Een Insider

An Insider’s Guide to Almora

Almora, a picturesque hill station, is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. With the Himalayas in the backdrop, it offers a hearty treat for nature lovers. Be it waterfalls, rolling mountainous terrains or lush greenery, Almora is sure to amaze you with its unspoilt natural beauty. It is a delight if you seek solitude and are tired of the hustle and bustle of city life. Dense forests of pine and fir trees add to the beauty of this fascinating destination.

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How to reach

Per flight: Pantnagar Airport (PGH) is the nearest airport, which is approximately 116 km from Almora. Not every day there are flights flying between Delhi-Pantnagar. So if you are planning to fly by air, check the ixigo flight page to know the flight details. The distance between Pantnagar and Almora can be covered by taxi or share taxi available at the airport.

Read also: An insider’s guide to Sanchi- The Spiritual Retreat!

On the road : If you plan to drive alone, the journey may be a bit circuitous as there are many sharp turns. Almora is approximately 365 km from New Delhi and 415 km from Dehradun. Nowadays, private or shared cabins are also available, making traveling much more convenient and cheaper.

With the bus: There are no government-run Volvo A/C buses from Delhi to Almora. You can take a direct lane from ISBT Anand Vihar. For those who want to travel in a Volvo, they can take a bus to Haldwani and then continue in a shared or private taxi. The cost per person in a Haldwani share taxi ranges from INR 250-300.

By train: The nearest railway station to Almora is Kathgodam railway station. Trains to Delhi and Dehradun run to this train station daily. Ranikhet Express, Utr Sampark Kranti and Kathgodam Shatabdi Express are some of the options available. After reaching Kathgodam, take a shared cab, which costs approximately INR 250 (rates may vary slightly depending on the season). Private taxis are also available at the station. If you are planning to travel from New Delhi – Kathgodam soon, book the train tickets now as they are hardly available during peak season.

Being a localite, I would suggest that if you are traveling to the hill station for the first time, you travel in private or shared taxis.

Popular landmark near Almora

Nainital:

The hill station of Nainital, with a large number of lakes in and around its vicinity, justifies the sobriquet ‘The Lake District’. Forested hills, alluring Naini Lake, ancient shrines and cheerful pahari people add to the beauty of this beautiful hill station. Apart from sightseeing, you can take a stroll in the Mall Road, enjoy shopping in the Tibetan Market or enjoy a boat ride in the crystal clear waters of 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 about 65 km from Almora which can be covered by taxi or bus. The most convenient way to travel to this scenic destination is by personal taxi, which costs approximately INR 500.

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Note: During peak season, traffic on Mall Road is restricted in the evenings so that tourists can enjoy a stroll.

Jageshwar:

Jageshwar is located at a distance of about 40 km from Almora. Taxis are available to and from Almora which can cost around INR 100 per person. It is most famous for its cluster of 124 stone shrines, dating from the 9th-13th centuries. Located amidst the dense, desolate forests, the temple is an ideal place to meditate and offer prayers. The beautiful lotus kund located in the center of the shrine adds to the overall beauty of the place. Another attraction of this destination is the Archaeological 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 organized here, attracting thousands of local villagers and devotees. Don’t forget to click on images showing the two attached deodar cedars, which are believed to be as old as 900 years.

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Ranikhet:

Ranikhet, a hill station in Almora district, is a paradise for nature lovers. The panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains and tranquil surroundings makes it one of the most romantic hill stations in the country. The lush green golf course, Ashiyana Park, Sun Temple and Binsar Mahadev are some of the most famous places to visit in Ranikhet. It is located at a distance of about 48 km from Almora, which can be covered by private cars or taxis. Buses are also available but I won’t recommend it as you may suffer from mountain sickness.

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Mukteshwar:

Nestled at a distance of about 50 km from Almora, Mukteshwar has a host of places to visit. Book a taxi or take a shared taxi to reach this destination. On top of this city lies the famous Shiva temple, better known as the Mukteshwar Dham. The view of the Himalayan range from the top will surely mesmerize you. Besides admiring the pristine beauty of this destination, you can also enjoy trekking through the forest and indulge in adventure sports.

Kainchi Dham:

Located on the Naini-Almora Road, Kainchi Dham is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in 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, don’t forget to visit the huge Bhandara, which is organized every year on June 15 at the temple premises. Situated amidst lush greenery, this shrine is about 17 km from Nainital and 45 km from Almora. Taxis are easily available from both the hill stations to reach this holy place.

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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 recognized for thousands of copper bells that can be seen hanging all around the temple. These bells are hung by the devotees after the fulfillment of their wishes. The devotees also write letters to the deity and hang them in the building to get their wishes fulfilled. You can take a taxi from Almora taxi stand to reach this place, which is at a distance of about 10 km. The road to this temple is scenic and you must enjoy clicking some beautiful pictures. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Almora and should not be left unexplored.

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Simtola:

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 hillside. It is located approximately 16 km from Almora and can be reached by personal taxi.

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Kalimut:

Kalimut is especially famous for its ancient Kali Temple and is visited by hordes of devotees all year round. This special delight offers picturesque views of the snow-capped mountains and lush green hills. Located 5 km from Almora, this attraction is easily accessible.

Nanda Devi Temple:

Nanda Devi Mandir is located in Lala Bazaar and is considered one of the oldest temples in 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 Sunset Point, Bright End Corner is Almora’s most famous landmark. The picturesque view of sunrise and sunset from this point will surely enchant you. The Vivekananda Library nearby is another major attraction. While visiting this attraction, don’t forget to sample the lip-smacking burgers served at Cafe Bright End.

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Mall Road:

Mall Road in Almora is not as popular as other hill stations. If you have time, you can take a walk in the Mall Road and enjoy street shopping. The Panchhuli store, located on Mall Road, is an ideal place to shop for woolen scarves.

Accommodation options available in Almora

All types of accommodation options from budget to 4 star are available in this hill station. If you love the natural beauty and enjoy the tranquil surroundings, you can choose to stay at one of the resorts 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 stars)

Location: Near Shikhar Tiraha, Mall Road, Almora

Hotel Shivalik Almora (3 stars)

Location: LR Shah Road, Near Vishal Mega Mart, Almora

Hotel Pawan (budget)

Location: Mall Road, Almora

Mohan’s Binsar Retreat (4.5 stars)

Location: Binsar Road, Kasar Devi, Almora

Places to eat

No trip to a destination is complete without sampling the local delicacies. From most authentic pahari dishes to Chinese cuisine, all kinds of food are available in the restaurants in Almora. The local herbs and spices used in cooking the food add to the flavour. This hill station is most famous for its local sweets including Bal Mithai, Singauri and Choklate.

To start with, some of the most famous eateries are listed below:
To start with, some of the most famous eateries are listed below:
 

Glory Restaurant: It is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and serves North Indian and South Indian dishes. Non-vegetarian food lovers must try the mouth-watering lemon chicken served at this restaurant. It is located on LR Shah Road, minutes away from Mall Road. The restaurant has a decent ambiance and the average cost per person is around 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 nearby villages come to this sweet shop to satisfy their taste buds.

Mohan’s Cafe: Set amidst cedar trees, Mohan’s Cafe is the best place to dine in this hill station. It has an extensive menu of Indian, Chinese, American, Israeli and Continental dishes. Barbecue evenings are also organized at the request of guests. The delicious food and breathtaking views from this cafe will make the trip even more memorable. I would recommend you 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. Dinner cost for two people will vary between INR 100-150. It offers good quality North Indian dishes including non-vegetarian and vegetarian curries. It is located in Paltan Bazar, not far from the Mall Road.

The insider’s guide to Almora serves as a guide for those who want to explore this fascinating hill station like a localite. To enjoy it to the fullest, leave your laptop and other gadgets at home and take a camera with you.

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