A panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks, even at midday. A quiet walk along a forest path surrounded by tall pines. A variety of fruits in hillside orchards. Ranikhet, which means Queen’s Meadow, has a string of delightful experiences in store.
The cantonment town of Ranikhet in Uttarakhand is easily accessible from Almora. After a remarkable holiday at Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, we proceeded to Ranikhet.
An Expansive Golf Course: One for the movie and photography buffs
The Upat Golf Course, managed by the Kumaon Regiment, is picture-perfect. At this nine-hole golf course, the rolling greens stretch far and wide. You can catch glimpses of the Himalayan peaks from this picturesque locale. And Bollywood hasn’t missed the opportunity to leave its mark here.
Does this place kindle a memory? Any guesses about the movie(s) filmed at Ranikhet Golf Course?
The Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum: One for the patriots
The Kumaon Regimental Centre museum in Ranikhet has photos and various objects that serve as memories of the regiment’s achievements. We spent almost an hour examining the memorabilia and learning about the heroic feats of our armed forces.
Temples: Several for the religious-minded
Not too far away from the golf course is the Kalika Temple. We climbed the stairs to reach the small shrine on a hillock. Visitors seek the blessings of the Goddess Kali and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings.
En route to the Chaubatia orchards is a special temple dedicated to Jhula Devi. Goddess Durga, the deity in this temple, is believed to protect the locals from the wild animals in the surrounding forests. The innumerable bells in the temple premises brought back vivid memories of the Chitai Golu Devta Temple near Almora town.
The Mankameshwar temple is another quiet place of worship, set up by the Kumaon Regimental Centre. Located in the cantonment area, it is home to several Hindu deities.
Chaubatia Garden: One for the fruit lovers
Apples, peaches, plums, apricots! Head to the Chaubatia Garden and feast your eyes on the fruit-laden trees. We followed the trail through the orchards, eyeing the fruits one instant and the beautiful scenery the next instant. Although the month of May didn’t seem to be the best time for a visit here, we made the most of it.
The best thing to do after all that walking? Treat yourself to some buransh (rhododendron) juice! And continue the stroll if you’d like to. Or grab another glass of buransh juice.
Aashiyana Park: One for the energetic kids
The Aashiyana Park near the bus stand has a “jungle theme” play area for kids. Junior played to his heart’s content one evening; the next evening, he was put off by the monkeys (yes, the creatures love the swings and slides here!)
Walking Trails: Several for the nature lovers
My recommendation – Give the touristy spots a miss. Instead, head out on one of the numerous walking trails in Ranikhet.
Lose yourself among the pines, catch a view of the snow peaks (if you are lucky), estimate the height of a conifer, walk off the beaten path.
It’ll be an experience to cherish.