Ranikhet - Land of the Queen

Once upon a time, there was a proposal to designate Ranikhet as the summer headquarters of British India, a title which was accorded to Shimla. Ranikhet carries centuries old imperial and colonial legacy and the beautiful garrison town is a land of many brave men like General Kashi Nath Adhikari. Today it's the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment. A legend says that a Kumaoni queen was enchanted by this tiny hill paradise and it's in her honour that a palace was built here, thus the name, 'queen's land' . While no trace of the palace can be found today, but Ranikhet remains the same: captivating, abounding with flowers, trees and green meadows in the midst of heavenly Himalayan surroundings. Interestingly, the nine-hole Ranikhet Golf Course is one of the highest in Asia and the rolling meadows of the course are breathtaking. The place draws several celebrities, who prefer its quiet environs, including actor Rajinikanth. The Tamil film industry's superstar is a regular visitor to Ranikhet, where he stops on his way to Dunagiri hills (around 45 km away) while visiting the sage Maha Avtar Baba's meditation cave.

Places to visit in Ranikhet

  • St Bonaventure Church: This beautiful church with red tiled roof is nestled inside a forest and is said to have been built around 1898. Come here for a spot of serenity.
  • Bhalu Dam or Baludham: This artificial lake offers beautiful views of the Himalayas and vegetation around it with a garden to relax. Open for tourists around the year, the site is perfect for camping and stargazing.
  • Sitlakhet: This is another quaint hill-station located around 20 km from Ranikhet. Perched on the Syahi Devi hills, Sitlakhet offers stunning views of the Chaukhamba peaks. It is very known for camping experience. 
  • Katarmal Sun Temple: Around 17 km from Almora, in the Katarmal village, stands a complex of around 45 temples surrounding the main shrine dedicated to the Sun god. This almost 1,000-year-old sun temple is believed to have been built by Katyuri kings. Nestled amidst beautiful trails and meadows, the complex, protected by the Archeological Survey of India, makes for a serene stop.

How to reach Ranikhet

By Flight: Nearest Airport is Pant Nagar, at a distance of 119 km.

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