Almora, a picturesque district in the Kumaun region, East of Uttaranchal in India, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas, summons tourists worldwide to its alluring grandeur of natural beauty. Famous for its rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts, sumptuous cuisine and magnificent wildlife, coupled with an easy accessibility, Almora promises its tourists a visit full of fun and unforgettable moments.
The name of the sociocultural region of Kumaun is believed to have been derived from "Kurmanchal", meaning Land of the Kurmavtar (the tortoise incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Preserver of Hindu Trinity). Extending from the northern end of the Ganga plains right upto Tibet, Kumaun's endless panorama of scenic wonders is nothing short of a romance with pristine and soul-lifting nature itself. The Katyuri and Chand dynasties glorified the region by constructing some fine temples - now renowned throughout the country. Though largely a Shaivite region, the presiding deity, Nanda Devi, is amongst the most exalted in Kumaun.
Sojourning in the beautiful Kumaun region of Uttarakhand with its majestic, snow clad mountains, lakes and rich plethora of flora and fauna, not only enables one to constantly think about the Himalayas but to behold their pristine magnificence time and again. Thus purifying one's soul aptly enough, setting the tone for which the options are as many as they are delightful, catering to the multifaceted interests of grown-ups and youngsters alike.
Presently a revenue division, Kumaun, consists of the district of Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Almora, Bageshwer, Pithoragarh and Champawat.
TOWNSHIP OF ALMORA
The ancient town of Almora, before it's establishment was under the possession of Katyuri king Baichaldeo. He donated major part of this land to a Gujrati Brahmin Sri Chand Tiwari. Later on when Chand kingdom was founded in Baramandal, the town of Almora was founded at this centrally located place in 1560 by Kalyan Chand. The mountain on which the Almora is located is described in the
famous Hindu epic Manaskhand as follows :-
Kaushiki Shalmali Madhyey Punyah Kashaya Parwatah
Tasy Paschim Bhagam Kshetra Vishnyo Pratishthtam
In the days of the Chand Kings it was called Rajapur. The name 'Rajpur' is also mentioned over a number of ancient copper plates. The town of Almora is situated over a horse saddle shaped ridge of a mountain. The eastern portion of the ridge is known as Talifat and the western one is known as Selifat. The market is at the top of the ridge where these two, Talifat and Selifat jointly terminate.
The main Mohalla (wards) of Almora are as follow :-
Selifat :- Joshikhola, Shelakhola, Dyodhipokhar, Thapalia, Kholt, Champanaula, Gururanikhola, Chaunsar, Galli, Karadiyakhola, Kapina, Paniudiyar, Ranidhara, Chaudharikhola, Pokharkhal, Jhijad and Kasoon.
Talifat :- Chinakhan, Makedi, Dharanaula, Chandani Chowk, Vishtakuda, Tyunara, danya, Bansbida, Upretikhola, Khasiya-khola, Badekhola, Dubkiya, Nayalkhola, Tiruvakhola, Dugalkhola and Tamtyuda etc.
Mostly the wards have been named after the communities that inhabited them.
Market :- Lala Bazar, Karkhana Bazar, Khajanchi Mohalla, Jauhari Mohalla, Malli Bazar and Thana Bazar.
The market is 1.25 miles long and is covered with stone slabs. The place of the present cantonment was formerly known as Lalmandi. Presently where the collectorate exists, the 'Malla Mahal' (Upper Court) of Chanda kings was located. The site of present District Hospital used to be 'Talla Mahal' (Lower Court) of Chand rulers
How to reach By Air?
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 - Rs 2250/$ 90 for adults, Rs 1400/$ 55 for children.
Taxi fare is around Rs 1200-1500.
How to reach 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.
How to reach By Rail?
The town is served by the Kathgodam station, which is located 35 km away as the crow flies from the town. Taxis charge Rs 600 to Almora. You can also share a cab at Rs 125 per person. Most hotels will arrange for a pick up on prior request, Rs 700-1000. The station handles 46 express trains per week.
Bagh Exp (daily) - Dep. Howrah 2145 Arr. 0935 - 2 nights
Sampark Kranti Exp (daily) - Dep. Delhi Jn 1600 Arr. 2245 - 7 hours
Ranikhet Exp (daily) - Dep. Delhi Jn 2245 Arr. 0500 - 1 night
Dehradun Kathgodam Exp (Wed, Sun) - Dep. 2230 Arr. 0725 - 1 night