Among the most venerable of the old British hill stations in India, Almora is draped at an altitude of 1,651m along a saddle-back ridge, above finely terraced hillsides and forests of pine and fir. It was founded by the Chand Dynasty in the mid 16th century, from which era a handful of stone temples survive on the outskirts.

An important hub for the region’s widely scattered villages, the bazaar has retained many of its traditional wood-fronted shops, where you can buy silver-plated beaten copper pots and hand-spun khadi cotton and wool garments. The real show stealer here, though, are the sunset views of distant Nandi Devi, India’s highest mountain, and other summits of the Kumaon Himalaya.

It was while admiring this same vista that Mahatma Gandhi made his famous remark that ‘nature’s hospitality eclipses all that man can ever do’.

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