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Ranikhet

A long time ago Kumaoni queen Padmini was smitten with the scenic vista of this hill town leading to her king Sukhdev naming the area queen’s meadow or Ranikhet. Ranikhet still retains the unspoilt charm and sylvan surrounding that provides panoramic views to the Himalayan peaks.

Thick gorgeous forests of deodar and pine trees on the slopes with snow capped Himalayan range dominated by the Nanda devi peak form the backdrop of this tranquil hill station attracting  visitors from all across the country.
As the legend goes - Kumaoni Queen, Rani Padmin, on her visit to this place was so besotted by the scenic beauty that she decided to stay there. King Raja Sukherdev, who loved his wife dearly, constructed a palace for her and named it Ranikhet or Meadow of Queen.   Lord Mayo the then Viceroy of India also enamoured by the charms of Ranikhet and decided to develop Ranikhet as a hill station for British troops and established a cantonment in 1869. Ranikhet is still a cantonment town and is the head quarter of the Kumaon Regiment.
A laid back hill station , with a touch of old world colonial charm spread in the orchards, old club house, army parade grounds, golf course and several churches define the town. The old buildings, churches, barracks, bungalows and above all lush green forest all lend it an ambience that is unrivalled.The green meadows surrounded by pine and oak forests send waft of  the aroma of pine trees in the air  and offer panoramic view of  300-km of the Himalayas . Ranikhet is an all weather traveller’s delight and also a great place for bird-watching.  The forests around have a vairty flora and fauna, and it is not uncommon to encounter jackals, barking deer or a straying leopard in the evening on the motorable roads lined with silver oaks. 
There is nothing much to do other than taking walks in the woods, lying in the sunny meadows looking at the mountains, listen to the birds chirping and reflect on the mundane life in the plains where one has to return eventually.
Ranikhet gets good snowfall during winter season mainly between December, January and February and is pleasant in summers.  There are  quite a few interesting hiking trails going to Kausani, Dunagiri and Sitalakhet.

Hiking
Ranikhet is a walker’s paradise.  The best way to explore Ranikhet is while walking the roads or climbing through the forests.  There are few walking trails which attracts the travelers:
One route route could be from Mall road to the AMU Guest House,an old British bungalows. From here one can walk to Jhoola Devi Temple and thereon to Chaubatia.  A further trail of approximately 4 km would take the hiker to Bhalu Dam. The trek to Majkhali, well known for its sunset views could be started from Kalika temple.

Jhoola Debi temple
Jhoola Debi temple is a medieval temple of 8th century AD and is dedicated to Goddess Durga. To save themselves from the assault of tigers and leopards, which populated the area long back, the villagers prayed to Durga for their protection and subsequently built the temple. A unique feature of this temple is lots of little bells hung there by devotees whose wishes have been fulfilled. There are few other important temples enroute which could be visited for example Kalika temple which is an ancient temple 200 years old, Mankameshwar Temple, a beautifully designed temple built by Kumaon Regimental Centre of the Indian Army in 1978. Binsar Mahadeb or Bindeshwar is surrounded by dense deodar forest and a stream flowing by, situated at a distance of 19 km from Ranikhet, this temple is devoted to lord Shiva.
Chaubatia Gardens
Spread at an area of 260 acre, Chaubatia is situated at a distance of 10 km to the south of Ranikhet, the sight is stunning area which is known mainly for fruit orchards of apples, peaches, plum, chest nuts, apricots etc and widely popular for its very well maintained lush gardens. Chaubatia also offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range viz Trishul, Nandaghuti, Nilkanth and Nanda Devi peaks. Pure honey and untarnished fruit juices can be purchased at Chaubatia.
Kumaon Regimental Centre
This war museum of Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army in 1970 displays the triumphs of Garhwal and Kumaon regiments. On display are memorabilia such as Rani Jhansi’s silver sceptre. A wireless field telephone used during world war II by Japanese and various articles and pictures related to Kargil war. The KRC widows' organisation runs a weaving factory near the Nar Singh Stadium parade ground, housed in an old church with stained glass windows. Worth visiting to see the women working at their looms in such beautiful surroundings.
Upat Golf course
Pride of Ranikhet and a popular retreat for avid golfers, Upat has a 9 hole lush green golf course and is one of the most pristine golfing grounds in the country. Upat Golf course is generally used by army-men, but is also open for general public, on payment of a small amount. Positioned at a distance of 5.6 km from Ranikhet, Upat is surrounded by dense pine forests on one side and the beautiful Himalayan range on the other side.
Majhkhali
13 km down the Almora road, this village has beautiful picnic spots. Awe-inspiring snow peaks provide magnificent views all round.
Rani Jheel
Rani Jheel is located at an altitude of 7500 ft built by the cantonment board to preserve the water in the lake a dam was built.
Ranikhet is famous for its marino woolen shawls, tweeds. At the Ranikhet Tweed and Shawl Factory is run by the Kumaon Regiment for soldiers injured in the line of duty and for army widows. Let the clattering draw you inside for a look at how hand looms work, or visit the little store down by the field, housed in the regiment's old bank. The factory and store are open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
DELHI INDIRA GANDHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 355 Km 05H 50m
Haldwani 81 Km 01H 22m
Ramnagar 121 Km 02H 03m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
17 Km 00H 16m
45 Km 00H 45m
57 Km 01H 01m
68 Km 01H 12m
71 Km 01H 07m
17 Km 00H 16m
Binsar is a beautiful hill destination inside a forest reserve and bird sanctuary with magnificent 360 degree view of Kumaon Himalayan peaks.
45 Km 00H 45m
Nestled between the rivers Kosi and Suyal, the ancient town of Almora is the religious and cultural centre of the Kumaoni Hills. The cobbled streets lined with stone and wood buildings make for fascinating walks through the historic town.
57 Km 01H 01m
Nainital is a picturesque hill town amidst the towering peaks of Kumaon; it sits on the banks of Lake Naini in a beautiful valley surrounded by forested mountains.
68 Km 01H 12m
71 Km 01H 07m
The beautiful hill town of Kausani is a picturesque hill station famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km wide panoramic view of the Himalayas.
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 8 °C 22 °C
Winter 0 °C 12 °C
Ranikhet is pleasant during summer and cold during winters. Summer months(April-June) are plesant and good time to visit. Post monsoon before the the winter sets in ( October - November ) period is also a good time. Snowfall is common in January and February.
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