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Old 26th November 2007, 16:32   #1
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Default Ranikhet - The Queen's meadow

During the Diwali holidays, I decided to visit Uttaranchal. Didnít want to make it long so decided on a Delhi-Ranikhet trip. Surfing and searching, I narrowed my place of stay at a Heritage Resort called Holm Farm (http://www.holmfarmranikhet.com/index.htm.)

Since my motherís hometown is Ramnagar (Uttaranchal), I decided upon the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Kashipur-Ramnagar-Ranikhet route (A total distance of 360 odd kilometers). Our ride was my dadís 2001 model Matiz, which had already clocked over 50K Kms. Was a little apprehensive of taking this car, but my earlier journeys to Kumaon hills in this vehicle, gave me confidence.

My initial plan was to leave Delhi on 12th early Morning and check-in at the resort by 2:00 p.m. But my Mother and Mausiji also decided to give us company till Ramnagar. So decided to leave Delhi on 11th noon and stay over at Ramnagar at my Mamajiís place.

The journey from Delhi to Ramnagar was nothing much to write about (Left Delhi at 1:00 p.m. and reached Ramnagar at 7:00 p.m.). A heavy jam before Garhmukteshwar (NH24) ensured a delay of around 1 hour.

There was a lot of construction activity being carried on NH24. The road is being widened and flyovers are being constructed at major towns to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. There is a decent restaurant called ďBhajanĒ at Gajraula (just before Gajraula Junctionís main Red Light on the left hand side) quiet popular amongst the frequent travelers for itís Paranthas.

Ramnagar is a small town well known for being the gateway to Corbett National Park and draws lot of tourist attention because of its geographical location. One can visit the famous Ram Temple and peaceful Kosi-Bairaj (River Bank) here. We stayed overnight at Ramnagar and next day morning headed towards Ranikhet.

On the route to Ranikhet, around 14 kms. from Ramnagar, there is a huge rock in the midst of river Kosi. This place has been named Garjia Devi after the deity. The temple (built on the rock-hill) is visited by thousands of devotees from different parts of the state. A large fair is held here on Kartik Poornima. To reach the temple one has to cross a makeshift bridge on the Kosi river. This picture explains the condition of the bridge:

In the Hands of God:


Some random pics of temple and surroundings:

Garjia Devi Temple:


Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Who's the Chirpiest of them All:


Pure Water:


Divine Bird:


Continued....
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Old 26th November 2007, 16:58   #2
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Default Continued from above...

After the blessings of the Goddess, we started our journey towards our destination. The state of the roads varied from bumpy to ..uhh.. how to explain, may be this picture will say it all:



I will advise everyone to avoid taking the Ramnagar-Ranikhet route. It is narrow and bumpy. One can take the Nanital-Ranikhet route, which is mostly pleasant, but longer.

After reaching Ranikhet, we started searching for our Resort. After some help from locals, we were able to locate the resort. Holm Farm Heritage is a good 1.5 kms away from the main city roads. The road to the Resort is not a ďpakkaĒone and raises doubts on where one is heading. But as soon as we landed at our destination, all our doubts were pleasantly cleared. This is what awaited us:

Holm Farm Resort Main Bungalow:



The view from the resort was breathtaking (Himalaya Range including the Mighty Trishul, Mrigthuni, Nandadevi, Nandadevi East, Pindari Glacier etc)



The Holm Farm was originally built by Norman Troupe (A British Army Officer). The name Holm comes from William Holmes, an expert in tea gardening who was Troupeís friend and helped him develop a beautiful tea garden, which still exists in the vicinity of Holm Farm. The bungalow was later owned by Mohd. Amin, F.C. Banyon, Catherine Abbot, wife Col. Abbot of Abbot Mount fame, and from 1947 on by Madan Mohan Upadhyaya, a freedom- fighter and Lawyer of national fame. The historic bungalow has had the privilege of hosting personalities like Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lord & Lady Mount Batton, Acharya Narendra Dev and Ambassadors of many a
country as guests. (Source: ttp://www.holmfarmranikhet.com/index.htm).

The main bungalow is made out of wood and efforts have been taken to keep things in original shape and flavor. We were given a spacious room overlooking the mighty Himalayas. Our suite also had an additional study room.

Main room:





We spent that day exploring the resort and playing pool. (The resort has a pool and a T.T. table, there is a cemented/deserted tennis court also). After a heavy dinner, we slept for nearly 10 hours. The temperature was quiet low outside and we had to use a room heater.

Next day, we decided to pay a visit to the famous Jhula-Devi temple and Chaubattia Gardens. On the way we went to the KRC (Kumaon Regimental Centre) Woolen factory and Museum. One can buy warm handloom shawls at the KRC factory outlet at very reasonable prices. There were a lot of interesting things that I wanted to capture at the Museum, but photography was not allowed.

Jhula-Devi Temple is a temple of goddess Durga. It is 8th century old temple and it is believed that if a person asks for something he gets it and on fulfillment of his desire ties a bell in the temple. Chaubattia Garden is famous for it's apple orchard. (Ranikhet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Being off-season we didnít get to see much at the Gardens.

We came back to the resort and I decided to explore the surrounding areas on foot. There were a lot of flowers blooming around the resort. Some random pics:









Rusting in Peace:


(To be continued..)
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Old 26th November 2007, 17:56   #3
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Default Continued from above..

Next day morning, we woke up and were able to see the mountains reflecting sunrays. My limited photography skills do not do justice to the view that we saw ( Was using a humble P&S camera, a DSLR wouldn't have created much difference in composition though).

Trishul at morning:



We headed for the much talked about Natural Golf course, but were not very impressed by the dull looking dry grass. Maybe November is not a good month after-all to visit Ranikhet. But we were able to manage some clearer glimpse of the Himalayas.

So near, yet so far:



Next we headed towards Binsar Mahadev Temple. The temple is in the middle of a lovely Cedar Forest. Some pics:

Binsar Mahadev Temple (Shiva Temple):




Cedar Tree:



Fruit Tree:



We did not travel much around Ranikhet. Most of the local sightseeing was done during 10:00 to 3:00 p.m. We rather preferred to stay at the resort and absorb as much natural beauty as possible. Our favorite time-pass was to have hot coffee at the resorts balcony overlooking the Himalayas. The silence and the serenity just surrounds and engulfs you.

As all good things come to an end, we checked out the next day. The food at the resort was superb. The staff was courteous and helpful. I will highly recommend this Heritage Resort to everyone who truly wants to break free from maddening city life.

Needless to say, we took the Ranikhet-Nanital-Ramnagar-Delhi route on our way back. Stopped at Nanital for a short break. This hill station has itís own charm and memories. (Though is has become completely commercial and exploited). We took the Nanital-Kaladungi-Ramnagar route, which passess through one of the most beautiful and unexplored lakes in the Nanital District:

Khurpatal:



As kids, during our summer holidays we used to stay at Khurpatal and occasionally used to cover the 14kms Khurpatal to Nanital distance by foot. Now I can only remember walking so much.

We reached Delhi by 5:00 p.m. The car handled the way it should. Driving in hills demands judgment and patience. The only way you can reach faster is by avoiding the road and taking off the cliff. I saw a lot of new Altos between Raniket and Nanital. In fact I was surprised initially as every fourth vehicle that I saw on roads was an Alto (and that too a newly registered one). I donít have figures for total distance traveled and mileage etc.


I am sorry for making this a long travelogue (maybe boring as well). Promise you guys that will enhance my writing and photography skills and come up with an interesting one hereafter.
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Old 26th November 2007, 18:02   #4
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Is the Ramnagar-Ranikhet road in a very bad condition? Any signs of repair?
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Old 26th November 2007, 18:15   #5
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Nice Pics and let me tell you it was not boring to read it as well...

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Old 26th November 2007, 18:34   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Is the Ramnagar-Ranikhet road in a very bad condition? Any signs of repair?
Hvkumar, the Ramnagar-Ranikhet route is indeed in bad shape at places and very bumpy otherwise. But then again, it is motorable and if one sticks to slow speeds (around 25-30 kms/hr), the road characteristics can be softened.

In case you are travelling from Delhi, you can take the Delhi-Moradabad-Haldwani-Ranikhet route. But the road conditions between Moradabad and Haldwani are again not very commendable. A longer, but very peaceful route is Delhi-Moradabad-Ramnagar-Haldwani-Ranikhet route. (The road from Ramnagar to Nanital via Kaladungi is in pathetic shape for around 4 kms after the turn towards Nanital from Kaladungi Check post. To avoid this patch, one should skip the kaladungi-nanital turn, and head straight to Haldwani and reach Ranikhet via Haldwani-Kathgodam-Ranikhet road)

Thanks Akroy for the encouraging remarks.
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Old 26th November 2007, 19:03   #7
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Very nice travelogue, not boring at all, and the pics are really nice, good quality even for a P & S camera. Well done.
Had the option of visiting Ranikhet last week after my trip to Corbett, but we chose Nainital as it was closer and to make the drive back easier.
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Old 26th November 2007, 22:25   #8
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Thanks for the wonderful travelogue. Please keep travelling and take us through your journeys by these travelogues.
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Old 27th November 2007, 09:34   #9
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Thanks Luke and Pjbiju. Luke try and visit Ranikhet and Kausani, you can even try Auli during winters.

Here are some more pics:

Himalay:



At Morning:



Rose:

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Old 28th November 2007, 01:33   #10
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Thank you thank you. Holm Farm Heritage is where we had put up as well, when I went with my parents long back. I was unable to recall that name anyway. Did you go further to Kausani, Bageshwar and chaukhori.
If not, Visit Chaukori, the tourist resort out there (again can't recall the name) offers amazing clear and very nearby view of the Kumaoun range. Infact Trishul and Nanda devi look great from there.

Last edited by 1100D : 28th November 2007 at 01:39.
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Old 28th November 2007, 04:22   #11
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TSEA nice pics and write up.
have always wanted to go to Ranikhet.
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Old 28th November 2007, 09:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Did you go further to Kausani, Bageshwar and chaukhori....the tourist resort out there (again can't recall the name)...
.
Not this time, but will surely plan for it next time I am in Dev-Bhoomi Uttaranchal. There should be a KMVN Tourist Bungalow in Chaukori...
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Old 28th November 2007, 09:34   #13
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Thats very cool looking Himalayan ranges.
Pictures are excellent, some of them very perfect for desktop background.

Really got impressed by the photo having pure water of Kosi river. Reminds me of the river in Arunachal Pradesh( Rupa Valley).
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Old 28th November 2007, 09:44   #14
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Very well written travelogue and brilliant pics. I myself had been to Ranikhet last year and stayed at the same place :-)

Cheers

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Old 28th November 2007, 10:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatDrive View Post
having pure water of Kosi river. Reminds me of the river in Arunachal Pradesh( Rupa Valley).
Ya GreatDrive, the river water is crystal clear, in fact at the point where I took the pic, the water was a good 1-1.5 feet deep. Even I want to visit Arunachal, have heard a lot about it, in fact the whole of the Seven Sister States. But have never gone beyond Gauhati.
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