Almora is a beautiful hill station in the district of Almora in Uttarakhand. It is a cantonment town that is home to the Gurkha Rifles. At an altitude of 1651 metres above the sea level, Almora is a part of the Kumaon Hills. It is touted to be one the most inexpensive hill stations in India.
The rich culture and heritage of the Kumaons are at display in Almora. The view of the snow-capped Himalayas from Almora is extremely mesmerising. The name 'Almora' is derived from a small plant that is found in this region, which is called Kilmora or Almori. It is said that Swami Vivekananda stopped at this place before marching towards the upper Himalayas and fell in love with this place.
Mussoorie, on the other hand, known as the 'Queen of Hill stations', is in Dehradun district of the state of Uttarakhand. Located on the Garhwal mountains at a height of 1890 metres above the sea level, Mussoorie is the gateway to Gangotri and Yamunotri. It was founded by Lt. Frederick Young of the East India Company. The first beer brewery was built in Mussoorie in 1850.
The Best Time To Visit Mussoorie:
The peak season in Mussoorie is from April to June. It is pleasant and is the perfect weather for sight-seeing. However, if you want to experience snowfall, November-February is the best time to visit Mussoorie. Monsoons must be avoided because Mussoorie witnesses heavy rainfall during the monsoon season.
By Travelling Slacker
How To Reach Mussoorie:
By Air: The nearest airport to Mussoorie is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It is around 55 km away. You will have to flag a taxi to get to Mussoorie from the airport.
By Train: There are many trains that run to Dehradun, which is the closest railhead to Mussoorie. Shatabdi Express, Mussoorie Express, Nizamuddin AC Special are the trains that ply to Dehradun. Take a cab from Dehradun railway station to reach Mussoorie.
Route 1: Almora - Nainital - Ramnagar - Najibabad - Haridwar - Dehradun - Mussoorie, via NH 734. This trip covers a distance of 388 km and takes 9 h 50 min to complete.
Route 2: Almora - Nainital - Dharampur - Noorpur - Najibabad - Haridwar - Dehradhun - Mussoorie, via NH 34. This is 424 km and takes 10 h 20 min to reach Mussoorie from Almora.
Route 1 is the shortest and it would help you reach Mussoorie in about 9.5 hours, which spans a distance of 388 km. Almora has really progressed a lot in the last few years. Besides sightseeing, you can also indulge in activities like trekking, rock climbing, cycling, and also indulge in nature walks. Almora also has one of the biggest shopping markets in the Kumaon region and is a great place for shopaholics.
Copper utensils are pretty good here and Almora is known for them. It is also famous for Angora clothes, made from the fur of Angora rabbit. Kasar Devi temple is a famous temple located here at an altitude of 2116 metres above the sea level. This temple sits atop a hill overlooking the Almora town. It is said that Swami Vivekananda meditated here.
The Deer Park near Almora houses deers, leopards, and the Himalayan black bear. Martola is the perfect place for a weekend picnic. It is in the lap of nature surrounded by thick and well-kept gardens. Nanda Devi temple in Almora is the home of Nanda Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is thronged by the locals and tourists alike.
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Katarmal Sun Temple
Katarmal Sun Temple is the second most important temple dedicated to Sun God, after the Sun temple at Konark. Govind Ballabh Pant Public Museum in Almora is dedicated to the freedom fighter Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant who played a great role in the development of Uttarakhand.
Almora to Nainital is only 63 km, but depending of the road situation, it can take a minimum of 2 hours to reach Nainital. Nainital is known as the 'Lake District of India' because it has close to 60 lakes. Lake Naini is the lifeline of Nainital. Mall Road in Nainital is famous for many shopping options. The cable car ride is amazing to view the Nanda Devi peak from Snow view Observatory. Nainital Zoo has rare species of snow leopard, steppe eagle, and Himalayan black bear. Kilbury in Nainital is a paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers.
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You can proceed to Ramnagar from Nainital next. This is 66 km away and takes almost 2 hours to reach. The Jim Corbett National Park, which is known for Tigers, is just 15 km away from Ramnagar. It is a must visit, if you have enough time on your hands. Najibabad comes next on the route. It is 3 hours away from Ramnagar.
At a distance of 50 km from Najibabad is Haridwar. You will reach Haridwar in an hour's time. Haridwar is a religious tourist destination. There are various temples and ashrams in and around Haridwar. It is famous for Ganga Ki Arti, where many devotees light aarti and offer obeisance to River Ganga.
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Manasa Devi temple
Manasa Devi temple is the most famous temple in Haridwar. Goddess Manasa Devi, the resident Goddess, is said to have emerged from the mind of Sage Kashyap muni. It is one of the three Siddhpeeths in Haridwar. The other two are Chandi Devi and Maya Devi. Patanjali Yogpeeth, which is a medical and research institute in Yoga and Ayurveda, is a great place to visit for Yoga enthusiasts.
Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary
Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, which is present here, encloses animals like spotted deers, wild boars, sambhars, barking deers, peacocks, etc. It was attached to the Rajaji National Park in 1977. Haridwar to Dehradun is 53 km and takes 2 hours to reach. Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand. It is famous for being a gateway to Nainital, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Mussoorie.
Rivers Ganga and Yamuna form natural borders to Dehradun. The famous Rajaji National Park is in Dehradun. The Jungle Safari is very nice and exciting. Other places to visit in Dehradun are Tapkeshwar Temple, Robber's cave, Rajpur Road, Sakya Buddhist Monastery, Tapovan temple and Buddha Temple. You would reach Mussoorie in 1 h 21 min from Dehradun, travelling a distance of 33.7 km. You can then head to see these places in Mussoorie.
This is the most famous and is one of the oldest tourist spots in Mussoorie. The milky streams of water are a perfect backdrop for picnics. It was, in fact, the whole intention of Mr. Kempty Fall, the officer who developed this waterfall. There's a man-made pond nearby where boating facilities are available. The best time to visit Kempty Falls is from June to October.
Soham Heritage Art Centre
This art centre displays and showcases the culture of Himalayas via paintings, sculptures, frescos and murals. The impact of Himalayas in the art forms is very fascinating. This is a rather new tourist attraction and has widely developed in the past few years.
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This is the second highest peak of Mussoorie and offers fabulous views of Doon valley and the ranges of Himalayas. This is a favourite place for photographers and Himalayan viewers. Before the independence, there used to be a gun mounted on the top of the peak, which was fired at mid-day to help people realise the time of the day.
Sir George Everest House
Also known as Park Estate, this was the home and laboratory of Sir George Everest, who was the Surveyor General of India. Mount Everest is named as a tribute to him. This is now maintained by the ASI. Although entry is barred, you can still visit and marvel at the underground water cisterns and other aspects of the house that was built in 1832.
The Mall provides picturesque viewpoints to view the Doon Valley. The houses are built in the colonial style, and it is sure to be on every vintage lover's list. It is a great shopping destination too. At the heart of the city, it has many restaurants, entertainment centres, book stores and other shopping centres.
This is a man-made lake that offers relaxing views, which is a serene experience. Tourists enjoy boating and picnicking here.
There's a telescope at the Lal Tibba peak that offers 360-degree views of the peaks like Badrinath, Kedarnath and Banderpunch. The peak is very tranquil and has not fallen prey to commercialization yet. It has old British-style houses that are now taken over by the Indian Military Services and the All India Radio.
This is the geographical end of Mussoorie. You will literally feel as if you are walking among the clouds. It is a pleasant and serene experience.
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It is known for butterflies. There are many companies that organize bird and butterfly watching camps here. Some of the unique butterflies found in Devalsari are azure sapphire, siren, common copper, painted lady, marbled flat, and common peacock.
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