The charm of Almora does not lie in the overcrowded Mall. It lies in other places that include.
Nanda Devi Temple: The famous Nanda Devi temple is located in the antechamber of a SNanda Devi Templehiva temple in the Bazaar above the mall. Nanda Devi is said to have been the Goddess revered by the kings of the Garhwal and Kumaun regions. The temple at Almora is decorated on the remains organized in Almora is on the Ashtami of Bhadra Shukla. Two images of Nanda and Sunanda are made in a banana trunk. The fair starts on Nag Panchami according to the calendar, on Sashti the priests mark Kadli trees and then a red and white cloth is tied around it, on the Saptami amidst the sound of different instruments they are cut prior to which a goat is slaughtered for the Bali-sacrifice. On Ashtami the two idols are revered and Bali (sacrifice) is performed before them, on Navmi a procession is taken out, in and around Almora. The day is marked with a number of cultural activities.
Vivekananda Corner (previously known as Bright End Corner or Brighton Corner): Some say this picturesque corner, located 2 kms from the centre of the city on the approach road was named after Lord Brighton, commissioner of Almora during the British reign in India. Most of other people believe that it is called Bright End Corner because it is at one end of the Almora ridge and offers some of the most spectacular sunsets one ever gets to see in the hills.
Ramkrishna Kutir, Almora – 263601, Uttarakhand, India. Email : [email protected] : A branch centre of the worldwide Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission. This is a Himalayan monastery for spiritual practices of the true seekers of God. Swami Vivekananda, the patriot saint of India, had the desire to establish a retreat centre in the Himalayas, the Devabhumi (Land of Gods) at Almora, exclusively for spiritual practices (Japa and Meditation) and scriptural studies. Therefore Swami Turiyananda and Swami Shivananda, direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, established a monastery, in 1916, on the outskirts of Almora town. This ashrama popularly known as “Ramakrishna Kutir” commands a snow-range view of the Himalayas and is free from the din and bustle of town life. At present, monastics, lay devotees, and admirers of Sri Ramakrishna and true seekers of God are allowed to enjoy the ashrama facilities for practising sadhana in the spiritual atmosphere of this ashrama.
Although this center is meant for spiritual practices (Sadhana), we serve the poor of this place with our small strength by supplying educational help to deserving students and blankets to the needy in severe cold, apart from other help in time of extraordinary needs as part of our sadhana.
Kasar Devi Temple
Kasaar Devi temple: Six kilometers from Almora, Kasar Devi temple is a serene spot to visit. There a several Hindu and Budhhist temple with a small cave in Kasar Devi. Swami Vivekananda came to this spot in 1890 to meditate and the place certainly has an echo of spiritual faith.The Bhddhist scholar Lama Govinda Anagrika and his painter wife Li Gotami used to live around.
The Place is known for its serenity and attracts tourists from across the globe.
Chitai: The famous hilltop temple of Chitai is 6 kms from Almora. Lord Golla (Golu), to whom the temple is dedicated is a deified general of the Chand dynasty. The shrine and the trees in the compound are decorated with bells offered by devotees who tie a bell either while making a wish or in thanksgiving.
Lakhudiyar : Situated at a distance of 20 kilometers (14 kms. from Chitai temple) from Almora is Lakhudiyar. Lakhudiyar literally means one lakh caves. It is one of the most important pre-historic sites in the hills. Some of the numerous caves in this region have paintings of pre-historic man on their walls. The paintings can mostly be divided into three categories that of man, animal and geometric patterns in white, black and red.
Ranikhet: Around 50 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 Kumaun Regiment of Indian Army- one of the most prestigious and the most decorated of all. The Kumaun Regimental museum and amicably maintained grassy and green golf course are memorable experiences even for the most experienced tourists. From Ranikhet, a four km sojourn takes you to the Chaubatiya gardens famous for its sprawling orchards of delicious apples, plums, peaches and apricots. It is the result of the pioneering efforts of a Briton who settled here some 150 years ago. In and around Ranikhet are some famous temples. Jhoola Devi Mandir, Ram Mandir, Herakhan Mandir, Kalika Temple and Binsar Mahadeva are a few of them.
Chaubatia : It is popularly known as ‘Orchard Country’ for its fruits and government apple gardens. It commands a picturesque view of the Himalayas. The Bhalu dam near Chaubatia is famous for an artificial lake and a fine picnic spot. It is just 3 kms from Ranikhet.
Binsar: Situated only 30 km away from the township of Almora, Binsar lies nestled amongst thick forests of Oak and Rhodendron and offers spectacular views of the Himalayan peaks. The entire region is now a wildlife sanctuary and has a host of wildlife like leopards, bears and 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 an avenging spirit 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’.
Shitla Khet: Situated between Ranikhet and Almora this picturesque place not only affords a wide view of The Himalayan peaks but is also full of fruit orchards. Scouting camps are frequently held here and there is a beautiful temple of Syahi Devi around 3 KMs away on a lovely mountainous trail. The birth place of the first chief minister of the province of Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant is a place called Khunt situated nearby. Some years back a centenary memorial has been built at this place to commemorate the memory of this great son of the soil.
Jalana: Situated 35 KMs away from Almora in picturesque surroundings Jalna offers a wide panoramic view of Himalayas. There are a number of orchards which produce a number of variety of fruits such as apricots, peaches, pears, plums and apples. Trees laden with mountain fruits and the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas makes Jalana the ideal natural cradle.
Banari Devi : A 2 kilometres trek from Jalana takes the visitor to the ancient temple of Banari Devi. This octagonal temple is surrounded by dense forest and is home to a broken stone statue of four-armed Vishu sleeping atop the Sheshnag. Near to Banari Devi temple is the temple of Kutumbari Devi which was constructed in the ninth century.
Dwarahat: Situated in a wide valley of the river Ramganga, Dwarahat lies around 32 kms from Ranikhet. It is a very important town both from historical and archeological point of view and may also have been the capital of some branches of the Katyuri kings. Around 10 kms from Dwarahat lies the famous Doonagiri temple situated atop a hillock which is famous in legends for containing the healing herb Sanjivini. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga and is situated in the midst of a beautiful dense forest and tea estate. Some distance from Dwarahat lies the temple of Naithan Devi.
Manila: Manila literally means enchanting. The famous temple of Manila Devi , the family goddess of Katyuri kings lies around 85 kms from Ranikhet. The surrounding forests and the Himalayan views from this hill ridge are worth seeing.
Katarmal: Situated around 17 km Northwest of Almora, Katarmal is famous for 800 years temple dedicated to the Sun God. The only other temple in India dedicated to Sun is the Konark temple in Puri, Orissa.
Jageshwar: Situated around 35 kms from Almora, Jageshwar is one of the most important religious places for Hindus in Kumaun and is believed to be the abode of 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 the sweet murmur of rivulets 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 Jageshwar.
Vridh Jageshwar: For Splendid Himalayan view and an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva, it can be approached by 1.5 km trek route from Jageshwar or 8 km by road from Jageshwar.
Mritola Ashram (10 kms) : The Uttar Vrindavan Ashram of Mirtola is at a distance of 3 km to the left of the main road after Panuanaula. This Ashram was established by Yashoda Ma, the wife of Dr. G. N. Chakravarti- the first Vice Chancellor of Lucknow University and her disciple Krishana Prem in 1929, where a temple was constructed in 1937. The Ashram grew due to the efforts of Swami Haridas, Bairagini Krisnarpita and Shri Madhav Ashish.