History of Almora can be traced back to ancient times of Mahabharata. However, the earliest historical account of the place is provided by a Chinese pilgrim of seventh century. The pilgrim wrote in great detail about a kingdom called ‘Brahmaputra’.
A kingdom was first established in this area by the Katyuri dynasty. The Katyuri dynasty reigned from Dwarahat in katurya Valley. During those times, there was a small settlement in this are, not much of any political significance.
King Baichaldeo of the Katyuri dynasty, who reined in the region where present day Almora is located, donated major part of this land to a Gujarati Brahmin by name Sri Chand Tiwari.
In later times, during rule of Chand dynasty, Almora was founded around 1560 by Kalyanchand at this place which he called ‘Alam Nagar’. It was also called ‘Rajpur’.
Interestingly, the mountain on which Almora is located is described in a famous Hindu epic – Manaskhand. It reads thus: “Kaushiki Shalmali Madhyey Punyah Kashaya Parwatah Tasy Paschim Bhagam Kshetra Vishnyo Pratishthtam”
The name ‘Rajpur’ finds mention on numerous copper plates found in this area. An important reason for the Chand rulers to establish a settlement here was a number of natural spring water sources that this place harbors. Later, they even transferred there capital here.
In 1744 during the raid by Ali Muhammad Khan Rohilla, Almora was taken over from Chand dynasty. However, unable to bear the hardships of living in the hills, the Rohillas chiefs, placed by Ali Mohammad Khan Rohilla, returned Almora for a heavy bribe of three lakh rupees.
Ali Mohammad, dissatisfied with the conduct of his commanders, attacked Almora again in 1745. However, this time the Rohillas were defeated. They never came back again.
In 1790, Almora was conquered by the Gurkhas who ruled it for the next 24 years until it was taken over by the British in 1815. Today, Almora is a primary center for trade and other activities – social, cultural, political- and is a district place of Uttarakhand State in India.