The Unspoilt Hill Station
Ranikhet is a small hill station set in the Kumaon hills. It offers the tourists a panoramic view of the mighty Himalayan peaks. The environs of Ranikhet are sylvan, peaceful and attractive. Ranikhet is a cantonment town and is known for its ancient temples.
Ranikhet is situated in the northern part of the state of Uttaranchal, in the northern region of India. It is situated in the Kumaon hills and is located on an altitude of 1824 m above sea level. Ranikhet is 59 km from Nainital and 50 km from Almora.
The weather in Ranikhet is alpine. Summers (AprilJune) are mild and winters are cold (NovemberFebruary). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in JulySeptember and experiences snowfall in winters.
According to popular belief, Ranikhet got its name when Rani Padmini, queen of Raja Sukherdev, the local ruler, saw this place and was struck by its beauty. She was so captivated by the place that she decided to stay there, and the place came to be known as Ranikhet (literally, queens field). The region around Ranikhet was ruled by local Kumaoni rulers and later came under British rule. The British developed Ranikhet as a hill station for their troops and established a cantonment in 1869. Ranikhet is still a cantonment town and is the Kumaon Regimental Center.
Ranikhet offers an excellent view of the great Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi (7816 m). Travelers can take a walk around the town and its sylvan surroundings. The Jhula Devi temple and the Chaubatia orchards are within walking distance, south of the main Mall Road. Bhaludham, 3 km away, is an artificial lake. Upat Kalika, 4 km north of Ranikhet and on the main road to Almora, offers panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges and has a nine-hole golf course.
There are a number of places to visit near Ranikhet. The famous tourist center of Nainital is 59 km from Ranikhet. Nainital is famous for its Naini Lake and a number of picnic spots in and around it.
Almora is 50 km from Ranikhet, is famous for its health resorts and panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges.
Dwarahat, 38 km away, was once the principal seat of the Katyuri Rajas. It is full of ancient sculptures.
Sitalakhet (35 km), Tarikhet (8 km) and Khairna (22 km) are some of the places that one can visit from Ranikhet.
HOW TO REACH
Ranikhet does not have an airport or railway station. The nearest airport is at Pant Nagar (Nainital). Regular flights operate during the summer. The nearest railhead for Ranikhet is Kathgodam. Ranikhet is well connected with all important cities by road. The main bus station is located near the main tourist office adjacent to the Sadar Bazaar area. The bus service from Ranikhet to Nainital (3 hours), Almora (3 hours), Kathgodam (4 hours), and Kausani (4 hours) is frequent.