Ranikhet has everything to pacify the nerves of an avid city dweller
By: HBI Desk
The charming hill station of Ranikhet is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 1,829 mts above sea level. Ranikhet has everything to pacify the nerves of an avid city dweller.
The hill station Ranikhet, literally meaning – Queens Land, is an all-season tourist-spot for the admirers of the natural beauty. Ranikhet is a place that reflects the best of the great Himalayas.
Lost into oblivion for long, the picturesque hill station was rediscovered by the British. They bought the land from the native villagers and built it into a summer resort apart from establishing an army recruitment centre.
Ranikhet still remains the headquarters of the gallant Kumaon Regiment. Situated at a height of 1,829 meters, with an area of 21.76 sq. km Ranikhet has too much to present to the visitors – a healthy climate, tall coniferous trees, vast green meadows, tranquil surroundings, perfect peace and warm, open-hearted people.
Every season has its own irresistible charm. This is what makes Ranikhet an all-season destination. Ranikhet also boasts of one of the best hill golf greens (9 holes) in the country.
Places to visit
Jhula Devi Temple
One of the main attractions of Ranikhet, Jhula Devi temple is an 8th-century temple, located in Chaubatia Gardens and at a distance of 7 kms. from the city centre. Situated in Kumaon Himalayan range of Uttarakhand, the presiding deity of the temple, Lord Durga, sits on a wooden swing (Jhula), thus, it was called as ‘Jhula Devi Temple’.
According to the locals, the main deity of the temple, Goddess Durga, protects them from the wild animals. People even say that after many years of its formation, the goddess continues to shower its blessings. Despite being a forest area filled with animals like leopards and tigers, the area remains accessible for the locals. The present temple complex, built in 1935, covers a vast territory and is known in the country for the countless number of the bells, which are the testimony to the divine and the healing powers of “Maa Jhula Devi”.
Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum
KRC (Kumaon Regimental Centre) is a well-maintained museum that showcases the glory, top notch achievements and triumphs of the Kumaon Regiment. The museum was built in 1970’s so as to preserve and exhibit the legacy and customs of the Kumaon Region. The interiors of the museum display lead to endless photographs depicting many wars related to the Kumaon Regiment. This centre for military enthusiasts displays weapons used by the armed forces and enemies, medals and uniforms of the brave soldiers, the flags of rebels captured during battles, stone tablets depicting information about various wars and stories of the First and the Second Param Vir Chakra, which belongs to Kumaon Regiment. Silver scepters of Rani Jhansi, documents and pictures associated with Kargil War, wireless field telephones operated by Japanese and Chinese rifles captured during the 1962 war are some of the impressive collection of the museum.
Timings: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm, open all days.
Cantonment Aashiyana Park
Aashiyana Park is a perfect place to be for people of all age groups. People of varied interest can suit themselves here as the park features multiple attractions like the herbal park, Children Park, colourful fountains, and viewpoint, which offers a fantastic view of the neighbouring mountains.
Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm
Located near the Chaubatia Gardens, Bhalu Dam draws millions of visitors from around the world. It is an artificial lake, which was originally built 200 years ago as a source of water for British soldiers. Surrounded by towers trees, against the view of the snow-covered Himalayan ranges, the lake is an approachable splendour of the empyrean for migratory birds. The lake is idol option for camping and picnicking. Don’t forget to visit the brilliant St. Bridget Church, which is located quite close to the dam.
10 km south of Ranikhet are the famous fruit-laden orchards of Chaubatia. These orchards are known for delicious apples of several exclusive varieties, apricots, peaches and various other alpine fruits. These can be directly procured from the growers themselves. There is also a state-run Fruit Research Centre. Situated nearby is Bhalu Dam in the background of a beautiful lake created by this dam, which attracts tourists round the year.
One of the highest golf courses famous in India is situated close to the Upat Kalika temple, about 6 km from the Ranikhet town. It is an army golf course, but civilians can also access it paying a nominal fee. It remains open round the year.
An ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, Lord Shiva and Radha-Krishna. This beautiful temple adjacent to Nar Singh Ground has been rebuilt by the soldiers of Kumaon Regiment.
This location is about 8 kms from Ranikhet. Gandhiji stayed here in the 1920s. His cottage is a major tourist attraction. The famous temple of the local deity, Golu can also be visited at Tarikhet.
Roughly 37 kms from Ranikhet on the road to Karnaprayag, is Dwarahat. Once the centre of Katyuri rulers, Dwarhat is of great historical and archaeological importance. Later it became associated with the Chand rulers. This place is famous for the cluster of ancient temples. Every year a grand fair is held here from 13th to 16th April known as Syalde – Bikhauti Mela.
Situated 35 kms from Ranikhet, Sitlakhet is a very scenic spot, with unparalleled views of the Himalayas, amid luxuriant forests and apple orchards. The famous temple of Syahi Devi is located nearby.
How to reach
By flight: Nearest Airport is Pant Nagar, at a distance of 119 km.
By train: Kathgodam (86 km.) is the nearest railhead.
By road: Ranikhet is well connected via roads. Roads run through Haldwani, Bhowali and Khairna during all seasons. Ranikhet has direct bus links with Nainital (60 km), Kathgodam (86 kms), Ramnagar (96 kms) and Delhi (366kms).
References: www.uttarakhandtourism.gov.in & www.tourmyindia.com