This serene hill-station literally means ‘Land of the queen'
The cantonment town offers clear view of snow clad Himalayan peaks
Snowfall in the winters transforms the town into a dream retreat
What to Know:
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.
What To Do
Majkhali, a small village around 10 km from Ranikhet, is one of the most popular sites for stargazing in the state.
Ranikhet is surrounded by forests of pine, oak, and deodar trees. These areas are home to a wide range of wildlife, including leopard, barking deer, mountain goat and langurs. If you are driving around Ranikhet, you may chance upon some of these animals. You can also hire local guides for a guided safari.
Ranikhet is a trekkers' paradise with several trails that offer mesmerising views of the Himalayas. The trek to Haidakhan Temple of Lord Shiva is one of the most popular ones.
How to reach
Nearest Airport is Pant Nagar, at a distance of 119 km.
Ranikhet is well connected via roads. Roads run through Haldwani, Bhowali, and Khairna during all seasons. Ranikhet has direct bus links with Nainital (60 km), Kathgodam (86 kms), Ramnagar (96 km), and Delhi (366kms).