Almora, a picturesque hill station, is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. With the Himalayas in the backdrop, it offers a hearty treat to nature lovers. Be it cascading waterfalls, undulating mountain terrains or lush greenery, Almora is sure to amaze you by its pristine natural beauty. It is a delight if you seek solitude and are tired of the hustle bustle of the city life. Dense forests of fir and pine trees add to the beauty of this captivating destination.
How to Reach
By Flight : Pantnagar Airport (PGH) is the nearest airport, which is approximately 116 km from Almora. Not everyday there are flights that fly between Delhi-Pantnagar. So if planning to go by air, please check the ixigo flight page to know the flight details. The distance between Pantnagar to Almora can be covered by a cab or a sharing taxi that are available in the airport.
By Road : If planning to drive on your own, the journey might be a little cumbersome as there are a lot of sharp curves. Almora is around 365 km from New Delhi and 415 km from Dehradun. Nowadays, private or sharing cabs are also available, which make the travel much more convenient and cheaper.
By Bus : There are no government run Volvo A/C buses from Delhi to Almora. You can get a direct roadways bus from ISBT Anand Vihar. For those who want to travel in a Volvo can take a bus till Haldwani and then continue the journey in a shared or a private cab. The cost per person in a sharing taxi from Haldwani, ranges from INR 250-300 .
By Train : The nearest railway station to Almora is the Kathgodam Railway Station. Trains from Delhi and Dehradun ply to this railway station on a daily basis. Ranikhet Express, Utr Sampark Kranti and Kathgodam Shatabdi Express are among the available options. After reaching Kathgodam, take a sharing cab, which will cost you around INR 250 (Rates might vary slightly according to the season). Private taxis are also available at the station. If planning to travel from New Delhi – Kathgodam soon, book the train tickets now, as they are hardly available in the peak season.
Being a localite, I would suggest that if you are travelling to the hill station for the first time, travel in private or shared cabs.
Popular Attractions Near Almora
The hill station of Nainital, with a large number of lakes located in and around the vicinity, justifies the sobriquet ‘The Lake District’. Forested hills, alluring Naini Lake, ancient shrines and cheerful pahari people add to the beauty of this wonderful hill station. Other than sightseeing, you can go for a stroll in the Mall Road, indulge in shopping in the Tibetan Market or enjoy a boat ride in the crystal clear waters of the Naini Lake. Thandi Sadak is another major attraction of this hill station, which is still unexplored. This hill station is located at a distance of approximately 65 km from Almora that can be covered by a taxi or bus. The most convenient way to travel to this scenic destination is by a personal cab, which will cost you around INR 500.
Note : In the peak tourist season, vehicular traffic in the Mall Road is restricted in the evening hours so that tourists can enjoy a stroll.
Jageshwar is located at a distance of approximately 40 km from Almora. Cabs are available to and from Almora, which might cost you around INR 100 per person. It is most famous for its cluster of 124 stone shrines, dating back to 9th-13th CE. Situated amidst the dense deodar forests, the temple is an ideal place to meditate and offer prayers. The beautiful lotus kund situated in the centre of the shrine adds to the overall beauty of the place. Another attraction of this destination is the Archeological Museum, which is run by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and houses statues and idols. Every year, Jageshwar Monsoon Festival and Sawan Mela are organised here, which attract thousands of local villagers and devotees. Do not forget to click pictures with the two attached deodar cedars, which are believed to be 900 years old.
Ranikhet, a hill station in Almora district, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The panoramic view of the snow-covered mountains and the tranquil environment makes it one of the most romantic hill stations of the country. The lush green golf course, Ashiyana Park, Sun Temple and Binsar Mahadev are some of the famous places to visit in Ranikhet. It is situated at a distance of around 48 km from Almora, which can be covered by private cars or cabs. Buses are also available but I won’t suggest it as you might suffer from mountain sickness.
Mukteshwar, nestled at a distance of around 50 km from Almora, has a large number of places to visit. Book a cab or a take a sharing taxi to reach this destination. Situated atop this town is the famous shiva temple commonly known as the Mukteshwar Dham. The view of the Himalayan range from the top is sure to mesmerise you. Other than adoring the unspoiled beauty of this destination, you can also enjoy a trek in the woods and indulge in adventure sports.
Kainchi Dham :
Located on the Naini-Almora Road, Kainchi Dham is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in the the entire state. This temple was founded by Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba in the year 1962. If you are planning to visit Almora in the summer months, do not forget to attend the huge bhandara, which is organised in the temple premises every year on the 15th June. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this shrine is around 17 km from Nainital and 45 km from Almora. Cabs are easily available from both the hill stations to reach this holy place.
Places to visit in Almora
Chitai Temple :
Chitai Temple is dedicated to Golu Devta, who is believed to be the embodiment of Lord Shiva. This temple is widely recognised for thousands of brass bells that you can see hanging all around the temple premises. These bells are hung by the devotees after the fulfillment of their wishes. Also, the devotees write letters to the deity and hang them in the premises in order to get their wishes fulfilled. You can take a taxi from Almora taxi stand to reach this place, which is at a distance of around 10 km. The way leading to this temple is picturesque and you must enjoy clicking some wonderful pictures. It is among the most famous places to visit in Almora and must not be left unexplored.
Simtola is known for offering breathtaking views of the forested mountains covered with deodar and pine trees. Those who want to spend some time close to mother nature, this is the ideal place to be. You can also enjoy camping and picnicking in this scenic hillock. It is around 16 km from Almora and can be reached by a personal cab.
Kalimut is mostly famous for its ancient Kali temple and is visited by hordes of devotees all year round. This quaint delight offers scenic views of the snow-capped mountains and lush green hills. Located within 5 km of Almora, this attraction is easily accessible.
Nanda Devi Temple :
Located in Lala Bazaar, Nanda Devi Mandir is counted among the oldest temples of the region. Every year, in the month of September, thousands of devotees visit this temple to attend the Nanda Devi Mela.
Bright End Corner :
Famous as the Sunset Point, Bright End Corner is the most famous attraction of Almora. The picturesque view of the sunrise and sunset from this point is sure to spellbound you. Vivekananda Library located nearby is another major attraction. While visiting this attraction, do not forget to taste the lip-smacking burgers served at Cafe Bright End.
Mall Road :
Mall Road in Almora is not as popular as other hill stations. If you have time, you can go for a walk in the Mall Road and enjoy street shopping. Panchhuli store, located in the Mall Road, is an ideal place to shop for woollen shawls.
Accommodation options available in Almora
All type of accommodation options from budget to 4-star are available in this hill station. If want to adore the natural beauty and soak in the tranquil environment, you can choose to stay in one of the resorts located on the outskirts of this hill station. Some of the hotels in Almora that offer a comfortable stay to their guests are listed below :
Shikhar Hotel (4 star)
Location : Near Shikhar Tiraha, Mall Road, Almora
Hotel Shivalik Almora (3 star)
Location : L R Shah Road, Near Vishal Mega Mart, Almora
Hotel Pawan (Budget)
Location : Mall Road, Almora
Mohan’s Binsar Retreat (4.5 star)
Location : Binsar Road, Kasar Devi, Almora
Places to Eat
A trip to a destination is not complete without tasting the local delicacies. From most authentic pahari dishes to chinese cuisine, all sorts of food options are available in the restaurants in Almora. The local herbs and spices used in cooking of the food adds to the flavour. This hill station is most famous for its local sweets, which include Bal Mithai, Singauri and Choklate.
To start with, some of the most famous eateries are listed below :
Glory Restaurant : It is one of the oldest restaurants of the town and serves north indian and south indian food. Non-vegetarian food lovers must try the lip-smacking lemon chicken served in this restaurant. It is located on L R Shah Road, which is minutes away from the Mall Road. The restaurant has a decent ambience and the average cost per person will be approximately INR 100-150.
Khem Singh and Mohan Singh : Located on the Mall Road, this is the shop from where you can buy the best of local sweets. The quality of the sweets is as good as the taste. People from all the nearby villages come to this sweet shop to satisfy their taste buds.
Mohan’s Cafe : Situated amidst cedar trees, Mohan’s Cafe is the best place to dine at this hill station. It has a wide menu with Indian, Chinese, American, Israeli and Continental cuisine. Barbeque nights are also organised if requested by guests. The scrumptious food and the mind-blowing view from this cafe is sure to make the trip even more memorable. I would suggest you to take a taxi to visit this cafe as it is located on the outskirts of Almora.
New Soni Restaurant : It is one of the reasonable places to enjoy food in this hill station and dining cost for two people will range between INR 100-150. It offers good quality north Indian food including non-vegetarian and vegetarian curries. It is located in Paltan Bazar, not very far from the Mall Road.
The insider’s guide to Almora serves as a guidebook for those who want to explore this fascinating hill station as a localite. To enjoy to the fullest, leave your laptop and other gadgets back home and take a camera instead.
About the Author
Kanika Agarwal is an avid traveller and likes to express simply by words of her experience. She admires natural beauty and her dream is to explore the unexplored.
Pic Courtesy : Kanika Agarwal