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Thousands of tourists are drawn to Ranikhet, a hill station located in the Almora district of Uttaranchal every year. Ranikhet literally means 'Queen's Meadow'. The salubrious climate, the tall conifers, placid surroundings all at an elevation of 1829 m (6036 feet) above sea level truly makes Ranikhet a family getaway. With its ancient temples, fascinating picnic spots and exciting treks, Ranikhet is also the headquarters of Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army.
A historical purview
Queen Padmini of Kumaon was so much in love with the tiny hill paradise that King Sudhardev built a palace for her and named this place Ranikhet, the queen's field. Although no traces of the palace can be found, the place remains the same with flowers, trees and green meadows.
This picturesque hill was rediscovered by the Britishers and in 1869 the British established the headquarters of the Kumaon regiment here. This station has been used as a retreat from the heat of the Indian summer. Ranikhet is a cantonment town and is maintained by the Indian Army.
Climate in Ranikhet
A tourist destination at an altitude of 1829 m above sea level, Ranikhet is open for all seasons. Summers are moderate, winters cool and the natural beauty here is always enviable. There is cool breeze throughout the year and pleasant temperatures even in summer. Snowfall is common during winter and monsoons during June to August bring average rainfall. Post monsoon, Ranikhet is spectacular with cultural and sports activities.
Ranikhet hill station is famous for its majestic views of the Himalayan Range. The early morning songs of the birds, the varied noises of the fauna and the celebrated regiment of the Indian Army attract thousands of tourists to its fold every year.
The place is suitable for natural treks with amazing views of the snow covered Himalayan hillock and Nanda Devi Peak. Trekkers can go up to Gagas. There are many ancient sculptures to admire. The entire region is picturesque; with oak and pine trees. Natural splendors around the place make trekking more enjoyable. Trekking expeditions extend from Ranikhet to Sitalakhet via Majkhali, Kathpuriya and Kalika.
The picturesque views of the valleys and the secluded cool environ makes Ranikhet a popular holiday destination. The Jhula (Jhoola) Devi Temple which belongs to the 8th century is devoted to Goddess Durga. Several visitors throng this temple year round and adjacent to this is the Ram temple which is also popular. The spectacular feature of this temple is the majestic cluster of bells - the clang of these bells can be heard over a long distance.
You can trek to Chaubatia, which is 12 kms away from Ranikhet town. Spend some time at the Bhalu dam located close to Chaubatia. The orchards of Chaubattia are another perfect tourist spot to relax amidst nature's gifts. Majhkhali is a wonderland, offering enchanting views of the Himalayan range.
Upat Kalika which is 4 km from Ranikhet is for golf lovers, with its 9 holes course. There is an ancient temple Kalika nearby which attracts tourists. In order to enjoy the beauty of nature at its best, a visitor can move to the vintage vantage points of Chubatia and Majkhali.
Just off the Mall in Ranikhet, you will find the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum. Here you can find weapons captured in battle, military memorabilia and the coffin of General TN Raina. Don't miss to see Rani Jhansi's silver sceptre and documents relating to the Kargil War. You can pick up shawls, tweeds, candles and condiments made by army widows in the KRC community center nearby.
There are several tourist resorts near Ranikhet. At 60 kms is Nainital, a hill resort. The Naini Lake and the natural spots in the vicinity are major attractions. Almora which is another hill resort at a distance of 50 kms from Ranikhet offers wondrous vistas of the Himalayan ranges. Ancient sculptures can be seen at Dwarahat, 38 kms away from Ranikhet, once a principal seat of the Katyuri Rajas.
Accommodation in Ranikhet
Ranikhet has many hotels that cater to the needs of the tourists - budget hotels, medium range hotels and luxury hotels to suit every pocket. Ranikhet also houses resorts which include Woodsvilla resort, Annabella resort and Xanadu resort. The tourist rest house and inspection bungalows make up for other accommodation options in Ranikhet.
For tourists by air, Pantnagar airport is the nearest and it is 119 kms from Ranikhet. Kathgodam is the closest rail head and is located at a distance of 80 kms from Ranikhet. Ranikhet is well connected by road with cities like Almora, Nainital, and Bareilly. There are also plenty of buses that ply from Delhi to Ranikhet.
North India Travel - Information on North India Travel
Mussoorie - Travel to the Queen of the Hills
Nainital - Travel to this Idyllic hill station
Jim Corbett National Park - India's first wildlife reserve
Ladakh - Last Shangrila, Little Tibet and Moonscape
Fatehpur Sikri - City of Victory
Trekking to Valley of Flowers - Great Himalayan ranges
Nandadevi - Carpet of extensive alpine flowers
Tomb of Sher Shah Suri - Indo-Islamic architecture
Naukuchiatal - Kumaon Peaks
Almora - Ancient Cultural Influence
Chail - Shivalik peaks
Gwalior - Historical city in MP
Spiti Valley - Nestled in the Himalayas
Palpur Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary - Asiatic Lions
Kangra Valley - Himachal Retreat
Auli Ski Resort - Skiing
Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara - Snow Bowl Gurudwara
Agra Fort - Magnificent Citadel
Qutb Minar - Tallest brick minaret in the world
Humayun's Tomb - Exceptional splendor and gradeur
Heritage Tour of India - Magnificent architectural splendour
Agra - Standing astride the Yamuna.
Shimla - Reminiscent of British times
Hemis Gompa - Grand Monastery in the hills
Alchi Chos - patronized by rich Buddhist monks
Shimla Train - The Journey will Continue
Himalaya Mountain View - Majestic mountain range
Ranikhet Travel - Meadow of the Queen
Himalaya Trekking - Imbibe the spirit of Himalayas.
Basilica of Lady of Graces Sardhana - Marian Shrine
Pahalgam Kashmir - Premier hill station
God in Himalaya Mountains - Abode of Shiva and his consort Shakthi
Char Dham - Most revered 4 temples of Hindu Pilgrimage in Himalayas
Yamunotri - Yamunotri - dedicated to Goddess Yamuna
Gangotri - Holy destination that embodies the origins of the Ganga
Kedarnath - Kedarnath on the Garhwal Range built by Adi Shankaracharya
Badrinath - Badrinath dedicated to Vishnu - supreme God of Vaishnavites
Temples in Mathura and Vrindavan - Temples dedicated to Lord Krishna
Temples in Dwarka - legend and lore that surround the temples in Dwarka
Amritsar Golden Temple - In the Pool of the Nectar of Immortality
Vaishno Devi Temple - Shakti - Source of all Power
Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Temple in the oldest living city