Almora – The temple town


God is incomprehensible and the whole world is charged with the grandeur of God. There is a god within every human being and man glows when He stirs him. When stirred by god, man gets energized and acts with more vigor and inspiration. Temples are the earthly abode of gods where one finds complete solace of mind by paying homage to the intended deities. Almora in Uttarakhand is renowned for being abundant in temples.

Situated at 5,400 ft above sea level, Almora is hill station in the Himalayan ranges. The rivers Kosi and Suval surround Almora. This hill station was not developed by any British officials, as is the case with almost all other hill stations of India. Raja Kalyan Chand, the ruler of the Chand dynasty discovered this horse-shoe shaped ridge.

Temples are the hallmarks of Almora. Second only to the Konark Temple, Almora has the largest and 800 years old Sun Temple, surrounded 45 smaller shrines. It is located at Katarmal. The Kasar Devi temple dates back to 2nd century and is situated on the mountain.

Jageshwar near Almora is a popular Hindu pilgrimage and is abode to one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is located on the confluence of the rivers Surabhi and Nandini. Mritanjaya and Dindeswara temples are the oldest ones. Chital temple enshrines Lord Shiva who fulfills wishes of every visiting devotee. This is evidenced by the large number of bells placed by devotees who get their wishes fulfilled by Lord Shiva.

Admirers of adventure trek from Almora to Jageshwar enjoying the greeneries of Kumaoni villages, rhododendron trees and deodar trees. Pindari trek is another attraction for adventure tourists who start trekking, 91 km from Almora and pass through panoramic pine forests and Pindari glacier coming in between Nandakot and Nanda Devi Mountain.

Binsar, a synonym of Lord Shiva is the most attractive location in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas. The snow-clad peaks hold the tourists captivated. It is 25 km away from Almora. The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary affords opportunities for watching wildlife and birds from very close angles. A walk in the jungles refreshes the minds. Deer Park is located in Narvan Tiwari Dewai, about 3 km away from Almora. Besides deer, one can witness endangered species of Himalayan Black Bear.

The Almora Jail has close association with the freedom movement Of India. It was here that Jawaharlal Nehru was kept in prison that gave him the solitude of writing ‘a letter to his daughter’, Indira. Therefore, tourists feel like paying homage to the architect of post independence India by visiting Almora.

Almora attracts tourists to the festive occasion of Dussherah at the Nada Devi temple. The great saint Swami Vivekananda spent few days here, during his sojourn in Himalayas. As a mark of tribute to the great Indian persona, Swami Vivekananda Library in Almora draws attractions of visitors who have interest in philosophy and spiritual way of thinking.

Almora is a hotspot of visitors who intend to be away from the ‘maddening crowd’ and spend few days in an ambience of serenity, seclusion and calmness.