The Queen's Meadow
Uttarakhand offers a wide variety of tourist destinations and Ranikhet is another gem among them. There is everything on offer here from the several temples and the rich natural beauty amidst the rugged mountainous terrain. The sunsets that you can observe here are among the best that you would have ever seen.
Ranikhet was a part of the region ruled by some Kumaoni rulers and during the British rule, it became a part of their empire. The British turned it into a fascinating hill station and made it of great military importance by setting up a cantonment for the Kumaon regiment. Even today, in independent India, Ranikhet has the cantonment for the Kumaon Regiment.
Things to Do and Major Attractions:
The arrival at Ranikhet is simple as you can take a cab or book a car from the nearest Pant Nagar airport which is only 115 km away. The Kathgodam station also provides rail connectivity in this region. Tourists are spoilt for choice when they are in Ranikhet as there is an awful lot to cover. One of the first things people check out is the Jhula Devi Temple where Goddess Durga is worshipped. The fancy bells of the temple are a major attraction. Bhalu Dam which is surrounded by the lush green forests and Majhkhali which has an amazing view of Sonya peak are some of the places that will please the nature-lover.
Kalika and Manila make for a glorious retreat for the tourist into the hearts of nature and the famous Maa Manila Devi Temple. The Haidakhan babaji Temple is another great attraction of Ranikhet and it also houses five guest houses along with a hospital and an Italian Temple. Equally popular is the Mankameshwar Temple which was built by the soldiers of the famed Kumaon regiment of the army and the Ram Mandir. Be sure to grab a few camera shots from the Sunset point in Machkhali and remember to experience the journey to Tarikhet Village which is only 8km from Ranikhet. This village was one of the seats of Indian freedom struggle and housed freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi. Rani Jheel, Ashiyana Park, and the Sun Temple are other important places that you must cover during your trip to Ranikhet.
People and Culture:
The population in Ranikhet mostly comprises of Hindus although there is a presence of Islamic, Buddhist, Sikhs, and Jains as well. Hindi, English, and Kumaoni languages are well understood in this part of India. Holi and Basant Panchami are some of the popular festivals of Ranikhet.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
Places like Rajatgiri restaurant and Ranikhet Club are some of the popular eateries in the region. You will get both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options in some delicious Indian food. Try out the famous sweets of the region such as Baal Mithai and Singaudi. As for souvenirs, many tourists prefer to buy shawls from the Tweed Factory or the KRC Shawl.
Best Time to Visit:
Depending on what you are looking for, the time to visit Ranikhet can vary. While March to July is supposed to be a comfortable stay, those willing to experience the snowfall must visit during the winter months.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
You will have several options to stay put in Ranikhet and some of the prominent ones are Windsor Lodge, Durgesh Guest House, Woodsvilla Resort, etc. You will also find cheap hostels and home-stay in the region.