Posted 24 February 2023 in Travel Wanderlust

Here’s why you should plan a getaway to Ranchi

Ranchi is located on the Chotanagpur plateau at a mild elevation of 251 m, and is surrounded by lush green forests, natural rock formations, and multiple lakes and waterfalls. After independence, Ranchi was included as a part of the state of Bihar. Later, in November 2000, Jharkhand was separated from Bihar, and Ranchi was established as the capital of the newly formed state. Apart from the obvious natural beauty, Ranchi is also a place of great cultural significance, having a rich history and multiple temples for the devoted. All in all, there are a number of places to visit and experience for a tourist in Ranchi. 

Reasons to visit Ranchi

One of the oldest cities of Jharkhand, Ranchi used to be the summer capital of Bihar during British rule. Popularly known as the City of Waterfalls, Ranchi is famous for the many picturesque falls, making it a popular tourist attraction. It also has very old and deep historical and cultural roots. Ranchi has recently been the focus of much industrial and commercial development after it was announced as one of the planned Smart Cities under the Prime Minister’s Smart Cities Mission. Read on to learn more reasons to visit Ranchi.

1. Jagannath Temple

This 17th-century hilltop temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath is one of the major attractions of the city. Ranchi Jagannath Temple is architecturally similar to Jagannath Temple in Puri and is considered to be the second largest after the one in Puri. Devotees throng here in large numbers to offer prayers. Apart from the spiritual experience, this place also offers a great view of the surrounding hills and the city.

2. Sun Temple

It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Ranchi. It is a majestic architectural display, with the temple depicting the chariot of the sun, complete with 18 wheels and driven by seven horses. It was constructed by the Sanskrit Vihar Charitable Trust, with the foundation stone being laid in 1991. The temple complex has a dharmashala for visitors and a pond for devotees to bathe in during the rituals of Chhat Puja.

3. Rock Garden

Considered to be designed similar to the Rock Garden in Jaipur, the garden and the sculptures inside have been carved out of the rocks of the Gonda Hills. The Kanke Dam located at the bottom of the Gonda Hills adds to the charm of this place.

4. Ranchi Lake

It is located at the bottom of the Ranchi Hill, situated in the centre of the city. Excavated in 1842 by Colonel Onsley, this place offers a spectacular view of the hills surrounding the vast expanse of water. Boating facilities are available here. If you wish to unwind on a quiet evening, watching the sunset with a cool, gentle breeze gently, this is the perfect place to be.

5. Birsa Zoological Park

Considered one of the best and most spectacular zoos in the country, Birsa Zoological Park, located 16 km from the city, is worth every moment spent here. Spread across a mildly uneven terrain, covering about 104 hectares of land, is also called Birsa Munda Jaivik Udyan. It lies amidst natural forests and has multiple water bodies. You can spot lions, tigers, elephants, wild cats, hyenas, foxes, and barking deer. The larger area is the zoological garden and houses wild animals, while the smaller area is more of a botanical section. The zoo houses a beautiful rose garden and also has an artificial lake which offers boating opportunities. 

6. Nakshatra Van

The Forest Department of Jharkhand built the park Nakshatra Van in front of the Governor’s residence. Nakshatra Van is designed to reflect zodiac signs and an associated tree. The park features beautiful floral decorations and a sprawling fountain at the centre. Even if you are not astrologically inclined, you will surely love it for its beauty and serene ambience.

7. Pahari Mandir

Located on the Phansi Hills, about 2,140 ft above sea level, this hilltop temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered a holy place of pilgrimage. There are over 400 steps to climb to reach the temple, a journey made less arduous by the natural beauty all around. The top offers a spectacular view of the surroundings. Many devotees visit here during the holy month of Shravana to offer prayers. The place is also associated with many leaders from the independence movement, and the flag is hoisted here on Independence Day and Republic Day in their honour.

8. Hundru Falls

This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ranchi. Located about 45 km from the city, Hundru Falls is a spectacular waterfall at a height of approximately 320 ft over the Subarnarekha River. You need to climb down 750 steps to reach the bottom.

9. Dassam Falls

The beautiful Dassam Falls is located just 34 km from Ranchi. Also called Dassam Gagh, the water here falls 144 ft making for a striking sight. The best time to view this is during the monsoon. Children are strictly prohibited from bathing here.

10. Jonha Falls

Another waterfall with great scenic beauty is Jonha Falls, situated around 40 km from the city. It is surrounded by a beautiful forest which makes the 700-step descent to the bottom a marvellous experience.

11. Panch Gagh Falls

It is so named due to the presence of five streams that consist of the waterfall. It is located at a distance of about 55 km from Ranchi, on the Ranchi-Chakradharpur Road. At the foot of this waterfall is a picnic spot, adding to the entire experience.

Tips for travelling to Ranchi

Now that you are armed with all the necessary information to plan your trip to Ranchi, here are some tips that you can keep in mind to make your visit more memorable:

  • It is always advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially if you pick one of the tourist seasons for your trip.
  • Visit the local markets for handicrafts and local eateries to try the traditional cuisine.
  • If you are visiting one of the hilltop forts, make sure you stay hydrated and carry sufficient water with you.
  • Carry basic medicines and a first-aid kit for safety.
  • Remember to carry mosquito repellent if you plan to go camping.
  • While the waterfalls are safe to bathe in, some places have a restriction on age. In general, it is advisable to be cautious if children plan to take a dip in the pool.

How to Reach Ranchi?

Ranchi is a tourist destination and is fast growing to become one of the important cities of the country. It is, thus, well connected to the rest of the country by roadways, railways, and airways. Read on to know how you can reach Ranchi:

  • By air: Birsa Munda Airport or Ranchi Airport is a domestic airport located in Hinoo, at a distance of about 5 km from the city. IndiGo has direct flights to and from major cities to reach Ranchi.
  • By rail: Ranchi is served by Hatia and Ranchi railway stations. There are a number of trains, both short distance and express ones that pass through these stations and connect Ranchi to all major cities of the country.
  • By road: Ranchi is well connected by road. Regular bus services are available within the city as well as to other nearby cities. 

Weather and climate of Ranchi 

Ranchi lies on the Chotanagpur plateau in the eastern side of India, above the Eastern Ghats. The region has a humid subtropical climate, but the overall effect is moderated significantly by the altitude, forests, and waterfalls nearby making the climate pleasant. Broadly, Ranchi experiences three seasons:

  • Winters in Ranchi are cold, with temperatures dropping to 0°C in some places. Winter lasts from November to February, with December and January being the coldest months.
  • Summers start in March and last till May. Ranchi summers are hot and humid. Although the temperatures remain relatively moderate in most places, it can peak to 40°C. Tropical storms with rainfall are common during this time.
  • Monsoons in Ranchi are warm and wet. Ranchi receives nearly 1,100 to 1,200 mm rainfall during the monsoon months of June to September.

The best time to visit Ranchi

Ranchi, with its relatively mild climate and beautiful picturesque sights, is a popular tourist destination. While you can visit at any time of the year, the best time to visit Ranchi will depend on the purpose of your visit, and how you would want to experience the trip: 

  • Winters: The winter months starting from November to February form the best time to visit Ranchi since the weather remains mild and pleasant during the day. Although it drops quite a bit during the night making it perfect for campfire and similar activities.
  • Summers: Although Ranchi summers are hot and humid, the altitude of the land, combined with the forests and waterfalls, make it bearable. The forest provides plenty of shade and the waterfall pools are perfect to cool off after a long hike.
  • Monsoons: It is not recommended to visit during this time. However, since the forest vegetation acquires new life and beauty during monsoons, you can visit during October, when the monsoons have just left and winter is starting to set in. Please maintain some caution near waterfalls at this time since the rainfall swells them up.

Conclusion

Ranchi, with its unique natural beauty and cultural heritage, is already an important tourist spot. In addition, it is fast developing as a major city that offers state-of-the-art amenities and services to visitors. Visit Ranchi for your next trip and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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