My Solo Trip to Almora Tourist Places
This blog is about my Solo Trip to Almora Tourist Places, a cozy town at Himalaya’s Foothills. In the month of December, I took a solo trip to a cozy district of Uttarakhand, known as Almora. I anticipated Almora to be a small town with a limited number of houses, but to my surprise, Almora was one of the busiest mountain towns that I’ve ever been to.
I found out that my ‘before’ and ‘after’ perception about Almora is wholly different. And I believe after reading this blog post, you won’t be able to hold your curiosity to visit the magical hill station that Almora is.
Solo trips are the new buzzword in the travel industry. People from diverse demographics are embarking upon solo trips more and more. There have been many surveys done by some reputed organizations to establish this. But I’m not going to do all that. My point is, a solo trip is just another way of you pushing yourself to be courageous and take risks. And when you do this, you feel a sense of independence and belief in yourself. You realise that you are able to do so many things you yourself must have not imagined. Perhaps, that’s why it is recommended to do at least one solo trip in your lifetime.
Back in January 2018, when I took my first solo trip to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, I realized how important it is to be independent and that happiness can be found within, too. And my solo trip to Almora has taught me to be a better person and that feeling lost once in a while is okay.
Reaching Almora from Lucknow
I took a train, firstly because I love to travel on trains and secondly because my budget was low. To reach Almora, I had to first reach the nearest railway station to Almora from Lucknow and then, probably catch a bus or hire a taxi, whichever will be in my budget.
The nearest railway station to Almora is Kathgodam situated at a distance of approximately 82 kilometers. But the more feasible option is to reach Haldwani station which is a station before Kathgodam and lies at a distance of approximately 90 kilometers from Almora. It is feasible because the bus stand is a mere 5-minute walk away from the station. This saves you a lot of arguments from the pushy taxi and auto drivers.
I decided to take the Haldwani path. I took the train from Lucknow at midnight and reached Haldwani station roughly around 7 in the morning. I remember the weather – dark clouds, wet land and cool breeze. It seemed that Haldwani had received rainfall in the night.
I opened up Google Maps and started marching towards the bus station. On the way, I realized I was hungry. I also realized that I hadn’t taken any winter cap to cover my huge head. I was not prepared. Yup, that’s very common to me. I satiated my hunger with some snacks from the shops outside the bus station.
Snowfall on the Way
I was on the bus, half-awake as the bus snaked towards my destination Almora. With half closed eyes, I saw thick shades of fog enveloping the landscapes in all directions. The view was so serene with a sense of calm that it took my sleep away. I woke up from my stupor and looked out of the window, and someone inside the bus said that “this is the way to Nainital”.
The entire town through which our bus was passing was covered in white snow and snowfall had just stopped. It wasn’t much, but seeing a snowfall makes me go crazy. That’s what happened when I first saw the snowfall in Old Manali. Those heavenly feelings, I cannot describe!
Almora Bus Station & The Market
After almost 4 hours of bus journey and covering 90 kilometers, I finally arrived in Almora. I call it ‘The Cozy Town’, because to me everything seems to be cozy as if there’s nothing to worry about. I don’t know why I got this feeling, but that’s just me. I am not sure if you will feel that way too. But the unhurried pace of Almora didn’t take long to grow on me.
The bus dropped me to Dharanaula Bus stop and I didn’t have a single clue where to go next. The surrounding area was very busy with people walking haphazardly, locals selling peanuts and green leafy vegetables even as the soft murmurs wafted in the air. I called up my savior again and opened Google Maps.
And what did I see – my hostel, HOTs Kasar Devi, is at almost 9 km! Holy moly! Well I wasn’t in a mood of an adventure so I hurriedly called the hostel owner. The good folks at HOTs Kasar Devi advised me to take a shared cab and ask people where to get it as the taxi point is somewhere near Almora market.
I asked the sweet shop owner next to me and he told me to take left and keep going up through the lane until taxi point arrives. So I started to move up with my not-so heavy rucksack on my back. My perception about Almora had started to change – this isn’t just any town. This is Almora, a well settled and equipped town in the foothills of Himalayas.
As soon as I reached the taxi point, I couldn’t find any public taxis, only private ones. Due to lack of my patience and capability to wait more, I hired an Alto 800 for INR 300. He was a good man and started telling me the things and places I can visit in Almora and around. But my plans were different, I was here to just be here. Seriously!
Finally, the mystical Himalayas – Almora Tourist Places
It was around 1 or 2 pm when I finally reached my hostel. HOTs Kasar Devi is a youth backpackers hostel situated in a beautiful setting – right in front of snow capped Himalayas and hill ranges. When I reached, there was absolutely no one in the hostel except the two people who manage it, reason being the off-season. This however made me feel happy inside – the feeling of complete silence and solitude has its own importance.
The hostel itself is at a great height on top of a ridge. And when I climbed up, did all the chores and finally came out, I saw such scenic views that I’d probably be unable to describe them here in words. Maybe these images might help you understand? There are many Almora tourist places but the mere glimpse of snow clad mountains made my day!
There you’re. These mountains, if you keep looking at them, they’ll start telling you stories.
Places I Went To + The Slow Traveler in Me
I am a slow traveler and I believe in spending more time at a few places than hopping quickly to a number of places.There are many Almora Tourist places but I choose selectively.
I have only been to two places on this solo trip — Kasar Devi Temple and Neem Karoli Baba Temple. Rest of the time I spent with myself gazing at the great Himalayas. I’d planned it this way.
I’m not much of a religious guy but the stories behind these places attracted me. Specifically when I came to know Steve Jobs visited Neem Karoli Baba before he started the number one technology company in the world – Apple Inc.
After all, stories are what moves people. So, what are these two places and how you can get the best of them? Let’s explore the below tourist attractions in Almora!
Kasar Devi Temple – Almora Hill Station
This temple gained popularity after Swami Vivekananda came and meditated here. It is situated on what is famously known as Crank’s Ridge taking us back in the time when the Hippie movement flourished in India.
Also, according to NASA’s study, this place is one of the three places in the world to have high concentration of magnetic fields responsible for holding Van Allen belts.
People believe this may be one of the reasons why one feels so much at peace when they come here.
These stories imbibed a sense of curiosity in me and I decided to, at least, experience this. Luckily for me, Kasar Devi temple was just 2 km walk away from my hostel. So, the first thing I did the next day in the morning, around 10, is to visit this temple.
My full expedition to Kasar Devi temple and the interesting stories behind this place is right here.
Kasar Devi Temple is indeed one of the top Almora sightseeing places.
Neem Karoli Baba Temple – Almora Sightseeing Places
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Dan Kotke, Julia Roberts and many other high achievers visited this spiritual place in India. That makes it one of the best Almora Sightseeing Places.
Neem Karoli Baba was believed to be an avatar of Lord Hanuman and had a massive following in foreign world. His pupils even built an Ashram with the same name in Taos, New Mexico.
Baba was magical, there are many articles and documentaries available on the Internet singing the tales of his divinity. And after knowing that many notable achievers came to this place I just couldn’t hold my feet. This temple was situated between Haldwani/Kathgodam – Almora route and just in between. It is around 42 km from Haldwani.
Read the full guide, expedition and legend stories behind this place, click to go to the full article.
Other Places That You Can Consider – Tourist Places Near Almora
The place my hostel is known as Kasar Devi – a town named after the Kasar Devi temple in it. And to be honest, this town gave me the feelings that I’d only felt seeing the visual effects in movies. Expect Baked brown texture, sunny days, slow breeze and a sense of calmness all around! Enjoy these Almora sightseeing places at your own pace.
That’s why here’s the list of places you should visit if you’re coming to Almora hill station. Choose according to your preferences from these tourist places near Almora:
- Kasar Devi Temple & Village
- Nanda Devi Temple
- Chitai Mata Temple
- Jageshwar Temple
- Katarmal Sun Temple
- Deer Park
- Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary & Zero Point
There are also many more tourist places near Almora. You must ask your local guide for those if you have some extra time and money.
Local Sweet of Almora Hill Station
Baal Mithai is a local sweet of Almora. It is a dark brown colored sweet coated with sugar spheres all over it. Unfortunately, I forgot to click the photo as I was in a hurry but I will link one from Google Images here.
Seeing this you can imagine the rejuvenating taste of Baal Mithai. Don’t forget to try this when you go to Almora. The oldest shop is Khim Singh Mohan Singh Rautela near the petrol pump where private taxis are parked.
Return to Old Life With a New Me
If you’re a traveler, you’d agree that some places change you in ways you never expect. Traveling does something to you and it is the places like Almora which makes traveling even more deep & meaningful.
To me, Almora was a short trip but with a really big impact on me. Whenever I get mentally disturbed I tend to find places like Almora which are serene, peaceful and with all the natural beauty. This trip taught me, in many ways, that I’m full, complete and enough. That it is okay to feel lost sometimes, and that you’ll get back in form very soon. Healing power of mother nature is often underestimated.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the article. Let me know your queries or thoughts about Almora in the comment box below.
Hotels in Almora: Budget Hotels in Almora
There are many hotels in Almora depending upon your budget. Since I was on a budget trip to Almora, I didn’t choose any luxurious hotels in Almora. If you are a solo traveler on a low budget, then you can also stay in the HOTs Kasar Devi hostel as I did. I recommend it as I enjoyed my stay and views from this hostel which was as good as some other hotels in Almora and Almora Resorts. There are also many budget hotels in Almora, you can choose from.
Last Thoughts on Solo Trip To Almora: Almora Tourist Places
Almora is a friendly and safe destination for solo travelers from India and other nations. Not only is it well connected via train, bus and taxi but is also a bustling town with various modern frills you can think of. Spending some quiet time exchanging smiles with strangers or merely walking in the woods is more healing than the expensive therapies offered by ‘experts’. The presence of many hotels in Almora available in various budgets also helps! And if you are not quite a slow traveler like me, then the myriad tourist attractions in Almora will keep you busy. So, what’s stopping you from enjoying the Almora tourist places? Just book one of the hotels in Almora or just show up! And wait for the magic to unfold!
Come, lose yourself in the therapeutic air of Almora! Thank me later!
Author Bio: Vipin goes by the alias VivaciousVipin all over the Internet. He is a techie, loves to travel and is a digital entrepreneur. His love for writing has turned him into a full-time blogger. His dream place to travel is city of artists, Paris. He blogs at Misfit Wanderers.