Almora — The mystery and the beauty under the majestic of Himalayas
The most intriguing aspect of the monsoon season is that you never know what may happen in the following few minutes. Almora is an excellent representation of the Himalayan area during the wet season. It may appear absurd to travel to Uttarakhand, which is regarded as the most perilous area in India to visit during the rainy season.
My voyage begins in Dehradun, but it’s not a bad idea to stop at Ranikhet on the route to have a “taste” of its monsoon days, as suggested by a friend. Actually, Ranikhet is not on my itinerary because Almora is my preferred destination. Ranikhet is a little hilltown, but it’s an excellent spot to capture beautiful Himalayan views if the weather is cooperative — that is, if it’s sunny. Try your luck here to see whether you’re lucky enough to obtain a nice glimpse of the Himalayas, as fog is the major “feature” of this season.
These days, the entire town is shrouded in fog, which has engulfed every single house’s rooftop. After a half-day of torrential rain, there is almost no possibility of seeing a rainbow. I had no clue about Ranikhet previously, but I didn’t imagine it would let me leave in that way. Anyway, it offered me more pleasure than I could have imagined as my companion and I had a long walk in the rain full of jokes. If you are a genuine rain lover, Ranikhet in the monsoon season is undoubtedly the perfect place for you to experience the rhythm of the rain in the leisurely life of the little town before traveling to Almora.
Although it is only 70 kilometers from Ranikhet to Almora, Almora becomes my sole chance of enjoying the grandeur of the Himalayas.
A shared jeep will transport you directly to Almora through the most adventurous road, which you will only learn about when you are already there. The vehicle progressively ascends winding roads all the way to Almora. Check the waste left by carsick sufferers if you want to “define” how harmful it is. In any case, it’s not a bad price to pay to witness a “OMG” educing landscape. Alroma’s beauty will captivate you right away, and all you’ll be able to do is stare out the car window, taking in your surroundings. Nature has given something to any of her devotees as a gift.
Fresh sun rays and the enticing taste of mountain breezes will take you to the final destination, inviting you to experience the breath of Himalayan nature, the tranquility of nature, while traditional music reverberate from the huge mountains, and tiny lives.
Right before we arrive in Almora, the fog becomes heavier and begins the game with its companion, the clouds. During the rainy season, Almora seems to be smacked in the face by a water balloon filled with the color of life. This little hill hamlet offers views of the enchanting grandeur of the Himalayan mountains at sunrise and dusk. You can’t avoid the game of fog and clouds in Almora if you get off the shared vehicle in the late afternoon. This is the most fascinating and captivating item that you will not find in any other season. When you get to the Kasar Devi temple on the summit, take advantage of the opportunity to observe the Himalayas before taking another vehicle to begin your game with the fog and clouds.
The shared jeep will drop you off in Kasar Devi village, where there are several guest homes and motels. Kasar Devi is also known as a terrace hamlet since the residents constructed their homes on the slope of the mountain, providing an amazing view of the Himalayan ranges. However, the fog and clouds will not allow you to appreciate it as easily as travel publications may suggest. Beware! The beauty of the fog is that we see nothing, yet you will be captivated by its enigmatic beauty.
If you believe you’ll be able to find your guesthouse quickly, you’ve fallen victim to Almora’s monsoon trap. I was, for sure. Fog never wants to play a game that is too simple. It eliminates any possibility of seeing clear roads or trails leading to your location. Instead, you must maintain a high degree of alertness while telling yourself not to be afraid. Follow the little signal boards on a zigzag along rails with abrupt changes that you only see when you get there owing to the fog. It’s a game of matrices.
But that won’t stay long since fog and clouds never fail to return. With their own monsoon flavor – wind with a little rain – all backdrops turn drab. When the time runs out and you can see the blue sky again with its beautiful depiction of the Himalayan peaks, you realize how fortunate you are to be at that moment.
Almora’s greatest attractiveness is its basic way of living. It is straightforward in all aspects of daily living. There are a few scattered cottages in the village where you can observe elderly folks sitting quietly in front of their homes, gazing out at the peaceful environment. Some schoolchildren are giggling as they go back home through the same foggy game. This is the basic existence that can only be found in the planet of Almora.
The sound of bells ringing from Kasar Devi temple restores harmony and reminds me that this mystical world actually exists behind the wonderful veil of fog during monsoon season, which few people outside the veil are aware of. It’s an incredible Mother Nature gift that anyone would consider fortunate to experience.
How to reach?
- Take a direct bus to Almora from the Dehradun Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT), or if you wish to stop at Ranikhet before continuing on to Almora, take the direct bus to Ranikhet. Then, from Ranikhet, take another shared jeep or bus to Almora (there is a bus station in town, and you can also take the shared jeep there).
- When you reach the hill town of Almora, you can take another shared jeep to the Kasar Devi temple – this is the peak of Almora where you can see the great view of the Himalayas.
There is a variety of guest houses and hotels for different budgets that you can easily find in Kasar Devi village (near Kasar Devi Temple).
There are some small restaurants near the main road or you can ask your guesthouse or hotel owner to cook for you.
Kasar Devi temple – This is a well-known temple where Swami Vivekannada visited and mediated. The structure of this temple dates to 2nd century CE.