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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history and culture of Almora?

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Are you the kind of person who is always interested to know about the history of the place that you are planning your next trip to? If yes, then there are snippets of information about Almora that are going to capture your interest.

This hill station in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand was once the capital of the Chand dynasty in the mid-16th century. Now at present, it is very popular as a summer retreat and is also visited by travellers for its famous Dusshera celebrations and the Nanda Devi Mela. The quaint hill station of Almora also acts as home to some of the very significant temples in the Kumaon region.

Unlike Shimla, Ranikhet, Nainital and Mussoorie, Almora has no such history of being developed by the British as hill stations. It was in 1560 AD that Almora came into light when Raja Bal Kalyan Chand shifted his capital from Champawat to Almora. Later, adding another page to the interesting history of the place, the Gorkhas captured Almora in 1790 AD and finally British won it after the Gorkha wars in 1814-1815.

Almora besides being a hill station has also been a place frequented by famous personalities. Rabindranath Tagore spent some time here and wrote some of his sweet verses; Swami Vivekananda on his Himalayan sojourn stopped here and gave some famous discourses. Almora is the birthplace of freedom fighter and Bharat Ratna Govind Ballabh Pant. Even Jawaharlal Nehru was in Almora Jail for some time. Almora is also the birthplace of Nobel Laureate Sir Ronald Ross, the famous scientist, who pioneered the vaccine against Malaria. A very popular American actress, Uma Thurman spent some part of her childhood at Crank’s Ridge. Prasoon Joshi, Mohan Upreti and a few popular artists have their roots in Almora.

Almora is the second largest town of Kumaon and is a transit point en-route to popular tourist destinations Jageshwar, Binsar, Kaushani and Sitlakhet. It is also home to many famous temples including Binar Mahadev, Kasar Devi, Nanda Devi Temple and Banari Devi. Not only they are highly revered, but also count amongst the most popular places to visit in Almora. The town because of what all it has in store for the tourists is a bustling vacation spot all around the year. This makes it more populated with the tourists than the actual populace of the town.

Almora is also an important agricultural base and hence serves as a trade centre in more than one way. The people here are used to the crowd that the town is full of and is quite helpful. The people here are very religiously oriented and believe in the old style of living which was much simpler and honest. You might want to sit with some older locals and hear stories about the place on a sunny afternoon because of the sheer level of experience that they have.

The handicraft industry is a prominent part of the economy which provides the people here with a lot of opportunities which make them financially and also socially stable. The tourism industry also plays an important role in shaping how the people live here.

Phew! This is all I have to tell you about the place. Rest is up for your exploration. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your bag and get going! Additionally, you can take a look at Uttrakhand packages for more fun filled trips in and around Almora.

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