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Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari Pass which signifies doorway is one of the best treks in Uttaranchal. It is also known as Curzon trail as this trekking trail was discovered by Lord Curzon in 1905. The panoramic views of the eastern slopes of the majestic Garhwal Himalayas, Neelkanth, Mana, Hathi Ghori Parvat, Bertholi, Trishul, Dronagiri, Kamet and Nanda Devi peaks can be experienced on Kuari Pass Trek.

The trek has dense deodar, ok and rhododendron forests which present a picturesque view. Rare and protected flora and fauna can be found on this trail.  The trek passes via major rivers like Mandakini, Kaliganga and Dhauli Ganga .The ideal time to visit here is in summers.

Best Season: December - January
Duration: 6-8 Days
Max. Elevation: 4,264 m

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Binsar Trek

Binsar is a beautiful hill station valley of flowers which offers breathtaking views of the Kumaon Valley. The beautiful Himalayan range stretches to about 300 kms along the horizon out of which the most noticeable peaks are the Chaukhamba, Trishuli, Kedarnath, Panchchuoli, Nanda Kot and Nanda Devi.

The Binsar trek begins from Thalisain towards Pauri. The trek leads through thick forests of oaks, pine, silver fir and deodar that describe complete wilderness. The ascents and descents are gradual and the best time to visit is during winters. One can come across the Samadhi of the great Indian hero Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali situated at Musa Kota amidst Dudhatoli sanctuary.

The Binsar trek is an exciting experience and the trekkers can enjoy the beautiful views throughout the expedition. Binsar is enveloped with hanging moss, ferns, alpine flora, different varieties of wild flowers and forests where one can find rhododendron and oak trees.

If you are a bird watching enthusiast, during a trek in Binsar you will come across a number of beautiful and rare birds. The trek is rather simple and the forest cover will lead to small streams, lush green fields, but be careful of lion ants and tunnel spiders.

Best season: Mid September to early July
Duration: 3 Days
Altitude: 3030 m

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Shimla State Museum

Shimla State Museum is housed in an old Victorian mansion. It has been designed carefully to adapt it to the museum.

Location: The museum is set on a lonely hilltop known as ‘Inveram.’

Highlights: The Shimla State Museum is a residence of Indian government officials. Opened on January 26, 1974, the museum is used to collect as well as preserve the ancient artistic, historical, archaeological and ethnological human works for ensuring access to the future generations.

Price: The entry fee for the Indians is 20 INR and for the foreigners is 100 INR. Fee on camera is also levied. Indians will have to 50 INR surplus for carrying the camera and the foreigners will have to pay 100 INR surplus for carrying camera. Research scholars too will have to pay 100 INR for carrying camera.

Best Time: The ideal time to visit the Shimla State Museum is between 10a.m. to 5.p.m. Museum remains closed on all Mondays and other Gazetted holidays.

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What You Should Know More About Almora

  • Travel advice

    • To visit Almora, you have to get down at Kathgodam first. Don’t rush towards Almora without seeing the place. It is a beautiful hill station.

    • While hiring a taxi from Kathgodam to Almora, bargain hard. The cab drivers tend to ask for high prices.

    • Though Almora is not much known for crimes, it is a crowded hill station with people from all around the world. Keep your luggage safe.

    • Respect the local culture and local people. Almora, being a small town, can be conservative at times.

    • Don’t trust unknown people easily. They might take advantage of your trust.

    • Carry a torch while going out after the sun goes off to sleep.

    • Value nature. Don’t throw packets and other trash here and there. It is your duty to save the nature.

    • Don’t carry much cash in crowded places. Keep the precious stuffs and extra cash safe in hotel lockers instead.

  • Drinking laws

    The minimum eligible age to consume alcohol in Uttarakhand is 21 years. You cannot buy and drink liquor if you are younger.


  • Our recommendations- things you can’t afford to miss?

    Temples : 

    Almora, being called the Town of Temples, has some spectacular examples of the same. Let’s see what they are:

    • Nanda Devi Temple - This auspicious temple is situated in the middle of the town. The deities worshipped there are Hindu Goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. Visit when are fairs are organised, which starts on Nag Panchami every year. Surrounded by snow- capped mountains; the entire location is enchanting and mesmerising.

    • Kasar Devi Temple - This is a famous temple in Almora which is frequented by the locals and the tourists too. Built around 2nd century, the temple offers splendid views to the nearby valleys. Situated at the top of a mountain, this temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda in 1890-s and he meditated there. A fair is organised every year during the Kartik Poornima, in the honour of Devi.

    • Jageshwar Dham - Jageshwar Dham is an auspicious village with around 124 stone temples dedicated to Shiva. The biggest among them is Dandeshwar temple. Apart from his, the other temples are Surya mandir, Nau Durga mandir, Mrityunjay mandir, etc. The place is frequented by the locals as they are all devotees of Shiva. During the annual festival on Shivratri, the village gets crowded by the locals from the entire Kumaon Region.

    • Chitai Temple - The deity worshipped in this temple is a Hindu god Golu Devta. Golu Devta is believed to be a typical mythological god of Kumaon. He is worshipped as an incarnation of Shiva. It is believed that Godu Devta grants the wishes of his devotees really quick. The devotees offer bells to the temple after a wish is fulfilled. You will see a lot of bells of different sizes in the temple.

    • Katarmal Sun Temple - This is a beautifully constructed temple where sun is worshipped as Vraddhaditya. There are 44 other temples surrounding the main temple. Once, an antique idol was stolen from the temple premises.

    • Jhula Devi Temple - The story behind the establishment of the Jhula Devi Temple is very interesting. When the temple was not there, the villagers were too much scared of the wild animals like tigers, leopards, bears, etc., dwelling in a nearby jungle. They were attacked by the animals several times which made their living in that place almost impossible. They started praying to Maa Durga, goddess of strength and power. It is believed that Devi Durga appeared in the dream of a villager and she ordered to dig a place to discover an idol of her. Hence, the idol was taken out and a temple was constructed there. Since then, the villagers started to live freely and the children started playing without fear. The girls used to swing and enjoy. Then Maa Durga appeared again in someone’s dream and ordered to offer a swing to her. A wooden swing, called jhula in Hindi, was made and the idol was placed on it. Since then, the temple is known as Jhula Devi Temple, which means goddess on swing.

    • Maa Dunaguri Temple - The temple with 500 steps is a must visit for all as the place is amidst great scenic beauty. You have to take a flight of 500 steps to reach the temple.

    • Sri Ram Shila Mandir - This temple is often visited by the locals. The deity worshipped there is Sri Ram and his wife Sita.

    • Patal Devi Temple - This temple is named Patal Devi as the temple is underground. Patal means the place below the ground. You have to go down through a tough way to reach the temple. The journey down there is thrilling with stone stairs. Hold the chains on either side for support.

    • Gananath Mandir - This beautiful Shiva temple is near some beautiful natural caves. The entire location is bewitching with echoing sounds of the bell rings and hymns chanted. Visit the place during Kartik purnima in the month of November to see the annual festival and fair.


    Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

    If you are in Almora, you can never afford to miss this beautiful sanctuary with a great variety of flora and fauna. There are almost seven types of grasses. The entire place is covered with lush Rhododendron and pine trees. You can see Himalayan Gorals, wild boars, pine martens, red foxes, grey langurs, and a lot of other animals. Visit the place in March to see the beautiful red rhododendron flowers bloom.  

    Zero point

    This is a view point inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. You will get spectacular views of the Kedarnath, Trishul, Nanda Devi and shivling peaks of the Himalayan range.

    Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum

    This is a spectacular museum run by the Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army. The museum showcases the selflessness of the Kumaon Regiment soldiers and the memories of the soldiers who lost their lives safeguarding their motherland.

    Bright End Corner

    The Bright End Corner is a View Point to encounter spectacular sunrise and sunset. The place is calm and serene with a library nearby, the name of which is Vivekananda Library and as the name suggests, it houses a lot of books on Swami Vivekananda.  

    Archaeological Museum, Jageshwar

    The museum showcases the antique sculptures of the Jageshwar temples. There are almost 175 sculptures relating to Jageshwar. The main attraction of the museum, Pona Raja sculpture, is situated in its central hall. Pona Raja was a king in Kumaon. You can visit the museum from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Fridays.

    Govind Vallabh Pant Museum

    If you are interested in knowing the Kumaoni culture, visit Govind Vallabh Pant Museum. The museum showcases various photographs, sculptures and artefacts relating to the exotic Kumaon region. The visiting time of this museum is 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.

    Rock Shelter

    Called the Painted Rock Shelters, the place has a number of caves, where ancient humans used to dwell. It is named painted as you will find ancient paintings depicting their daily life, on the walls of the caves. Most of the paintings show animals, trees, humans, hunting processes, etc., in red and white colours. It is really fascinating to see what life was like then.

    Simtola

    This is picturesque picnic spot near Almora. It also acts as a view point to see the adjoining serene valleys. Opposite to the Horseshoe Ridge, this place is a major tourist attraction. The dense pine vegetation is worth visiting.


  • What you will like there?

    Trekking

    If you find adventure in trekking, Almora has a number of treks for you which will surely mesmerize you. The Jageshwar trek is the best among all. What makes this trek so captivating is the enchanting natural beauty all along the trek. The lush greenery of the pine and rhododendron trees, the interesting wildlife, the magnificent birds, all have conspired to gift you an experience you will cherish lifelong.   

    Wildlife

    Almora has a great biodiversity. If you are an animal lover, you must visit the Bansar Wildlife Sanctuary to get amazed by the peculiar animals there. Also, Almora is a home to a large variety of birds. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars on treks.

    Mountain biking

    The lofty hills offer great paths for mountain biking. You will get to hire bikes near the areas meant for mountain biking. Satisfy your adventure craves by doing this adventurous sport on the enchanting mountains covered with lush green forests.

    Nature

    Almora is such a great tourist spot as it is filled with natural beauty and breath-taking views. The view from Zero Point to the Himalayan Ranges is extremely beautiful. Visit the place to see how captivating it is.

    Locals

    The locals of Almora are very simple and friendly. They are always happy to help. Don’t hesitate to seek help from the locals in case you can’t figure about something about this heavenly destination.

    Food

    The local cuisine of Kumaon region is mouth-watering. You will fall in love with the innovative sweets of Almora, such as the Bal Mithai which is a rich fudgy bar- like desert with sugar pearls all over. Another great desert is Singauri. It is made with evaporated milk wrapped in a leaf with a mouth-watering aroma.

    Love Chocolate? The one you will get in Almora is Choklate. Made with condensed milk, you will love this super -yummy fudge. When you are in Almora, don’t forget to have the local Adrak Chai. Wondering what is it? It is Ginger flavoured Tea.

    Festivals

    The Town of Temples celebrates its festivals in an auspicious way. The main festival there is the Nanda Devi Festival celebrated in the month of September. The Uttaraini festival celebrated in January is also one of the prime festivals there. The other festivals include Jageshwar festival, holi, and Diwali.


  • Recommended reads for destination

Traveller Tales from Almora

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Achyut Namboothiri

20 January 2016

Almora is one of the best but unexplored places in Uttarakhand. The astounding beauty of the place, the snow clad mountains, the lush forests are all amazing and nature lovers like me will absolutely love it. I loved every minute of the tour. You can explore wildlife and spend some quiet peaceful time bird watching.

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