Located in the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand, Almora is famous for its wildlife, culture and cuisines. The town is located at an average elevation of 1,646 meters above sea level and was known as ‘Rajapur’ during the reign of the Chand kings. The town is surrounded by thick forests of pine and fir trees and was visited by Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda who have mentioned Almora in their writings. Unlike the neighboring hill stations like Nainital and Ranikhet which were developed by the British, Almora was developed by the Kumaoni people. The town is also known as the town of temples. Here’s a list of the best places you can visit in Almora.
Kansar Devi Temple is believed to date back till the 2nd century AD and is dedicated to Kasar Devi. The temple is located at an average elevation of 2,100 meters above sea level and is popular among most hikers as it offers scenic views of the surroundings. The spot itself is situated amidst thick covers of Pine and deodar forests and that is a home to various species of birds. It is said Swami Vivekananda mediated here for a few days and many mediators, spirituality leaders also used to come her in the 60's. Its one of the three places in the whole world which comes under the Van Allen Belt. The other two places that come under this belt include Machu Picchu in Peru and Stone Henge in England.
Located 16 kilometers away from the town of Almora, the Katarmal Sun Temple is the second most important temple dedicated to the Sun god in India. The temple was constructed by the Medieval Katyuri Kings in the 9th century AD. The temple is known for its unique architecture and various carvings on walls and its ceilings. The temple complex consists of one shrine and is surrounded by 45 smaller shrines which are carved out of stone.
The spot was the summer capital of the Chand kings and was established as a forest reserve in 1988. The altitude of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary varies between 900 to 2500 meters with its highest point being ‘Zero Point’ that offers some great views of the nearby peaks. The forest was established for the conservation of a special type of Oak called the shrinking broad leaf oak and houses over 200 species of resident and migratory birds.
Kumaon Regimental Center Museum is located uphill from the mall road in Almora and was established in 1970’s. The museum is known for various war treasures and weapons recovered during the various wars like World War II and the 1962 war with China. The chief purpose of the museum’s establishment was to pay respect to the brave soldiers and to protect the culture of the Kumaon region.
Located amidst lush green forests at a distance of 10 kilometers from Almora, Martola is a popular tourist destination. Martola known for its gardens and is a home to various tourists who chose to settle here because of the picturesque locations that can be seen here. The town is located 520 meters above sea level with the backdrop of the great Himalayas.
Kalimut is a picnic spot which is located 3 kilometers away and is located between pine and fir trees. The place was formerly a diamond mine and is a granite hill. The small village town is located at the end of the horseshoe ridge and is known for its serene and picturesque surroundings and is one of the best places to visit with family or friends.
Located inside Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Zero Point is the best way to view The Himalayas in its full glory. It offers an uninhibited views of Himalyan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and Nanda Devi. Apart from that, it also offers picturesque views of the surrounding valleys and even the terrain near the wildlife sanctuary. A perfect location for all nature and photography lovers, Zero Point is a must visit for everyone coming to Almora.
The deity here is famously known 'God of Justice' and is the chief deity of the Kumaun region in Uttrakhand. The temple is associated with many famous legends and therefore thousand of devotees visit this temple asking lord to serve justice to them and their families. Letters are offered to the lord explaining their problems and when their wishes are fulfilled, devotees hang a bell here. Thousands of bells in different shapes and sizes can be seen hanging here. A must visit for anyone looking for some moments of peace.
Gobind Vallabh Pant Museum is located at the mall road in Almora and is named after the freedom fighter Gobind Vallabh Pant. The museum contains an impressive collection of ancient items which belong to the medieval dynasties of the Katyuri and the Chand kings who ruled the region. The museum is also famous for its folk paintings and has vast information on the culture and history of Uttarakhand.
'Bright End Corner' refers to a vantage point that offers some of the most picturesque views of the sunrise and sunset amidst the mighty Himalayas. The point marks the beginning of the mall road at Almora and is named after Mr. Brighton. It is also known for its various meditation centers and the famous Swami Vivekananda Library.
Things to Do at Bright End Corner:
Eat at the cafes.
Visit the library.
Relax at meditation centers.
Being under the reign of the Katyuri and the Chand Kings in the medieval times, the Almora district is known for its rich cultural heritage and various types of handicrafts and distinctive cuisine. The aforementioned places are a must visit tourist places in Almora if you want to experience the real culture and nature that the town possesses.