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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular places for sightseeing in and around Ranikhet?

Vineet Sharma DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Answer: The beauty of lofty mountains, snow-capped peaks, the dense woods and a refreshing breeze - all of this welcomes you to an unforgettable holiday in Ranikhet. But before you brand this destination as only a nature retreat, check out some of the popular sightseeing spots in and around Ranikhet and take home a little piece of history, culture and the local traditions of this region. Here are some of the popular places you must visit on your trip to Ranikhet:

  • Dwarahat

    About 35 km from Ranikhet, this beautiful little town is an epicentre of temples and ancient, historical importance, a place that compels you to pause and just beathe in the wonders of nature. Two of the most popular temples here include the Shakti Temple and Naithna Devi Temple, each of which requires its visitors to climb up a steep set of stairs as a test of their will and devotion. These temples are particularly alive and vibrant during the festival of Navratri, which occurs during the month of October usually (according to the Hindu calendar) and is a time to celebrate the different avatars of Goddess Shakti. Situated in the Ramganga River valley, this charming town is home to the mythical Sanjivani Booti, which is believed to have magical healing powers. The journey from Ranikhet would take you around an hour to complete and would require you to hire a cab.

  • Bhalu Dam

    An artificial lake constructed by the British in 1903, this serene dam was initially built to solve the water shortage issues in the area. It is now a favourite among environmentalists, nature lovers and fishing-enthusiasts and is thronged by tourists all through the year. The fencing around the lake has unfortunately corroded away due to lack of maintenance, so be extra careful when you walk around the lake. Bhalu Dam is around 3 km below Chaubatia Gardens and about an hour's trek from Ranikhet. Make sure you keep those walking shoes ready and be ready for a little adventure when you walk through the woods to reach this beautiful spot. Keep that picnic basket handy too!

  • Katarmal

    Dating back 800 years, this ancient temple is the second most important one to be dedicated to the god of Sun, second only to the Sun Temple in Konark. The temple area consists of 45 smaller shrines surrounding one main one, all constructed with intricate carvings and engravings. Situated about 25 km from Ranikhet in the Almora region, it stands tall amidst ruins, which only add to its ancient, rustic charm. You would need to hire a cab to reach this beautiful cluster of temples from Ranikhet.

  • Golf Course

    Love to tee off while clouds engulf you in their arms? The Upat Golf Course, 6 km from Ranikhet, is one of the world's most challenging golfing venues and one of India's best-maintained. A legacy of the British rule in India, this 9-hole golf course now comes under the governance of the Kumaon Regimental Centre. It was previously not open to outsiders, but now, by paying a small fee, even tourists can ‘putt' together with regulars there. Enjoy the trek up to this lush, green place and refresh your senses.

  • Chaubatia Gardens

    Only one thing can complete the picture of a perfect nature retreat - the bounty and indulgent richness of nature itself. And what better place to find it than in a lush fruit orchard? A visit to the beautiful and charming Chaubatia Gardens is a must-do item for your itinerary. Hire a cab or trek the 10 km distance from Ranikhet to this brilliant spot, ideal for picnic too perhaps. Lounge around in the company of apples, apricots, plums and peaches and soak in the sweet fragrance of fresh fruits, while the Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi and Trishul look over you from a distance. The orchard also sells some delightful juices and pure honey, which are perfect gifts to carry back home or keep as little treats for yourself.

  • Nainital

    Deriving its name from goddess
    Naina Devi, Nainital, just 55 km from Ranikhet, is located in the hill state of Uttarakhand. This hill station is not only famous for its natural beauty but also for its marvelous architecture of the British era. With places like the Naini Lake, Governer's House and St John in the Wilderness Church, Nainital is a cherished tourist spot for domestic and foreign tourists alike. The place also features many prestigious educational institutions.

  • Kausani

    Kausani, near Almora and only 60 km from Ranikhet, is popularly associated with the Anashakti Ashram, which played host to Mahatma Gandhi and based on which he wrote the "Anashakti Yog". The hill-town offers a breathtaking, 300 km-wide view of the Himalayan range, including the majestic peaks of Nanda Devi, Panchchuli and Trishul, particularly scenic when the mountains change their hues at dusk and dawn. For this, Mahatma Gandhi famously dubbed this beautiful hillstation as the "Switzerland of India". The lush green trees, thick pine forests and softly fragrant, blossoming flowers offer a chance to experience nature in all its bounty, perfect for a calm, quiet walk around town.

With such beauty to behold, so much fresh air to soak in and a history that will leave you fascinated, Ranikhet could well be the holiday you would remember forever. Happy holidays!

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