Ranikhet Hill Station

Ranikhet Hill Station Tourism

The best travel guide for touring Ranikhet hill station tourism in India offers detailed information on Ranikhet's top tourist places, the best time to visit, how to reach, things to do, and nearby places to explore.

There may be countless hill stations in Uttarakhand, but only a few, like Ranikhet, really solace the fidgety minds entirely. Ranikhet, the little hamlet in the Almora district of Uttarakhand, quintessentially is a beautiful cluster of landscapes oblivious to the tides of time. Once here, time moves steadily and you feel every passing moment.

Ranikhet hill station is significantly covered in lush thickets and enveloped in a nonchalant atmos. Traverse through hairpin bends with roads tunneling under canopies and opening up to the unparalleled landscapes of charming Himalayan mountains.

Like most British retreat bases, Ranikhet is defined by dense mixed forest and vintage bungalows. But it stands out from hill stops like Nainital and Mussoorie for its lack of traffic, both vehicular and human. This unpopularity is what makes Ranikhet the best offbeat destination in Uttarakhand.

Ranikhet Hill Station - Quick Overview

Ranikhet Hill Station Uttarakhand
State Uttarakhand
District Almora
Elevation 1,869 m (6,132 ft)
Spoken Languages Kumauni, Hindi & English
Best Time to Visit Between March to & and September to November
Destination Type Hill Station
Famous for Nature walks and hikes
Nearest Railway Station Kathgodam Railway Station
Nearest Airport Pantnagar Airport
Popular Tourism Attractions in Ranikhet Chaubatia orchards, Jhula Devi Temple, Bhalu Dam, Ranikhet Golf course, Majkhali, and Haidakhan Temple...etc
Best Places to Visit Nearby Ranikhet Almora, Nainital, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, and Kausani

Chaubatia Orchards

Chaubatia Orchards Ranikhet

Chaubatia Orchards or Chaubatia Gardens, is a fine urban botanical paradise, like you have only seen in Bollywood songs. The idea of plucking fruits in orchards of apples, plums, and peaches becomes a reality here. Unarguably one of the best places to see in Ranikhet, Chaubatia Orchard pleases to feel the melodious serenity of its fine-textured turf. Chaubatia Garden is a 600-acre step-farm, a fruit cultivation method specifically for mountains. With this method, the Garden hosts more than 200 varieties of fruit and flowers.

The garden looks flamboyant with the juicy fruits of Ranikhet hill station like peaches, apples, apricots, colorful flowers like rhododendrons, roses, marigolds, daisies, a few medicinal and ornamental plants complementing aesthetics, and surrounding thickets of oak, cypress, cedar, and pine. But the thing that makes it the top place to visit in Ranikhet is its magical viewpoint to see glacial Himalayan peaks like the Neelkanth, Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Ghunti, and also a spectacular sunset view.

Jhula Devi Temple

Jhula Devi Temple Ranikhet

Jhula Devi Temple, one of the top tourist attractions in Ranikhet and the primary place of worship for this region, is a temple of Goddess Durga in the form of Jhula Devi. It was said that this temple is as old as 700 years and was constructed based on a shepherd’s dream. According to legend, shepherds in Ranikhet hill station were affected by leopards as they frequently preyed on their livestock. One of the shepherds dreamt of Goddess Durga who instructed him to dig and establish her unearthed idol in a temple there. As the idol was seated over a Jhula (swing), thus the deity was called Jhula Devi.

Locals opine that even after many years of its formation, the goddess has not stopped safeguarding them from animal attacks and blessing her devotees. Thus, this temple is a popular tourist place in Ranikhet. One has to note that outside and inside the temple there are tens of thousands of bells on it. It is a symbol of respect paid by the devotees who hang them once their desires are granted by the Goddess. The sound of these bells is pleasant and gives a rhythmic feeling and the smell of burning incense adds to the overall feeling in the temple.

Bhalu Dam

Bhalu Dam Ranikhet

If you are in search of uncommon places to explore, Bhalu Dam in Ranikhet comes as a prime location topping the list. This dam was constructed during British rule over India, about 200 years ago. As Ranikhet was a cantonment during that period too, this Dam helped serve the purpose of fulfilling water requirements of English troops. Now, it is a favored hike-and-camp destination for travel wanderers.

Bhalu Dam is located in an absolute off-the-track area, just like a hidden wonder. Although a mere dam, its history, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful ambiance for hikers make it a memorable must visit place in Ranikhet. Also, don’t forget to visit 1884's St. Bridget Church located quite close to the Bhalu Dam.


Majkhali Ranikhet

While Ranikhet is known for its orchards and greenish backdrop, you also have a perfect we-time place, Majkhali, just a few kilometers from there. In fact, this is the place to enjoy the most appreciated sunset views near Ranikhet. Packed with bountiful nature vistas, Majkhali will perfectly fill the gaps in your leisure time.

Although the most popular place to visit in Majkhali is the Goddess Kali Mata Temple, the hiking and picnic spots are equally worth your time. There are a number of uncharted treks, tails, and hikes waiting here, just 10 kilometers from Ranikhet. Follow these off-beaten hikes to uncover viewpoints that serve as the window pane to see some of the most magnificent Himalayan peaks like Mt. Trishul I and Nanda Devi.

Haidakhan Temple

Majkhali Ranikhet

An ideal place for spiritually drawn travelers, Haidakhan Temple is a quite popular Temple in Ranikhet with a peaceful ambience. It is dedicated to a sage and spiritual teacher Haidakhan, who was commonly called Babaji or Bhole Baba by the townsmen. He is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva who first appeared around the 1800s and re-incarnated to preach his lessons again between 1970 to 1984.

The serene atmosphere makes the temple a must visit place in Ranikhet for meditation. You can also attend the evening aarti and Kirtan-Bhajan conducted daily at dusk. Haidakhan Temple is also quite popular among foreign travelers, as many come from other countries to perform Hindu rituals.

Apart from this, the temple is placed on an elevated plinth which gives a 360° wide view of majestic Great Himalayan mountain ranges. You must come here while visiting Ranikhet to see significant peaks like the Nanda Devi and Panchachuli clearly from the temple.

Ranikhet Golf Course

Ranikhet Golf Course

One of the highest golf courses in Asia, the Upat Golf Course at Kalika in Ranikhet, offers some mind-boggling views of the surrounding Himalayan range. Commonly known as the Ranikhet Golf Course, it is a must visit spot while on a Ranikhet hill station tour. It's an army golf course, but also allows civilians to experience the unique feeling of taking golf strikes on an elevation of around 6000 ft. For non-golfers, the perfect textured turf provides an utterly beautiful setting for instagrammable pictures.

Ranikhet golf course was created in 1920 for military officials and cadets of Kumaon Regiment (KRC) & Naga Regiment. Walking on the road down the golf course is the best thing to do for couples in Ranikhet.

Top Activities and Experiences in Ranikhet

Bird Watching in Ranikhet
  • Nature walks and hiking trails
  • Bird watching
  • Local cuisine and dining experiences
  • Shopping for local crafts and souvenirs
Nature Walks and Hiking Trails

Ranikhet hill station is best known for its variable walking and hiking trails set in nature. Still, in any case, do not miss a walk in the Chaubatia apple orchards, a 600-acre garden with flora including peaches, apples, apricots, rhododendrons, and roses. For a leisurely but long walk of over a kilometer consider the Army Holiday Home to Amu Guest House walk or the Mall Road to Amu Guest House walk.

Exploring Kumaon Himalayas on various Ranikhet hiking trails is the best thing to do for people who love to get on off-beat trails. The most popular ones include Jhula Devi Temple to Chaubatia Orchards hike and Chaubatia Orchards to Bhalu Dam hike. These are roughly 4 kilometer treks passing through dense forests and beautiful views of valleys. The Chaubatia Orchards to Holm Farm Heritage hike is another short but moderate hike to be done in less time.

Other walking trails near Ranikhet:
  • Majkhali Post Office to Organic Centre
  • Majkhali Pool Resort to local Shiv Temple
  • Army Public School to Hotel Chevron Rosemount
  • Majkhali to Kalika Temple
  • Majkhali to Golf Course
  • Ranikhet to Chamu Temple
  • Majkhali Post Office to Sundarkhal village
Bird Watching in Ranikhet

Ranikhet is lush, and thus home to a variety of bird species. Plenty of places like the Chaubatia apple garden or Golf course provide a wide spectrum to spot myriad avian species fleeting from the branches. The multitude of nature walks in Ranikhet are also obscure trails for birding. You will find multiple species of pheasants, woodpeckers, flycatchers, minivets, kingfishers, etc in between these woods.

The climbs between Jhula Devi and Chaubatia orchards, Chaubatia to Bhalu Dam, Diwan Singh Hall to Halm farm heritage, etc are some of the best places in Ranikhet for birdwatching bliss. Though spotting them can be super challenging, wee hours might be the most preferred time to spot these little creatures easily, as they are more vocal during the sunrise.

Some bird species to see during Ranikhet hill station tour:

  • Ultramarine flycatcher
  • Himalayan bulbul
  • Oriental white eye
  • Himalayan woodpecker
  • Long tailed minivet
  • Blue whistling thrush
  • Spotted dove
  • Owlet
  • Red headed vulture
  • Wedge tailed green pigeon
  • Crested kingfisher
Local Cuisine and Dining Experiences

Being a cantonment region, Ranikhet has loads of cafes and restaurants. If you are a gastronome, you can explore Ranikhet’s local tastes and Indian delicacies, or enjoy various cuisines if you want to feel at home.

Some top serving spots in and near Ranikhet. The Dolia Pahadi Rooftop Cafe serves the best veg/non-veg regional, continental, and Indian cuisine. The Hilltop Kitchen, 500 meters from Mall Road, and The Annapurna Restaurant, a dining space in Haidakhan Temple are a few other popular stops for tasting something better.

There are a few in-house restaurants that offer elegant servings in Ranikhet. Chevron Rosemount, West View Hotel, and Parvati Inn Hotel have some of the best in-house restaurants in Ranikhet, which will help you explore a wide range of dishes.

Shopping for Local Crafts and Souvenirs

Explore shops in Ranikhet, best known for local handicrafts and delectable local produce. Apart from that, the markets of Ranikhet have something for everyone. There are various marketplaces in the town including Sadar Bazaar and Mall Road. These markets are must-see places in Ranikhet to understand the vibrant local culture a little more. Shop for clothing, Kumaoni shawls, woolens, handicrafts, wooden artifacts, souvenirs, locally made jams, and pickles. You must also visit Ranikhet’s Regimental Bazaar, near Kumaon Regimental Centre. Here you can shop for things related to the Indian army including badges, patches, caps, and more.

Where to Stay in Ranikhet?

Ranikhet Hill Station, Uttarakhand

Choosing the right place to stay plays a vital role in enhancing your overall experience. Ranikhet hill station welcomes its guests by offering accommodation of all kinds. The range of accommodation options, from luxury to budget hotels, resorts to cozy guesthouses, ensures a comfortable stay amidst the breathtaking landscapes.

The resorts mushrooming this scenic hill station in Uttarakhand offer a pleasant and memorable stay.

Additionally, there are various affordable places to stay near the Main Bazaar in Ranikhet. Recently few old colonial bungalows have been converted into heritage homestays and boutique hotels. These provide a highly comfortable and vintage experience.

Best Time to Visit Ranikhet

Best Time to Visit Ranikhet

The best time to visit Ranikhet highly depends on your preferences. However, the months between spring to autumn, which is between March to November, is comparatively the best time to explore the Kumaon Himalayas. Although the weather changes, you can enjoy the blooming flowers and clear views of the snow-capped Himalayas.

Monsoons transition the landscape into a refreshing lush green but require more caution in mountains.

The winter months can be really chilly though very little chance to witness snowfall, but overall no risk for winter travelers.

How to Reach Ranikhet?

How to Reach Ranikhet

If you have your own vehicle, Delhi to Ranikhet is a nice and pleasurable 350 km road drive. Furthermore, Air and Railway routes also connect to Ranikhet.

  • By Road: Ranikhet is easily accessible by road, offering a delightful journey traversing through lush hills. Well-maintained roads connect Ranikhet to nearby cities. Take NH 9 (Delhi-Haldwani-Ranikhet Road) from Delhi, which is approximately a 340-kilometer drive.
  • By Train: The closest railway station to Ranikhet is Kathgodam Railway Station, situated around 80 kilometers away. It is connected to major cities like Delhi, Lucknow, and Kolkata. Hire a taxi afterward to reach Ranikhet.
  • By Air The nearest airport to Ranikhet is Pantnagar Airport, located approximately 119 kilometers away. It has flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Hire a taxi or take a pre-arranged private transfer from the airport to reach Ranikhet. Pantnagar to Ranikhet follows a beautiful drive in Kumaon hills.

Alternatively, state-run and private buses operate regular services from cities like Delhi, Nainital, and Almora to Ranikhet.

Nearby Places to Visit Ranikhet

Corbett- Nearby Places to Visit Ranikhet

Within a distance range of 60-150 km, the following are some of the best places to visit near Ranikhet hill station.

  • Jim Corbett National Park
  • Almora
  • Kausani
  • Nainital
  • Mukteshwar
Almora Hill Station

Almora is part of the imperial history of India and has a rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts, and delicious food. It is just 50 kilometers from Ranikhet, which makes it one of the best places to explore near Ranikhet. See ancient temples, like the famous Nanda Devi Temple and Kasar Devi Temple. Explore the traditional markets while finding a way through the narrow lanes of Almora.

Nainital Hill Station

Nainital (or Naini-Lake), named after the revered Naina Devi Temple, is popular for offering many exciting activities to enjoy with friends and family. This beautiful town is surrounded by lush green mountains and centered around the shimmering Naini Lake. Just 70 kilometers from Ranikhet Hill station, you can go boating, shopping, hiking, paragliding, etc in Nainital.

Kausani Hill Station

Located approximately 60 kilometers from Ranikhet, Kausani is a small hill station popular for its heavenly landscape of lined-up Himalayan peaks. Its beauty has gained it the byname “Switzerland of India.” You can witness the peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Panchachuli peaks from Kausani. It is the best place around Ranikhet if you are seeking peace and solitude and want to escape into the surreal beauty of Himalayan nature.

Mukteshwar Hill Station

Approximately 80 kilometers from Ranikhet, Mukteshwar hill station is known for its quaint atmosphere, nature's beauty, adventurous activities, and ancient temples. Though popular for many things, a multitude of breezy waterfalls attracts most nature lovers to this hill station. Bhalu Ghaad, Tarikhet waterfalls, Rudradhari waterfall and Dhokaney waterfalls are the most popular here. The town is also popular for the ancient Mukteshwar Temple. Thousands of people visit Mukteshwar to visit the temple every year.

Jim Corbett National Park

Just 78 km from Ranikhet, it is the oldest and one of the most popular National Parks in India. Jim Corbett National Park beautifully sets the combination of exotic wildlife like Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, and uncountable more into the hilly backdrop of the Himalayas. For thrill-seekers, this is the best destination to explore after the Ranikhet hill station tour.

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