Ranikhet, literally meaning 'the queen's fields' is just like a heaven on earth. It is situated 6000 feet above the sea level in Uttaranchal. Thick forests, deodar and pine trees in the foreground and an unending range of Himalayas sweeping in the background, Ranikhet is spell binding.
The magic of queen began long back, that was before Britishers found the queen's secret fields. A British military base followed, a museum and a memorial today are the only reminders of the British regiment. But since Britisher's discovered it, time seems to stand still in Ranikhet. Every year so many people visit Ranikhet but the place has not lost a bit of its charm and beauty. Ranikhet is today also the centre of Kumaon Regiment.
Surprisingly, the tranquility and serenity of the place is not affected a bit by the increasing number of tourists sprawling here every year. The military air hangs here giving it a sort of old world charm. Aroma of pine trees which fills the atmosphere is intoxicating and scenic beauty exceeds description. An all weather tourist destination, Ranikhet with its forest cover is also a great place for bird watchers and those who wish to holiday in the lap of nature in solitude.
Chaubatia essentially has fruit orchards, gardens and the Government Fruit Research Centre where you can picnic quite enjoyably. However, the main draw here is the commanding 300 kilometre view of Himalayas, Nanda Devi, Trishul, Nandaghunti and Nilkanth peaks. One can see these snow clad peaks on a clear morning. It is one of the largest horticulture gardens in the country spreading over 265 acres of land. There are 36 varieties of apples grown here of which four are exported. You can buy fruits from the food depot here. Bhaludam, three kilometres from here is an artificial lake, a popular picnic spot.
Upat and Kalika
It is a heaven for golfers. Upat has one of the best nine hole golf course links in the country. Golfing at such high altitudes is such a fun, a high powered shot could even land in the valley below. Visitors can have a game at the Army golf course here. Other attractions here are the private orchards which are worth taking a look, you can also take a stroll in the surrounding dense oak forests or catch a view of the Himalyan range. Just a kilometre away from Upat is a temple of Goddess Kali, there is a forest nursery also here.
Thirteen kilometres from here is Majkhali. People come here for views of Himalayas, however what's special about the place is that the view is rather close. Mount Trishul with a height of 26,500 feet look towering.
Chakhut means four legs. Chaukhutia has been so named because four ways lead out from it. You can access the entire region from here. The place is 54 killometers from Ranikhet and an explorer's delight. There are ruins of ancient forts and remains of Katyuri dynasty. One can also visit the Kali and Vaishno Devi temple. The place is also famous for fishing.
Binsar Mahadev is an important temple of the region located 19 kilometres from Ranikhet. At an altitude of 2480 metres, the temple is surrounded by thick deodar forests. The temple is also of architectural significance as well. In the sanctum of the temple are idols of Ganesh, Har Gauri and Maheshmardini. The idol of Maheshmardini is engraved with texts in 'Nagirilipi' which indicates the association of temple to as back as ninth century. The temple built by King Pithu in memory of his father Bindu is also called Bindeshwar temple.
An important fair is held here every year on the occasion of Baikunth chaturdashi in the month of June. The fair is very important for ladies specially as they pray on this occasion whole night holding lamps in their hands for being blessed by a baby.
Jhoola Devi Temple
This secluded temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is seven kilometres from Ranikhet located on road to Chaubatia. The interesting feature of the temple is its cluster of bells, echo of which can be heard at distance. Closeby is a temple dedicated to Lord Ram.
Close to Nar Singh Maidan, built by the Kumaon regiment for military use in Ranikhet, is Manakameshwar temple. One can also visit a Gurudwara nearby and the shawl factory.
Four kilometres from Ranikhet is the famous temple of Hairakhan Baba. Baba Haira khan has many followers here and stories of his miracles do rounds here. Baba died in 1984 but his ashram in Ranikhet is well maintained. The view from here is also worth looking.
Another beautiful hill station close to Ranikhet is Almora. It is around 50 kilometres away. The place is famous for its scenic beauty, handicrafts, cuisine and wildlife. Some attractions in Almora are Public Museum, Nanda devi temple and Chetai temple.
This famous and beautiful hill station is just 59 kilometres from Ranikhet. Nainital is famous for its lakes, the main being Naini lake. There is snow view point, Sattal, Bhimatal, Hanuman Garhi and Land's end.
Thirty five kilometers from Ranikhet, it is a retreat into a peaceful land. It is full of lush orchards, herbal and medicinal plants. The place is also known for the view from here of Himalayas.
Manila literally means enchanting. This enchanting place is 87 kilometres from Ranikhet and is the seat of Manila Devi. The thick forests here on the hills are worth watching.
Thirty two kilometres from Ranikhet is this beautiful valley where Dwarahut is located. The wide Ramganga river valley is famous for its cluster of 55 temples of Katyuni period. The place was one the seat of Katyuni Kings who ruled from Himalayas to plains.
This is a very lively place 47 kilometres from Ranikhet with rich history to boast. It is said that while Hanuman was carrying Sanjivani, a piece had fallen here. The place is also blessed with beautiful landscape. There is also a temple of Goddess Durga here and the place also offers some exciting views of Himalayas. A lot many festivals during the months of Aswin and Chait keep the place bustling with pilgrims.
Nearest airport from Ranikhet is Pantnagar, 144 kilometres from here.
The nearest railhead from Ranikhet is Kathgodam (80kms) and Ramnagar (96 kms).
Ranikhet is well connected with roads to important cities. Some major distances from Ranikhet are Almora (49 km), Delhi (386 km), Nainital (59 km) and Kathgodam (80 km). Apart from that buses also ply from Ranikhet to Nainital, Almora, Kausani and Kathgodam.
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Labels: Ranikhet Tourism