|Uttarakhand-Ranikhet,Bhimtal and Binsar|
Ranikhet if translated to English means Queen’s Meadow. There is legend behind the name Ranikhet. The legend states that at this place only Raja Sudhardev won the heart of his queen-Rani Padmini. Rani Padmini chose the same place for her residence and named it Ranikhet.
Situated at an altitude of 1869kms in Uttarakhand, Ranikhet served as the headquarters of Kumaon Regiment and summer retreat during the British Rule in India. It enjoys cold winters and moderate summers. Snowfall in the months of December, January and February attracts tourists from plains to enjoy the snow in Himalayas.
Just 59kms from Nanital, Paradise on Earth- Ranikhet provides panoramic views of Western Himalayas and spectacular view of Nanda Devi. Ranikhet also offers adventure sports like trekking to Kausani, Sitalakhet and Daunagiri.
Attractions of Ranikhet:
Upat and Kalika: Upat raises the enthusiasm of golf lovers with one of the best 9-hole golf course in India. The private orchards with various kinds of plantations along with the oak forests are an ideal tourist spot for walks in the Himalayan region of India. Just a kilometer from Upat lies Kalika, a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.
Chaubatia: Chaubatia Orchards are renowned world-wide for its apple Orchards. As the name Chaubati suggests there are four orchards-apples, peaches, plums and apricots.
Majhkali: Majhkali is a picturesque tourist destination on Ranikhet- Almora road in Uttarakhand, India. Gifted with hilly terrains, valleys, cool climate and eye-capturing surroundings, Majhakali mesmerizes the tourists.
Bhalu Dam: Bhalu Dam is the main source of water for the Queen of Fields-Ranikhet. Tourists come here to have fun and enjoy fishing.
Bhimtal is an ancient place located just 22kms from Nainital in Uttarakhand, India. Nestled in Himalayas at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level, Bhimtal is very famous for Bhimtal Lakewhich has an island at its centre.
Bhimtal is named after Bhima of Mahabharata. An old Shiva temple situated at the bank of Bhimtal Lake is believed to have been built by Bhima during his visit to the place at the time of Vanvas (banishment). Bhimtal served as the rest point for a long period for the travelers of the Kumaon region from hills to plains and vice-versa. The old pedestrian road still exists and connects Kathgodam to other Kumaon region and also to Nepal and Tibet.
Places to Visit in Bhimtal:
Garg Parvat which is the source of Gargi River is very near to Bhimeshwar temple.
Nal Damyanti Tal is a natural lake. The lake is so named as it is believed that the palace of King Nala drowned into the lake.
Hidimba Parvat is famous for Vankhandi Ashram. Vankhandi Maharaj is a monk and environmentalist who lives on the Hidimba Parvat. He created a wildlife sanctuary around the hill.
Karkotaka: The Karkotaka hill is named after mythical cobra-Karkotaka. There is a very famous Nag Temple of Uttarakhand on the hill. Thousands of pilgrims gather here to worship the Nag Karkotaka Maharaj on Rishi Panchami.
Binsar: Binsar is a well known forest reserve and bird sanctuary in Uttarakhand. It is just 26kms from the famous hill station Almora. Located at an altitude of 2480 meters at Jhandi Dhar hills of Kumaon, Binsar was once the capital of Chand Raj Dynasty. Rich in flora and fauna Binsar is surrounded by forests of oak, pine, deodar and rhododendron.
Binsar wildlife sanctuary established in 1988 covers an area of 45.59 sq meters. It is a home to 200species of birds and a large variety of flora and fauna. It gives a panoramic view of Himalayan Peaks. Zero Point at Binsar provides the most alluring views of the snow-capped peaks of Kedarnath, Shivling, Nanda Devi and Trishul.
Bineshwar Mahadev Temple is a famous ancient temple built in 16th century. It is believed that Binsar is named after this temple.
Golu Devta Temple with the famous deity of Kumaon is just 4kms from Binsar. This temple is an important tourist attraction around Binsar.
Binsar Hills are believed to be a reservoir of ancient relics. Pariyadeva-Pashan is an archeological site with a relic dating back to Megalithic Age bearing cup marks.
There is a Museum called Binsar Musuem in Binsar which provides information on this ecological paradise.
As far as the accommodation in Binsar is concerned there is a resort-Khali Estate which has once a home of Commissioner of Kumaon.