Ranikhet, a serene hill station in Uttarakhand, literally means ‘Queen’s Garden’, and just like a queen stands poised above the others and showers those who seek her with riches, Ranikhet does the same. The air here is crisp and unpolluted with amazing views all around.
Ranikhet houses a lot of treasures and seeing them all makes a person rich with experience. Ranikhet is abuzz with people and activities, it offers Camping opportunities and tons of places to visit.
KUMAON REGIMENTAL CENTER
The Kumaon Regiment stationed at Ranikhet is one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army.
At a distance of 1.5 km from Ranikhet Bus Stand, the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum and Memorial are situated near Somnath Ground. The Memorial was built in 1974, as a symbol of bravery and sacrifice made by soldiers of the place. The young soldiers take the pledge of loyalty to their motherland at this memorial. To commemorate the sacrifice of soldiers, a parade is also held here every year.
Kumaon Regimental Centre has a museum which was built in 1974. This Regiment’s Museum showcases the history of Kumaon and Garhwal regiments. It displays admired treasures like Rani Jhansi’s argent sceptre, Chinese rifles from the 1962 war, a World War-II Japanese wireless acreage blast and abstracts accompanying the story of Kargil War. The Kumaon Regiment Widows Welfare Association runs a shawl weaving centre here.
Chaubatia Gardens about 10km away from Ranikhet’s city centre is an urban botanical garden.
Chaubatia Gardens managed to charm Lord Mayo, the viceroy of India who decided to set up a military base near the garden.
Chaubatia Gardens are full of beautiful orchards of Apples, Plums, Peaches and Apricots. These gardens are spread across 600 acres with trees of oak, cedar, pine and rhododendrons dotting the trekking trails. Chaubatia Gardens offer one with exquisite views of the Garhwal Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nilkanth from these gardens.
Chaubatia Gardens are a great picnic spot, trekking spot and caters to nature enthusiasts as well.
Ram Mandir, Ranikhet sits on top of a hill overlooking a valley near Chaubatia Gardens.
A flight of stairs leads up to the hilltop and into the Temple.
The Ram Mandir has a monastery where students are taught ancient Vedas along with Vedic and modern mathematics
JHULA DEVI TEMPLE
Jhula Devi Temple dates back to the 8th century and is located in Chaubatia Gardens, around 7km away from Ranikhet’s city centre.
The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Durga, sits on a wooden swing (Jhula), thus, it was called as ‘Jhula Devi Temple’. It is believed that Jhula Devi protects the locals from the wild animals who roam these lands. Despite being located in a forest area filled with wild animals like leopards and tigers, the temple is still able to welcome all its devotees without any harm, which reaffirms the local belief.
Jhula Devi Temple makes use of bells to praise Ma Durga for her protection.
Bhalu Dam at Ranikhet is over a century old, it was built so that the soldiers stationed there at the time wouldn’t have to go without water.
Bhalu Dam is an artificial lake, surrounded by natural splendours. Tall towering Pine, Oak and Deodar trees are spread all around Bhalu Dam, the lake offers amazing views of the Garhwal mountains and snowy peaks.
The serenity and natural beauty of Bhalu Dam are attractive to visitors and Migratory Birds alike.
ST BRIDGET CHURCH
The area in and around Ranikhet presently holds a lot of beauty from its colonial past.
St Bridget Church near Ranikhet is built in a lovely colonial-era style, surrounded by tall coniferous trees, aligned with amazing views of the Himalayas.
St Bridget Church caters to children of God who seek his blessings, lovers of nature who like to be close to her beauty and curious minds who are always looking to see, learn and grow.
UPAT GOLF COURSE
Upat Golf Course, a little ways above Ranikhet was set up in the colonial era and is now lovingly maintained by The Indian Army.
Upat Golf Course is one of the highest golf courses in the world. The golf course is located in the gharwali Himalayan mountains and offers stunning views of this same mountain range.
The golf course is attractive to golfers, leisure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Majkhali is a little hamlet around 9km away from Ranikhet and true to Ranikhet’s promise of providing visitors with amazing natural views at the Gharwali flora and Fauna.
Majkhali is well connected to Ranikhet via road. Majkhali provides telescopic views from the top of mountains and the little Hamlet is dotted with Himalayan trees. Visitors should drop by Majkhali forest nursery, where they can see a different variety of flora and fauna.
Majkhali’s Kali Mata Temple is a spiritual centre as well as a great picnic spot.