Almora is located at an elevation of 1,651 meters on a ridge at the southern edge of the Kumaon hills and it just takes a three hour drive from Nainital. This hill station is often referred to as the heart of Kumaon. It is surrounded by thick forest of pine and fir trees. Two rivers Kosi and Suyal flow along side of the town. The town gives you a view of mesmerizing snow capped Himalayas.
In a spring of global cultural relation, Almora seems to be holding its culture and tradition of centuries tightly when modernization and globalization is knocking on its doors. This conflict seems to be central to Almora of today. The charming old lanes and by-lane of the town’s bazaar, old houses with carved wooden doors and windows, the handicraft market.
Unlike the modern hill stations of Nainital, Mussoorie, Ranikhet and Dehradun which were brought on the map by the Britishers. The credit for making popular Almora goes to Raja Kalyan Chand. It was the rulers of Chand dynasty that made Almora their capital. Almora founded the year 1568 when Raja Kalyan Chand transferred his capital from Champawat to Almora. The Chand dynasty ruled over Kumaon for thousand of years.
The story goes that the King was riding hard in pursuit of prey on this horseshoe shaped spur. The hunted quarry
saved itself by taking refuge in a thicket of Kilmora – a wild bush – and revealed to the royal hunter the
site of his would-be capital.
This story might or might not be true. But Almora was embded as the heart of Kumaun for coming years. The capital saw the movement of people from all over the kingdom to its capital. This included movement of artisians, peasants, and intellectuals. It was only after the attack of the Ghorkhas that Almora saw a change in their overlords.
Almora Famous personalities:
The town is surrounded by thick forest of pine and fir trees. The small town has attracted some of the best minds in the country. Influencers like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekanand have come to Almora have great things to say about the place.
It has been home to many creative and intellectuals of our times. The freedom fighter Govind Ballabh Pant, Dancer Uday Shankal, Nobel Laureate Sir Ronald Ross and lyricist Parsoon Joshi are some of the gifts of Almora to the world
Mahatma Gandhi wrote about Almora;
“I wonder whether the serenity of these hills and the climate are to be surpassed, if equaled, by any of the beauty spots of the world. After having been nearly three weeks in Almora hills, I am more than ever amazed why our people need to go in Europe in search of health.”
Places to visit in Almora:
It is one of the oldest market of Almora as it is about 200 years old market. Even though Almora has several shopping centers but still Lala Bazar is one of the most famous of all times.
Tamta Bazar –
Also known as the patal bazar. This market is famous for copper vessels. If you wish to buy anything related to copper then you must visit the famous Tamta Bazar.
Why to Visit Almora?
The handmade sweets of Almora is Famous all over the country. One can taste a variety of Sweets like chocolate, baal mithai, singauri (wrapped in a special kind of leaf) and pede. Almora is also known for its rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts, sumptuous Kumauni cuisine, wooden art and magnificent wildlife.
This place is also famous for its Angora clothes which is made up of Angora rabbit. The region is immensely rich with in its flora and fauna ,about 4000 species of plants and wildlife include leopard, tiger, deer and many other. Once Swami Vivekanand visited here and he fell in love with the place that is why you should also visit Almora to fell in love with the place.
How to Reach Almora?
Almora is about 90 km from Kathgodam. One of the nearest railway station is Kathgodam railway station which is just 70 km away from Nainital. From Kathgodam you will travel from “Kathgodam –> Bhowali –> Almora.”One can even take a long route to Almora which is from “Nainital –> Bhowali –> Ranikhet –> Almora”. When you will take the second route you can enjoy the view and even explore different locations.