife, the magnificent birds, all have conspired to gift you an experience you will cherish lifelong.
Wildlife:- Almora has great biodiversity. If you are an animal lover, you must visit the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary to get amazed by the peculiar animals there. Also, Almora is home to a large variety of birds. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars on treks.
Mountain biking:- The lofty hills offer great paths for mountain biking. You will get to hire bikes near the areas meant for mountain biking. Satisfy your adventure craves by doing this adventure sports on the enchanting mountains covered with lush green forests.
Nature:- Almora is such a great tourist spot as it is filled with natural beauty and breath-taking views. The view from Zero Point to the Himalayan Ranges is extremely beautiful. Visit the place to see how captivating it is.
Locals:-The locals of Almora are very simple and friendly. They are always happy to help. Don’t hesitate to seek help from the locals in case you can’t figure about something about this heavenly destination.
Food:-The local cuisine of Kumaon region is mouth-watering. You will fall in love with the innovative sweets of Almora, such as the Bal Mithai which is a rich fudgy bar- like desert with sugar pearls all over. Another great desert is Singauri. It is made with evaporated milk wrapped in a leaf with a mouth-watering aroma.
Love Chocolate? The one you will get in Almora is Choklate. Made with condensed milk, you will love this super -yummy fudge. When you are in Almora, don’t forget to have the local Adrak Chai. Wondering what is it? It is Ginger flavoured Tea.
Festivals:- The Town of Temples celebrates its festivals in an auspicious way. The main festival there is the Nanda Devi Festival celebrated in the month of September. The Uttaraini festival celebrated in January is also one of the prime festivals there. The other festivals include Jageshwar festival, holi, and Diwali.
Temples:- Almora, being called the Town of Temples, has some spectacular examples of the same. Let’s see what they are:
• Nanda Devi Temple – This auspicious temple is situated in the middle of the town. The deities worshipped there are Hindu Goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. Visit when are fairs are organised, which starts on Nag Panchami every year. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains; the entire location is enchanting and mesmerising.
• Kasar Devi Temple – This is a famous temple in Almora which is frequented by the locals and the tourists too. Built around the 2nd century, the temple offers splendid views to the nearby valleys. Situated at the top of a mountain, this temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda in 1890-s and he meditated there. A fair is organised every year during the Kartik Poornima, in the honour of Devi.
• Jageshwar Dham – Jageshwar Dham is an auspicious village with around 124 stone temples dedicated to Shiva. The biggest among them is Dandeshwar temple. Apart from his, the other temples are Surya mandir, Nau Durga mandir, Mrityunjay mandir, etc. The place is frequented by the locals as they are all devotees of Shiva. During the annual festival on Shivratri, the village gets crowded by the locals from the entire Kumaon Region.
• Chitai Temple – The deity worshipped in this temple is a Hindu god Golu Devta. Golu Devta is believed to be a typical mythological god of Kumaon. He is worshipped as an incarnation of Shiva. It is believed that Godu Devta grants the wishes of his devotees really quick. The devotees offer bells to the temple after a wish is fulfilled. You will see a lot of bells of different sizes in the temple.
• Katarmal Sun Temple – This is a beautifully constructed temple where sun is worshipped as Vraddhaditya. There are 44 other temples surrounding the main temple. Once, an antique idol was stolen from the temple premises.
• Jhula Devi Temple – The story behind the establishment of the Jhula Devi Temple is very interesting. When the temple was not there, the villagers were too much scared of the wild animals like tigers, leopards, bears, etc., dwelling in a nearby jungle. They were attacked by the animals several times which made their living in that place almost impossible. They started praying to Maa Durga, goddess of strength and power. It is believed that Devi Durga appeared in the dream of a villager and she ordered to dig a place to discover an idol of her. Hence, the idol was taken out and a temple was constructed there. Since then, the villagers started to live freely and the children started playing without fear. The girls used to swing and enjoy. Then Maa Durga appeared again in someone’s dream and ordered to offer a swing to her. A wooden swing, called jhula in Hindi, was made and the idol was placed on it. Since then, the temple is known as Jhula Devi Temple, which means goddess on swing.
• Maa Dunaguri Temple – The temple with 500 steps is a must visit for all as the place is amidst great scenic beauty. You have to take a flight of 500 steps to reach the temple.
• Sri Ram Shila Mandir – This temple is often visited by the locals. The deity worshipped there is Sri Ram and his wife Sita.
• Patal Devi Temple – This temple is named Patal Devi as the temple is underground. Patal means the place below the ground. You have to go down through a tough way to reach the temple. The journey down there is thrilling with stone stairs. Hold the chains on either side for support.
• Gananath Mandir – This beautiful Shiva temple is near some beautiful natural caves. The entire location is bewitching with echoing sounds of the bell rings and hymns chanted. Visit the place during Kartik purnima in the month of November to see the annual festival and fair.
Places which you can’t miss it to Visit
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary:- If you are in Almora, you can never afford to miss this beautiful sanctuary with a great variety of flora and fauna. There are almost seven types of grasses. The entire place is covered with lush Rhododendron and pine trees. You can see Himalayan Gorals, wild boars, pine martens, red foxes, grey langurs, and a lot of other animals. Visit the place in March to see the beautiful red rhododendron flowers bloom.
Zero-point:- This is a viewpoint inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. You will get spectacular views of the Kedarnath, Trishul, Nanda Devi and shivling peaks of the Himalayan range.
Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum:- This is a spectacular museum run by the Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army. The museum showcases the selflessness of the Kumaon Regiment soldiers and the memories of the soldiers who lost their lives safeguarding their motherland.
Bright End Corner:- The Bright End Corner is a View Point to encounter spectacular sunrise and sunset. The place is calm and serene with a library nearby, the name of which is Vivekananda Library and as the name suggests, it houses a lot of books on Swami Vivekananda.
Archaeological Museum, Jageshwar:- The museum showcases the antique sculptures of the Jageshwar temples. There are almost 175 sculptures relating to Jageshwar. The main attraction of the museum, Pona Raja sculpture, is situated in its central hall. Pona Raja was a king in Kumaon. You can visit the museum from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Fridays.
Govind Vallabh Pant Museum:- If you are interested in knowing the Kumaoni culture, visit Govind Vallabh Pant Museum. The museum showcases various photographs, sculptures and artefacts relating to the exotic Kumaon region. The visiting time of this museum is 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Rock Shelter:- Called the Painted Rock Shelters, the place has a number of caves, where ancient humans used to dwell. It is named painted as you will find ancient paintings depicting their daily life, on the walls of the caves. Most of the paintings show animals, trees, humans, hunting processes, etc., in red and white colours. It is really fascinating to see what life was like then.
Simtola:- This is a picturesque picnic spot near Almora. It also acts as a view-point to see the adjoining serene valleys. Opposite to the Horseshoe Ridge, this place is a major tourist attraction. The dense pine vegetation is worth visiting.
Daytime is generally an amalgamation of sunny bright days and cold weather; Nights are generally cold; Pleasant days and cold nights. Warm and pleasant during the day and cold during the night. Pleasant sunny days with chilling nights. Chances of snowfall at the end of the month.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Almora in winters:
1. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary: It happens to be a famous abode for spotting a wide range of wild animals. Tourists love to witness the animals in their natural environment located on top of Jhandi Dhar hills.
2. Martola: It is one of the most picturesque locations in Almora that can be characterized by lush green gardens, mesmerizing hilltops, and scenic natural beauties.
3. Kalimath: Kalimath is very popular for being a perfect spot for carrying out family trips and picnics in the course of the winter season.
4. Bright End Corner: It is an exciting natural hub that stands as a testament for the scenic beauty of Almore. It is also dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, as he had spent more than a few days in meditation here.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Almora for couples:
1. Zero Point: If you wish to sight some of the amazing views of Almora, then you would need to climb to the top of zero points and then get allured by the never lush greenery.
2. Jageshwar Temple: This temple is constructed in the Nagara Style of architecture and also houses one of the 12 jyotirlingas.
3. Katarmal Sun Temple: It is an ancient sun temple that dates back to more than 800 years. The architecture of the temple has close resemblances with that of Konark.
4. Kasar Devi Temple: Located on the edge of Kasshay Hills, this is a popular place that has also been visited by Swami Vivekanand. It is visited by numerous tourists during the annual festival.
Best Time to Visit Almora Temperature and Weather Details
Daytime is generally an amalgamation of sunny bright days and cold weather ; Nights are generally cold; Pleasant days and cold nights. Warm and pleasant during day and cold during the night. Pleasant sunny days with chilling nights. Chances of snowfall at the end of the month.
The best season to visit Almora is the summers and the onset of winters. The favourable months to visit the place are between April to June and September to November. The climate remains pleasant during these moths offering tourists the best holiday experience.
Things To Buy in Almora:- Some of the best items here are jewellery, Angora cloth, shawls, ethnic wear, woollen clothes, etc. Chowk Bazar is famous for decorative items, brass items, copper items, metal utensils, Pashmina shawls, etc. Garud Woollen Shop is famous for the best woollens like sweaters, scarves, muffler, etc.
Best time to Visit All over Uttarakhand:- Due to the diversity of topography in Uttarakhand, it remains accessible to tourists throughout the year. However, seasons of summer and winter are the most favourable. The summer season makes it an ideal time to find respite from the heat in other parts of the country and relish activities like trekking. On the other side, winters in Uttarakhand are perfect to enjoy the beauty of the state all blanketed by the snow.
Summer Season:- The weather during summer season remains moderate in some places, whereas some towns and villages in the upper realm stay untouched from the heat of the sun. The temperature in summer in Uttarakhand ranges 20°C to 40°C (in Terai Region of the state) and April to June are the months of summer. It is during this time, a lot of devotees also perform the pilgrimage. The season is also ideal for trekking
Rainy -Monsoon Season:- During the period of July to September, the monsoon season marks the state of Uttarakhand. The temperature of Uttarakhand in monsoon ranges between 15°C and 25°C and the place receives heavy rainfall during this time. Thus, it is advisable to check the weather forecast before planning a trip.
Winter Season:– During the winter season, Uttarakhand looks most scenic as it snows at several places in the state. The temperature usually ranges between 0°C and 15°C. Additionally, October to March is considered as the months of winters in Uttarakhand. The weather during these months is chilly and snowfall is quite obvious.
Best Time to Visit Almora:- March to April and September to October are considered as the best time to visit Uttarakhand. The state has wonderful weather all through the year. Trekking, Paragliding and The Char Dham Yatra are the most popular activities during Summer, which is also the Peak Season in Uttarakhand.
Best Time to Visit Hills and Valleys from March to Mid of July and from Mid of September to November from November, December and January to February months are chilly months to view snow and from March till June is summer time and from October till June are the Peak and mid seasons to visit Hills and valleys.