Culture and history info
Almora was founded in 1568 by Kalyan Chand during the rule of the Chand dynasty. Prior to that the region was under the control of Katyuri King Bhaichaldeo who donated a part of Almora to Sri Chand Tiwari.
According to local tradition, the earliest inhabitants in Almora were Tewaris who were required to supply Sorrel daily for cleansing the vessels of sun temple at Katarmal. Ancient lore mentioned in Vishnu Purana and Mahabharata present primordial accounts of human settlements in the City.The Sakas, the Nagas, the Kiratas, the Khasas and the Hunas are credited to be the most ancient tribes. The Kauravas and Pandavas of the Hastinapur royal family were the next important princes from the plains who are said to have affected the conquest of these parts. After the Mahabharata war the district seems to have remained for some time under the sway of the kings of Hastinapur whose authority was never more than nominal. The actual rulers were the local chiefs of whom the Kulindas (or Kunindas) were probably strong in the southern and western part of the city. The Khasas were another ancient people who belonged to an early Aryan stock and were widely scattered in those times. They gave this region the name Khasadesha or Khasamandala.
These mountains are associated with the best memories of our race: Here, therefore, must be one of centres, 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.)
Kasar Devi Temple
Almora has many noted temples, including Kasar Devi, Nanda Devi, Doli Daana, Shyayi Devi, Khakmara, Asht Bhairav, Jakhandevi, Katarmal (Sun Temple), Pataal Devi, Raghunath Mandir, Badreshwar, Banari Devi, Chitai, Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Garhnath and Baijnath.
Kasar Devi temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda and this area has a Chabad House. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple, near Sanara Ganiya, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is beside the river Ram Ganga. A sun temple (only the second in the world) is at Katarmal, 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 5 km. from Binta near Dwarahat.
Dunagiri has the highly revered temple of Shakti or Mother Goddess. Dunagiri is known as the birthplace of modern-day Kriya Yoga. There is a very famous and notable temple in Almora district which is in the village of Chaura near Bhaisor Gaun, Someshwar. This temple is dedicated to lord Golu who is considered as a lord of justice in Uttarakhand. This temple is about 40 km from Almora town. Another very famous temple of Almora district is Airdau which is in Someshwar. Someshwar is a small town of Almora which is very rich in agricultural way.
Pandu Kholi is another famous and ancient temple in Almora district. According to Hindu mythology Pandvas spent some time here to escape from Duryodhana. The distance of this temple from Almora is about 80 km. Another very ancient and holy Shiva temple in Someshwar town is known as Khakeshwar Mahadev temple. It is in the area of village Bhaisor Gaun on the bank of a river.