Ranikhet is another beautiful hill station in Almora district of Uttarakhand and is about 60 km from Nainital. It takes about 2 hours by a taxi to reach there. Your driver can show you some points on the route like our driver showed us Garud Tal, we did a small trek at Sattal and clicked some pictures at Frog point.
We also stopped at Kainchi Dham, the famous temple established by Neem kiroli baba. The temple is at a beautiful location and has a serene environment great for spirituality; probably this is what took Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to this place.
Ranikhet which literary means the ‘Queens Land’ is the perfect place to view Himalayas at its best. The place is rich in greenery and serenity, a perfect place for rejuvenation. By the time we reached Ranikhet it was almost afternoon, we have again booked our Hotel through KMVN website . After taking some rest we decided to explore the famous Chubatia gardens. .
Chaubatia is a beautiful garden located about 10 km away from the city of Ranikhet, at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. In local language ‘chou’ means ‘four’ and ‘baat’ means ‘path’, hence Chaubatia is a junction of four paths inter-linking the cities of Ranikhet, Bhargaon, Pilkholi and Dehrti. Chaubatia is a beautiful garden extended in an area of 600 acres , garden is known for its extensive collection of delicious peaches, plums, apricots, chestnuts, almonds and apples orchards and wide varieties of Himalayan flora. The garden has around 200 species of plants and trees. .
Chaubatia also has a Government Apple Garden and The Fruit Research Center from where one can buy these fruits on nominal rates during the season. Apart from fruits, one can also buy fresh juices and artisan honey from the garden store on the wayout, there is a small canteen towards the exit. One can trek or cycle through the quiet road leading to the orchards. There are authorized guides available at the entry points. There are various treks and the rate of guide depends on the route you want to trek the routes include apple orchard, dense forest, bhalu dam. Walk in the garden is an enthralling experience, in the mid of nature, you find yourself in a different world. One can also see the picturesque views of snowcapped Himalayas from the Gardens. .
On a clear day a panoramic view of the snow-clad peaks of Nanda Devi, Nilkanth, Nandaghunti, and Trishul can be clearly seen through the garden. Along with variety of trees and plants, the place also offers a variety of fauna. A variety of birds can be viewed in September-October , this includes Himalayan bulbul, Himalayan woodpecker, long tailed minivet, white throated kingfisher and many other species. .
While coming back from the gardens towards Ranikhet, one can also visit Jhooladevi temple an 8th century ancient temple, with hundreds of bells tied by devotees. Locals believe that Ma Durga fulfills the wishes if one who prays at this temple, when the wishes are fulfilled devotees tie bells there. .
To walk across the serene environment and natural beauty, watch the sun sitting behind distant mountains and trees, hear the chirruping of birds returning home and taking sip of varieties of juices are refreshing and rejuvenating experience. Do not forget to capture the beautiful place and moments in your lenses. .
The park can be visited from sunrise to sunset, but it is advisable to visit early, as it gets dark in the thick forest.Best time to visit is in summers from March to May when temperature ranges from 8°C to 22°C and there is pleasant environment. Winters are very cold and chilly;the gardens can be visited any time except the winters when it is extremely cold. .
Golf Course and Other Places in Ranikhet
Next day we covered rest of the places in Ranikhet like Upat Golf course , it is a marvelous high altitude Golf course. It is a 9 hole golf course maintained by Army and provides some wonderful views of Himalaya, we enjoyed a good time here. One can also visit Kalika temple on the way. .
Other places worth visiting are Mankameshwar Temple situated amidst rich cover of flora and fauna. Binsar Mahadev temple, Kumaon Regiment Center Museum and other small points maintained by Army. One can always enjoy trekking the lush green paths of the hill station.