Ranikhet Uttarakhand: a picturesque hill
Ranikhet, a picturesque hill station located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand, is a perfect destination for nature lovers and peace seekers. Surrounded by lush green forests, misty mountains, and apple orchards, Ranikhet is an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
History of Ranikhet:
Ranikhet, which literally means ‘Queen’s Meadow’, has a rich historical significance. It was a popular summer retreat for the British during the colonial era. The town is named after Rani Padmini, the queen of Kumaon, who was mesmerized by the beauty of the place and decided to make it her abode. The British also established a military base here, and today Ranikhet is home to the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army.
Places to visit:
- Chaubatia Gardens: Spread over 265 acres of land, Chaubatia Gardens is known for its apple orchards, apricot, peach, and plum trees. The garden also has a research laboratory where various fruits and flowers are tested and developed.
- Jhula Devi Temple: Located on a hilltop, the Jhula Devi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga. It is famous for its bells that are hung by devotees to fulfill their wishes.
- Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum: The museum showcases the history and achievements of the Kumaon Regiment. It has a vast collection of weapons, uniforms, medals, and other memorabilia.
- Bhalu Dam: A small lake nestled amidst the lush green forests, Bhalu Dam is a perfect spot for a picnic.
- Golf Course: Ranikhet has one of the highest golf courses in Asia, at an altitude of 6,054 feet. The course is surrounded by pine forests and offers a breathtaking view of the Himalayas.
Apart from sightseeing, Ranikhet also offers various adventure activities like trekking, camping, and rock climbing. The town is surrounded by several trekking trails that take you through beautiful forests and offer stunning views of the mountains.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Ranikhet is from March to June and from September to November when the weather is pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities.
How to reach:
Ranikhet is well connected by road, and buses and taxis are available from major cities like Delhi, Dehradun, and Nainital. The nearest airport and railway station are at Pantnagar, which is about 145 km away from Ranikhet.
Ranikhet offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses and homestays. Some popular options include The Woodsvilla Resort, Chevron Rosemount, and Cosmos Himalayan Villas.
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