Location: 59.5 Km. from Nainital
Attraction: Natural Beauty
Discovered in: 1869
The ancient Aryans had designated the region of the Central Himalayas as the Celestial Land - the Dev Bhumi; the colouring of the foliage has to be believed. March and April is flower time in the foot-hills, while June and July bring the wild flowers to the upper regions, where the dwarf rhododendron bushes resplendent with pink and mauve blooms the region in all their glory.
The flowering plants amaze and confuse, when, different branches of the same plant yield flowers of different colours and varying fragrance. European tourists, over the centuries have, enthused ecstatically over its valley, meadows, cliffs, hills, snow-capped mountains, serpentine rivers and crystal clear rivulets here and there displaying the rainbow. The hill station, idyllic in its charm, Ranikhet with its majestic pine trees, is 59.5 kilometres from Nainital.
Here amidst the rustling and encircled by dazzling white peaks, glistening in the sun, once camped a beauteous Queen of legend and lore, giving the town its name-Rani (Queen)-Khet (Field) falling in love-with the beauty of the place, she decided to stay and built a palace near what is now the Ranikhet Club.
Discovered and built entirely by the British in 1869. On a visit here, late Prime Minister Nehru commented "I wish more of our people living in plains below, would visit the Himalayas... They can have their fill of flower and noble trees in primival forests. They can breathe the free untained air which invigorates and they can return strengthened in body, mind and spirits.
Weaving an instant spell on the visitor, Ranikhet does not witness the paradox of a "madding" rush of visitors with the onset of summer and the corresponding departure with the summer's end, but draws visitors all the year round.
THE ENCHANTED VICEROY
Acclaimed as a 'heavenly hill station', and one of the best in the world, it won the heart of Lord Mayo, who was the Viceroy of India from 1869-72. Enchanted by the scenic setting, he gave serious thought of shifting the Army Headquarters from Shimla to Ranikhet. The hill station offers the pleasure of golf and well-equipped club, besides the long and short walks and beartiful picnic spots.
The residential club offers temporary membership to tourists providing them all the benefits of the tennis courts, excellent golf links, indoor recreational facilities and use of the club's rooms and excellent cuisine.
Nanda Devi Fair Nanda Devi Mela is a fair of great religious and cultural significance. It is held at Nanda Devi Temple in September to commemorate the memory of goddesses, Nanda and Sunanda.
Upat and Kalika With one of the best 9 hole golf links in the country, Upat is a boon to the enthusiast. With the added attraction of private orchards, it is 5.6 km away. Just one kilometre from Upat is Kalika with its famous temple to the Goddess Kali. It also has good forest nursery. A beautiful snowcapped mountain peak is available on the other side of the golf link at Upat.
Chaubatia As the name implies, these are four, fruit gardens, with a Government Fruit Research Centre, complete with a fruit sales depot and cafeteria. It is 10 kilometres from Ranikhet.
Bhalu Dam Main Source of the town's water supply comes from the Bhalu Dam, 3.2 kilometres from Chaubatia. It is famous for its fishing.
Majhkhali On the Ranikhet - Almora road, 13 km, is a spot of entrancing, celestial beauty. Here is an awe-inspiring view of the majesty of the snoy peaks. The U.P. Government Agriculture Farm is situated here.
Co-operative Drug Factory Three kilometres down the road to Ramnagar, is unique venture. Here are manufactured, on co-operative basis, Ayuvedic drugs from local herbs. The factory deals with the drugs from the research stage down to production.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rail: There is a railhead situated at Kathgodam, 84-km away from Ranikhet.
Road: Buses from all over Kumaon, including from the railhead Kathgodam.
Local Transport: For local transportation within the town jeeps, taxis and local buses are available.