Raniket owes its name to an unknown Katyuri Queen of the 12th century. Travelling in this area she was seduced by the green glades and awesome snow vistas and persuaded her husband to build her a home there. She then regularly visited here. The British established their military base here in 1869, Again the beauty of the place captivated Lord Mayo, one of the viceroys of India. He shifted his summer capital from Shimla. Even today being a military cantonment this place maintains its charm and beauty and lingers in the visitors mind to come again and again.
How to reach
By Air - The nearest airport at Pantnagar 115 Kms
By Rail - The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, approximately 80 km from Ranikhet
By Road - Delhi - Ranikhet is 360 kms and 80 kms is hill drive. It is 65 km from Nainital It may at least require a 8 hour journey. You can drive along the NH24, by passing Moradabad (160kms). The next option is Rampur and turn to NH87 to the twin cities of Haldwani/Kathgodam that lies in the base of the hills. From here to Bhimtal, then to Bhowali and then down to Khairna. You cross a rive at this point and climb 30 kms to a cool top of 6,000 ft.
Spectacular view of the snow capped Himalayas, is a panoramic view probably no mountain top offers. Starting in the east with the Api-Nampi peaks of Nepal and the five Panchachuli summit all the way across a range of magnificent peaks to Kamet, bordering Tibet in the west.
Trishul dominates the skyline, flanked on the right by Nandaghunti and the main Nanda Devi peak along the NH24, by passing Moradabad (160kms). The next option is to Rampur and turn onto NH87 to the twin cities of Haldwani/Kathgodam that lies in the base of the hills. From here to Bhimtal, then to Bhowali and then down to Khairna. You cross a rives at this point and climb 30 kms to a cool top of 6,000 ft.
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. It is said to have started in Kumaon, during the reign of Raja Kalyan Chand in the 16th century. Nanda means prosperity and well being. Nanda Devi Mela is held as a symbol of prosperity, both material and spiritual, of the hill regions. The Nanda Devi Mela is held at Almora, Nainital, Nauti, Dandidhara, Munsyari & Ranikhet, of which the Almora and Roopkund fairs are the most famous.
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.
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.
Main Source of the town's water supply comes from the Bhalu Dam, 3.2 kilometres from Chaubatia. It is famous for its fishing.
Jhoola Devi Ram Mandir
7kms. from Ranikhet on the way to Chaubatia, known for its temples devoted to the Goddess Durga and Lord Rama.
This temple is attached to the Nar Singh Maidan ( Ground), constructed by the Kumaon regiment. Opposite the temple is a Gurudwara and a Shawl factory.
19kms., from Ranikhet, on the way to Ramnagar and 2kms from Sonidant, amidst dense Pine and Deodar forests. The shiva Temples of Binsar Mahadev are a unique place for meditation and picnics.
Hairakhan Temple ( Chilianaula)
4kms., from Ranikhet is famous for the temple of Baba Haira Khan. It commands a panoramic view of the Himalayas. According to the popular belief Baba Haidakhan Wale was a mahaavatar who was not borne by a woman.
8kms. from Ranikhet is a well known for its Gandhi Kuti, and the temple of Golu Devta is venerated in the Kumaon region.
Binsar Mahadev 14 kms
Dwarahat 35 kms
Sitlakhet 30 kms
Almora 45 kms
Binsar 60 kms
Kausani 75 kms
Jim Corbett Park 90 kms
Fairs and Festivals
37kms. from Ranikhet, the once principal seat of the Katyuri Rajas is Dwarahat. A part from temples it is full of ancient sculptures. It is also known for its Syaldeh Bikhoti fair ( 13th to 15th April every year).
55kms., from Ranikhet is famous for its Maha Savitri fair.
The best time is from March to June and September to November. In December, January and February there is snowfall and the monsoon sets in from July to August.
Fresh fruits, cane and wooden items, woollen and cotton shawls. Ranikhet is famous for its tweed shawls, decorative candles, and a special sweetmeat called 'balmithai'.
Avoid July and August being monsoons landslides may occur. Skiing in Uttaranchal generally takes place in the winter seasons specifically December to March. The monsoon season continues from July till September. You will get good weather during the October months and in April-May-mid June when it is Yatra time and a lot of rush.
The best time to visit Uttrakhand if it is a religious tour esp to Sri Badrinath,Kedarnath,gangotri & Yamnotri is in the last week of May to mid July before arrival of monsoon. This time the weather remains pleasant and the roads are in good condition. You may also plan the trip in October post monsoon but then the weather gets quite cold but u get plenty accomodation at a cheaper price.