Planning to visit Almora? Read these top travel tips and make your experience better!
At first glance, Almora appeared as one of those bustling towns in the mountains that are becoming a concrete jungle. There were hotels and shopping complexes being arranged on the narrow ridge. Neighborhoods were quickly getting buried under plastic waste. Local people seemed too busy in their lives to answer any requests.
Honestly speaking, my first impression of Almora wasn’t a pleasing one. It had been only 10 minutes that I had arrived there and every part of me already wanted to escape its madness. I knew my hotel was located some 5km outside of the main town – thankfully far enough from Almora’s maddening Lala Bazaar – yet I needed a stronger reason to console my heart.
To make it even worse, Google navigated me to a dead-end, forcing me to now ask for directions. “The Himalayan Woods” I enquired a few random faces, but no one had a clue. Then a sudden realization and I recalled that my hotel was located near Mata Kesar Devi Temple – a popular landmark in Almora that even a 5-year-old can guide you to. To my frustration, it took me almost 30 minutes to find my way to the hotel and fight through the narrow bustling lanes of Almora, but at last, I ended up in a kind of Almora I was long hoping for!
The Two Faces Of Almora
To tell you the truth, Almora can vaguely be divided into two geographies – the crowded and bustling Almora, and the comparatively quiet and greener Almora. The bustling part is where you will find Almora’s main bus station, a few crowded markets and a handful of budget guesthouses (the kind that still sells offline in today’s digital age). And then there is this other part that is located near Mata Kesar Devi Temple (located some 5km away from the center) where you will find more green spaces and better hotels/resorts/backpack-hostels.
So if you will ask me, the first travel tip on Almora would be… look for a place that is near Mata Kesar Devi Temple. If you’re travelling in a bus, you can find regularly shared taxis running between Almora main town and the Mata Kesar Devi Temple area.
Speaking of my experience, however, I stayed at The Himalayan Woods and can recommend it to those looking for a medium-budget hotel.
What To See And Do In Almora
I understand Almora isn’t a kind of place where a regular Indian tourist would want to spend more than a weekend. And to be honest, two days are actually enough to spend in Almora and get a hang of it.
Mata Kesar Devi Temple remains a usual highlight for those visiting Almora.
To be honest, I found Mata Kesar Devi Temple holding charm for not only those who fancy visiting temples but also those who appreciate beautiful sunsets and wide-open views.
Located on a hilltop, Mata Kesar Devi Temple offers a nearly 360-degree view of Almora and surrounding. Spend a few hours meditating and soaking in the magnetic hill power or just relax in the area and appreciate the beautiful nature.
Another highlight near Almora, is, of course, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary that is popular for its Zero Point. It is located around 25km from the Almora and costs 150 Rupees per person for Indians as entry fee. A half-day trip to Binsar Wildlife century can be a fun solo or group activity. Remember, if you’re driving, you will have to pay for your car (motorbikes get free entry though!).
On a fine day, you can catch glimpse of Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and Nanda Devi from Binsar’s Zero Point. The Zero Point is located 2km from the nearest parking inside the Binsar Wildlife Century.
Also, when in Almora, don’t miss the unusual combination of Pakora, Cholley and Raita. It may sound like a complete weird combination of food ever, but it is will prove to be a treat. Also try some local season fruits.
Should Almora Be High On Your List?
If you’re more of a bucked-lister who enjoys doing too much in too little time, then Almora may disappoint you. Because honestly speaking, there isn’t much to do there, apart from visiting Mata Kesar Devi Temple and Binsar Wildlife Century. Additionally, if you compare Almora with places like Shimla and Nainital, the former has never been a very exciting choice for travellers.
But if you’re looking for a place to spend a good time relaxing and not doing much, Almora may just be a great destination to travel to. The landscape near Kesar Devi Mata temple is quite beautiful. The place isn’t frequented with regular hippy tourists or party-mongers.
So yea, if the idea of holidaying for you is to relax and unwind, and ending up in a place that is rather offbeat, Almora may just be a perfect destination!
And here’s a quick video of my Almora Trip:
Got more travel tips for Almora? Please share in comments below!