Nestled amid a dense forest of towering pine and deodar trees with the majestic Himalayas in the backdrop, Ranikhet is a pristine little cantonment town in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is located at an average altitude of 1,869 metres above sea level. Legends say that Ranikhet, or the ‘Queen’s meadow’, once used to be the residence of Queen Padmini.
The ancient temples, nascent orchards and scenic vistas of this charming hill station will rejuvenate weary souls and give memories to cherish. As you pack your bags and plan your next trip to Ranikhet, let us suggest a few places you must visit while you’re there.
Tourist Destinations in Ranikhet
Majhkhali is a small hamlet on the Ranikhet-Almora road about 12 km from Ranikhet town. It gives celestial views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and is an absolute must-visit for nature freaks.
Jhula Devi Temple
Located about seven kilometers out of Ranikhet town on the Kumaon hill, the Jhula Devi Temple is considered to have been built as far back as 8th century AD. The present temple complex was, however, constructed in 1935 and is dedicated to a form of the Goddess Durga. The iconic cluster bells here have evolved over time as devotees tie holy bells to the walls of this shrine to get their wishes fulfilled.
Situated approximately 10 km away from the main township of Ranikhet, Chaubatia Orchard boasts of more than 200 exotic varieties of fruits and flowers. It is a popular attraction during the peak season. The vantage point from the gardens here provides some of the most lucid and picturesque views of the snowy Himalayan mountain peaks, including Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nilkanth and Nanda Devi.
Nanda Devi Mela
Dive into the local culture of this hill town at the Nanda Devi Mela. Held at Nanda Devi Temple, this fair is of great cultural importance locally. It is held in the month of September to honour the region’s local deities Goddesses Nanda Devi and Sunanda Devi. The fair was started during the reign of Raja Kalyan Chand in the 16th century.
Bhalu Dam is an artificial lake built by the British Government way back in 1903. Ensconced in the reserved forest and about three kilometers below the Chaubatia Orchard, the lush green beauty of this beautiful lake gives travellers a mesmeric experience. The lake is open to tourists all through the year.
Upat and Kalika
Located at a distance of five kilometers from Ranikhet and an altitude of 1,829 meters above sea level, Upat and Kalika are known for their spectacular high altitude golf course. The place is also famous for its viewing points, which offer some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas. There is also a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali here, which is why the name Kalika.
Mankameshwar Temple was built by the Kumaon Regimental Centre of the Indian Army in 1978. The temple is located in Pithoragarh amid a rich cover of flora and lush green surroundings. You could also take a tour of some shawl and woolen garments’ factories nearby, which make some of the finest shawls in India and the world.
Explore these places and soak in the exquisite charm of Ranikhet to give your banal urban life a much needed break.
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