Ranikhet is a picturesque hill station and a cantonment town in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. Ranikhet is a popular hill resort well known for the views of the mighty Himalayas. Surrounded by Himalayan mountain ranges Ranikhet is situated in the upper Kumaon Hills at an altitude of about 1869 m (6 131 ft) above sea level. Ranikhet is located at a distance of about 59 km from Nainital and 50 km from Almora.
Enveloped by lush green forests and meadows, the hill station of Ranikhet is known for its clean and calm environs. The entire town of Ranikhet is divided in to two ridges - Ranikhet ridge and Chaubattia ridge. Ranikhet ridge is situated at an altitude of 5983 ft above sea level whereas Chaubattia ridge is about 6942 ft above sea level. Views of the surrounding mountains with the backdrop of the Western Himalayas make Ranikhet a popular tourist destination in North India.
History of Ranikhet
The word ‘Ranikhet’ stands for ‘Queen's Meadow’. As per the folklore, Queen Padmini of Kumaon was so enamored by the natural beauty of this tiny hill paradise that her husband, King Sukherdev, built a palace for her at this place and named it ‘Ranikhet’. Even though there are no archeological or historical evidences available to prove that a palace was erected here, the name as well as the story lives on.
Ranikhet was rediscovered by the British in the year 1869. The town of Ranikhet became the headquarters of the British Kumaon Regiment. This town was also a summer retreat for the British officers. Today, besides being a serene travel destination, Ranikhet is home to the Indian Army's Kumaon Regiment, Military Hospital & Naga Regiment.
Things to do in Ranikhet
The topography of Ranikhet is varied since it has uneven terrain that includes valleys, rocky climbs, chasms and meadows. At Ranikhet, there are forests lying on inclines with diverse species of flora like pine, oak and deodar trees, streams and orchards along with numerous hidden mountain viewpoints.
Bhalu Dam, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Chaubatia Orchards, Hairakhan Temple, Jhula-Devi Temple, KRC Museum, Army Golf Course, etc. are some of the places of tourist attractions in Ranikhet. Visitors can also go for trekking to nearby places like Tarikhet (8 km away) and Sitlakhet (18km away), while on their visit to Ranikhet. To explore more, tourists can opt for Ranikhet holiday packages.
Travelling to Ranikhet
Ranikhet does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Kathgodam, at a distance of 47 kms from Ranikhet. To reach Ranikhet and explore the place, the best time is during the summer season.
Accommodation options in Ranikhet
There are a number of popular hotels in Ranikhet including heritage hotels, resorts, cottages as well as budget hotels to choose from.