Almora () is a municipal board, a cantonment town in the Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Almora was founded in 1568.
It is a town bustling with activity and a rich cultural heritage and history. It is considered the cultural heart of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
Almora is located at . It has an average elevation of 1,651 metres (5,417 feet). It is located on a ridge at the southern edge of the Kumaon Hills of the Himalaya range. In the shape of a horse saddle shaped hillock, it is surrounded by thick forests of pine and fir trees. Flowing alongside the city are rivers of Koshi, (Kaushiki), and Suyal (Salmale). The snow capped Himalayas can be seen in the background.Almora got its name from "Kilmora" a short plant found nearby region. during olden days people living near Almora plug Kilmora plant for washing the utensils of "Katarmal Temple". Soon the people bringing Kilmora were called Kilmori and later "Almori". So the place from where Almori comes came to be known as "Almora".
India census, Almora had a population of 30,613. Males number 16,443 and constitute roughly 53.7% of the population and females number 14,170 or roughly 46.3%. Almora has an average literacy rate of 84.09%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 86.39% of the males and 81.43% of females literate. Nearly 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
In India census 2001, Almora Cantonment Board was considered a separate entity. It had a population of 1,744. Males number 1,126 and constitute roughly 64.6% of the population and females number 618 or roughly 35.4%. Almora Cantonment Board has an average literacy rate of 79.59%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 86.59% of the males and 66.83% of females literate. Nearly 13.5% of the population is under 6 years of age.
"These mountains are associated with the best memories of our race: Here, therefore, must be one of centers, not merely of activity, but more of calmness of meditation, and of peace and I hope some one to realize it." - Swami Vivekananda (Replying to the address given to him by the people of Almora.)
Almora, 1860s "In these hills, Nature s hospitality eclipses all that man can ever do. The enchanting beauty of the Himalayas, their bracing climate and the soothing green that envelops you, leave nothing more to be desired. I wonder whether the scenery of these hills and the climate are to be surpassed, if equalled, by any of the beauty spots of the world. After having been for nearly three weeks in the Almora hills, I am more than ever amazed why our people need to go to Europe in search of health." - Mahatma Gandhi
Almora Bazaar, c1860
Swami Vivekananda Swamiji spent some days in Almora in course of his Himalayan sojourn. He expressed great eagerness in making an Ashrama in the bosom of Himalayas for the practice of pure Advaita Vedanta.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati of Bihar School of Yoga and Rikhiapeeth was born in Almora on 25 December 1923 in Zamindari Family of Bhikiyasen and Gaja. He left home at the age of 19 years and met his guru Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Divine Life Society in 1943.
Govind Ballabh Pant (August 30, 1887 - March 7, 1961), noted freedom fighter & first Chief minister of Uttar Pradresh, was born in Almora.
Sumitranandan Pant, (May 20, 1900 December 28, 1977) one of the most famous modern Hindi poets, was born at Kausani village of Bageshwar, in the hills of Kumaon.
Sir Ronald Ross, the famous Malaria scientist and Noble laureate, was born here.
American actress Uma Thurman spent large parts of her childhood at Crank's Ridge, near Almora. Her parents stayed briefly here.
The lyricist Prasoon Joshi, the artist Uday Shankar, Mohan Upreti, and many other artistic gems have their roots in Almora.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the famous Indian cricketer, has his roots here. Dhoni's father had a farm here before he settled in Ranchi in 1964.
Begum Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan, (Urdu: ) (n e Sheila Irene Pant) (1905 - June 13, 1990) was born in a Kumauni Brahmin family at Almora in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.She is a wife of Pakistan's first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan.
P.C. Joshi, the first chairman of the Communist Party of India (CPI), was born in Almora. S.D. Upadhyayay, Member Parliament [1952-1970] also was born in Almora district.
B.C. Joshi, General Bipin Chandra Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, ADC (Born: 1935, Died: November 19, 1994) was the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of the Indian Army belongs to Almora district (Talladaniya).
Murli Manohar Joshi, the Union Human Resources Development minister of India (Born:January 5, 1934)in the NDA government. Joshi is a leading member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Almora has many noted temples, including Kasar Devi, Banari Devi, Chitai, Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Garhnath and Baijnath. Kasar Devi temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda and this area also has a Chabad House. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple, near Sanara Ganiya, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated beside the river Ram Ganga. A sun temple (only the second in the world) is located at Katarmal within a short distance from the town. The famous temple of Manila Devi, Devi Maa, the family goddess of the Katyuri clan, lies around 85 km from Ranikhet. Udaipur a famous temple of Golu devta is situated 5 km. from Binta near Dwarahat. Dunagiri has the highly revered temple of Shakti or Mother Goddess. Dunagiri is also known as the birthplace of modern day Kriya Yoga.
View of Almora, with soldiers of 3rd Gurkha Rifles, 1895.
Presently, district administration is headed by the District Magistrate, who is also the head of the Civil Service in the entire district. The District Magistrate is empowered to decide on issues relating to public law and order and general administration. Under the District Magistrate are Additional District Magistrate and Sub-divisional Magistrates. The number of sub-divisional magistrates varies from district to district. Presently, there are nine sub-divisions in Almora district.
List of District Magistrates
- Shri Chanar Ram
- Shri Rajeev Chandra
- Smt. Nidhi Mani Tripathi
- Shri Suvardhan
- DS Garbyal
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