After enjoying the bliss of Binsar, it was time to experience the beauty of the next village of Uttrakhand and that was how we came to spend 2 days in Ranikhet. Our journey to Ranikhet was mesmerizing. Nested in the lap of Kumaon hills of Almora District of Uttrakhand, Ranikhet is a beautiful hill station that attracts umpteen tourists every year. According to people living here, Ranikhet is the place where Rani Padmini fell in love with Raja Sudhardev and later chose this valley as their home.
Ranikhet is truly blessed by Mother Nature. The place with most beautiful and tall trees, picturesque mountains, scenic snow-clad Himalayas must be in everyone’s bucket list. Apart from being a vacation destination, adventure junkies also adore this place for various adventure activities like trekking, mountain climbing, camping and rappelling.
Our first spot in Ranikhet was ‘Chaubatia Garden’, the place known for its exquisite orchards of plums, apples, peaches and apricots. But, you can’t pick one! Coz, that isn’t allowed here. Located at a distance of 10 km from Ranikhet, these gardens are a spot for outings and picnics. We saw a bunch of monkeys over here stealing belongings of the tourists and thus, Puran (our guide, if you remember from my earlier articles) ordered us to keep our belongings in the car itself!
Bhalu Dam was our next tourist spot. Located at a distance of 3 km from Chaubatia Garden, Bhalu Dam is an artificial small lake built for British Soldiers in earlier periods. This lake was built as a source of drinking water for British Soldiers. The lake is known for its tranquillity. The sound of chirping birds and fresh mountain air filled the environment with its own kind of charm.
Ranikhet is known for its golf courses. Ranikhet offers a great opportunity to golf at a high altitude. One of the highest golf courses in Asia, Upat Golf Course is situated just 6 km away from Ranikhet. It is located and looked after by Kumaon Regiment. The views of snow peaks from this golf course are spectacular.
In this way, our first of 2 days in Ranikhet had come to an end, and it was the time to return to the hotels. The hotel was totally luxurious again giving picturesque views of snow clad mountains. Just imagine your night in the midst of tall mountains covered with snow. What more can you ask for?
Next day at Ranikhet was quite busy. We started it off with a visit to Jhula Devi Temple. The temple has clumps of bells tied to the walls and is known for granting wishes on being ringed. This is the temple of Goddess Durga and is said that the goddess completes all the wishes of her devotees.
Next spot for sightseeing was the Majkhalli spot, situated at a distance of 13 km from Ranikhet. This beautiful sightseeing spot is a must visit. For the most beautiful afternoon here, you can include a lazy picnic, some outdoor games and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy the walking trails around the foothills of Mount Trishul here.
Paragliding is the best adventure activity of Ranikhet after trekking. What if you get wings to fly? I got the same experience of flying over the mountains in Ranikhet. Each moment of this activity was memorable. The fear, the worries were left behind and all I was feeling was only happiness. The happiness of winning over everything and flying high!
And with this, our trip for Uttrakhand had come to an end and it was time to return back home. Some were happy to return back and others upset to leave this beautiful heaven on earth. But, how was I? I was with mixed feelings. My mind said, let’s return back but, heart wanted to stay forever!
The second heaven on earth after Kashmir has to be Uttrakhand, definitely!