Essay On Hill Station Nainital Ul

For other uses, see Almora (disambiguation).

AlmoraHindustani pronunciation: [əlmoːɽaː] is a municipal board and a cantonment town in the Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the administrative headquarters of Almora district.[3] Almora is located on a ridge at the southern edge of the Kumaon Hills of the Himalaya range, at a distance of 365 km from the national capital New Delhi and 415 km from the state capital Dehradun. According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census of India, Almora has a population of 35,513. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya, Almora enjoys a year-round mild temperate climate.

Almora was founded in 1568[4] by King Kalyan Chand,[5][6][7] however there are accounts of human settlements in the hills and surrounding region in the Hindu epic Mahabharata[8] (8th and 9th century BCE[9]). Almora was the seat of Chand kings that ruled over the Kumaon Kingdom. It is considered the cultural heart of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Etymology[edit]

Almora got its name from "kilmora"[10][11] a short plant found in nearby region,[12] which was used for washing the utensils of the sun temple at Katarmal. The people bringing kilmora were called Kilmori and later "Almori" and the place came to be known as "Almora".[13][14]

When king Bhishm Chand laid the foundation of the town, he had initially named it Alamnagar. Prior to that, Almora was known as 'Rajapur' during the early phase of Chand rule.[15][16][17] The name 'Rajpur' is also mentioned over a number of ancient copper plates.[17]

History[edit]

Almora was founded in 1568[18] by Kalyan Chand during the rule of the Chand dynasty.[19] 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.[2]:8 Ancient lore mentioned in Vishnu Purana and Mahabharata present primordial accounts of human settlements in the City.[2]:8 The Sakas, the Nagas, the Kiratas, the Khasas and the Hunas are credited to be the most ancient tribes.[2]:8 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.[20]:166 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.[20]:166 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.[2]:8 The Khasas were another ancient people who belonged to an early Aryan stock and were widely scattered in those times.[20]:167 They gave this region the name Khasadesha or Khasamandala.[2]:8[20]:167

The next age’s silent of them may probably be the ones signaling many petty states, rivaling each-other for supremacy and ultimately chartering the inauguration of the noted and enduring dynasty of Chands. Earlier to this, the Katyuris are recorded as the dominant clans in copper and stone engravings.[21] The Chand dynasty from their inception in 953 A.D. to their ouster in the late 18th century present a saga of strife, with horrifying series of wars with rulers of Garhwal culminating in the destruction of this prosperous land and establishment of inglorious Gurkha rule. This dynasty was peculiar in that it made Almora the seat of strongest hill power in 1563 A.D.[22] From that time onwards, the limits of kingdom of Kumaon extended over the entire tracts of districts of Almora and Nainital. Towards the end of the 17th century, Chand Rajas again attacked the Garhwal kingdom, and in 1688, king Udyot Chand erected several temples at Almora, including Tripur Sundari, Udyot Chandeshwer and Parbateshwer, to mark his victory over Garhwal and Doti. The Parbateshwar temple was renamed twice, to become the present Nanda Devi temple.

In 1791, the Gorkhas of Nepal while expanding their kingdom westwards across Kali River, invaded and overran Almora.[2]:8[23] In the meantime, the British were engaged in preventing the Gorkhas from over-running the whole of the northern frontier.[24] The Gorkha rule lasted for twenty-four years. Due to their repeated intrusion into British territories in the Terai from 1800 onwards, Lord Moira, the Governor-General of India, decided to attack Almora in December 1814,[25] marking the beginning of the Anglo-Gorkha war. The war that broke out in 1814,[26][27] resulted in the defeat of the Gorkhas and subsequently led to the signing of the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816.[28]:594[29] According to the treaty, Nepal had to cede all those territories which the Gorkhas had annexed to the British East India Company. After the war, the old Lal Mandi fort, near Almora was renamed ‘Fort Moira’.

Unlike the neighboring hill stations like Nainital and Shimla which were developed by the British,[30][31][32] Almora was developed much before by the Chand kings.[33] The place where the present cantonment is located was formerly known as Lalmandi.[17][34][35] Presently where the collectorate exists, the 'Malla Mahal' (Upper Court) of Chand kings was located.[17][36] The site of present District Hospital used to be 'Talla Mahal' (Lower Court) of Chand rulers.[17][37] Almora had a Population of 8596 in 1901.[38]

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

Almora is located at 29°35′50″N79°39′33″E / 29.5971°N 79.6591°E / 29.5971; 79.6591[39] in Almora district in Uttarakhand. Almora is situated 365 km north-east the national capital New Delhi and 415 km south-east the state capital Dehradun. It lies in the revenue Division Kumaon[40] and is located 63 km north of Nainital, the administrative headquarters of Kumaon.[41] It has an average elevation of 1,861 m (6,106 ft) above mean Sea Level.

Almora is situated on a ridge at the southern edge of the Kumaon Hills[17] of the Central Himalaya range in the shape of a horse saddle shaped hillock. The eastern portion of the ridge is known as Talifat and the western one is known as Selifat.[17] The Almora Market is situated at the top of the ridge, where these two, Talifat and Selifat jointly terminate.[17] It is surrounded by thick forests of pine and fir trees. Flowing alongside the city are rivers of Koshi (Kaushiki) and Suyal (Salmale). The snow-capped Himalayas can be seen in the background.

Climate[edit]

The climate of Almora is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The main seasons are summer from March to June, the monsoon season from July to November and winter from December to February. In summer, Almora is largely under the influence of moist, maritime airflow from the western side of the subtropical anticyclonic cells over low-latitude ocean waters. Temperatures are high and can lead to warm, oppressive nights. Summers are usually somewhat wetter than winters, with much of the rainfall coming from convectional thunderstorm activity; tropical cyclones also enhance warm-season rainfall in some regions. The coldest month is usually quite mild, although frosts are not uncommon, and winter precipitation is derived primarily from frontal cyclones along the polar front. The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is Cwa (Humid Subtropical Climate).[42]

The average temperature for the year in Almora is 23.5 °C or 74.3 °F.[43] The warmest month, on average, is June with an average temperature of 31.1 °C or 88.0 °F.[43] The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 13.3 °C or 55.9 °F.[43] The average amount of precipitation for the year in Almora is 1,132.5 millimetres or 44.59 inches.[43] The month with the most precipitation on average is August with 330.3 millimetres or 13.00 inches of precipitation.[43] The month with the least precipitation on average is November with an average of 4.8 millimetres or 0.19 inches.[43] There are an average of 46.8 days of precipitation, with the most precipitation occurring in August with 11.9 days and the least precipitation occurring in November with 0.6 days.[43]

Climate data for Almora
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)20.0
(68)
22.8
(73)
28.7
(83.7)
34.9
(94.8)
38.1
(100.6)
37.0
(98.6)
32.9
(91.2)
32.4
(90.3)
32.2
(90)
31.1
(88)
26.9
(80.4)
21.8
(71.2)
29.9
(85.8)
Daily mean °C (°F)13.3
(55.9)
15.9
(60.6)
21.1
(70)
27.1
(80.8)
30.6
(87.1)
31.1
(88)
28.7
(83.7)
28.4
(83.1)
27.5
(81.5)
24.5
(76.1)
19.4
(66.9)
14.7
(58.5)
23.5
(74.3)
Average low °C (°F)6.6
(43.9)
8.9
(48)
13.5
(56.3)
19.3
(66.7)
23.0
(73.4)
25.2
(77.4)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
22.9
(73.2)
17.9
(64.2)
12.0
(53.6)
7.7
(45.9)
17.2
(63)
Average precipitation mm (inches)26.6
(1.047)
26.1
(1.028)
21.3
(0.839)
15.2
(0.598)
31.9
(1.256)
140.9
(5.547)
318.4
(12.535)
330.3
(13.004)
172.2
(6.78)
34.4
(1.354)
4.6
(0.181)
10.6
(0.417)
1,132.5
(44.586)
Average precipitation days2.12.01.91.31.94.911.311.96.21.80.61.046.8
Average snowy days6.33.80.10.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.74.415.2
Mean daily sunshine hours10.911.612.413.314.114.514.313.612.711.811.110.712.6
Source: India Meteorological Department[44]
Weatherbase[45]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The region is immensely rich with 4000 species of plants, having remarkable diversity in its natural vegetation by virtue of its being at a great range of elevation. In addition to its climatic variations, particularly in temperature and precipitation associated with the alignment and altitudes of ranges and nature of valleys, determine the altitudinal growth and variety of vegetation. The flora of this region may be classified into tropical, Himalayan sub-tropical and sub alpine and alpine vegetation. The alpine and sub alpine zones are considered as the most natural abode of the largest number of medicinal plants.

The sub-alpine zones of Almora and outskirts are a natural sanctuary for leopard, Langur, Himalayan black bear, kakar, goral etc. Whereas the high altitude zones abound musk deer, popularly called "Kastura Mrig", snow leopard, blue sheep, thar etc. The entire zone is rich in a remarkable variety of birds possessing plumage of magnificent design and colours like peacock, which include Grey Quail, Black francolin/Kala Titar, Whistling thrush, Chakor, Monal, cheer pheasant, koklas pheasant etc.

Demographics[edit]

Population Growth of Almora 
CensusPop.
18716,260

18817,39018.1%
18917,8265.9%
19018,5969.8%
191110,56022.8%
19218,359-20.8%
19319,68815.9%
194110,99513.5%
195112,75716.0%
196116,60230.1%
197120,88125.8%
198122,7058.7%
199128,05123.5%
200132,35815.4%
201135,5139.8%
source:[2][46][47][48][49]

As of 2011[update] India census, Almora has population of 35,513 of which 18,306 are males while 17207 are females.[2]:20 out of the total population, The Almora Municipal Board has population of 34,122[50] while The Almora Cantonment Board has population of 1,391.[51] Population of Children with age of 0-6 is 3081 which is 8.67% of total population of Almora.[2]:20 Literacy rate of Almora city is 86.19 %[2]:21 higher than state average of 78.82%. Male literacy is around 88.06% while female literacy rate is 84.21%.[2]:21 Almora had a population of 32,358 according to the 2001 Census of India.[52]

The earliest known reference to the population of Almora occurs in the book Kingdom of Nepal by Francis Hamilton. In Fatehgarh Pt. Hariballav Pande had told Hamilton that in Almora, during the time of the Gorkha rule, there were around 1000 houses.[23]:297 Mr. G.W. Traill, the second commissioner of Kumaon division, writes that in 1821 A.D. there were 742 houses in Almora in which lived 1369 men, 1178 women and 968 children and thus the total population was 3505.[53]:115

Hinduism is Practised by 90.84% of the total population and is the majority religion of Almora. Islam is practised by 7.54% people and is the largest Minority religion. Other Religions like Sikhism, Christianity and Buddhism are also practised by small number of People. Hindi and Sanskrit are the official languages of the state while Kumaoni is the mother tongue of the majority.

Municipal board (Nagar Palika Parishad) of Almora was established in 1864. The Almora Nagar Palika Parishad has population of 34,122 of which 17,358 are males while 16,764 are females as per report released by Census India 2011.[50] Population of Children with age of 0-6 is 2950 which is 8.65% of total population of Almora (NPP).[50] In Almora Nagar Palika Parishad, Female Sex Ratio is of 966 against state average of 963.[50] Moreover, Child Sex Ratio in Almora is around 857 compared to Uttarakhand state average of 890.[50] Literacy rate of Almora city is 94.51% higher than state average of 78.82%.[50] In Almora, Male literacy is around 96.84% while female literacy rate is 92.13%.[50] Schedule Caste (SC) constitutes 16.38% while Schedule Tribe (ST) were 1.00% of total population in Almora (NPP).[50] Out of total population, 10,057 were engaged in work or business activity. Of this 7,901 were males while 2,156 were females.[50] Of total 10057 working population, 93.25% were engaged in Main Work while 6.75% of total workers were engaged in Marginal Work.[50] Almora Nagar Palika Parishad has total administration over 8,014 houses to which it supplies basic amenities like water and sewerage, it is divided into 11 wards for which elections are held every 5 years.

Culture[edit]

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.)

[54][55]

Temples[edit]

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.[56][57]:96[58]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.

Transport[edit]

Pantnagar Airport, located in Pantnagar is the primary Airport serving entire Kumaon Region. Indira Gandhi International Airport, located in Delhi is the nearest international Airport. Kathgodam railway station is the nearest railway station. Kathgodam is the last terminus of the broad gauge line of North East Railways that connects Kumaon with Delhi, Dehradun and Howrah.

Almora is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state and northern India. Uttarakhand Transport Corporation runs Buses from Almora bus station to Delhi and Dehradun. Taxis and Private Buses, mostly run by K.M.O.U, connect Almora to other major destinations of Kumaon region. Government of Uttarakhand is constructing an ISBT near lower mall road[59] which will be very helpful for establishing a large tourist network in city and around nearby destinations of kumaon region. It will be the second ISBT of uttarakhand after Dehradun.[60] A Sub Regional Transport Office is located in Almora[61] where Vehicles are registered by the number UK-01.[62]

Education[edit]

Almora has one university, Uttarakhand Residential University. Almora has a total of 22 Primary Schools, 7 Middle Schools, 2 Secondary Schools and 9 Senior Secondary Schools.

List of schools[edit]

  • Holy Angel Public School
  • Koormanchal Academy
  • NBU International School
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya Almora
  • K D Memorial public School
  • Vivekanand Girls Inter College
  • Vivekanand Intermediate College
  • Adam's Girls Inter College
  • Holy Angel Public School
  • New Modern Public School
  • New Inspiration School
  • Maharishi Vidya Mandir
  • Beersheba Sr. Secondary Public School
  • Sharda Public School
  • Almora Inter College
  • Ramsay's Inter College
  • Raja Anand Singh Govt. Girls Inter College
  • Govt. Inter College
  • Aarya Kanya Inter College
  • St. Paul public school
  • Army Public School
  • Grace Public School
  • Green Field Public School
  • Spring Dales public school
  • Saraswati Shishu Mandir Narsingh Badi, Shivaji Nagar, Jeewan Dham
  • Lorraine's Public School
  • Mangal Deep Vidya Mandir
  • Govt.Inter College Raingal

Institutions[edit]

Media and communications[edit]

All India Radio has a local station in Almora which transmits programs of mass interest.[63] Almora station of A.I.R. was founded in June 1986 and is a primary channel station running on medium wave catering the whole of Kumaon division.[64] The main service providers are Dish TV and Doordarshan. BSNL, Vodafone and Airtel have the three largest cellular networks in the city. There are Internet cafés in and around the city, but broadband connectivity is limited. Satellite dishes exist in most homes in the region and the channels available throughout India are also available here.

Multiple local Hindi and English newspapers are published, whereas regional and national Hindi and English newspapers, printed elsewhere in India, are also circulated in Almora. a number of historical newspapers and magazines have been published from Almora like Prabuddha Bharata, Almora Akhbar, Shakti and Swadhin Praja etc.[65]

In 1871 A.D. Pt. Buddhiballav Pant opened a debating club.[66]:134 When Sir William Muir, the then provincial Governor, came here he was highly pleased with the working of this club.[53]:120 It is said that he also advised to open a press here and publish a newspaper. Mr. Pant, as advised, opened a press here and started publishing a weekly magazine Almora Akhbar.[65]:21 Almora Akhbar was the oldest Hindi weekly of this province. In 1913 A.D. Badri Datt Pandey took over the editing work of the magazine. Almora Akhbar made much progress; The number of its customers rose from 50-60 to 1500; however, it was closed in 1917. In 1918 one of the partners purchased the Debating Club Press and named it Vindhyavasini Press. From 1922 A.D. a weekly named Zila Samachar began to be published.[53]:120 Later on it came to be called Kumaun Kumud and was still being published till the late 30's.[53]:120

In 1893-94, Babu Devidas opened Kumaun Printing Press which published a weekly named Kurmanchal Samachar.[53]:120 Another weekly named Kurmanchal Mitra was also published but it was stopped after sometime.[53]:120 The Prabuddha Bharata started publication in August 1898 from Almora, and was edited by Swami Swarupananda.[67] In 1918 A.D. Badri Datt Pandey with the help of his friends opened a press named Deshbhakta and started publishing a magazine Shakti from it.[65]:21[66]:134[68]:45 Being displeased at the policy of Shakti, some of his partners filed suits and withdrew their shares and in 1919 A.D. opened Sombari Press from which for some time a magazine named 'Jyoti' was published.[53]:120 Later on this press also was sold and the publication was stopped. Shakti continued published till 1942, when owing to policies of the government, its publication was stopped.[66]:134 The publication resumed again in 1946 with the efforts of Pandit Gobind Ballabh Pant.[68][66]:134

In 1930 A.D. a paper named Swadhin Praja was published.[66]:134[69] Its director was patriot Victor Mohan Joshi.[69] In 1934 A.D. a weekly named Samta was published.[69] Directed by an artisan, Hari Prasad Tamta,[69] it received a monthly help of Rs. 2001- from the government.[53]:120 Formerly it was printed in Indra Printing Press but later the publication shifted to Krishna Press in Haldwani.[53]:120 Since 1935 A.D. an illustrated monthly magazine named Natkhat is being published from Indra Printing Press.[53]:120

Notable people[edit]

  • Rabindranath Tagore spent time in Almora and purchased a house in nearby Ramgarh where he stayed during the First World War.[70]
  • Swami Vivekananda visited Almora thrice during his Himalayan sojourns. He expressed great eagerness in making an Ashrama in the bosom of Himalayas for the practice of pure Advaita Vedanta.[71]
  • Jawaharlal Nehru was in the Almora jail for a short time during the freedom struggle.[72][73]
  • Govind Ballabh Pant (10 September 1887 – 7 March 1961), noted freedom fighter, first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and later Home Minister of India, was born in Almora.[74][75]
  • Uday Shankar's dance school was established at Almora in the late 1930s.[76]Ravi Shankar, BabaAlauddin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Annapurna Devi,[77]Amala Shankar et al. were some of the celebrities among people who became famous later and learnt to dance and act here like Guru Dutt, Zohra Sehgal.
  • Sumitranandan Pant, (20 May 1900 – 28 December 1977) one of the most famous modern Hindi poets, was born at Kausani village of Bageshwar, in the hills of Kumaon.
  • Bhairab Dutt Pande, former cabinet secretary of India and governor of West Bengal, Punjab was a resident of Almora.
  • Sir Ronald Ross, winner in 1902 of Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his path-breaking discovery in malaria parasite, was born here in 1857.[78]
  • Manohar Shyam Joshi the eminent Hindi writer and Indian TV's soap opera pioneer was from an Almora family of Galli village.[79]
  • Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga and Rikhiapeeth was born in Almora on 25 December 1923 in Zamindari Family of Bhikiyasen and Gaja.
  • Anagarika Govinda a leading authority on Tibetan Buddhism lived in Almora for a long time, along with his partner Li Gotami.
  • Alfred Sorensen, John Blofeld, Beat Poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gary Snyder - the original Dharma Bums, the LSD Gurus Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner, the psychiatrist R. D. Laing, and Tibetologist Robert Thurman were among the many celebrities who lived or stayed in Almora.
  • Walter Evans-Wentz, Anthropologist and pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism studies lived in Almora.
  • American actress Uma Thurman spent a small part of her childhood at Crank's Ridge, near Almora, with her father Robert Thurman.
  • Begum Ra'ana Liaquat Ali Khan (née Sheila Irene Pant) (1905 - 13 June 1990) was born in a Kumauni Hindu-turned-Christian family at Almora.[80]:132 She was the wife of Pakistan's first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan.[81]
  • ComradeP.C. Joshi, the first chairman of the Communist Party of India (CPI), was born in Almora.
  • Murli Manohar Joshi, the Union Human Resources Development minister of India (born 5 January 1934) in the NDA government.
  • B.C. Joshi, General Bhuwan Chandra Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, ADC (1935 - 19 November 1994) was the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of the Indian Army, belongs to Almora district (Talladaniya).
  • Devendra Kumar Joshi former chief of Naval Staff, Admiral D. K. Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, YSM (born: 4 July 1954) in Almora
  • Shivani, popular Hindi writer was from Almora[82]
  • Prasoon Joshi, writer poet-lyrcist Adguru
  • Singer-musician Mohan Upreti,[83] and many other artistic gems have roots in Almora.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian cricketer, has his roots here. Dhoni's father is from the Lwali village here before he settled in Ranchi in 1964.[84]
  • Ekta Bisht is an Indian women's cricket player. She is a left-handed batswoman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler. She is the first International woman cricketer from Uttarakhand.
  • Baba Hari Dass (Hari Datt Karnatak, also known as Haridas Baba, born in Almora, 26 March 1923), a silent master yogi, founder of several teaching projects in US, Canada, and India, builder of temples and the author of scriptural commentaries.[85]
  • Nilamber Pant, former vice chairman of ISRO and a Padma Shri winner.[86]
  • Roop Durgapal, is a Television actress from Almora who rose to fame through her role in the longest running cult TV show Balika Vadhu. She has worked in various other TV shows like, Swaragini , Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, Baalveer & Akbar Birbal apart from appearing in several TV commercials too.She holds a degree in Instrumentation & controls engineering & is a trained Software Engineer as well.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rivett-Carnac, J. H. (1879). Archaeological notes on ancient sculpturings on rocks in Kumaon, India. Calcutta : G.H. Rouse. 
  • Upreti, Ganga Dutt (1894). Proverbs & folklore of Kumaun and Garhwal. Lodiana Mission Press. 
  • Oakley, E Sherman (1905). Holy Himalaya; the religion, traditions, and scenery of Himalayan province (Kumaon and Garwhal). Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, London. 
  • of Kumaon, Raja Rudradeva; (Ed. with English tr. Haraprasada Shastri) (1910). Syanika sastra: or A Book on Hawking. Asiatic Society, Calcutta.
Kosi River valley near Almora, Uttarakhand, India
Almora city in Uttarakhand India
Himalayan view from Kasar Devi, Almora
view of Almora after rains
Forests in Almora over hills
<div class="transborder" style="position:absolute;width:100px;line-height:0;

Religions in Almora (2011)

  Hinduism (90.84%)

  Islam (7.54%)

  Sikhism (0.23%)

  Other or not religious (1.39%)

Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Almora

This article is about the municipality in Uttarakhand, India. For its namesake district, see Nainital district.

Nainital pronunciation (help·info) is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaonfoothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a mango-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."[1]

Geography and climate[edit]

Nainital is located at 29°23′N79°27′E / 29.38°N 79.45°E / 29.38; 79.45.[2] The slopes of the nearby mountains are most populated, with an elevation ranging from 1,940–2,100 m (6,360–6,890 ft). The highest point nearby is Naina Peak or China Peak, with an elevation of 2,619 m (8,593 ft).

Nainital experiences subtropical highland climate (Cwb) according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system as the city's climate is influenced by the elevation. The city is a bit dry during winter and very wet during summer due to South Asian monsoon system. The lowest precipitation total occurs in November with total 7.9 millimetres (0.31 in), while the highest precipitation total occurs in July with total 725 millimetres (28.5 in). Like most places in temperate region, Nainital has relative cool summer. The hottest month is July with temperature ranging from 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) to 23.5 °C (74.3 °F), while the coldest month is January with temperature ranging from 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) to 10.7 °C (51.3 °F).

Nainital is said to be one the best shining diamonds of Himalayan Belt. This city has 3 major lakes that contribute to make it cool and calm throughout the year.

Climate data for Nainital (1953-1979)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)10.7
(51.3)
12.3
(54.1)
16.3
(61.3)
20.8
(69.4)
23.5
(74.3)
23.5
(74.3)
21.6
(70.9)
21.0
(69.8)
20.7
(69.3)
18.7
(65.7)
15.4
(59.7)
12.9
(55.2)
18.1
(64.6)
Average low °C (°F)1.7
(35.1)
3.5
(38.3)
7.5
(45.5)
11.9
(53.4)
14.6
(58.3)
16.4
(61.5)
16.5
(61.7)
16.0
(60.8)
14.1
(57.4)
9.7
(49.5)
5.7
(42.3)
3.1
(37.6)
10.1
(50.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches)80.3
(3.161)
60.4
(2.378)
55.7
(2.193)
33.7
(1.327)
73.8
(2.906)
327.5
(12.894)
725.0
(28.543)
553.4
(21.787)
385.0
(15.157)
135.4
(5.331)
7.9
(0.311)
27.6
(1.087)
2,465.7
(97.075)
Source: India Meteorological Department[3]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2011 Indian census, Nainital had a population of 41,377.[4] Males constitute 52.3% of the population and females 47.7%. In 2011, Nainital had an average literacy rate of 92.93%, higher than the Uttarakhand state average of 78.82%.[4] In Nainital, 9.54% of the population is under 6 years of age. Kumaoni people form the major part of the town's population along with people from all over India.

Mythology[edit]

It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva.[5] The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.[6]

History[edit]

Early construction[edit]

The Kumaon Hills came under British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). The hill station town of Naini Tal was founded only in 1841, with the construction of the first European house (Pilgrim Lodge) by P. Barron, a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur. In his memoir, he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles (2,400 km) trek in the Himalayas."[7] In 1846, when a Captain Madden of the BengalArtillery visited Naini Tal, he recorded that "houses were rapidly springing up in most parts of the settlement: some towards the crest of the limitary ranges were nearly 7,500 ft (2,300 m) above sea level: the rugged and woody Anyarpatta Aashish (Anyar-patt – in Kumaoni means – complete blackout. The reason for this nomenclature by the locals was because there were minimal sun rays due to its location and dense forests) was being gradually planted and that the favourite sites were on the undulating tract of forest land which stretched back from the head of the lake to the base of China and Deopatta (Camel's Hump). The church, St. John in the Wilderness, was one of the earliest buildings in Nainital, followed by Belvedere, Alma lodge, Ashdale Cottage(1860)..."[8] Soon, the town became a health resort favoured by British soldiers and by colonial officials and their families trying to escape the heat of the plains. Later, the town became the summer residence of the governor of the United Provinces.

The landslip of 1880[edit]

In September 1880 a landslide ('the landslip of 1880') occurred at the north end of the town, burying 151 people. The first known landslide had occurred in 1866, and in 1879 there was a larger one at the same spot, Alma Hill, but "the great slip occurred in the following year, on Saturday 18 September 1880."[8]

"Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain, ... 20 inches (510 mm) to 35 in (890 mm) fell during the 40 hours ending on Saturday morning, and the downpour still lasted and continued for hours after the slip. This heavy fall naturally brought down streams of water from the hill side, some endangering the Victoria Hotel, ... (which) was not the only building threatened ... Bell's shop, the Volunteer Orderly Room and the Hindu (Naina Devi) temple were scenes of labour with a view to diverting streams. At a quarter to two the landslip occurred burying those in and around the buildings mentioned above."[8]

The number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals. (See poem by Hannah Battersby on the page Literary references to Nainital.) The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were destroyed in the disaster. A recreation area known as 'The Flats' was later built on the site and a new temple was erected. To prevent further disasters, storm water drains were constructed and building bylaws were made stricter.

In the latter half of the 19th century a number of "European" schools for boys and girls were founded in Nainital. During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, students in these schools consisted largely of children of the British colonial officials or soldiers. The Diocesan Girls' High School, now known as All Saints' College, was established in 1869, near where the High Court of Uttarakhand stands today. By 1906, there were over half a dozen such schools,[8] including the Diocesan Boys' School (later renamed Sherwood College) and the Philander Smith's college (later renamed Halett War School, currently Birla Vidya Mandir).

St. Joseph's College, Nainital (popularly known as SEM), a day-boarding and residential school built by Irish brothers[citation needed] in 1888, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013. Another important school for girls, St. Mary's Convent High School, Nainital(popularly known as Ramnee), was established in 1878, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in year 2003.

Famous Landmarks[9][edit]

A popular hill station, Nainital has numerous tourist spots:

Libraries[edit]

There are a number of libraries in the Nainital area. Among them are the Durga Lal Shah Municipal Public Library on the Mall, founded in 1934,[10] the Uttarakhand Academy of Administration, Library and Documentation Center, Mallital,[11] the ARIES Observatory Library,[12] and the Kumaon University Library, Nainital.[13]

Famous people[edit]

  • Elsie Inglis, physician and social reformer
  • Jim Corbett, hunter of man-eating tigers, author, conservationist and namesake of Jim Corbett National Park. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
  • Govind Ballabh Pant, statesman and leader of India's independence movement, first Indian Premier of British India, the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the third Home Minister of India
  • Sam Manekshaw, Indian Army Chief of Staff during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Educated at Sherwood College.
  • Som Nath Sharma, India's first Param Vir Chakra award winner. Educated at Sherwood College.
  • Krishna Chandra Pant, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
    Naini lake night view from mall road
  • Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Sudhir Kakar, renowned psychoanalyst
  • Shivani, Hindi poet
  • Anup Jalota, singer
  • Lalet Bist, Film Director
  • Sukirti Kandpal, TV actress
  • Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
  • Naseeruddin Shah, Bollywood actor. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
  • Kabir Bedi, Bollywood Actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
  • Danny Denzongpa, Bollywood actor studied in Birla Vidya Mandir
    A view of the Nainital town, 1885
  • Nirmal Pandey, Bollywood actor and singer
  • Dilip Tahil, Bollywood actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
  • Manish Pandey, cricketer who plays for Karnataka and Bangalore
  • Eric Maturin, British actor
  • Lalit Modi, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
  • Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Indian leader and politician, former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and former Finance Minister of India.
  • Hastings Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay, first secretary general of NATO
  • Percy Hobart, British major general and military engineer
  • Orde Charles Wingate, British general and commander of the Chindits in Burma during World War II

Gallery[edit]

  • Panoramic view of Nainital from Naini Lake

  • Ramlila Bhawan, Mallital, Nainital.

  • A view from Hotel Naini Retreat's Balcony.

  • Naini Lake after snowfall (2007)

  • Nainital lake in the morning

  • Yachts in Naini Lake in March 2011

  • Golu Devta temple, at Ghorakhal near Nainital.

  • Gurney House-the home of Jim Corbett

  • Naina Devi Temple, after which the place gets its name.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^Nainital District, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 18, pp. 322–323. 1908
  2. ^Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Nainital. Fallingrain.com.
  3. ^"Monthly mean maximum & minimum temperature and total rainfall based upon 1901-2000 data". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  4. ^ abNainital Population Census 2011.
  5. ^"Hotels Reservation in Nainital, Ranikhet, Adi Kailash, Jageshwar, Pindari Booking - Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam". www.kmvn.gov.in. 
  6. ^View of Mallital, without the presend Naina Devi Temple (1865)British Library.
  7. ^(Pilgrim 1844)
  8. ^ abcd(Murphy 1906)
  9. ^"Places to See in Nainital". TripAdvisor. 
  10. ^Singh, Sarina (2005). Lonely Planet: India (Nainital). ISBN 1-74059-694-3. Page 425.
  11. ^The World Bank India: Depository Libraries, 2006.
  12. ^Astronomical Networking LibrariesArchived 17 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^"Kumaon University". 
  • Bateman, Josiah (1860), The Life of The Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India, Volume II, John Murray, Albemarle Street, London. 
  • Corbett, SAYUJ (2002) [2000], Inter H.G.S – Indian Culture in Daily Life., Oxford India Reprint 
  • Corbett, Jim (2002) [1948], The Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, Oxford India Reprint 
  • Corbett, Jim (2002) [1954], The Temple Tigers and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Oxford India Reprint 
  • Fayrer, Joseph (1900), Recollections of my life, William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London 
  • Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 18, pp. 322–323., Oxford University Press, Oxford and London, 1908 
  • Kennedy, Dane (1996), The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Oxford. 264 pages. 
  • Kipling, Rudyard (1889), The Story of the Gadsbys, Macmillan and Company, London 
  • Kipling, Rudyard (1895), Under the Deodars, Macmillan and Company, London 
  • McLaren, Eva Shaw (1920), Elsie Inglis: The Woman with the Torch, Macmillan and Company, New York 
  • M'Crindle, J.W. (1901), Ancient India: As Described in Classical Literature, Archibald ConstaHble & Company, Westminster 
  • Murphy, C.W. (1906), A Guide to Naini Tal and Kumaun, Allahbad, United Provinces 
  • Notes on Wanderings in the Himmala, containing descriptions of some of the grandest scenery of the snowy range, among others of Naini Tal, Agra Akhbaar Press, Agra 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nainital.
Scenic view of the Nainital from Tallital, the lower end of the lake.
St. John in the Wilderness, NainiTal, 1860

1875

1880

A general view of the north end of Naini Tal before and after the landslip of 1880.

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