Kumaon or Kumaun is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, a mountainous state of northern India, the other being Garhwal. It includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar. It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Nepal, on the south by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the west by the Garhwal region. The people of Kumaon are known as Kumaonis and speak the Kumaoni language.
It is home to a famous Indian Army regiment, the Kumaon Regiment. Important towns of Kumaon are Haldwani, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Rudrapur, Kashipur, Pantnagar, Mukteshwar and Ranikhet. Nainital is the administrative centre of Kumaon Division and this is where the Uttarakhand high court is located.
History Almoda or Almora or Alampur, according to popular tradition is derived from the name Almora or wild sorrel, which grew in abundance there in the past. The earliest reference to the name Almoda is found in the copper plate inscription of King Trimalla Chand of the local Chand dynasty of the year 1528 A.D. The capital of the Chand Kings was transferred from Champawat to Almora in the 16th century. It is the district headquarters and national scientific institutes the Vivekanand Hill Agricultural Laboratory, as well as the Defence Agricultural Research Laboratory are housed there. Scientists from all over the country and tourists visit the Vivekanand Hill Agricultural Laboratory because it was started by a great agricultural scientist Bosi Sen.
It is one of the most beautiful districts of Uttarakhand and seems to be a benediction on earth. This enchanting land lies in the arms of the Himalayas and invites trekking enthusiasts, painters, poets, historians, bird watchers and those in search of the divine. The tradition of the present appellation of Kumaon is associated with Champawat and is regarded by the historians to be a natural evolution from the word Kurmachal.
Pithoragarh is strategically very important and flanked by two international boundaries, Nepal on the east and Chinese occupied Tibet on the north. It was once, before 1962 an important mart for traders from Nepal and the Indo Tibetan traders. Pithoragarh lies in the lap of the Soar Valley and its scenic grandeur is often compared with the beauty of Kashmir Valley. It is encircled by four hills, Chandak, Dhwaj, Kumdar and Thal Kedar. Nature has been very kind in blessing Pithoragarh with snow capped peaks, high altitude passes, high mountain valleys, Alpine meadows, glaciers and vibrant forests.
Udham Singh Nagar district is known as the gateway to Kumaon hills. It was a part of Naini Tal district before it gained identity as a separate district in October 1995. The district is named after the famous revolutionary leader Udham Singh who shot Michael O’ Dwyer in London to avenge the death of those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on 13th April 1919. Michaeo O’ Dwyer was the Lt. Governor of Punjab those days and Udham Singh held him responsible for this massacre. He shot him on 13th March 1940 after 21 years of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy. Udham Singh was hanged to death on 31st July 1940.
Floating between the clouds this intriguing city of Nainital is known for their splendid natural beauty, dense jungles, deep lakes, winding valleys and world reputed educational institutes. Situated at an altitude of 2084 m, this city is a boon of nature to adventure enthusiasts, wildlife lovers and nature lovers. With Stunning Structures, lush greenery, fabulous climatic conditions, temples, excellent dining and plenty of other eye-catching attractions, Nainital has gained a place of being one among favorite tourism destinations.
Jim Corbett National Park is another reason beside magical Himalayan peaks and scenic lakes to visit here. Sherwood School, St. Josephs’, Kumaon University, ARIES (State Observatory) are some of the top educational institutions within city limits. Snowfall in winters, Yachting, Boating and Trekking also attracts visitors.
Bageshwar – On the coast of the confluence of River Gomti and Saryu is known between people as the center of faith and tourism. Many ancient temples are limited in its boundaries like Bageshwar Mahadev, Hanuman Temple, Bhairav Temple, Kalika Temple, Panchnam Junnarka, Datatrey Maharaj, Vaneshwar Temple and a few others.
The beautiful town is also a delight for adventure sports lovers. The famous Pindari, Sunderdunga and Kafni glaciers can be reached via Bageshwar. Bageshwar gets its name from this ancient temple of Lord Shiva set in the heart of the town. According to mythological legends, sage Markandey lived here and the place was visited by Lord Shiva in the form of Bagh or tiger. Annual Uttaraini fair held in January is another reason for tourists to gather here.