Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Nanda Devi Temple, Almora: History, Best Places, Hotels, & Food

Nanda Devi temple has something to it that enchants, captivates and librates. The temple and its environs exude an unparalleled charm and mysticism to delight visitors and keep them coming back for more. Plenary indulgence, adventure sports or simply sightseeing, the destination keeps every travel aspiration covered. Cradled in Garhwal hills of Almora City, the temple celebrates an eponymous deity who destroys evil, saves the righteous and liberates all.

Nanda Devi Temple: An Overview

The Nanda devi temple may seem unassuming at the face value but it is one of the holiest places in Uttarakhand. The one thousand years old temple is steeped in history and nature. Call it a heady mix to keep you awe-struck and clamouring for more. Typical of all temples in the Kumaon area, the Nanda Devi features a Hamidri style of architecture, characterized by simple, tidy and strong construction.

Think of the Nanda Devi mandir as an antechamber perched within the confines of an expansive Shiva shrine. Nanda Devi is a manifestation of goddess Parvati, the spouse of Lord Shiva. That speaks for the temple-within-a-temple arrangement. The temple is attributed to the Chand rulers who held sway over the region in the mediaeval era. They came up with it to commemorate their patron deity, Nanda Devi.

Just step inside the temple premises, an immaculate monument greets you. It features a notched stone disk, Amalaka, on top, which symbolises the deity of the temple. The wall carvings are a delight to the eye, depicting gods and mythologies with attention to detail and elite craftsmanship. You would stop in your tracks to admire and acknowledge how craftsmen pulled off such a miracle with limited resources.

Nanda Devi, an embodiment of Goddess Durga is also the Mother Goddess of the Kumaon & Garhwal regions. That speaks for the kind of deluge the temple draws from the region, state and India. The temple is also the site of some of the biggest annual fairs in the region, notably the Nanda Devi fair held in September.

Speaking of visitors, some of the most iconic personalities have visited Almora and its prime attraction at different points in time. Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, JL Bajaj, Vijay Laxmi Pandit, and J.C. Bose, you name it.

Where is Nanda Devi?

Where is Nanda Devi? Well, it is situated amidst the tranquil vistas of the Garhwal and Kumaon hills in Almora, Uttarakhand. The holy shrine sits pretty in the main town of Almora with the Nanda Devi peak height being 7,817 metres. The snow-capped Himalayas standing in all their magnificence make the sight even more pious and pleasant.

Table 01: Nanda Devi Temple Almora at a Glance

District: Almora

Division: Kumaon

State: Uttrakhand

Dedicated to: Nanda Devi

Architectural style: Kumoni

Opening & Closing Time: 6 AM to 10 PM

Annual Temperature: −3 to 28 °C

Nanda Devi Peak Height: 7,817 metres

Address: Unnamed Road, Dharanaula, Almora

Coordinates: 30°22′33″N 79°58′15″E

Entry Fee: Zero

VIP Darshan: Not Applicable

Area Almora: 16.60 km2

Best time to visit: April to June and September to November

Pin Code: 263601

Vehicle Registration: UK 01

Closest Airport: Pantnagar Aerodrome (116 km)

Closest Railway Station: Kathgodam (82 km)

Things to do: Pilgrimage, Trekking, Camping, and Sightseeing

Nanda Devi Temple Weather

Nanda Devi Temple WeatherNestled within the heart of Almora, the temple sits pretty at an elevation of 1612m. As the altitude determines the climate, the place has sub-zero minimums and maximums not exceeding 25 degree C.

Summers:

The summers get underway in May and last till June. With the maximum temperature touching 25 Degrees Celsius, the weather is sunny and cool. This is the ideal time to pay obeisance to Nanda Devi, and explore the sights, culture, flora and fauna and cuisines of the city. Also, the time is right for trekking and camping.

Rains:

Extending from July to August, the wet season experiences 3000 mm precipitation. The mercury falls to 15 degree Celsius max. The place comes alive with greenery. However, there’s a thumb rule to avoid travelling to hill stations during Monsoons for the fear of landslides. That applies to Nanda Devi temple, Almora too. Plus, the rains won’t allow you to venture out.

Autumn:

The autumn months (September and October) can be pleasant and sunny but cool and cloudy at the same time. You can consider planning a trip to Nanda Devi at this time of the year. The weather is pleasurable, crowds are fewer and the best deals on hotels are there for the taking.

Winters:

The winters (December to February) can be telling on you with the mercury plummeting to zero degree and below. Snowfall is always anticipated. When that happens, you are treated to some stunning vistas of the nearby snow-clad peaks.

Table 2: Nanda Devi Temple Weather

Months Average Temperature Weather
January 07 Degree Celsius (01 to 08) Snowfall Expected
February 08 Degree Celsius (06 to 10) Snowfall Expected
March 07 Degree Celsius (03 to 11) Sunny but Cool
April 11 Degree Celsius (06 to 16) Sunny but Cool
May 18.5 Degree Celsius (12 to 25) Pleasant and Sunny
June 12.5 Degree Celsius (09 to 16) Pleasant and Sunny
July 13 Degree Celsius (11 to 15) Overcast and rainy
August 15 Degree Celsius (12 to 18) Overcast and rainy
September 13 Degree Celsius (11 to 15) Pleasant and Sunny
October 12 Degree Celsius (10 to 14) Cool and Cloudy
November 10 Degree Celsius (06 to 14) Clear but Cool
December 8.5 Degree Celsius (05 to 12) Snowfall Anticipated

Legends Associated with the Nanda Devi Temple:

Like every religiously significant place, Nanda Devi has its share of legends and folklore. Fictitious as they seem, these folklores pique interest and generate an aura that forces the believers into submission. One such engaging folklore elaborates on how Nanda emerged as the patron goddess of Chamoli and beyond.

Way back in antiquity, Rohilla prince fell for princess Nanda, a scion of the Chanda Dynasty of Chamoli. When denied her hand, the infuriated prince mounted an attack on Chamoli and annexed it. Beleaguered and unwilling to surrender, the princess sought refuge in the higher reaches and merged herself with a 25,643 feet tall peak. Thus, the peak became her permanent abode and she, the patron deity of the region.

Interestingly, Nanda’s sister, Sunanda also followed suit. As such, there’s a summit dedicated to her as well. They call it the Sunanda Devi peak. It shares the same ridge with Nanda Devi sumit, located on its western end. The twin peaks are revered as the protector of the region. From marriages to fairs, no event gets underway in the region without an offering to the goddess. No one can afford to attract the ire of the goddess, after all.

The Ramayana Link:

They associate Nanda Devi with Ramayana. Hanumana visited the hills of Chamoli area seeking the wonder herb, Sanjeevani, which could save the unconscious Lakshmana. He suffered a potentially fatal blow in the battle against Ravana’s son, Megnath. Failing to zero in on the herb, Hanuman lifted an entire mountain and flew to Lanka. However, he forgot to ask for Nanda Devi’s permission, which irked her. Infuriated, the goddess warned locals not to chant Hanuman’s name. As such, Hanuman temples are hard to find in the entire region.

Nanda Devi Temple? Why did you Google it? Perhaps, for two reasons. One, your parents or grandparents must’ve asked you to book their tickets for their upcoming trip to this famous religious site. Two, you are a devout Hindu eager to seek some plenary indulgence for yourself. In either case, having some information on location, how to reach and where to stay is helpful for a well-planned, memorable trip.

Breathe easy and read on. We’ve got you covered. From the location, booking tickets and accommodation to places to visit around the temple and cuisines you could sample, we offer it all and more. We are here to fizz out all your confusion.

She is an angry Goddess who is believed to be an avatar of Durga. Every activity, whether it is a village festival or a special family event, will begin with an offering that ranges from simple stones, coins and flowers to animals.

Why Visit Nanda Devi Temple

Still unconvinced? Here’re a few compelling reasons why the Nanda Devi temple makes sense for all travel aspirations – sightseeing, pilgrimage, adventure sports, and more.

Table 03: Why Nanda Devi Temple Makes Sense

  • Devoted to Goddess Nanda Devi, considered Lord Shiva’s spouse, an embodiment of Goddess Durga, destroyer of evil, and the Mother Goddess of the Kumaon & Garhwal regions.
  • Nestled in a hill station (Almora), the shrine, with its panoramic views and incessant charm, keeps you awe-struck and coming back for more.
  • One of the most historical places in Uttarakhand. The Chand monarchs consecrated the temple over a millennium ago.
  • A cultural centre of the region where traditions come alive, especially during fairs and festivals.
  • A simple yet delightful architecture, offering a glimpse into the magnificence of the bygone era. The intricate wall carvings and sculpture are a feast for the eye.
  • Easy to access virtually all year round via road, rail and air. With hotel options galore, getting safe, comfortable and need-based accommodation isn’t an issue.
  • In close vicinity to some of the major attractions of Uttarakhand – Ranikhet (48 km), Simtola (08 km), Katarmal (19 km) Binsar (30 km), Sitlakhet (38 km), Jalana (35 km), and more.
  • Feel free to indulge in hiking, camping, cycling, paragliding, and more to satiate your cravings for adventure.

Things to do on the Nanda Devi Temple Trip:

Things to do on the Nanda Devi Temple TripThough the prime motive to visit Nanda Devi temple is plenary indulgence, it’s not the only one nonetheless. The trip has something for everyone, from pilgrims and peace seekers to family vacationers and solo travellers seeking a getaway.

Trekking:

Almora is a gorgeous hill station, tailor made for trekking. The trails are diverse, coming in multiple distances and difficulty levels. Take, for instance, the 40-plus-km Jageshwari trek that would test your endurance levels. However, go for it only if you are a seasoned hiker or have the desired fitness levels.

When a small, quick trek is a priority, the Zero Point would exceed your expectations. The 1.5 km walk would take you to a vantage point for some ravishing views of the Garhwal hills. Also, consider taking a 15 minutes hike to the Bright End Corner to be mesmerised by the panorama of sunset and sunrise.

Camping:

So, camping is your idea of a vacation. Even in that case, Almora keeps you covered. Just park your tents in an open space amidst the meadows, and you are in for a fabulous star-gazing night with your family or friends. Mind you, camping is feasible only in summers when the weather is suitable and the sky is clear. When it comes to the camping gear, you can either bring it along or hire it from local tour operators.

Nanda Devi Temple, Almora Sightseeing

The magnificent vistas are waiting to be explored and you simply cannot let them pass up. Just pack your bags and embark on a journey into the heart of Garhwal hills to get up close and personal with the local history, culture and all-pervading natural beauty. It’ll be a journey for the ages.

1. Ranikhet

RanikhetRanikhet, a quaint hill station cradled between two slopes in the Kumaon region, has natural beauty at its fingertips. It’s flanked by old pines and dwindling oaks that merge into undulating mountains presenting a visual delight to be cherished. The hill station comes alive post-dusk with fog enveloping the hamlet and its environs. The sight is too irresistible to ignore. After all, it’s not for nothing that celebs like Rajnikanth frequent Ranikhet.

Literally meaning Queen’s Meadow, Ranikhet sits at an impressive elevation of 1829 metres above sea level. Besides sightseeing, you can hike between Chaubatia and Holm Farms, play golf at a gorgeous 9-hole link, or go fishing at Bhalu Dam. Plus, paragliding and cycling are a possibility here. With so much to do, you are spoilt for choice. Ranikhet also takes care of your accommodation and food requirements, head-on.

  • Elevation: 1829 metres
  • Distance from Almora: 46 Km (98 minutes drive)
  • Things to do: Sightseeing, hiking, paragliding, cycling, golfing, fishing
  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November
  • Engagement time: At least two days to explore it fully
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam (96 km)
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar (114 km)

2. Jageshwar

JageshwarHow about a destination that merges history and religion, just like Nanda Devi Temple? Welcome to Jageshwar, a magical destination with 124 temples dotting its topography. Organised into clusters, the temples have a rich history dating back to the 7th century. However, some of them came up as late as the 20th century. Who built the temples is a mystery. Some attribute them to the Pre-Gupta era, some to Chand and Katyuri kings and some to Adi Shankracharya.

Built with cut stones in the Nagara style, the temples typically honour Lord Shiva while a select few are dedicated to Lord Vihsnu and goddess Shakti. Among all the temples, the Dandeshwar Temple is the largest and most attended. The town is illuminated during the Monsoon Festival of Jageshwar, which takes place in August, and the Shivaratri fair, during spring. The lofty deodars, green meadows, refreshing breeze, and Jat Ganga add to the visual appeal.

  • Elevation: 1870 metres
  • Coordinates: 29°38′14.3″N 79°51′16.9″E
  • Distance from Almora: 36 Km (77 minutes drive)
  • Things to do: Pilgrimage, sightseeing, camping, bird watching, yoga
  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November
  • Engagement time: At least one full day
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam (125 km)
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar (150 km)

3. Bageshwar

BageshwarThe small, sleepy town is nestled at the convergence of the rivers Gomti and Saryun since the 7th century. From great locales and soothing breeze to serene ambience and fine weather, Bageshwar offers everything a city dweller craves for. However, it’s better known for its religious, cultural and historical significance. If the puranas are something to go by, Bageshwar has the power for deliverance from sins and the otherwise unending cycle of birth and death.

The entire town has profound imprints of Lord Sadashiva, who is said to reside here. Lord Sadashiva is the all powerful, ingenious and absolute form of Lord Shiva. Legend has it, Sage Markandeya, through intense tapasya, persuaded Lord Shiva to visit the place as a Bag (Tiger), therefore, the name. There’s even a temple to commemorate the “event.” Built by Laxmi Chand, they call it the Bageshwar temple.

Other notable shrines here include Dattatrey Maharaj, Ganga Temple, Bhairav temple, Hanuman temple, Durga temple, Kalika temple, and more. Besides temples, the town supports trekking and hiking. A moderately difficult trek will take you to the Pindari top, a bewitching place offering some stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

  • Elevation: 935 metres
  • Coordinates: 29.8404° N, 79.7694° E
  • Distance from Almora: 73.3 Km (154 minutes drive)
  • Things to do: Pilgrimage, sightseeing, camping, trekking
  • Best time to visit: Jan to May and October to December
  • Engagement time: At least one full day
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam (180 km)
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar (193 km)

4. Deer Park, Almora

Deer Park, AlmoraThe Deer Park around 5 km from Almora presents a perfect setting for an outing with family while, of course, admiring the exotic wildlife. Just hop on a jeep and explore the lush green surroundings, tall pine and gaze on the deers across the terrain. If you are lucky, expect to catch a glimpse of the leopard and Himalayan Black Bear.

Even if you are a reluctant animal lover, the tranquillity of the place will get you. Feel free to embark on a leisure walk and see for yourself how it feels to be in the lap of Mother Nature. Your Nanda Devi temple trip cannot be complete without visiting the deer park. You will go home with a treasure-trove of memories cherished for a lifetime.

  • Entry Fee: Zero
  • Alternative Name: Mrig Vihar
  • Location: NH309B, Almora 263601
  • Coordinates: 29.61284, 79.67415
  • Engagement time: About 3 to 4 hours
  • Distance from Almora: 04.7 Km (15 minutes drive)
  • Things to do: Animal watching, sightseeing, leisure walks, picnic
  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November

5. Kasar Devi Temple, Almora

Kasar Devi Temple, AlmoraKasar Devi temple is one of the prime attractions of the town, housed in an eponymous village. Built in the 2nd century, the temple continues to withstand the test of the time, enthralling visitors with its splendour and mystic aura. Call it a cave temple, since the sanctum sanctorum rests within a cave surrounded by massive boulders. Sitting pretty at an elevation of 2116 metres, the temple is a vantage point for some exotic views of the Almora town. For a shutterbug, it’s simply godsend.

The serene ambience and mysticism in the air make Kasuri Devi a popular destination for yoga and meditation. Even Swami Vivekanand couldn’t resist the charm of this place who paid a visit in 1890. No prizes for guessing! He meditated here. However, he wasn’t the only celeb to be mesmerised by the natural splendour of Kasuri Devi. The likes of Sunyata Baba Alfred Sorensen and Lama Anagarika Govinda visited it at different points in time. Interestingly, it was also an epicentre of the Hippie Movement way back in the 60s.

  • Elevation: 2116 metres
  • Coordinates: 29.6417° N, 79.6617° E
  • Distance from Almora: 08.5 Km (25 minutes drive)
  • Things to do: Pilgrimage, sightseeing, trekking, meditation
  • Best time to visit: March to June and September to November
  • Engagement time: About 4 to 5 hours
  • Festival: Kasar Devi Mela (November/December)
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam (83 km)
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar (124 km)

6. Katarmal Sun Temple

Katarmal Sun TempleSun temples are a rare commodity in North India but only until you visit the Katarmal Sun Temple. Just take a 2 km trek from Almora to feast your eyes on the spell-binding vistas, splendid architecture, and tranquil and soothing ambience.

Fairs & Festivals

“Utsava Priya Khalu Manushiya,“ meaning humans are innately festivity loving. The adage holds true in Almora. The place comes alive with celebrations virtually all round the year, giving you one more reason to visit Nanda Devi Temple. An integral part of social life, the fairs and festivals allow the local folks to showcase their religiosity and culture and keep the local economy alive and kicking.

Think of these fairs and festivals as a necessity for the local folks. Almora is a remote town with a hostile terrain and scattered population. These festivities allow them to congregate at a convenient place periodically to meet, connect, trade, and celebrate. Even in the age of information and communication, these fairs and festivals retain their appeal. Here’re the most notable of them all.

1. Nanda Devi Mahotsav:

It doesn’t get any bigger than this. The festival has been a part of the local culture for over centuries, attracting lakhs of visitors from across the globe. The Chand dynasty, which is credited with building the temple, instituted this festival in honour of their patron deity, Goddess Nanda Devi. The idea was to invoke Nanda Devi for the kingdom’s peace and prosperity.

It’s an annual 5 day event held in September on the ‘Ashtami’ of ‘Bhadara Shukla.’ The venue of the fair is Nanda Devi Temple premises. The flower-laden palanquins of Nanda and Sunanda are taken out in the form of a procession with local folks dancing, singing and chanting. On the ultimate day of the fair, they are submerged in water with all pomp and show.

A temporary market springs up in the temple premises selling local crafts, sweets, and other household items. The fair also provides a stage to help local talents showcase their singing and dancing skills. The Nanda Devi Mahotsav is simultaneously celebrated in other parts of the state, including Bageshwar, Bhowali, Nainital, Kot, Johar, and more.

Be a part of it to have a first-hand experience of the local culture, traditions, and arts & crafts.

  • Venue: Nanda Devi Temple, Almora
  • Duration: 5 to 7 days
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Held in: September on the Ashtami of Bhadara Shukla
  • Timing: Early morning to 9 PM

2. Dussehra Festival:

Dushera has a deep philosophical connotation attached to it. On this auspicious day, Lord Rama triumphed over the ten-headed demon, Ravana and Goddess Durga over the buffalo –incarnated demon, Mahishasura. In both cases, good overcame evil after intense battles. It reminds us to subdue the negativity and embrace dharma. The festival usually falls in September or October yearly just a few days prior to Diwali.

While Dushera is celebrated enthusiastically India-wide, the celebrations in Almora are at a different level altogether. Thousands from across the Kumaon division flock to Almora to be a part of the grand occasion. In every nook and cranny of the town, you’ll come across well decorated effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Megnatha. In the presence of thousands of attendees, these effigies are put on fire as a mark of demolishing evil.

  • Venue: Every nook and cranny of Almora
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Held in: September/October
  • Rituals followed: Shami Puja, Aparajita Puja and Seema Avalanghan

3. Jageshwar Monsoon Festival

How about a month of festivities? It’s not a wishful thinking but a reality, thanks to the Jageshwar Monsoon festival. Lasting from mid July to mid August, the festival has immense religious and cultural significance for the local folks. It’s time for them to indulge and celebrate life. At this time of the year, the sleepy town transforms into a vibrant destination full of religiosity, traditions and tourists. The festival honours Lord Shiva and invokes his blessings.

Even if fairs aren’t your idea of vacation, Jageshwar is a wonderful place to relax, wander and seek some plenary indulgence. The place is home to 124 ancient temples, some of which feature idols engraved on stone.

  • Venue: Jageshwar
  • Duration: One month
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Held in: 15 July to 15 August
  • Alternative Name: Shrawan Mela, Shrawani Mela

4. Nanda Devi Raj Jaat

Nanda Devi Raj JaatNanda Devi Raj Jaat is Uttarakhand’s version of the Kumbh Mela. The three-week-long fair happens at a gap of 12 years, attracting legions of pilgrims from across the state and beyond. For the uninitiated, Jaat refers to a religious procession accompanying a deity. The fair is marked by a congregation of deities from all across the Kumaon division. The Nanda Devi of Almora is also an attendee here.

Held in Chamoli district, the Raj Jaat aims to facilitate better interaction between folks of Kamoun and Garhwal regions. Recently, the government altered the route of the Jat to include Nanadakesri, where deities and their devotees from across the region join the main Jaat. The Jaat gets underway at Kansuwa hamlet and concludes at Hemkund. Interestingly, at the fag end of the Jaat, a four horned sheep (Chausingya-Meda) is released.

If you lack the patience to wait for 12 years, fel free to be a part of the Nanda lok Jat, which is an yearly affair. The jat heads to each hamlet featuring a shrine dedicated to Nanda Devi. It halts at Koti for an overnight stay where the doli is worshiped from night till dawn and locals dance and sing their hearts out.

Site: Chamoli
Duration: 19 to 20 days
Frequency: Once in 12 years
Trek Length: 280 km approx.
Held in: August & September
Rituals followed: Kali Puja and release of Chausingya-Meda

How to Reach

Planning to visit Nanda Devi Temple? Here’s how to get there via air, rail and road.

Air– Pantnagar, around 126 kilometres from Almora, houses the nearest airport to reach Nanda Devi Temple.

Rail– The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam, about 85 kilometres away. Kathgodam is directly connected by train to all major Northern towns and cities.

Road– Temple of Nanda Devi in Almora is well-served by an evolved road infrastructure. You may either drive to Almora in your personal vehicle or hire a cab or a taxi from nearby towns and cities.

Distance Chart:

Wondering how far is Nanda Devi Temple from your city? Well, figure it out with the road distance table mentioned below.

Table 03: Nanda Devi Temple Road Distance from prominent city centres

City Distance
Delhi 388 Kilometre (09 hours)
Chandigarh 502 Kilometre (11.5 hours)
Dehradun 337 Kilometre (08.20 hours)
Shimla 591 Kilometre (14 hours)
Jaipur 623 Kilometre (13 hours)
Lucknow 446 Kilometre (11 hours)
Noida 357 Kilometre (08 hours)
Mumbai 1614 Kilometre (32 hours)
Chennai 2320 Kilometre (46 hours)
Bangalore 2288 Kilometre (43 hours)
Kolkata 1451 Kilometre (30 hours)
Gurgaon 393 Kilometre (09 hours)
Rishikesh 306 Kilometre (08 hours)
Nainital 65 Kilometre (02.15 hours)
Hyderabad 1697 Kilometre (34 hours)

 

Hotels

Almora, being a holy and jolly town, offers an extensive range of hotels and resorts to suit every need and budget. Some good options are given below along with their Google ratings to help you choose wisely.

Hotels Price range( in INR) Google Rating
Rudra Himalayan Retreat 2200-2600 4.7/5
Savoy Hotel 1100-1500 4.0/5
Hotel Milam Inn 2800-3200 3.9/5
Hotel Shivalik 1500-1800 3.8/5
Hotel Himsagar 1700-2100 3.7/5
Hotel Shikhar 1900-2200 3.8/5

 

Food

Almora is a foodie’s paradise, with an impressive variety of Pahadi Garhwali delicacies to suit every palate. Your best options include:

Bhang Ki Chutney: No foodie can miss this gastronomical experience. The sauce, with a tangy taste and tempting aroma, pairs well with local and Indian dishes. It’s healthy as well, thanks to ingredients like hemp seeds, tamarind, cumin seeds, and more.

Singodi: You cannot afford to leave Almora without sampling Singodi. The Molu leaf stuffed with khoya just bursts inside your mouth, leaving you clamouring for more. The coconut milk and taste enhancers just further your experience.

Jhangore ki Kheer: This is Almora’s version of the traditional delicacy, kheer. As the name suggests, the prime ingredient is Jhangora (Bajra) complemented by milk, sugar and dry fruits. Highly nutritious and intensely aromatic, it is the best dessert to round off any cuisine.

Dubuk: Get ready to sample one of the best delicacies in Uttrakhand, Dubuk. It’s basically a Daal paste fried and cooked on a low flame. The dish is served hot with rice, roti, and local sauces like Bhang Ki Chutney. It is delectable, easily digestible and a godsend for your tummy.

Baadi: Make way for a simple pleasure called Baadi. Made of flour, the dish pairs perfectly with Gahat ki dal and other local preparations. It’s palatable, easy and quick to prepare and healthy.

The other culinary options include Bhatt-ki-turakhani, Roat, Bal Mithai, and Bhatia. You can find them in every authentic Garhwali restaurant across Almora.

Best Time to Visit

Feel free to visit the Nanda Devi Uttarakhand any time of the year. However, the town lights up during the Ashtami Nanda Devi Mela in September. People from around the country flock to it to worship the goddess and seek blessings. The monsoon season, from June to August, is dangerous to visit because of landslides, cloudbursts and sudden floods. Therefore, it is advised to avoid visiting during monsoons.

Nanda Devi Temple: Travel Tips

Nanda Devi Temple Travel TipsYour eagerness to be in Almora is understandable. But before embarking, consider the following tips.

Opt for the Right Time: The right time is integral to an unforgettable trip.

  • You are better off scheduling the trip anytime from May to June when the weather is fine and scope for exploration is maximum.
  • At all costs, avoid the wet season. But you can consider winters if snowfall piques your curiosity. No matter when you travel, check the weather updates beforehand.
  • Scheduling the trip during fairs also makes sense. By that token, your best option is September when the temple comes alive during the Nanda Devi fair.

Pack Right: It’s crucial for a convenient and incidence-free trip. Here’s what to pack.

  • Clothing: At least two pairs of sweaters, jackets, trousers and shirts. When visiting in winters, ensure taking along woollen caps, socks, mufflers, and warmers.
  • First Aid Kit: A first aid kit would come handy in addressing any minor injuries or medical conditions during the trip to the Nanda Devi temple. Prefer stuffing the kit with bandaids, antiseptic creams, Blams, and any other medicine you might require.
  • Cosmetics and Hygiene Products: Don’t forget to pack in your personal soap, cold creams, moisturizers, sunscreen ointments, and Deos. Also, it’s advisable to carry hand wash and extra masks to ward off infections.
  • Eatables: As Nanda Devi Temple is cradelled in the heart of Almora, eatables are easily available. But if you like to err on the side of caution, feel free to take along dry fruits, glucose, energy bars, biscuits, and cup noodles for instant energy.
  • Miscellany: Prefer carrying a DSLR to capture the beauty of Nanda Devi Temple and its environs with exceptional detail and clarity. Consider a power bank should your cell phone battery need some juice on the go.

Go Low on Cash:

Don’t carry much cash. It’s risky and difficult to handle. In fact, you won’t need it in the first place. The ATMs are easily accessible across every nook and cranny of the town. Plus, the local vendors accept digital payments.

Make Advance Reservations:

Accommodation can be an issue, especially during the peak season. You are better off making reservations at least a month before. Also, deals and discounts

If trekking to Kedarnath is what you seek, ensure you are physically fit to take on the challenge. Yoga, especially pranayam, and light exercises will help. Get yourself medically screened to identify any issues that may aggravate on heights.

Reserve your hotel well in advance. Or else, finding accommodation is hard, especially during the peak season (May to June).

Biometric registration is mandatory for every visitor. You can get registered either at Sonprayag or online, subject to your preference.

If walking isn’t your idea of a vacation, feel free to hire a mule or porter from Sonprayag. However, pay them as per the government-approved price list. For safety sake, cross-verify the IDs of the porters and mule-owners beforehand.

Adhere to all safety protocols when trekking to Kedarnath. If budget allows and you wish to explore the place in its entirety, hire a guide. The professional will help you create a bespoke itinerary suiting your travel goals, time and interests.

The oxygen levels deplete as you go higher. So, avoid walking briskly when trekking to Kedarnath. Or else, you might be dealing with a medical emergency.

The afternoon sun can be harsh, especially when trekking uphill. So, you are better off starting your journey at dawn.

Never skip your meal before embarking on the trek. However, keep it light as heavy meals can cause drowsiness and indigestion.

Consume as much water as you can to prevent dehydration. Prefer carrying enough water to sustain you through the entire trek.

The temple authorities discourage photography within the shrine complex. Non-compliance could attract equipment confiscation and/or fines.

If you are short on time, go for the chopper service. You could easily complete the trip in two days. If the budget is tight, book the chopper for one side only. It’s easier to walk down than to climb uphill. Ideally, board the chopper at Sersi. The fare is the cheapest and travel time is minimal, usually 5 to 7 minutes from here.

When in Kedarnath, don’t consume alcohol. Mind you, it’s a religiously significant site and these vices undermine its religious sanctity.

Conclusion

We hope that while booking tickets for your grandparents to worship Nanda Devi Temple, you might as well book yours to explore the temple and the ecosystem around it. After all, haven’t we given you enough reasons to?

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Who Build Nanda Devi Temple?

Answer: The Chand Rajas builds the Nanda Devi Temple in Uttarakhand.

Question: Where Nanda Devi Temple is Located?

Answer: The Nanda Devi Temple is Located in Almora District in Uttarakhand.

Question: In Which State Nanda Devi Peak?

Answer: The Nanda Devi National Park or Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is situated in Chamoli Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.

Question: What Hotels are Near Nanda Devi Temple?

Answer: Hotels Near Nanda Devi Temple are:

  1. Hotel Shivalik
  2. Imperial Hotel Binsar
  3. Hotel Himsagar
  4. Hotel Shikhar
  5. Hotsteller Kasar Hotel

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