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A Complete Tour Guide To Almora Hill Station

Located in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand, Almora is the place you want to be if you want to experience the Kumaon culture, handicrafts, wildlife and most importantly, the mouth watering cuisines. Unlike other hill stations in Uttarakhand, which were developed by the British, Almora was founded by the ruler of the Katayuri Dynasty around the 9th century AD. The king then donated a large portion of the region to the Chand Dynasty who founded the town and named it Rajapur. It was then captured by the Gorkhas and subsequently the British after the Anglo-Gorkha wars. Almora was also the place where the Indian freedom fighter and politician Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned by the British. The town lies on a ridge shaped hillock which is nearly 5 kilometers long and around 1700 meters above sea level. The town is also a pilgrimage spot and also referred to as the town of temples.

almora-hill-station
Photo by Piyush Kumar, CC BY-SA 1.0 

Climatic Conditions

Being located in the Himalayan foothills, Almora enjoys a moderate and cool weather throughout the year. The summer months start in the month of April and last till June. The temperatures during these months are usually ranging between 12-28 degrees Celsius. There might be a possibility that the sun is too bright in the afternoon and temperatures might feel a bit warmer than usual. However the cool evening breeze provides a refreshing experience. The monsoon season arrives around the mid of July and continues throughout August and September. October weather is really pleasant with the post monsoon greenery and a mildly cold weather which is the sign of approaching winter. The months of December, January and February see a really cold winter with temperatures dropping to below freezing during nighttime.

Best Time to Visit

While Almora is accessible all year round the best time to visit the place is between the summer months. The summers in Almora are mildly warm and the cool evening breeze provides a pleasant refuge from the summers. Nevertheless, the festivities start in Almora post monsoons in the months of October and November when it becomes a melting pot of pilgrims, the various cultural programs and festivities coupled with a mildly cold weather. But if you want to experience a Kumauni winter, the best time to visit is during mid February when the cold isn’t as harsh as December and January and the signs of oncoming spring season in the month of March are evident.

Attractions/Things to Do

Almora is one of the picturesque hill stations in India and also a pilgrim spot that is famously called the town of temples. There are many things to do and places to visit in Almora. You can visit the Chetai temple which is dedicated to a local Kumauni deity. The temple is around 2 kilometers from Almora which transverses through a picturesque route lined with pine trees. You can also visit the Binsar Temple complex which is also situated around 8 kilometers from Almora. While you’re at it you can also get a fantastic view of the Binsar Top. Bright end corner is located just at a small distance of 2 kilometers and it provides some marvelous views of the sunrise and the sunset. The place is dedicated to swami Vivekananda who lived here while on his visit to the Himalayas. If you are aching for a little encounter with the wildlife of Kumaon, you can also visit the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary where more than 200 species of birds can be seen. The protected area is also home to fauna like Panthers, Leopards, Himalayan Bear, Flying squirrel, Foxes, Musk Deer and barking deer etc. You can also check out the various handicrafts such as the Himalaya Woolens which are hand woven by the locals. While you are in Almora do not forget to try out the various Kumauni Sweets which are mostly made with milk and are extensively flavorful.

How to Reach

Being well connected to the nearby towns and cities in Uttarakhand there are several ways you can reach Almora. The two nearest airports are located in Nainital and Pithoragarh which have connecting flights via Delhi and other major airports in India. Reaching Almora by train is also not a big problem as there are two railway stations which are less than 100 kms away from Almora. You can reach Haldwani which is 90 kilometers from Almora or you can take a train to Kathgodam which is even closer to Almora. You can take a shared taxi from the Haldhwani Station or buses which run on an hourly basis to Almora. There are daily bus services from Delhi to Almora for the people who want to travel by road. Flying to Almora is the fastest way to reach here as you can take a flight to the Pantnagar Airport which has only 6 scheduled flights in a week from Delhi.

Distance from Major Cities

  1. Nainital – 78 Kilometers
  2. Pithoragarh – 115 Kilometers
  3. Kathgodam – 97 Kilometers
  4. Pantnagar – 128 Kilometers
  5. Shimla – 588 Kilometers
  6. Chandigarh – 509 Kilometers
  7. Lucknow – 449 Kilometers
  8. Delhi – 384 Kilometers
  9. Jaipur – 666 Kilometers
  10. Mumbai – 1,770 Kilometers
  11. Kolkata – 1,458 Kilometers
  12. Bangalore – 2,348 Kilometers
  13. Hyderabad – 1,759 Kilometers
  14. Ahmedabad – 1,304 Kilometers
  15. Chennai – 2,380 Kilometers

Accessibility and Accommodation

Getting around in Almora can be done on foot as the town’s length is merely 5 kilometers. There are several hotels and lodges to accommodate tourists and fit all sorts of tourist budgets. You can also stay in the various luxury estates just outside Almora for a more lavish experience of the Kumauni culture.

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