Almora is one of the three hill districts of Kumaon. The other two being Nainital and Pithoragarh. It is the cultural capital of Kumaon. Almora is also referred to as the unspoilt child of nature. It is situated on a three-mile long horse saddle-shaped ridge and is surrounded by four hill ranges - Banari Devi, Kasar Devi, Shayahi Devi and Katarnal. The three peaks have temples of Goddesses while Katarnal has an ancient Sun temple worth visiting.
Almora was the capital of the Chand dynasty, which ruled Kumaon for more than one thousand years. One remarkable fact about Almora is that while almost all hill stations were discovered and developed by British, Raja Kalyan Chand founded Almora in the year 1568 when he transferred his capital from Champawat to Almora.
Legend has it that about 500 years ago Raja Kalyan Chand, then the ruler of Kumaon with its capital at Champawat, was riding hard in pursuit of prey on this horseshoe shaped spur. The hunted quarry saved itself by taking refuge in a thicket of Kilmora - a wild bush - and revealed to the royal hunter the site of his would-be capital. The origins of settlement in Almora may have been different but the story continues to hold sway in the minds of many of the locals. Bounded by the Kosi and Suyal rivers, the local of the new capital was well suited strategically. Till the Gurkha onslaught, in the last decade of the 19th century, Almora remained well protected naturally.