Almora

Almora is a hill station in Uttarakhand State. Almora was the seat of power of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the land of Kumaon for almost one thousand years. An interesting fact about the discovery of Almora is that unlike other hill stations, it was not discovered and developed by the British. The Katyuri Dynasty ruled the region around Almora from the 9th century AD, till it made way for the Chand dynasty. Raja Balo Kalyan Chand made Almora as his new capital in 1560 AD, when he transferred his capital from Champawat to Almora. The Chands occupied Almora till the 19th century AD. There is an interesting local legend about the discovery of Almora. Raja Kalyan Chand, the ruler of the Chand Dynasty was riding on the horseshoe shaped ridge in the pursuit of a prey. The hunted quarry protected its life by taking refuge behind the thick bushes of Kilmora, a local wild barberry bush, and revealed the place to the king. The story might not be corroborated by any literary or archaeological evidences but continues to be told by the locals. The Gorkhas captured Almora in 1790 AD and finally British took it over from the Gorkhas after the Gorkha wars of 1814-1815.

Jawaharlal Nehru served a term of imprisonment in the jail at Almora during the British rule. He left behind an elaborate account of the pleasures of solitude and the varied moods of nature in his various letters written from this place to his daughter.

Understand

Almora, a town of about 60,000, is situated in the Kumaon mountains of the Himalayas in eastern Uttarakhand. Most of the town is situated on a crescent shaped mountain ridge about 5 km long, and most of it is above 6,000 feet. The rivers Kosi and Suyal flow around Almora providing a natural barrier. Unlike Shimla, Ranikhet and Nainital, which were developed by the English, Almora is a hill station totally developed by the Kumaoni Indians.

The town itself is your usual crowded hill town in northern India, but the natural beauty around it is astounding. Almora is also called a town of temples. Situated in the centre of the town is the temple of Goddess Nanda Devi. The mountain is visible from the nearby areas as well.

Almora is an agricultural base and also a trade centre.

Get in

Almora can be reached by three different routes. The most common of it is via Nainital. Almora lies 90 km north of the nearest railway station at Kathgodam.

By train

The town is served by the Kathgodam station, which is located approximately 35 km away. Taxis charge ₹600 to Almora. You can also share a cab at ₹125 per person. Most hotels will arrange for pick up on prior request, ₹700-₹1000. The station handles 46 express trains per week.

By road

There are daily bus services from Delhi. The buses leave from ISBT Anand Vihar and are run by Uttarakhand Roadways.

Driving to Almora takes 10 to 12 hours. From Delhi, it's highway driving throughout. NH 24 connects Delhi to Rampur via Hapur. At Rampur, turn and head north on NH 87 all the way up to Almora. En-route halts include the Wonderland, Rwy crossing, Moradabad and The Kaichi temple, Kaichi.

By plane

Contrary to popular belief, flying into Almora is the fastest way to reach the hill station. Almora is served by PantNagar Airport, located about 4 hours away. It is served only by Jagson airlines. It is one of the least busy airports in the country, handling only 6 scheduled flights a week.

JA 101 - Dep. Delhi 1315 Arr. PantNagar 1415 (Mon, Wed, Fri) JA 102 - Dep. Delhi 1445 Arr. PantNagar 1545 (Mon, Wed, Fri) Fare - ₹2250/$ 90 for adults, ₹1400/$ 55 for children.

Taxi fare is around ₹1200-₹1500.

See

Nanda Devi from the west

Kasar Devi, 8 km from the city, has great views.

Do

Walk the famous bazaar - still with glimpses of the old Kumaouni culture

Buy

Eat

Bal Mithai, a famous milk sweet of Almora. Also Choklate (not chocolate), a condensed milk sweet with fudge-like consistency and Singauri, again a kind of milk sweet wrapped in a green Malu leaf, which gives it its acclaimed flavour.

Drink

Lots of 'adrak' (ginger) tea - the popular local drink - is offered to welcome guests and also to keep warm.

Sleep

Budget

Hotels include the upscale Club Mahindra and the relatively down-to-earth KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) Tourist Rest House.

Splurge

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, January 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.