Perching at 1,829 mt above the sea level, Ranikhet refers to “Queen’s Meadow”. The place got its name after a legend. King Sudhardev won the heart of his queen, Rani Padmini, thus subsequently choosing the area for her residence, and gave it the name of Ranikhet. It is an ideal location for the golf-lover enthusiasts because of the beautiful green velvety golf course.
In 1869 the British established the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment here and used the station as a retreat from the heat of the Indian summer. At one time during British Raj, it was also proposed as the summer headquarters of Government of India, in lieu of Shimla. In 1900, it had a summer population of 7,705, and its corresponding winter population was measured in 1901 as 3,153.
Ranikhet becomes very cold in the winters and remains moderate in summers, and is best enjoyed from March to October. Ranikhet gets snowfall in the winter season, mainly in the months of December, January and February. But in the rest of the months the weather of Ranikhet remains pleasant.
Places to see in Ranikhet: The sight seeing locations of Ranikhet include:
It is situated 10 kms from Ranikhet and is renowned for apple orchards. Ranikhet is popular for its juicy apples, apricots, peaches and various alpine fruits. Apart from fruits you can also buy fresh juices and honey from Chaubatia Gardens. The picturesque views of the snow capped peaks of majestic Himalayan range can be seen from Chaubatia Gardens.
This is one of the prime attractions of Ranikhet. The Ranikhet Golf Course is one of the highest golf courses of Asia, located 5 kms from main Ranikhet City. Ranikhet Golf Course is a 9-hole course. The green meadow of the golf course at such high altitude is awe-inspiring. The golf club provides membership plans for outsiders as well.
Ashiyana Park is situated in the midst of Ranikhet town. The Park is specially designed & developed for children on jungle theme by Ranikhet Cantt.
St. Bridget Church
It is an old church in Ranikhet town.
It is located at a distance of 8 Kms from Ranikhet and is well known for its Gandhi Kuti, and the temple of Golu Devta, venerated in the Kumaon region.
This temple is attached to the Nar Singh Maidan (Ground), constructed by the Kumaon regiment. Opposite to the temple is a Gurudwara and a Shawl factory.
Located at a distance of 12 kms. from Ranikhet, on the way to Almora, Majkhali offers a close view of the snowy Himalayas with peaceful surroundings. It is a picnic spot on the Ranikhet-Almora road.
Situated 4 kms from Ranikhet, Haidakhan Temple (Hairakhan Temple or Chilianaula) is dedicated to Lord Shiva made by Shri Haidakhan Maharaj who is said to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The splendid views of the gigantic Himalayan peaks are clearly visible from HaidakhanTemple.
Jhula Devi Temple
The Jhula Devi Temple was built in the 8th century. It is a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and is only 7 kms from Ranikhet. The people of Uttaranchal have strong belief in the Jhula Devi Temple. Ram Mandir is situated very close to Jhula Devi Mandir.
It is a scenic spot with unparallel beauty situated at a distance of 25kms from Ranikhet. Syalikhet is located in the amidst green forest and apple orchards. The famous temple of Syahi Devi is situated in Syalikhet.
The artistic structure of the Binsar Mahadev Temple and its deity Lord Shiva both adds positive vibes to our mind and soul. A beautiful stream flowing close to the Binsar Mahadev Temple adds amazement to the natural beauteousness of this sacred place. Binsar Mahadev Temple is situated amidst beautiful pine and deodar trees. Apart from the temple an ashram, Binsar Mahadev also has lovely cedar forest surroundings.
It is the second most important temple to Sun God, the first one being Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Katarmal is more than 800 years old. Situated 25kms from Ranikhet this historical temple is an example of intricate sculpturing.
Bhalu Dam or Baludham
It is an artificial small lake blessed with natural bounteousness, panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains and placid surroundings. The small but beautiful garden nearby the dam is marvellous. The dam site is open for all the tourists throughout the year. The views of the massive Himalayan peaks are enchanting and ravishing from Bhalu Dam. It is an ideal spot for camping and picnicking.
KRC (Kumaon Regimental Centre) Museum
KRC Museum was established in the 1970s, this Regiment Museum showcases the history of Kumaon and Garhwal regiments. It also displays valuable treasures like Rani Jhasi’s silver scepter, Chinese rifles from the 1962 war, a World War-II Japanese wireless field telephone and documents related to the Kargil War.
Nearby attractions around Ranikhet: From Ranikhet make a visit to places like:
Chaukhutia is a small town located on the banks of Ramganga in the Almora district of Uttarakhand state. The town of Chaukhutia is situated at the meeting point of four picturesque and important places of Uttarakhand. It’s name is derived from a Kumaoni word Chakuta which means four feet in four directions, where first direction is towards Ramnagar, second towards Karanprayag, third towards Ranikhet and Almora and the fourth direction is towards Tadaktaal and Kheera. The entire region of Kumaon and Garhwal is easily accessible from Chaukhutia. It is situated on NH87 which meets at Karnaprayag with NH58 to reach Badrinath Dham. Chaukhutia’s historical past and religious significance can be seen basking in its glory in the nearby areas. Kali temple, Vaishno Devi’s temple, ancient fort and ruins of Katyuri dynasty all makes Chaubhutia an explorer’s delight.
Dwarahat is situated in Almora district of Uttarakhand, 37kms from Ranikhet and is popular for a group of 55 ancient temples. It is quite a small place in the centre of Ranikhet and Garsian at the intersection of Ranikhet -Kasauni road and Almora-Badrinath road. As the name suggests, Dwarahat means way of Heaven where Dwara means way and Hat means Heaven. A visit to Dwarahat gives you a feeling of closeness with God. Dwarahat is famous for its ancient temples which were constructed mainly by the Katyuri kings and its architecture resembles the Gurjari School of Art. Maa Dunagiri temple located at a distance of 20km from Dwarahat belongs to the mountain brought by Pavandev. Eevery night of navratri is dedicated to none different forms of Goddess Durga. They are Maa Shailputri, Maa Brahmachaarin, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmaanda, Skand Maa, Maa Kaatyayini, Maa Kaalratri, Maa Chaamunda, and Mata Sidhidaarti. To reach the Durga temple or Paban Maharaj Ashram on the highway, you have to climb 500 steps on the top of a hill.
Majkhali offers a magnificient view of snow capped Himalayas with natural biosphere. It also hosts a forest nursery where they have different variety of Flora and Fauna species. There is also a Birla Girls School situated at Majkhali. Golf Course is one of the famous picnic spot located at a distance of 6 kms from Majkhali on road to Ranikhet. The salubrious atmosphere makes visitors fond of the place.
Things to do in Ranikhet: Trekking, fishing and golf are some of the things to do in Ranikhet. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Nanda Devi – Himalayan peak or pay homage at Jhula Temple and Kali Devi Temple. Take a trip to Chaubatia Orchard that features variety of exotic flowers or Bhaludham – an excellent picnic spot. Shop for stuff like Kumaoni Shawls, woollen Fabrics, weed Shawls and Baal Mithai or head to places like Almora, Nainital, and Manila for some fun, and frolic near Ranikhet. Radiating an old world charm, Ranikhet is a perfect holiday destination in the lap of nature.
Best time to visit Ranikhet: Summers are the peak season when everyone wants to escape the heat on the plains. The best time to visit Ranikhet is from September to November and again from April to June, when the weather is bracing. If you dislike the crowd, visit in the winters when the cold discourages the usual tourists. If you like the rains, visit Ranikhet in the early monsoon and walk through the lush green hillsides. It can be invigorating.
How to go ?
Pantnagar airport is the nearest domestic terminal, which is 119 km away. Pre-paid taxi services charge about Rs 2000 from Pantnagar to Ranikhet. Pantnagar airport is connected to Delhi by daily flights. Delhi is the nearest International airport, which is 350 km away from Ranikhet. Delhi airport is well connected with major cities within the country and abroad.
Kathgodam Railway station, about 80 km away from Ranikhet, is the nearest railhead. Pre-paid taxi services are available from Kathgodam to Ranikhet which costs about Rs 1500. Regular train services are available from Kathgodam to Delhi and also to other cities in India.
Ranikhet is well connected with nearby cities like Nainital (54 km), Almora (49 km) and Bareily (181 km). Tourist and State owned bus services are available from Delhi to Ranikhet, covering the distance of 350 km.
Where to stay ?
Ranikhet is admired with a number of hotels and resorts suited to the budget.
Tourist Rest House Ranikhet (KMVN): +91-8650002533
Parwati Inn: + 91 5966- 220325, 61 Website: www.parwatihotels.com
Hotel Moon & Restaurant: +91 5966 -220382 Website: www.hotelmoonranikhet.com
Woodsvilla Resort:+91-05966- 240369, 240374, 240381 Website: www.woodsvillaresort.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.