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Places Near Almora

There are many places to see near Almora. About 8 kms from Almora is the hilltop shrine of Kasara Devi (goddess Durga), where Swami Vivekananda sat in meditation. Close by is a library in the Ramakrishna (Vivekananda’s guru) Kutir, which has a collection of books on religious philosophy.

A Deer Park has been created amongst towering pine trees about 3 kms from town. With a collection of some deer species, leopards and the Himalayan black bear, the park is a good place for a walk, though the wildlife is not too exciting.

Another quick getaway in the forested hills is Simtola, about 3 kms from Almora. The Chetai temple, nestling amidst fir and pine forests is 8 kms from Almora. A temple highly revered by the local people, its setting is what makes it interesting to visit.

For nearby places you can visit Martola, which is a wonderful picnic spot set amidst forested hills and beautiful gardens, just 10 kms from Almora. Koshi, 12 kms from Almora, houses the Govind Vallabh Pant Environment Research Institute. Koshi is also a popular picnic resort with a guest house for overnight halts.

Katarmal, considered to be the second most important sun temple in the country lies 17 kms from Almora. The structure is almost 800 years old and was built by the Katyur rulers of Kumaon. Once replete with extraordinary carvings and sculpted images, the temple now lies in ruins.

Binsar, a small hill town locally also known as Jhandi Dhar is about 28 kms from Almora. Rising to a height of 2,412 metres, the town is presided by the temple of Bineshwar (an incarnation of Shiva). Once the summer capital of the Chand rulers, Binsar has now been designated a protected reserve forest area, with a bird sanctuary. You can take cool peaceful walks through oak and rhododendron forests. It is an easy day trip from Almora but you may stay on at the tourist complex in town. In addition, there are private resorts outside the Binsar sanctuary and a wonderful forest rest house with antique furniture and fine cutlery.

Jageshwar, is a holy site 34 kms from Almora, with its complex of stone temples dedicated to Shiva. The temples are of great historical and architectural significance; they were constructed over a period of thousand years during the 8th century AD. The ancient village, in an idyllic setting next to a gurgling stream and surrounded by fragrant pine forests, is a charming place to walk through. Winding cobbled lanes, traditional homes with finely carved doors and windows and friendly people greet you on the way. KMVN runs a Tourist Rest house with rooms and a restaurant here.

Pindari Glacier is a short distance from Bageshwar, and is one of the popular trekking destinations in the Himalayas.

Chaukori, to the northeast is a secluded retreat. Set amidst thick alpine forests with a wonderful view of the Panchuli peaks and Nanda Kot, Chaukori is secluded and beautiful. Overnight halts are possible at the KMVN Tourist rest house or at hotels in Berinag, 8 kms away.

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