More often than not considered to be a transit point on the way to popular destinations such as Kausani, Jageshwar, and Binsar, Almora has a charm of its own that is inescapable. The second largest town of Uttarakhand, Almora is home of Kumaon’s most important temples and offers a breathtaking view of the great Himalayan ranges.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Once the capital of Kumaon’s Chand dynasty, Almora is now home to some of the most important temples of Uttarakhand such as the Nanda Devi temple. The pine and cedar-covered hills of Almora have attracted the renowned Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore and the famous Hindu monk Swami Vivekanand with their tranquility.
Located at a range of elevation, Almora has a combination of vegetation with almost 4,000 species of plants. The outskirts of the town are home to a wide range of fauna. Leopards, Himalayan black bear, blue sheep, Monal, Whistling thrush and several other remarkable species of wild animals are present in the forests of Almora.
Location & How To Reach
Located on a 5-km horseshoe-shaped ridge, Almora is at an altitude of 5,400 ft with the beautiful Himalayas in the backdrop. The town is well-connected via road and can be reached easily from popular tourist places such as Nainital, Bhimtal and Binsar.
Nearest Railway Station: Haldwani Railway Station (89.5 km)
Nearest Airport: Pantnagar Airport (116 km)
Distance From Nearby Cities:
Almora to Nainital: 396 km (9 hours)
Almora to Nainital: 63 km (2 hours)
Almora to Haldwani: 90 km (3 hours)
Almora to Binsar: 25 km (1 hour)
Almora to Kausani: 53 km (2 hours)
Almora to Munsiyari: 198 km (7 hours)
Going around the Town
To go around Almora, it is advisable to take your own vehicle. Tourists can also book 1-day tours in private taxis to go around the town. Almora does not have a well-developed public transport system. Thus, for budget travelers hitchhiking is also an option.
Things to See & Do in Almora (Within 50 km)
Local sightseeing in Almora mainly comprises of trotting through the markets, visiting the famous temples and enjoying the picturesque views of the Himalayas. All the major tourist attraction of the town can be reached on foot. However, to visit places in the outskirts of the town, hiring a taxi is advisable.
Bustling during the daytime, Almora’s Lala Bazaar is a 200-year old market where tourists can find local eateries and shops to buy inexpensive copperware and winter wears.
Nanda Devi Temple
The famous Nanda Devi Temple is located right in the middle of the bustling Lala Bazaar in Almora. The temple was built the Chand rulers and has an idol of the goddess placed in a room inside the Shiva temple.
Kasar Devi Temple
Located at an altitude of 5,741 feet, the Kasar Devi temple is in the outskirts of Almora. A popular pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand, Kasar Devi is around 8.5 km from the town.
Near Kasar Devi is Mohan’s Café overlooking the beautiful Himalayan peaks. The scrumptious food at this cafe can be enjoyed with a view that is unmatchable. Also, if visiting during winters, tourists can also sip their coffee while enjoying a bonfire at this beautifully done café in Almora.
Bright End Corner
Located around 2.5km from town, Bright End Corner is a popular tourist spot in Almora. Visit the Bright End Corner to enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas and witness a breathtaking sunset view.
One of Uttarakhand’s most popular Dussehra celebrations takes place in Almora. A huge fair is organized where locals throng in large numbers to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
The Nanda Devi Mela, which is held in the month of September, lasts for 5 complete days. The cultural carnival has been taking place in Almora for the past 400 years and it is an experience one should not miss.
Best Time to Visit
Located in the lap of Himalayas, Almora experiences pleasant climatic conditions during most part of the year. During April to June, the days remain pleasant and evenings can get a little cold. Thus, this is the best time to visit Almora.
Winter season lasts from November to February and can be harsh. Areas located in the outskirts at a higher altitude, such as Kasar Devi, receive snowfall every year.
Almora gives a sizable number of luxury accommodation options to its tourists. However, most of them are located in the outskirts. A night’s stay at these beautiful properties can cost anywhere between Rs. 4-7,000.
Several budget hotels are also available in the town that cost about Rs. 1-3,000 a night.
Where to Head Next? (Within 50-300 km)
(193 km, 7 hours)
Set in the lap of snow-clad Himalayan peaks is the small town of Munsiyari. The hill station is a popular spot for trekking and its splendid beauty. Tourists traveling from Almora to Munsiyari should be prepared for a bumpy ride because the road to the hill station isn’t a very smooth one. Taxis and buses to Munsiyari are easily available from Almora.
(63 km, 2 hours)
One of the most popular tourist destinations of Uttarakhand, Nainital is hardly a 2-hour drive from Almora. Nestled in the beautiful Himalayan ranges, Nainital is adorned by the gorgeous Naini lake and that makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations of Uttarakhand.
(53 km, 2 hours)
The 300-km wide panoramic view of the Himalayas is what makes Kausani one of the must-visit destinations of Uttarakhand. The hill town offers a view of one of the highest Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi and Panchachuli. To reach Kausani, taxis are the most convenient mode of transportation. For budget travelers, buses are also an option.