Situated on the edge of the Kumaon Hills of the Himalaya, the quaint Almora is a small town famous for its unadulterated natural beauty, cuisines, wildlife, and culture.
Shaped like a horse-shoe, the town has a rich pre-British cultural heritage developed by the Chand dynasty. The Almora hill station hosts a deluge of tourists every year and possesses a diversity of attractions backed by easy accessibility and friendly localities. It’s undeniably a travelers’ heaven where they can create quixotic memories cherished for a lifetime.
How to get there?
Getting to Almora is as easy as it gets, no matter where you live in India or beyond. The city is well-connected via airways, railways, and roadways. However, traveling to Almora by road is recommended. The motorways are well-kept and scenic views ensure your road trip to Almora is vibrant and enjoyable. Plus, it’s cheaper than other modes of transportation.
Airlines – While opting to flying to Almora, the nearest airport is located 120 kilometers from the city, in Pantnagar. Cabs for hire are one of the few options available for visitors to travel into the city from the airport.
Railways – Two railway stations are closest to Almora city. Haldwani and Kathgodam, located 94 and 90 kilometers respectively from the town. Trains from almost all major cities including Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, and more frequent Almora.
Motorways – Almora enjoys superior road connectivity from all major cities of North India. State-managed buses are readily available to enter or exit the town. Private companies also offer car rental services for tourists that do not want to drive their vehicles.
Best places to visit in Almora
Uttrakhand Almora is replete with some stunning places that keep a steady stream of visitors all year round. Here’re the most prominent of them.
1. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
A treat to all nature and wildlife enthusiasts, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located 30 kilometers north of Almora. From spotted leopards to barking deer, the diverse fauna of the sanctuary is impressive.
Used as a summer resort by the Chand dynasty, this tourist attraction was converted into a sanctuary in 1988 to preserve its natural beauty and diversity. Visitors also have an option to explore the place on foot by opting for a trek in the mesmerizing hills of the sanctuary.
2. Kasar Devi
A must-visit for anyone wanting to immerse in divinity and tranquility, Kasar Devi temple is located in a small village near Almora. Surrounded by pine trees and snow-covered peaks, the walk through the village to the temple is a breathtaking experience.
Devoted to Kasar Devi, the temple was built around the 2nd Century CE. Realizing the spiritual significance of Kasar Devi, Swami Vivekanand meditated here.
3. Zero Point
A gorgeous view of the sunset and clouds floating in the colorful sky awaits you at Zero Point in Almora. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions, the place is a vantage point for some spectacular views of Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Nanda Devi peaks. Visitors can drive down to the base of this point and reach the man-made watchtower after a 2-km trek.
Home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Jageshwar is a popular religious destination frequented by thousands of devotees every year. Located 35 km to the North of Almora, this temple is nestled in the Deodar forest with an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level.
This holy destination is also an architectural marvel, which adds to its appeal. The temple complex comprises 124 large and small shrines made of stone dating back anywhere between the 9th and 13th centuries AD. The pleasant murmur of rituals and a thick forest surrounding the temple increase the sanctity of this destination manifolds.
Translating to ‘Queens Land,’ Ranikhet in Almora district is a coveted hill station that captivates attention with some picturesque locales, especially the snow-capped Himalayas. Headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment, this hill station is the perfect getaway for all city dwellers searching for peace. Every year, this destination not only witnesses an influx of everyday tourists but a fair share of celebrities as well.
Best places to stay in Almora
As an evolved tourist destination, Almora has many flourishing resorts that have a mid to high-level pricing structure, fluctuating based on the time of the year. April to June and September to November witness the highest visitor influx every year. As prices fluctuate accordingly, pre-planning your visit can be the best option to save money and hassles.
From link road to mall road, various hotels are open. Apart from a few resorts, hostels and homestays are a popular way to stay in Almora on a budget. Besides, various travel companies offer packages covering travel, stay, food, and multiple activities throughout the visit. As obvious as it is, package deals are easy on the pocket.
A few of the popular hotels to stay while visiting Almora include:
1. Kasar Himalaya Hotel
Providing four-star accommodation, each room boasts a private balcony in the Kasar Himalaya Hotel in Almora. With garden views and terraces, each guest has ensured an enjoyable stay. Parking facilities and Wifi are also available.
2. Zostel Mukteshwar
Popular among solo and young travelers, Zostel in Almora only hosts adults. With a restaurant, a shared lounge, and a garden, Zostel has everything required for a comfortable stay. Free Wifi, bar, and parking facilities are also available.
3. Stars and Pines
Popular for its evening entertainment, Stars and Pines features a terrace, 24-hour help desk, and restaurant with bar facilities. Guests can also take advantage of the picturesque garden available at the property. This hotel is Wifi enabled as well.
Best known for its Kumaoni cuisine, travelers can enjoy delicious and savory bites of delicacies throughout the city. Visitors can easily spot restaurants that serve South Indian, North Indian, and Chinese cuisines. However, the more significant challenge is locating an authentic Kumaoni restaurant. That’s where recommendations from locals work best.
Don’t forget to try the famous Kumaoni sweets that are easy to find all across the city. Singauri – a milk-based sweet served in a green leaf, Choklate – a fudge-like sweet, and Bal Mithai – a sweet prepared from milk are some of the most delicious sweets on offer.
Almora has a wide range of activities to offer for everyone, be it backpackers, solo travelers, or groups. With a natural backdrop of the snow-clad Himalayas from October to March, Almora can be quite the fun for adrenaline junkies. Burma bridge and rock climbing offered at various tourist spots can be an exciting way to test your endurance and strength.
Cycling through the evergreen Binsar forest and getting as close to nature with family and friends can be a cherishable moment. Home to one of the largest markets in the region, Almora is a commercial hub. Shopping quality goods can be visitors’ favorite pastimes.
Filled with things to do and places to visit, Almora is bubbling with culture, heritage, traditions, and natural beauty. From visiting the 800-year-old Surya temple to taking a stroll in the 200-year-old Lala Bazaar, this city can spell a charm on its visitors that’s extremely difficult to get over! So what are you waiting for? Almora awaits you with open arms.
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