The charming hill station of Ranikhet is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 1,829mts above sea level. Ranikhet has everything to pacify the nerves of an avid city dweller. The hill station is Ranikhet, literally meaning - Queens Land, is an all season tourist-spot for the admirers of the natural beauty. Ranikhet is a place that reflects the best of the great Himalayas. The charming and majestic views of the pine trees, lush green forests, delicate plant life and attractive wild life, the scented mountain breeze, the fresh and pure, the singing of birds, the panoramic view of the Himalayas sight, all adds to the heavenly and pure feeling of Ranikhet.
It was the place of interest for British who frequented this place to escape from the sweltering heat of the Indian subcontinent during their rule. More is known regarding Ranikhet, it is 1869 meter above the sea level and the entire cantonment town is divided into two ridges, namely Ranikhet ridge and Chaubattia ridge. The ridge is 5983 ft above the sea level and the Chaubattia ridge is about 6942 ft above the sea level. There are many local myths that make up the history of the hill town.
Places to Visit
Chaubatia Gardens :
10 km south of Ranikhet are the famous fruit-laden orchards of Chaubatia. These orchards are known for delicious apples of several exclusive varieties, apricots, peaches and various other alpine fruits. These can be directly procured from the growers themselves. There is also a state-run Fruit Research Centre. Situated nearby is Bhalu Dam in the background of a beautiful lake created by this dam, which attracts tourists round the year.
Jhula Devi Temple :
Located at a short distance of 7 kilometers from Ranikhet, the Jhula Devi Temple is considered to be 700 years old. The present temple complex however was constructed in 1935 and is dedicated to a form of the Goddess Durga. The live stock roams freely in the area despite of the area being a home to Tigers and Leopards who do not attack due to the Goddess’ influence.
Upat and Kalika :
The home to a marvelous high altitude golf course, Upat and Kalika is located at a distance of 5 kilometers from Ranikhet and is located at an altitude of 1829 meters above sea level. The spot is also famous among the tourists as a viewing spot that offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas. There is also a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali here hence the name Kalika.
Mankameshwar Temple :
Mankameshwar Temple was constructed and is maintained by the Indian National Army and is located at Pithoragarh. The temple is situated amidst a rich cover of flora and its serene and lush green surroundings attract a huge number of tourists. One can also find some shawl factories near the temple which make some of the best shawls.
Haidakhan Temple :
Dedicated to Haidakhan Babaji, spiritual leader who lived and preached in the Kumaon mount region of Uttrakhand, the temple is one of the 9 temples built by him. The Temple is also a spiritual facility or Ashram and is also called Anand Puri. The ashram is located in a well maintained and beautiful location that provides some great panoramic views of the mountains. Situated 4 kms from Ranikhet, Haidakhan Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva made by Shri Haidakhan Maharaj who is said to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The splendid views of the gigantic Himalayan peaks are clearly visible from Haidakhan Temple.
Bhalu Dam :
It is an artificial small lake blessed with natural bounteousness, panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains and placid surroundings. The small but beautiful garden nearby the dam is marvelous. The dam site is open for all the tourists throughout the year. The views of the massive Himalayan peaks are enchanting and ravishing from Bhalu Dam. It is an ideal spot for camping and picnicking.