Ranikhet: Queen of Meadows

When someone talks about Ranikhet, the first thing that comes to my mind is my Mom. She as a young NCC Cadet, had camped at Ranikhet and till date keeps sharing her wonderful moments whenever she can and trust me, the memories are as fresh as they can get.

So today when I had a few queries regarding this popular destination, I thought why not add it to the Travel blog. So here’s a quick guide to being in ‘Ranikhet’.

Rankhet22

At a height of 6132 ft above sea level, Ranikhet boasts of enchanting meadows, Deodar and Pine trees, beautiful walking trails with cobbled stones and offers panoramic views of the Himalayan Ranges. On a clear day, you can even count the peaks!

In 1869, the British Government established the Headquarters of the ‘Kumaon Regiment’ and since then Ranikhet is one of them most beautiful Cantonment Areas. Today the Regimental Center for Kumaon and the Naga Regiments are stationed here.

Ranikhet: a Peaceful Charming Hilstation
Ranikhet: a Peaceful Charming Hill stationn

It’s a quiet hill station minus the ‘Mall road’ and that’s what makes it truly a delightful place. Step back to the world of colonial buildings and charming victorian houses. Ranikhet offers its visitors solitude, calm pace of life and amazing walking zones. There’s even a 9 hole Golf Ground known as ‘Kalika Golf Links’ and is Asia’s highest altitude Golf Course!

Beautifully Landscaped Gold Course at Ranikhet
Beautifully Landscaped Gold Course at Ranikhet

Chaubatia Garden: is situated 10 kms from Ranikhet and is spread across more than 4. You will be amazed at the variety of fruit orchards including Apples, Apricots, Peaches etc. The Jhula Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga is also located nearby.

fruit-basket-at-krc

Bhalu Dam: is 3 kms from Chaubatia Garden and has a made man lake (built in )

ranikhet_kumaonregimentcentre_museumKRC Museum: KRC is the Kumaon Regimental Center Museum that showcases historical documents and artifacts that belong to the Kumaon region, World War Era and old regiments.

Some of the significant treasures here are Rani Jhansi’s silver scepter, Chinese rifles from 1962 war, a World War-II Japanese wireless field telephone and documents related to Kargil War. There is also war memorial dedicated to the soldiers.

Sitalakhet: Situated at an elevation of 3800 metres above sea level, Sitlakhet is 35 kms from Ranikhet) and has panoramic views of the entire Himalayan Ranges. KMVN Tourist Rest House is also located here and is the best stay option for the awesome views of the majestic Himalayan Ranges it offers!

Panoramic Himalayan Ranges as seen from Sitlakhet, Ranikhet
Panoramic Himalayan Ranges as seen from Sitlakhet, Ranikhet

Sitlakhet with a backdrop of great snow capped Himalayan ranges and breathtaking scenic valleys also offers plenty of adventure camping options and has Camp Grounds like Scott’s Cottages, Camp Sitlakhet (run by the Youreka Group), Camp Chrysalid and many more.

Majkhali: is located 13 Kms from Ranikhet and offers lovely views of Mount Trishul & Nanda Devi. It is a great place to watch Sunrise or Sunset and most people drive for a quick picnic. There are plenty of lovely cottages and resort here including Club Cottage, Cosmos Himalayan Villas, The Xanadu Resort, Rhodo ReTreat and ReSorts, Sahaj Resorts, Marigold Himalayan View Cottage  to name a few. More Options HERE

Katarmal: is a tiny Kumaoni village famous for the ‘Katarmal Sun Temple’ and is at a distance of 25 Kms from Ranikhet. After the Konark Temple, Orissa, Katarmal Temple is the second most important and one of the rarest temples that is dedicated to ‘Sun’ god. The temple complex has about 44 temples dedicated to other deities including Lord Shiva, Parvati, Lakshmi-Narayana etc. These are believed to be built by the Regions Rulers, the Katyuri Dynasty during the 9th Century.

Katarmal Temple, Ranikhet
Katarmal Temple, Ranikhet

Best Time to Visit: With a pleasant climate throughout the year, Ranikhet is an all season travel destination.

Why Ranikhet: Visit it for its peaceful charm, fresh mountain air, lush greenery, local village appeal and a natural hill station beauty. Ranikhet is also home to a variety of wildlife including Mountain Goat, Barking Deer, Sambar, Pine Marten, Indian Hare, Jackal and even Leopards. Its also an ideal destination for Bird watching.

Roaddrive-Ranikhet

The Drive: The drive from Kathgodham till Ranikhet itself is quite beautiful as it takes you along Gaula River, Bhimtal Lake, Kainchi Dham and Khairna-Garampani. Just make sure that you start your journey early so that you may stop-over a few times to enjoy the scenic hilly terrain.

Ranikhet is also a Temple Town: Ranikhet has numerous temples including Jhula Devi Temple, Baba Hairakhan Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Ram Mandir, Kalika Temple, Mankameswar Temple and Nanda Devi Temple among many others.

Eating Out in Ranikhet

River View Restuarant is good for the views and offers a choice of local cuisines as well.

Many few know that Ranikhet also is where Bal Mithai was first invented. So ask the locals and they’ll guide to the original shop, I think the name is Baba Sweets..located at Sadar Baazar. Also try the Singori (made of khoya) and of course the Hot Samosas with Chole.

Bhagat Chaat Bhandar is popular for serving delicious chaat and was also featured in ‘Highway on my Plate’ television show.

Another local favorite among other Kumaon dishes are Aaalu k Guthke and Cucumber Raita.

Woollens
Woollens

Shopping in Ranikhet

  • Ranikhet region is popular for its handwoven woolen and other handloom items including Tweed Cloth, Kumaoni Shawls etc.
  • Sadar Bazaar also has many shops selling homemade Jams, Pickles, Mountain Honey and other local products.
  • Do buy the famous Buransh Juice, made of local mountain berry and tastes yum!
  • Visit a shop called ‘THE WOLLEN’ – belongs to the Army Welfare Association who make and sell their woolen and other local products. The shop is located between Gandhi Chouk and GPO and you must visit the production place which is inside an Old Church and see the weavers at work and then appreciate the beautiful building.
  • You can also visit the Umang Centre located at Naini (7 kms from Ranikhet). Thier sustainable products can also be bought from quality shops, restaurants and hotels across Uttarakhand and beyond.
The Ancinet Curch now the Production House for 'The Wollen'
The Ancient Church now the Production House for ‘The Wollen’
Tweed Cloth is available is many colors and designs
Tweed Cloth is available is many colors and designs

Remember in Ranikhet most places are closed from 1:00 – 3:00 so plan all your travels accordingly!

Places to Stay in Ranikhet

Hotel Rosemount: is a charming colonial building that offers you 14 well designed rooms that have elaborate window arcs and grills that open to beautiful hill views. For Tariffs and other offers please Visit Website

Hotel Rosemount, Ranikhet
Hotel Rosemount, Ranikhet

Holm Farm Heritage Homestay:  offers 6 comfortable suites and even has a Museum! With old colonial furniture, the Holm Farm Heritage is spread across 13-acre virgin orchard land and is a perfect place to enjoy the hills. Tariffs: 2500 – 6000 INR Visit Website for more details.

Homl Farm Heritage -Ranikhet
Homl Farm Heritage -Ranikhet

WoodsVilla Resort: offers accommodation in a scenic surrounding equipped with all amenities you may require.  The rooms are comfortable and the pine forest is sure to bring your soul the much-required relaxation. Tariffs: 5300 – 5700 INR  Visit Website

Woodavilla Resorts, Ranikhet
Woodavilla Resorts, Ranikhet

Vimoksha Resorts: is located just 5 kms from the Golf Course and is a lovely mountain cottage located amidst pine grooves. It is a perfect home stay and offers a majestic view of the Himalayan Ranges. Tariffs: 3500 – 11000 INR Visit Website

Vimoksha Resort, Ranikhet
Vimoksha Resort, Ranikhet

Other Places of Interest Nearby

Dawarahat & Dunagiri (35 Kms) – The area is known for ancient forest trails where renowned sage meditated and many others settled. It is globally popular for being the destination where Kriya Yogo was first initiated and is where the mystical cave of Mahavatar Babaji Cave is located. Visit my Travel Guide to Dwarahat & Dunagiri HERE

Almora (45 Kms) –

Chaukhutia (51 Kms) – is a picturesque little town located at the bank of river Ramganga. The ‘Kali Temple’ and ‘Lakhanpur Temple’ here are quite popular
Kausani – 75 Kms

Binsar (60 Kms) – is known for its thick deodar forests and beautiful views of the Himalayan Ranges. Other popular pilgrimage site here is of ‘Binsar Mahadev’ (bult around 9-10th Century). The temple is located just 19 kms from Ranikhet and is highly recommended to be visited.
Jim Corbett Park – 90 Kms

Distance Guide to Ranikhet

By Air: Pantnagar Airport is the nearest Airport which is 110 km from Ranikhet. Air India Runs their flight on “Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday” from IGI Delhi to Pant Nagar At 2:30 PM, the Flight Arrive at Pantnagar Airport at 3:40 PM.

By Train: The Nearest Railway Station is Kathgodam, which is well connected with trains from Delhi. Kathgodam is around 70 Km from Ranikhet. You can easily get private taxis or government bus from Kathgodam to reach Ranikhet. It will hardly take 3 hours to reach Ranikhet from Kathgodam.

Trains From Delhi to Ranikhet: Ranikhet Express, Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti and Kathgodam Shatabdi Express9

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