Ranikhet is a beautiful hill station town in Almora district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Ranikhet has lush green forests, majestic mountains and beautiful exotic surrounding making it undoubtedly a nature's paradise.
Ranikhet is also known as the Queen's fields which means Queen's meadow in Hindi.
It is a legendary belief that here, King Sudhardev won the heart of queen Padmini, who also chose the area for her residence, giving it the name, Ranikhet. If you see around Ranikhet you will feel the legend coming true for the beauty of the place will definitely make you fall in love for it.
Ranikhet was once under the Nepalese Rule, which was recaptured by the Kumaon General Kashi Nath Adhikari after whom the small town of Kashipur is name after.
Ranikhet spreads over 21.76 sq km at an altitude of approx 1830 meters from sea level. It is surrounded by lofty green thick lofty green forests of pine, oak, cedar and deodar trees. The river Kosi, Ramganga and Gagas flows throughout the valleys of Ranikhet. Ranikhet also offers a spectacular view of the Kumaon Himalayas peaks of Nandadevi, Nandaghunti, Trishul etc.
The population of Almora district according to the 2011 census was 6,22,506 in which Ranikhet town has 18,886 which 11,412 are males while 7,474 are females with a sex ratio of 843 female per 1000 male. The literacy rate is about 95.21 percent.
Hindus form the majority of people in Ranikhet and Hindi and Kumaoni and the major languages spoken by the people. Other languages spoken in the region are Garhwali and English. People of all religion live together in peace and close harmony with each other.
Almost all Hindu festivals are celebrated here in Ranikhet. As it falls in the Kumaon region Fuldeyi, Bikhauti, Harela, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Holi Uttaraini are most celebrated throughout the region.
Ranikhet is around 341 km from Delhi and 310 kms from Dehradun. The city is divided into 7 small sub areas known as wards and elections are held every 5 years. The major occupation of the people here is Agriculture and Horticulture.
The Britishers found Ranikhet and were soon enchanted by the place. They soon developed the place into a summer resort and was once the summer capital of the Britishers.
Ranikhet shares its borders with Binsar a wildlife sanctuary and so one can see an occasional deer during your visit here . Surrounded by lofty green Oak, Deodar and Coniferous forest, misty mountains, picturesque surroundings Ranikhet will surely make you mesmerized and fall in love with the place.
Ranikhet is now the home of the proud Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and also serves as a training area for the same.
Ranikhet has a favourable climate throughout the year and also receives occasional snowfall during the winters so no need to can be enjoyed equally during the summer as well as winters. Avoid the rains if possible.
The cold, clean air, quietness and amidst lofty green Oak and Pine forest can make you forget your busy city life styles so Come visit Ranikhet and fall in love with simplicity in god's own home Uttarakhand and enjoy every moment at natures very best.
Army Museum This museum is maintained by the Kumaon and the Naga Regiment of the Indian Army, The Museum has a wide collection of captured weapons , enemy flags also the LTTE boat captured during Operation Pawan. The First and the Second Param Vir Chakra belong to the Kumaon Regiment. You also get to see the medals and uniform of the brave soldiers of the Kumaon and the Naga Regiment of the Indian Army. This museum in Ranikhet is flocked with tourist all year round.
Jhula Devi Temple ( 7 kms ) near Chaubatia. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Legends believe that goddess Durga asked a Jhula ( swing ) in a dream of one of her followers. So the people placed the idol on a wooden jhula inside the temple. Nearby is the Rama Mandir, dedicated to lord Rama. Rama Mandir has a monastery where students are taught ancient vedas along with vedic and modern mathematics.
Haida Khan Temple and Ashramis around 3 - 4 kms from Ranikhet near Chilianaula village. The temple is dedicated to Haida Khan Baba a disciple of Lord Shiva. It is a quiet and beautiful place with lots of open space, one can go for meditation and it offers some great views of snow-covered Kumaon Himalayan peaks.
Tarikhet ( 8 km from Ranikhet ) from the town is well known for the Gandhi Kuti, a small hut where Mahatma Gandhi once stayed for three days in June, 1929. It also has the the temple of Golu Devta or the God of Justice. Tarikhet also offers a beautiful view of the nearby surroundings.
Upat ( 9 km ) the Almora Road is famous for its 9 hole Golf Course. One of the best of its kind in the region. 1kms ahead from here is Kalika a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Peace of mind and beautiful views.
Chaubatia Gardens ( 10 km ) from the town is the Chaubatia gardens, this beautiful place is famous for its apricots, peaches, chestnuts, almonds plantation and apple orchards. This place also offers a superb views of snowcapped Himalayas. It is also known as Orchard Country. It also offers a mesmerising view of the Himalayas.
Bhaludham ( 3 km ) from Chaubatia Gardens is an artificial lake and a very fine picnic spot for the tourists. Great views.
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Majkhali is approx 12 - 13 kms from Ranikhet. This is one of the best place for sightseeing in Ranikhet. There is also a song dedicated to the beauty of Majkhali. It provides one of the best view of all places around Ranikhet. Must visit place when in Ranikhet.
Chaukhutia is approx 12 - 13 kms from Ranikhet on the Badrinath road is a beautiful hill station rich in natural beauty. It is located near the banks of the river Ramganga. It also has a lot of apple and malta orchards. You can enjoy some angling and fishing in Chaukhutia.
Mainla is located 66 kms from Ranikhet. Mainla is well known for its beautiful natural surroundings, fresh clean air and misty mountains. Mainla also has a temple dedicated to Goddess Mainla. You can also probably trek to nearby villages and learn about Kumaoni culture.
Binsar Mahadev ( 19 kms ) from Ranikhet on the way to Ramnagar is the Binsar Mahadev Temple. This are a cluster of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Binsar Mahadev Temple is surrounded by thick dense Pine and Deodar Forests. Is is highly recommended when on a tour in Ranikhet.
Sitlakhet is around 35 kms from Ranikhet. It is home to the khoont village which is the birthplace of the great freedom fighter Govind Vallab Pant. It is also well know for the Shyahi Devi Temple. Sitlakhet is an ideal place for a perfect holiday. Must visit.
Dwarahat is around 38 kms from Ranikhet on the Badrinath road. It is well known for eight 10th - 12th century temples complex which has some fascinating stone carvings. The temples are now preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. Must visit.
Ranikhet has few small market places such as Sadar Bazar, Zaroori Bazar and Khari Bazar. You can find a lot of woollens here in different size and styles at minimal rates. One can also buy homemade juices of Malta, Plum and Apple Jams in the local market here.
Mostly the markets also provide as some good Indian restaurants that also serve local Punjabi and Chinese foods. Some of the restaurants also serve Kumaoni food such as Til ki Chatni, Aloo Ke Gutke, Koda ki roti. A must buy are the local Kumaoni sweets called Bal Mithai and Singauri.
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