Resplendent in natural beauty and steeped in colonial charm, the horse-shoe shaped quaint hill station of Almora is perched on a steep ridge, deep inside the state of Uttarakhand. Nestled in the snow-capped Kumaon Himalayas and encircled by the Kaushiki (Koshi) and Shalmali (Suyal) rivers, Almora was the summer capital of the Chand rajas, the royals of the Kumaon region, in 1560.

With a mix of colonial-era buildings and traditionally painted wooden shops, Almora is a charming getaway that holds its heritage close to its heart. This is reflected in the forts, royal courts and historical monuments that can be seen here. Kumaon was home to several forts built by dynasties like Chands and Katyuris. Among these, the Malla Mahal, at Almora, stands offering a panoramic view of the Almora Bazaar.

The site of the 6th century Ram Shila Temple, which has exquisite sculptures, the fort was built by King Rudra Chand in the 16th century. The stone fortress was subsequently the seat of power of the Gurkhas and the British.
Surrounded by dense forests and mountains, Almora has several interesting spots nearby, including the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for sightings of leopard, musk deer, Himalayan goral, jungle cat, and chital. Another unique stopover is Lakhudiyar, which has prehistoric rock paintings that highlight Almora's ancient roots. It is said Almora flourished and became a power centre during the reign of mighty Katuris (800AD-100AD) and later under the Chand dynasty (700 AD -1790 AD).


Almora is often referred to as the cultural capital of Kumaon. Kumaoni people are very proud of their traditional folk music, and the town is home to the popular Uday Shankar Academy of Music and Dance. Tourists can also sample the delectable bal mithai and singauri that are culinary favourites here.