Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Almora - Uttarakhand

Almora, the "Switzerland of India" in the Kumaun region, east of Uttarakhand is a cantonment town in Almora district. Almora has a rich cultural heritage and history and is considered as the cultural heart of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Almora in Uttarakhand is regarded as a picturesque district in the Kumaun region, which forms a part of the eastern Uttarkhand in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the three hill districts of Kumaon, the other two being Nainital and Pithoragarh. The major cities of Almora are Lucknow, Delhi, Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad. According to the census of 2001 the population of Almora was 630,446. With a breathtaking panorama of the mighty snowcapped Himalaya ranges, the district of Almora summons tourists from all over the globe to its mesmerizing grandeur of natural splendor. Nestled in the scenic locales with the solitude and tranquility, Almora forms a very fascinating tourist spot. This district beguiles the tourists not only with the most tied and tested destination but is also famous for its rich cultural heritage, sumptuous cuisine, unique handicrafts, magnificent wildlife, all coupled with an easy accessibility.

Almora in Uttarakhand is abundant with three things as romance, charm and serenity. The place appears to be a heavenly abode. The breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas in Almora will ever remain cherished in our hearts. Almora is famous for its unique handicrafts, sumptuous cuisine and magnificent wildlife.

History of Almora , Uttarakhand
almora-townAlmora is a town with long and ancient history. The Kashaya Hill on which Almora is built finds mention in the Skanda Purana. Raja Kalyan Chand of Kumaon in 1560 made Almora his capital kingdom. In the days of the Chand kings, Almora was known as Rajapur. The name `Rajpur` is also mentioned over a number of ancient copper plates. The town of Almora is situated over a horse saddle shaped ridge of a mountain. The eastern portion of the ridge is known as Talifat and the western one is known as Selifat.

The rule of the Chand dynasty came to an end after the gorkhas from Nepal occupied the area in 1790. The British defeated the Gorkhas in 1815, and established a small Army and a Cantonment.

Today, Almora is an important commercial town and administrative center. The town is an amalgamation of social & cultural influences of Kumaon. Traces of the old Chand Forts, beautifully carved wooden homes decorated with traditional murals reflect its rich heritage.

Geography of Almora, Uttarakhand
Almora is located in the province of Uttaranchal in India. To the east of Almora lies the Champawat district, to the west lies the district of Garhwal (Pauri & Chamoli) and to the North lies district of Bageshwer and in the South there is the district Nainital. The total area of Almora is 3,689.46 Square Km.

Almora is 1650 meter above sea level. The Latitude of the city is 29 DEG. 36 MIN. N and the Longitude is 79 DEG. 30 MIN. E. Just below the town flows the Koshi (Kaushaki) and Suyal (Salmali) rivers.

Government and politics of Almora, Uttarakhand
The District Magistrate administers the district. He is also the head of Civil Service in the entire district. The District Magistrate has the power to decide on issues relating to law and order and general administration. Under the District comes the Additional District Magistrate and Sub-divisional Magistrates.

Divisions of Almora, Uttarakhand

Demography of Almora, Uttarakhand
As per the 2001 census, the population of the state of Almora is 6,30,446. The literacy rate of Almora is 74.53%. 90.15% of the males are literate and 61.43% of the females are literate.

Transportation of Almora , Uttarakhand
Almora is connected within and outside the state by means of air, rail and road. Pantnagar is the nearest airport of Almora. Kathgodam (90km) is the nearest railhead with connection to Delhi, Howrah & Lucknow. Buses connect Almora with Kathgodam, Nainital, Ranikhet, Pithoragarh directly. There is also direct connection to Nepal Border, Banbassa. There are busses at regular frequencies making travel comfortable. Private taxis & jeeps are also available.

Culture of Almora , Uttarakhand
The Nandadevi fairThe people of Almora are called as Almorites. The festivals celebrated by the people of Almora are:

# Nanda Devi Festival
# Jageshwar Shrawan Mela Dushara Festival Almora
# Doonagiri Mela
# Dwarahat Mela
# Gananath Mela
# Somnath Fair

Visit to Almora , Uttarakhand
The best time to visit this heavenly place is from April to June and from September to November. In fact it can be visited anytime of the year. The temperature of this hill station in summer remains to be comparatively more than the other hill stations. The pleasure of walking among hills in warm sunlight cannot be related in letters. Nowadays reaching the beautiful town of Almora has become very convenient. Almora is now linked by frequent trains to and from the major metros as well as the other destinations of India. The national and state highway network links this town to many important cities in India. All sorts of hired transports are available and all comes with the most experienced drivers. Although this small town doesn`t have an airport of its own, the nearest airport is Pant Nagar (Nainital) and from there one can easily avail regular buses and taxis. The nearest railway station near Almora is Kathgodam.


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