One of the few perks to have crazy friends is that they don’t listen to your NO when it comes to weekend getaway. It was a Friday night and we all friends were hanging around. Suddenly at around 2 am in the morning the idea of weekend getaway popped up and in no time the cab, hotel everything was booked, many thanks to the technology. We rushed to our houses picked up a few clothes and exactly at 6 AM the cab was outside the house. Quickly all friends gathered at my place and we all leisurely placed ourselves in the cab and left for Ranikhet.
Intention of this trip was not to exert ourselves but to take a break from our routine life and make this trip relaxing. So we decided not to do much of touristy things.
Raniket is almost 360 km from Delhi. It took us 10 hours to reach Ranikhet, of course we took one lunch and few tiny mini dhaba tea breaks as no road trip can be finished without dhaba halt.
Ranikhet is a small town managed by Army. This place is bliss, it’s a nirvana. Perfect weather, green land, scenic views, peaks of Himalayan mountains, natural fountains, peace and warmth to offer to its travellers. Other than its embellished breathtaking natural beauty, many great saints got their spiritual enlightenment at Himalayan caves in Ranikhet. Lahiri Mahashay took his spiritual ordination from Mahavatar Baba at this divine land only.
We reached in the evening, comfortably checked in to the hotel “Yak n Yeti”. It was indeed a nice hotel, rooms were well organised and had parquet flooring and teakwood detailing all over the wall with a small beautiful balcony to have an ornamental view of heavenly and tranquil environment with tall coniferous trees and green meadows all over.
I made myself a tea, sat in my balcony and soaked in the view, which was surreal for me. We decided to be in the hotel and relax as being a hilly area everything closes down early. As a perfect combination nothing could be better than old Hindi songs, nice sumptuous meal and few crazy friends.
Next morning, I got up early sat in my balcony with my only morning obsession i.e. ginger chai. The morning was breathtaking; sonorous sound of cold breeze with the fragrance of petrichor in the air post- rain night was so dreamlike.
We started our day with breakfast and left for chaubatia garden. This is the famous fruit-laden orchard known for several exclusive varieties of apples, peaches, apricots and other alpine fruits. We hired a personal guide, an amazingly jolly fellow. He shared many interesting facts and stories about the place, he made the tour so interesting that we laughed our lungs out in the whole orchard tour.
They have their state-run fruit research centre also. At the top of chaubatia orchard there was a small restaurant, where they serve variety of fresh fruits juices, herbal juices, tea and snacks, mostly in- grown from their own orchard.
In the vicinity there was famous Jhula Devi Temple. This ancient Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Ram.
Not to miss the golf ground, one of the best places in Ranikhet to visit situated at an altitude of 6132 feet and recognized as one of the highest golf courses in Asia. This is a nine holes golf ground abounded with multicolour flowers green meadows in the midst of heavenly Himalayan surroundings. Well, for some reason it was closed for the public that day, it was disappointing but we didn’t cry over it and explored more things. We spent rest of our evening with local area of Ranikhet and its spellbound natural beauty.
We took a walk of this warm hearted city, visited local market, and had tea with hot served sweet buns. They have really nice few genuine spices shops also, bought few varieties of spices.
We were aimlessly wandering between lush green and tall deodar trees, rocks and admiring the beauty which God has showered here. There was an irresistible charm everywhere you look at, little exploration of this place took us at the beautiful spot at the perfect moment to saw the sunset. Sunset and sunrise point is always an attraction for tourists at hill stations.
Late that evening we requested hotel manager for bonfire and the request was granted. Bonfire at times is too risky in the mountains if wind is heavy, so permission is required. We had super fun, cracked jokes, played antakshari, danced on bollywood numbers around the bonfire. Later dancing turned into gazal singing as mood favoured. We enjoyed so much with other tourists, had dinner under the open starry sky. After all these wonderful experiences I crashed in my bed and slept for good 10 hours peacefully like a baby.
Next morning after the good breakfast and wonderful hospitality we started our journey to Delhi. While returning back we made a quick change in our plan and decided to go to Kainchi dham, which is near Bheemtal, almost an hour away from Ranikhet. Kainchi dham is a very famous Hanuman Ji temple and ashram, founded by great saint Sri Neem Karori Baba, who was considered to be an incarnation of Hanuman ji. People have witnessed many miracles here, even many Indian and global celebrities including Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have visited this place and took blessings. We also entered the temple for blessings. I was enthralled with the beauty and serenity of temple and ashram. Beautifully built and surrounded by mountains and river besides, the whole environment made the place divine. We spent some time there took blessings from baba Ji and started our rest of the journey for Delhi.
Things to take care for Ranikhet trip
- Any mode of convenience is ok for Ranikhet, Volvo, train or road
- Carry extra layers of cloths and inner wears
- Carry your trekking stuff with you in case you miss few then you can get at the local market
Ranikhet has pleasant weather in summers and super chilly during winters, so basically any weather is perfect for the trip but monsoon season must be avoided
If you have more time, there are many interesting places to see like majkhali, tarikhet village and bhalu dam which I shall surely cover in my next trip to Ranikhet.
Hope my whole story excites you enough to have a lovely getaway to Ranikhet, the pic credit goes to my friends and these are taken mostly from phone and few from my Canon DSLR.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta