It was an uncharacteristically indecisive day on the street. I was somewhere in the middle of my long summer in Kumaon and had blatantly landed in Ranikhet. After wandering to an ancient temple and water source in Someshwar, I’d hopped to a shared taxi to Ranikhet with no plan in any way. It was that sort of summertime where I roamed around Kumaon and went where the road took me. The fruit season was in full swing and at an intense bout of enjoyment, I walked from this shared taxi to settle myself at a fruit vendor’s store in main Ranikhet Bazaar.
Intro to Ranikhet and Short History
It is a cantonment city that was built by the British in 1869. It is stated that Lord Mayo, the then Viceroy of India was wonderstruck by the attractiveness of Ranikhet that he contemplated altering the army headquarters in Shimla to Ranikhet. I was shocked to know Ranikhet was under the rule of Nepal for a short duration and has been amalgamated from the British empire in 1816.
A walk around Ranikhet is a great idea to spot the charming British mansion surrounded by blossoms filled with vibrant flowers. Nature lovers are in for a treat, as beautiful woods trails abound all around this fairytale Hawaiian city. Old bungalows and churches still exist in their glory and 2-3 days is a fantastic time to invest in Ranikhet.
Green Beauty of Ranikhet
I went to a wander around Ranikhet and was instantly enamoured with pure beauty. The city is blessed with beautiful rolling hills and spectacular views of the snowy Himalayas. It has wide-open spaces, a beautiful golf course and stunning walks from the numerous forests enclosing Ranikhet.
Ranikhet is surrounded by dense pine, oak, rhododendron and deodar forests that house wild animals like barking deer, leopard, jackal, langur, red fox, and porcupine amongst others.
Climate / Weather in Ranikhet
Ranikhet has pleasant weather in the summers and gets quite chilly during the winters. The monsoon season begins around June with magnificent dark clouds in the Himalayan ranges. The whole region is then coated in superb greenery. The temperature falls below the freezing stage with occasional spells of snowfall in the winter.
Best Places to Visit in Ranikhet
I had been recommended a walk-in Ranikhet, and what a memorable time it had been! A gentle stroll of about 5kms beginning from Ranikhet Club leads to Chaubatia. Along the road, there are lots of old bungalows from British occasions. Majkhali has located around 5-7 km from Ranikhet and is popular among the locals for its gorgeous sunset views. There are excellent hikes in the woods around Chaubatia that will please nature lovers.
Jhula Devi Temple
According to the locals, the original Jhula Devi temple in Chaubatia was constructed more than 700 years back. One can observe a number of bells in the temple because devotees offer signals as a sign of respect once the Goddess fulfils their fantasies. Jhula Devi Temple is around 7 km from Ranikhet and is still a popular pilgrimage spot for sailors.
Haidakhan Babaji Temple
Haidakhan Babaji Temple is a place of spiritual devotion that has been established more than a hundred years ago. It’s located approximately 5 km from Ranikhet and is surrounded by fruit trees with a majestic view of the valley flanked by the mighty Himalayas. The melodious bells and chanting of devotional songs sung at the evening’s sense calming. A recommended experience for everybody is searching for some peace and quiet place.
The Chaubatia gardens are a favourite picnic spot for families. The gardens were initially established as a British Sanatorium, and are also home to the Government Fruit Garden. The backyard has over 150 varieties of fruits including apricots, apples, peaches, plums.
Aside from the gardens, the largest attraction of Chaubutia is the fantastic panoramic views of the snowcapped Himalayan peaks. It’s a riot of colours with flowers that blossom during spring, from March to May. There’s also a sunset view at Chaubatia that guarantees an unforgettable evening.
Meraki Homestay (Perfect Homestay in Ranikhet)
Meraki Homestay is the perfect guest house in Ranikhet. For both foreigners and local tourists, Ranikhet has excellent natural surroundings. Beautiful mountains surround you; you feel immense peace, far away from pollution and noise. Meraki homestay in Ranikhet is the perfect place for tourists to get the ideal impression of ethnic and traditional tourism.
Golf Course at Kalika
One of the prettiest and most celebrated golf courses of the nation, this 9-hole golf course is the crown jewel of Ranikhet! This 1920s gold course is located 5 km out Ranikhet near Kalika village and is one of the prime motives for many visitors for visiting Ranikhet and staying there for quite a while.
Though its a military golf program, civilians may also get it by paying a minimal fee. It remains open throughout the year. Even if a person does not understand how to play golf, the sight of watching this gorgeous green meadow surrounded by the majestic Himalayas is just ethereal.
Where to Stay & Eat in Ranikhet
You will find cheap places to stay near the Main Bazaar in Ranikhet. Recently, a few old colonial bungalows are converted into legacy homestays and boutique resorts. For meals, it is a good idea to eat in a place where you are staying.
In Ranikhet, one can attempt Kumaoni meals in one of the dhabas in the primary sector.
How to Reach Ranikhet?
Delhi to Ranikhet is a space of 350 km. It’s a beautiful, gratifying drive if a person pushes down in a car. The nearest railway station is to Ranikhet is Kathgodam that is 70 km from Ranikhet.