Almora, a picturesque district in the Kumaon region, East of Uttarakhand in India, with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayas, summons tourists worldwide to its alluring grandeur of natural beauty.
The Township of Almora is the district headquarters and has all the facilities for a tourist of twenty first century. This ancient hill station is reputed for its health giving climate and is perched on a five Km. long horse saddle shaped ridge in between the river Kosi and Suyal and has been a cultural and political region of Kumaon for almost four hundred years, settled by Chand Rajas and nurtured by the British.
One can have a panoramic view of the snowy peaks of Himalayas on any clear day and in addition a glimpse of the township with it's tiled roofed houses and paved streets would take you to the sixteenth century at a thoughtful moment.
Nearby places of tourist interest where an excursion can be made within a day are Bright End Corner's unforgettable sunset, Chitai temple, with its unique collection of brass bells of all sizes, gifted to the temple by devotees since centuries, Kasar Devi which houses many Europeans who fell in love with the place so much that they settle down, Nanda Devi Temple the cultural and religious center of Almora for hundreds of years now and Lala Bazar a unique market of more than two hundred years with paved streets of stone.
Places of Interest
Around fifty kms from Almora the quiet and beautiful cantonment township of Ranikhet, is famous for its salubrious climate, balmy breeze, captivating and panoramic Himalayan View and soothing and pollution free greenery of pines and oaks. It is also famous as the regimental center of the Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army- one of the most prestigious and the most decorated of all. The Kumaon Regimental museum and amicably maintained grassy and green golf course are memorable experiences even for the most experienced tourists.
Kausani, situated around 52 KMs from Almora is famous for it's breathtakingly close view of the Himalayan Peaks and it's solitudes and greenery. The wide expanse of the famous Katyur Valley lies in front of it as you wake up to experience the Kausani sunrise. Kausani's beauty arrested the feet of even Mahatama Gandhi, who stayed for some time at this place. The memory that brief stay of that great man lingers behind in the Anasakti Ashrama. Another great man of India the famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant was born here. There is small museum to earmark that sacred spot. The famous folk singer Gopidas was also inspired by the beauty of Kausani. Pinnath (10KMs), Bura Pinnath (5KMs) and Bhakot are the highest points near Kausani.
Situated only 30 KMs away from the township of Almora lay Binsar nestled amongst thick forests of Oak and Rhodendron and yet offering surprisingly close views of the Himalayan peaks. The entire region is now a wildlife sanctuary and hosts animals like the Panther and the Barking Deer. The temple of Binsar lies nearby. One of the many legends concerning Binsar states that 'Should anyone take away anything belonging to the God or his worshippers and avenging spirit and compels him conscience stricken to restore it twenty fold. Even the faithless and the dishonest are said to be reformed by a visit to Binsar.'
Situated around 35 KMs from Almora, Jageshwar is one of the most important religious places of Hindus in Kumaon and is believed to be the abode of the one of the twelve 'Jyotirlingas'. It is even mentioned in the great epic of 'Mahabharata'. The great temple complex is situated in a narrow and beautiful valley covered with Cedar trees. Two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills and meet near the sacred spot. Dense grove of Cedar trees, perpetual verdure, and sweet murmur of the riverlets give a peculiar charm and sanctity to this place. There are 124 temples and hundreds of magnificent statues of exquisite craftsmanship. The oldest shrine is of the 'Mrityunjaya' and the biggest shrine is of the 'Dindeshwara'. During the monsoons there is a huge fair held every year at Jageshwer.
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