Jalna~ A quaint little hidden paradise nestled in the Himalayas.
View of the majestic Himalayas from Jalna, near Almora.
Located almost 30 kms from district headquarters of Almora, Jalna is a hidden gem from where one can get stupendous views of the Himalayas on a clear day. There is nothing much to see in Jalna except the views of the majestic peaks and long, long walks in the trails in the nearby forests. There are numerous accommodations available in Jalna, the cheap and best amongst them being the KMVN guest house. Though its location is a bit difficult to reach, you will be rewarded with the magnificent views of the Himalayas from every room. And its very economical as well.
Having tea in the balcony of my room with the majestic Himalayas in the background.
One can visit nearby Almora where there are several places to see.
1) Budden Memorial Methodist Church: This church was built in 1897. It is beautifully preserved, but only open on sundays for Mass. The church is worth seeing.
The Budden Memorial Methodist Church.
2) Almora Zoo: Small zoo, 4km from Almora, on the Pitoragarh road, has deers, 1 bear, 1 monkey and also some Leopards that were captured in the area(Entrance is Rs 20).
3) Chetai Temple: Chetai Temple is dedicated to Golu Devta, an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav and is a local Kumauni god. The people of kumaun have immense faith in Golu Devta & he is the most worshipped God in Kumaun. Chetai Temple is located around Eight Kms from Almora.
4) Kasar Devi Temple: Kasar Devi is a village near Almora, Uttarakhand. It is known for the Kasar Devi temple, a Devi temple, dedicated to Kasar Devi, after whom the place is also named. The temple structure dates to the 2nd century CE. Swami Vivekananda visited Kasar Devi in 1890s. The temple hosts the annual "Kasar Devi Fair" on Kartik Poornima.
Kasar Devi temple.
There are numerous viewpoints and trails leading from the Kasar Devi temple and one can pack a picnic and enjoy some lunch amidst the quietness of nature(though beware of monkeys).
View points from Kasar devi temple and places to unwind and relax.
Other things to do at Almora is visit the Mall road bazaar and do some shopping and drink endless glasses of tea whilst you are at it.
if you want to head to head to a cafe and have some decent food, look no further than Cafe Zero Point 1, located close to the Mall Road. Their food, service and ambience, everything is impressive.
At Cafe Zero Point 1.
PS: An interesting fact about the discovery of Almora is that unlike other hill stations, it was not discovered and developed by the British. The Katyuri Dynasty ruled the region around Almora from the 9th century AD, till it made way for the Chand dynasty. Raja Balo Kalyan Chand made Almora as his new capital in 1560 AD, when he transferred his capital from Champawat to Almora. The Chands occupied Almora till the 19th century AD. The rivers Kosi and Suyal flow around Almora providing a natural barrier. There is an interesting local legend about the discovery of Almora. Raja Kalyan Chand, the ruler of the Chand Dynasty was riding on the horseshoe shaped ridge in the pursuit of a prey. The hunted quarry protected its life by taking refuge behind the thick bushes of Kilmora, a local wild barberry bush and revealed the place to the king. The story might not be corroborated by any literary or archaeological evidences but continues to be told by the locals. The Gorkhas captured Almora in 1790 AD and finally British took it over from the Gorkhas after the Gorkha wars of 1814-1815.
At the confluence of Suyal and Kosi rivers.