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PLACES OF TOURIST INTEREST
The Township of Almora is the district headquarter and has all the facilities for a tourist of twenty first century. This ancient hill station is reputed for it's health giving climate and is perched on a five Km. long horse saddle shape ridge in between the river Kosi and Suyal and has been a cultural and political region of Kumaun for almost four hundred years, settled by Chand Rajas and nurtured by the British.
One can have a panoramic view of the snowy peaks of Himalayas on any clear day and in addition a glimpse of the township with it's tiled roofed houses and paved streets would take you to the sixteenth century in some thoughtful moment.
Nearby places of tourist interest where an excursion can be made within a day are Bright End Corner's unforgettable sunset, Chitai temple with it's unique collection of brass bells of all sizes, gifted to the temple by devotees since centuries, Kasar Devi which houses many Europians who fell in love with the place so much that they settle down, Nanda Devi Temple the cultural and religious center of Almora for now hundreds of years and Lala Bazar a unique market of more than two hundred years with paved streets of stone.
Situated only 30 KMs away from the township of Almora lies Binsar nestled amongst thick forests of Oak and Rhodendron and yet offering surprisingly close views of the Himalayan peaks. The entire region is now a wildlife sanctuary and has a host of wildlife like Panther and Barking Deer. The temple of Binsar lies nearby. One of the many legends concerning Binsar states that 'Should anyone take away anything belonging to the God or his worshippers and avenging spirit and compels him conscience stricken to restore it twenty fold. Even the faithless and the dishonest are said to be reformed by a visit to Binsar.'
Situated around 90 KMs from Almora, Bageswer is now a new district headquarter and the centre of administration for the entire region called Danpur. The place is significant from both religious and tourist point of view. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Saryu and Gomti, Bageswer is the seat of the famous Uttaraini fair which is held every year in January. The famous and ancient temple of Bagnath from which the township gets it's name has been attracting thousands of devout Hindus year after year since the birth of history. It is believed that Markandey sage has lived at the place and that Lord Shiva, one of the most important gods of Hindus had wandered about as a tiger. Even for the adventurous tourist Bageshwer is a necessary destination since in order to reach the glaciers of Sunderdunga, Kafni and Pindari one has to necessarily cross Bageshwer.
Situated between Ranikhet and Almora this picturesque place not only affords a wide view of the Himalayan peaks but is also full of fruit orchards. Scouting camps are frequently held here and there is a beautiful temple of Syahi Devi around 3 KMs away on a lovely mountainous trail. The birth place of the first chief minister of the province of Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant is a place called Khunt situated nearby. Some years back a centenary memorial has been built at this place to commemorate the memory of this great son of the soil.
Situated 35 KMs away from Almora in picturesque surroundings Jalna offers a wide panoramic view of Himalayas. There are a number of orchards which produce a number of variety of fruits such as apricots, peaches, peers, plums and apples.
Lying in the Katyuri valley, 19 KMs away from Kausani is the small but ancient town of Baijnath. It was once upon a time the capital of the Katyuri dynasty of kings and the place was then called Kartikyapura. The remnants of those glorious days lies at the bank of the Gomti river in the form of a group of temples. The temple is famous for it's ancient and magnificent stone idol of the Hindu goddess Parvati. Around 8 KMs from Baijnath on the Gwaldam road is lies the famous Kotkimai temple. One can also visit Pandusthal which lies nearby.
Situated in a wide valley of the river Ramganga, Dwarahat lies around 32 KMs from Ranikhet. And is a very important town from both historical and archeological point of view and may also have been the capital of some branches of Katyuri kings. Around 10 KMs from Dwarahat lies the famous Doonagiri temple atop a hillock which is famous in legends for containing the herb drug Sanjivini. The temple dedicated to the goddess Durga is situated in the midst of beautiful and dense forest and a tea estate. Some distance from Dwarahat lies the temple of Naithan Devi.
Manila literally means enchanting. The famous temple of Manila Devi , the family goddess of Katyuri kings lies around 85 KMs from Ranikhet. The surrounding forests and the Himalayan views from this hill ridge are worth remembering.
Situated around 17 KMs Northwest of Almora, Katarmal is famous for 800 years temple dedicated to the Sun God. The only temple in India dedicated to Sun is the Konark temple in Puri at Orissa.
Fastly emerging on the international tourism map, Patal Bhubneshwer is a unique wonder of the nature. Situated about 110 kms. from Almora towards Gangolihat, in Pithoragarh district the underground cave of Patal Bhubneshwer has a vertical tunnel shaped 40 meters path for getting inside into it from the ground .After reaching at the bottom, the main passage opens into several small horizontal caves, out of which the longest accessible cave is 120 meters horizontal in length. The most important thing is to notice is the mystery of natural carving of many animals, Gods and Goddesses in such a fine way that all it seems real. The cave temple of Patal Bhubneshwer is traditionally believed to be the abode of thirty three crore deities. These marvellous creature of the nature can evoke weird romantic fancies and images in the religiously inclined person.
Situated around 35 KMs from Almora, Jageshwer one of the most important religious places of Hindus in Kumaun and is believed to be the abode of the one of the twelve 'Jyotirlingas'. It is even mentioned in the great epic of 'Mahabharata'. The great temple complex is situated in a narrow and beautiful valley covered with Cedar trees. Two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills and meet near the sacrad spot. Dense grove of Cedar trees, pepetual verdure, and sweet murmur of the riverlets give a peculiar charm and sanctity to this place. Their are 124 temples and hundreds of magnificent statues of excusite craftsmanship. The oldest shrine is of the 'Mrityunjaya' and the biggest shrine is of the 'Dindeshwara'. During the monsoons their is huge fair held every year at Jageshwer.