Almora District Stats
- District Headquarters: Almora
- Area (km²): 3090 sq km
- Population: 6,21,972
- Languages:: Kumaoni, Hindi, Garhwali
- Best Season: Apr – Jun, Sep – Nov
Almora Kumaon – The name of the sociocultural region of Kumaon is believed to have been derived from “Kurmanchal”, meaning Land of the Kurmavtar (the tortoise incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Girl with Cat : Kumaoni faces ( Photograph : Neeraj Pant) Preserver of Hindu Trinity). Extending from the northern end of the Ganga plains right upto Tibet, Kumaun’s endless panorama of scenic wonders is nothing short of a romance with pristine and soul-lifting nature itself. The Katyuri and Chand dynasties glorified the region by constructing some fine temples – now renowned throughout the country. Though largely a Shaivite region, the presiding deity, Nanda Devi, is amongst the most exalted in Kumaon.
Sojourning in the beautiful Kumaun region of Uttaranchal with its majestic, snow clad mountains, lakes and rich plethora of flora and fauna, not only enables one to constantly think about the Himalayas but to behold their pristine magnificence time and again. Thus purifying one’s soul aptly enough, setting the tone for which the options are as many as they are delightful, catering to the multifaceted interests of grown-ups and youngsters alike.
Presently a revenue division, Kumaon, consists of the district of Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Almora, Bageshwer, Pithoragarh and Champawat.
The ancient town of Almora, before it’s establishment was under the possession of Katyuri king Baichaldeo. He donated major part of this land to a Gujrati Brahmin Sri Chand Tiwari. Later on when Chand kingdom was founded in Baramandal, the town of Almora was founded at this centrally located place in 1560 by Kalyan Chand. The mountain on which the Almora is located is described in the famous Hindu epic Manaskhand as follows
Kaushiki Shalmali Madhyey Punyah Kashaya Parwatah’ ‘Tasy Paschim Bhagam Kshetra Vishnyo Pratishthtam’
In the days of the Chand Kings it was called Rajapur. The name ‘Rajpur’ is also mentioned over a number of ancient copper plates. The town of Almora is situated over a horse saddle shaped ridge of a mountain. The eastern portion of the ridge is known as Talifat and the western one is known as Selifat. The market is at the top of the ridge where these two, Talifat and Selifat jointly terminate.
The main Mohalla (wards) of Almora are as follow :-
Selifat :- Joshikhola, Shelakhola, Dyodhipokhar, Thapalia, Kholta, Champanaula, Gururanikhola, Chaunsar, Galli, Karadiyakhola, Kapina, Paniudiyar, Ranidhara, Chaudharikhola, Pokharkhal, Jhijad and Kasoon.
Talifat :- Chinakhan, Makedi, Dharanaula, Chandani Chowk, Vishtakuda, Tyunara, danya, Bansbida, Upretikhola, Khasiya-khola, Badekhola, Dubkiya, Nayalkhola, Tiruvakhola, Dugalkhola and Tamtyuda etc.
Mostly the wards have been named after the communities that inhabited them.
Market :- Lala Bazar, Karkhana Bazar, Khajanchi Mohalla, Jauhari Mohalla, Malli Bazar and Thana Bazar.
The market is 1.25 miles long and is covered with stone slabs. The place of the present cantonment was formerly known as Lalmandi. Presently where the collectorate exists, the ‘Malla Mahal’ (Upper Court) of Chanda kings was located. The site of present District Hospital used to be ‘Talla Mahal’ (Lower Court) of Chand rulers.