Ranikhet, nestled in the heart of Uttarakhand, India, is a haven for travel enthusiasts seeking tranquility and natural beauty. From historic landmarks to scenic landscapes, this article unfolds the best places to visit in Ranikhet, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
Also known as the ‘Queen’s Meadow’ Ranikhet is believed to be the residence of Rani Padmini who was mesmerized by the beauty of this valley and fell in love with the enchanting land. Raja Sukherdev built her a palace which later became their residence. There are no traces of the palace and is believed to be destroyed as the British established their cantonment and developed Ranikhet as a hill station.
Ranikhet due to its high altitude enjoys cool weather throughout the year and gets plenty of snowfall during the winters. Summer starts from late March till the end of May and temperatures during this season never go beyond 22 degrees. The monsoons arrive at the end of June and rains continue until early September. Winters in Ranikhet start early in October and end until the month of February. The temperatures can get below freezing with occasional snowfall experienced in the higher areas. In this way, climate plays a major role in Ranikhet Tourism.
Places to visit Ranikhet
These are just a few of the many places that Ranikhet has to offer, and each one is a unique experience in its own right.
1. Chaubatia Orchards:
Chaubatia Orchards is a popular destination in Ranikhet, known for its apple and peach orchards. Visitors can take a stroll through the orchards, taste the fresh fruit, and enjoy the scenic views of the surrounding hills. The orchards also make for a great picnic spot, and visitors can spend a relaxing day surrounded by nature.
2. Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum:
This museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of the Kumaon Regiment, a former regiment of the Indian Army. Visitors can learn about the contributions of the regiment to India’s freedom struggle and military history. The museum features several exhibits including weapons, photographs, and other historical artifacts.
3. Jhula Devi Temple:
The Jhula Devi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Durga. The temple is located on a hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Visitors can participate in the daily prayers and rituals, and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple.
4. Bhalu Dam:
The Bhalu Dam is a scenic picnic spot surrounded by lush green forests. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by nature, and also take a leisurely walk around the dam. The dam is a popular destination for birdwatchers, and visitors can spot several species of birds in the area.
5. Tarikhet Village:
Tarikhet Village is a traditional village located in the midst of nature. Visitors can take a scenic hike to the village and learn about the local culture and lifestyle. The village is known for its traditional architecture and rural lifestyle, and visitors can experience a unique aspect of India’s culture and history.
6. Majkhali Village:
Majkhali Village is a small village located in the midst of nature and known for its traditional architecture and rural lifestyle. Visitors can take a stroll through the village, interact with the local residents, and learn about their customs and traditions. The village is surrounded by scenic landscapes, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.
7. Kalika Temple:
The Kalika Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. The temple is located on a hill and offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. Visitors can participate in the daily prayers and rituals, and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple.
8. Jhula Devi Falls:
The Jhula Devi Falls is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by lush green forests. Visitors can take a scenic drive to the waterfall and enjoy a picnic by the waterfall. The falls are a popular destination for picnics, and visitors can also go for a swim in the pool below the falls.
9. Haidakhan Babaji Temple:
The Haidakhan Babaji Temple is dedicated to Haidakhan Babaji, a revered Hindu saint. The temple is located in a serene and peaceful environment, and visitors can participate in daily prayers and rituals. The temple is surrounded by scenic landscapes, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.
10. Golf Course:
The golf course in Ranikhet is an 18-hole course surrounded by scenic landscapes. Visitors can enjoy a unique experience playing golf in nature. The course is well-maintained and offers a challenging experience for golf enthusiasts.
How to reach
Ranikhet can be reached by air, rail, and road. Here are the details for each mode of transportation:
- Air: The nearest airport to Ranikhet is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, located about 120 km away. From the airport, one can take a taxi or a bus to Ranikhet.
- Rail: The nearest railway station to Ranikhet is Kathgodam Railway Station, located about 85 km away. From the railway station, one can take a taxi or a bus to Ranikhet.
- Road: Ranikhet is well-connected by road to major cities in the region, such as Nainital, Almora, and Dehradun. Buses and taxis are readily available for travel to and from Ranikhet.
Regardless of the mode of transportation, the journey to Ranikhet is scenic, and visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Ranikhet is from March to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as trekking, sightseeing, and picnicking.
The monsoon season, from July to September, brings heavy rainfall and landslides, making it difficult to travel. The winter months, from December to February, can be quite chilly, with temperatures dropping to below freezing, especially in the higher elevations.
Things to Do in Ranikhet
Ranikhet is a popular hill station in Uttarakhand, India and there are several activities and attractions for tourists to enjoy:
- Visit the Chaubatia Orchards: Explore the apple and peaches orchards and taste the fresh fruit.
- Hike to Tarikhet Village: Take a scenic hike to this traditional village and learn about the local culture and lifestyle.
- Explore the Bhalu Dam: A scenic picnic spot, perfect for a relaxing day surrounded by nature.
- Visit the Jhula Devi Temple: A popular Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Durga, offering stunning views of the surrounding hills.
- Visit the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum: A museum showcasing the history of the Kumaon Regiment, a former regiment of the Indian Army.
- Explore the Majkhali Village: A traditional village that offers a glimpse into the rural lifestyle of India.
- Visit the Kalika Temple: A Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali, offering beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges.
- Take a scenic drive to the Jhula Devi Falls: A popular picnic spot and a beautiful waterfall.
- Visit the Haidakhan Babaji Temple: A temple dedicated to Haidakhan Babaji, a revered Hindu saint.
- Participate in Adventure Activities: Ranikhet offers several adventure activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and ziplining.
Overall, the spring and autumn seasons offer the best weather for visiting Ranikhet and enjoying its many attractions.