Almora Day - 4
Trip Start Dec 20, 2008
5Trip End Dec 25, 2008
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Where I stayed
Govt. Guest House
We were allured and enthalled by the sparkling sight of snows yesterday.We miss it today. From here snow peaks look hazy, aloof, cold and distant. I seek a glimpse of their grandeur one more time before we leave. I drive about 10 km to Chandak. It is situated on higher grounds at a height of about 1800 m and commands outstanding view of the snowy summits. The drive through the deodar-bani itself is fascinating. At a point where land suddenly seem to end and abrupt precipitous fall begins - though there is motor road snaking down to the valley, I stop and climb 500 meters of steep ascent to have an unhindered view of the landscape. The entire panorama unfolds before me, with the beautiful terraced fields dotted with number of hamlets over looking the deep valley and beyond the expansive space far away is the most beautiful profile of the sparkling snow peaks rising to the immense heights touching the azure sky
Sun is now far out in the blue sky. We have our breakfast and leave the beautiful valley of Sor (Pithoragarh) with a promise to come back again.
Drive down 30 km to Ghat is steep descent. As we cross Saryu River, a road on the left goes to Lohaghat. We turn right on our onward journey. After a drive of two kilometers on almost level road we reach the confluence of Ramganga (East) and Sarju Rivers. A long continuous ascent begins now. The drive is monotonous through more or less a dry zone. There are hardly any trees, only occasional bushy growth can be sighted. We get respite from the harsh sight only when we are at and near about Dhauladevi temple. We stop here and enjoy the cool air and feel happy to be amidst a beautiful dense deodar forest in the vicinity. We take our pack-lunch here on the parapet wall of the Forest Rest House. There is no soul in the vicinity ... no one to open the rest house... Only benevolent deodar trees watch us ...
About four kilometers from Panwanaula are famous group of ancient temples of Jageshwar. These temples are situated in the narrow valley through which flows a small stream flanked by ancient deodar trees on either side
We reach Almora when the sun has set and western sky is ablaze with colours. Though we had planned to spend the night in Nainital but we could not make it and broke our journey here in Almora.
Almora is perched in the saddle of the five kilometers long ridge. Old bazaar too follows the ridge. The well sculptured continuous row of old wooden houses with tiled roofs, beautifully carved facades and paved streets are heritage still well preserved. It is District Headquarters and is a big township. It was the Capital of Chand Dynasty who ruled the land long ago. Situated at an altitude of 1646 m it is a charming hill resort. The entiredistrict is replete with scenic beauty.