Ranikhet and the Beautiful Himalayas

Ranikhet, in hindi means ‘the fields of the Queen’.

As per the folk tales, it was Ranikhet where the King ‘ Raja Sukherdev’ won the heart of his to-be-queen ‘Rani Padmini’. They felt in love with each other and so with the place. And continued to stay here and named the place as his Queen’d fields. Though no Palace exists in Ranikhet to support this tale.

In the Almora district of Uttarakhand lies Ranikhet at an altitude of 1830 meters from the sea level. The civil status of Ranikhet is of a cantonment board, that is, the military jurisdiction. The area around this cantonment area has developed into a small town inhabited by the people of the nearby villages.

The place is entirely blessed with the beautiful panoramic view of the western peaks of the Himalayas.

Himalayan range as seen from Ranikhet. Image source Manan, http://www.trekearth.com

The view consists of the much-talked-about Himalayan giants. Starting from Nandaghunti on the left-most, and then the mighty Trishul massif and the list continues all the way to the Nandakut, the only peak on the right.

What is Ranikhet famous for?

Ranikhet is most famous for its Himalayan view and pleasant weather. The majestic view of the Himalayan range is mesmerizing. And the casts a spell on you with its splendid morning and evenings. The place does not have well-built roads and infrastructure but if you compare the natural beauty, Ranikhet is in no way less than Switzerland or some other European Country.

And the Orchards of ‘Chaubatia garden’ and ‘Syalikhet’ make the place more attracting for its visitors. These places give you a closer and deeper feel of the local vibe.

Some customized places like jungle-theme parks Deodhar Udyan (or the Ashiyana park) have been developed over time to add places for the visitors’ attraction.

Ranikhet is at a distance of 55 km from Nainital Bhowali. And is around 70 km from Kathgodam via Bhimtal and Bhowali. Bhowali is the junction point where roads coming from Kathgodam and Nainital meet and the road further to Ranikhet, Almora and Pithoragarh start.

Weather in Ranikhet

Ranikhet has pleasant weather in the summer. In the winter, Ranikhet receives a good amount of snowfall.

In summer, the temperature of Ranikhet ranges from 28 to 38 deg C. It remains pleasant in the months of March to August. The temperature from August onward, after the Nanda devi festival, starts taking a dip. The months from November onward to February are cold, the temperature in these months range between as low as -8 deg C to 15 Deg C.

The monsoons are not much talked about. But the monsoon makes the surroundings green and it is surely a delight to watch nature bloom at its best, especially if you are coming from a metropolitan city like Delhi or Mumbai. But if you are on a strict schedule avoid travelling to the hills, there are chances of landslides causing roadblocks. Though they get opened up really fast, it might take a day or two due to which you might miss your train or flight. The nearest Railway station Kathgodam is around 70 km away from Ranikhet.

Is there snowfall in Ranikhet?

Ranikhet receives heavy snowfall in winter months, from December to February. The snowfall makes it very popular among the tourists. The snow-covered hills and trees are ready to cast a magical spell on its visitors.

How to reach Ranikhet?

By Road

The distance of Ranikhet from Nainital is 57 km and 75 km from Kathgodam. Both the routes from Nainital and Kathgodam intersect at Bhowali which is 12 km from Nainital. The route to Bhowali from Kathgodam is via Bhimtal.

From Bhowali, through all those twists and turns, crossing the Kainchi Dham or the Neem Karoli baba temple, just 17 km ahead.

The same temple was once visited by Mark Zuckerberg in his struggling days on the advice of Steve jobs. Steve himself visited the place in his difficult times to get the blessings of the Neem Karoli Baba ji.

Ahead of Kainchi on the way to Ranikhet, we come across Khairna. Khairna is another junction point from one route diverts to Almora and Pithoragarh, while the other leads through ‘the Khairna Bridge’ to Ranikhet. Khairna is also the confluence point of Kosi river and Khairna river.

From Khairna further, through the hilly route we reach Ranikhet. The distance from Kathgodam to Ranikhet is just 75 km but it takes around 2 to 3 hours. These hilly roads are not that fast as the roads are not straight like the plains.

By Rail

Kathgodam and Ramnagar are the nearest railway station to Ranikhet. A number of private and government buses flock between Ranikhet and Haldwani or Kathgodam.

Ramnagar Railway station is 96 km from Ranikhet. From here the road route goes through small junction points like Bhatrojkhan and Tarikhet. Few private buses are available from here further to Ranikhet but not very frequent.

How far is Ranikhet from Delhi?

Distance from Delhi to Ranikhet is 372 km by road. If you are coming from Delhi, the road is plain from Delhi to Kathgodam and from Kathgodam further, the hilly route starts.

From Delhi to Kathgodam you can choose to opt for a train journey. Delhi and Kathgodam are connected via 3 trains.

Name and Timing of trains between Delhi and Kathgodam.
Name and Timing of trains between Delhi and Kathgodam.

By Air

The nearest to Ranikhet is the Pantnagar Airport at a distance of 115 km. The road route from Pantnagar goes through Kathgodam and onward through Bhowali, Kainchi Dham and Khairna.

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