Ranikhet hill station is a perfect tourist destination to travel throughout the year and offers you chances to play with snow during December and January. 1,869 meters above sea level, in Almora district of Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand lies the beautiful Ranikhet hill station, one of the three most visited hill stations in Uttarakhand the other two being Nainital hill station and Mussoorie hill station. The two words Rani meaning queen and khet meaning field combine to form Ranikhet meaning queen’s field.
Ranikhet | HISTORY
According to popular belief, Ranikhet Uttaranchal got its name when Rani Padmini, queen of Raja Sukherdev, the local ruler, saw this place and was struck by its beauty. She was so captivated by the place that she decided to stay there, and the place came to be known as Ranikhet (literally, queen’s field). The region around Ranikhet was ruled by local Kumaoni rulers and later came under British rule. The British developed Ranikhet as a hill station for their troops and established a cantonment in 1869. Ranikhet is still a cantonment town and is the Kumaon Regimental Center.
Ranikhet gets its name after queen Padmini, beloved wife of King Sukherdev. Sukherdev and Padmini camped in the area and Padmini fell in love with the natural beauty of this place. Queen Padmini enjoyed watching the heavenly beauty of Ranikhet Hill station from her temporary residence and thus the place gets its name Ranikhet where the Rani watched over the meadows and hill station. In 1869, British- the admirers of natural beauty and cruel by nature to take hold of all the beautiful things on earth, established Ranikhet town and Ranikhet hill station as summer retreat and then established the headquarter of British Kumaun Regiment here. Preserved and maintained by Indian army, the reserve forest of Ranikhet is house to varied flora and fauna including Oak, Pine and deodar. Barking deer, Indian hare, jackle, langur, leopard, leopard cat, mountain goat, pine martin, porcupine, red faced monkey, red fox, sambhar and wild bear are prominent in Ranikhet forest.