Kumaon, a district of the Northwest Provinces in British India, bordering on the Himalaya mountains, Nepaul, Rohilcund, the Dehra Doon, and the district of Gurwhal; area, about 7,000 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 430,300. The surface is very diversified. The southern portion is either forest-clad plain almost destitute of water, or marsh land, while toward the north the surface is broken by numerous mountains, some of which are among the highest in the world. The climate in the low region is sultry and deadly; in the alpine districts, temperate, invigorating, and healthful. Earthquakes are common. The principal rivers are the Kalee, Goonka, Aluknunda, Surju, and Gorigunga. The valleys and low lands are fertile, and in the warmer districts yield two crops annually. The tea shrub has been successfully introduced. The chief mineral productions are gold, lead, copper, and iron. The gold is chiefly found in the sands of the Aluk-nunda. The principal manufactures are blankets, coarse linens and cottons, and bamboo mats and baskets. A large portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the transit trade between East Turkistan and India. A corrupt form of Brahmanism is the dominant faith. Kumaon is famous for the number of its shrines and temples, mostly situated at the confluence of its rivers.
Those most celebrated as places of pilgrimage are Kedarnath, Badri-nath, Deoprayag, Rudraprayag, and Vishnupra-yag. Kumaon was never conquered by the Moguls, but was subdued by the Gorkas in the latter part of the 18th century. It became a British province in 1815. Capital, Almorah.