The capital of Ranchi is situated in Chhotanagpur valley at an altitude of 2140 ft above sea level . Even as urbanization is taking rapid strides in the city, it has not lost its communion with nature. Ranchi is endowed with tranquil lakes, wild rivulets and stately hills, all within a couple of kilometers away from the flyovers , bridges and the cacophony of the vehicles. Thanks to its climate , that the city had earned the epithet of the summer capital of the undivided state of Bihar. Over the years it has also evolved as a important centre for technical as well as general education. It is also an important seat for tribal studies. Following are the prominent tourist destination.
Sightseeing Places In Ranchi
RANCHI LAKE – The placid lake lies in the heart of the capital city at a distance of 4.5 kms from the Ranchi railway station and 7 kms from the airport. It is near the main road of ranchi , in the year 1842. Enhancing its reticent charm is the majestic presence of the Ranchi hill at its backdrop. The nearly one and half century old lake is located at the base of hill. While withstanding the ravages of the changing city, it has however managed to retain its original charm. It is ideal for spending a couple of hours in solitude , while being in the midst of the city humdrums .The site can be reached through auto and other public transport from the railway station.
KANKE DAM – Located on the kanke road , at 8 kms from the railway station and 12 kms from the airport is the kanke dam. Covering an expanse of 8 sq.kms , the water body is overlooked by the Gonda hillocks. The huge dark boulders of the latter instantly catch the eye ever from a distance. The Dam supplies potable water to nearly half the city’s population in the adjoining areas. Simultaneously, the place is also being developed as a tourist spot, with musical fountains and boating facilities. The arched staircase that leads down to the waters of the lake also offers a panoramic view of the sunrise and sunset. The waters of the lake shimmer in the lights of its illuminated banks in the evening. It can be easily reached through auto rickshaws and other locally available public transport.
ROCK GARDEN – Overlooking the kanke dam , about 8kms from the railway station , on the kanke road is the rock garden. While attracting tourists, the place also promises to be a favourite haunt for the lovers, raring to steal a clandestine rendezvous away from the glares of the city. The artificial gardens and waterfalls have been developed amidst the naturally occurring large boulders, by the reputed artists from Kolkata. The horror house with eerie sound effects can send creeps down your spine. The imaginary figures sculpted in locally available stones are an artist’s delight.Being in the midst of the city it can be easily approached through hired taxis , auto rickshaws and other locally plying public transport.
PANCH GHAGH FALL – Located on the way to simdega on the Ranchi – Chaibasa road, it is about 40 kms from the state capital. Being a series of five waterfalls in a row the destination is known by the name of Panch Ghagh or even Panch Dhara. It is an ideal picnic spot amidst lush greenery. The cascading water of swarnarekha , foaming through the naturally occurring gradual terrain of the rocks is a sight to behold. The place is usually frequented by the revelers on the new year’s eve. It is in the vicinity of the hirni falls.
SUN TEMPLE – The elegant temple of the sun God , is 40 kms away from the raileway station on the tata road near Bundu. It is fashioned in the form of huge chariot with 18 bedecked wheels and seven true to life houses as if ready to gallop ahead. It has been build by the Sanskrit vihar and the temple committee is headed by shri Ram Maroo, father of the former Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ajay Maroo. The temple has large pond within its complex that comes to life during chhatt or the festival of sun God. The colourful Tusu festival is also celebrated there by the natives on june 25. A dharamshala has been built for the pilgrims. The all weather mortorable road running up to the temple premises is an added advantage for the tourists and devotees alike.
PAHARI MANDIR – The age old pahari mandir that turns half kms within from the Ratu road is a fast developing destination for religious tourism. Located at about 8kms from the railway station and 12kms from the airport, the 2140 feet ranchi hill , houses the temple at its summit. A flight of 468 steps lead your to the Pahari Baba that is worshiped in the form of a shive linga. There is major surge of devotees during the month of saavan ( july – august ). The hill offers a kaleidoscopic view of the capital city. It is also called Phansi Tongri , by the local villagers. A number of revolutionaries are belived to have been hanged here by the erstwhile british rulers in the dense cover of forests that once existed there.
DEORI MANDIR – A temple solha bhuji Goddess Durga, it is located on the right side of Tata Ranchi highway ( NH33 ), at 60 kms from the capital city in tamar. It is the only temple in the Jharkhand where the pujas are done by the pahans ( Tribal priests ) along with the conventional brahmins. The original temple is in stone dating back to about 10 -11th century AD. The temple commands unflinching faith from its devotees, from far and wide. The icon of the temple with 16 arms is unique considering that the commonly worshiped form of Goddess Durga is with eight arms. The temple is presently in a state of renovation.
TAGORE HILL – True to its name, the idyllic hill, rising to a height of 300 feet, continues to preserve the legacy of the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. It lies within the city of Morhabadi in ranchi, at a distance of 7 kms from the railway station and 10 kms from the airport. The elder brother of the kabiguru, jyotindranath Tagore, had visited the place in 1908. So enamoured was he by the captivating beauty of the Morhabadi hill and its surroundings, that he set up his camp home on the hillock. This is being converted into and art museum, which can be reached through a flight of easy steps. Being in the midst of the city, the spot is easily accessible through light vehicles and three – wheelers.
JONHA FALLS – About 40 kms away from ranchi situated on the Ranchi – Purulia highway, is the Jonha Falls, named after the local village. It is also known as the Gautamdhara , as there is a temple dedicated to Lord Buddha, in its vicinity. The rocks here seem to beckon you down its natural gradient to join the frothy gurgling water of the river. The falls appears relatively more somber, enhancing the picturesque charm of the spot.The site is well – connected with both rail and bus routes. One has to take the muri bound train from Ranchi get off at the nearest station , Gautamdhara. The Muri – Purulia bound bus also takes you to Jonha, from where a rugged road leads you to the falls. There is also a tourist bungalow near the falls.
HUNDRU FALLS – Hundru falls is about 45 kms away from Ranchi town, located on the Ranchi Purulia highway. The sight of the river swarnarekha taking a spectacular leap from a height of 320 feet instantly wears out your fatigue. At the base of the falls the spirit of the water however mellows, gathering into a frothy pool where the visitors may take a rejuvenating dip. The place is also popular as one of the most admired trekking destination in the state. The wrath of Hundru is at its peak in the monsoons, when its waters unbridled and unchallenged, lash against the rocks. In summer, however it proves to be a cool recluse for picnic lovers.
JAGANNATH TEMPLE – The seventeenth century temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath nestles on a small hillock at jagannathpur. Located near HEC, Dhurwa, on the south – west of the capital city, it is 11 kms from the railway station and 6 kms from the airport. The 100 feet tall temple was built by Thakur Aninath Shahdeo, in 1691 AD. The temple’s architectural style is reminiscent of its counterpart at Puri. It draws lakhs of devotees every year, especially on the occasion of car festival of Rathyatra , in the month of june / july. The temple also has a large hall in its complex, where thousands of marriages are solemnized every year.It can be reached through various means of locally available transport and light vehicles.
SITA FALLS – Through it is one of the lesser known water falls, none the less your trip of the waterfalls in Ranchi is incomplete without a visit here. Being close to jonha, it is not difficult to reach either. The rocky gradient down where the water trickles, seems to have been sculpted by none other than nature herself. The view caresses away both your physical and mental strains, leaving you recharged as the fresh and foaming waters of the falls.
HIRNI FALLS – It is another fascinating waterfall with tranquil surroundings. It is situated 70 kms from Ranchi on way to Chakradharpur. Situated amidst dense forests, rivers Swarnarekha, tumbles in wild abandon from a considerable height as a Hirni or wild doe. The cracks, crevices and the chasms across the mountain ridges or the tall trees that obstruct the general course of the river has split it into a number of miniature rivulets that restlessly meander their way down. It is however ideal for a day visit, given the dense forests around.
BIRSA ZOO – The Birsa Munda Jaivik Udyan, is on the way to Ramgarh on NH-33, about 20 kms from ranchi near ormanjhi. The thick canopy of lush green forests proves to be natural habitats for a rich variety of wild life that thrive here. The charm of the place lies in the fact that unlike the prevalent concept of zoo, where animals are put in cages, the animals here roam without fear. The elephants, peacocks, varieties of chirping birds, monkeys , leopards , dear etc. are all there to welcome you, in your trip around, in specially available vehicle. There is also a lake within the site with boating facilities. Being located on NH-33, it easily accessible.
BIRSA DEER PARK – Located about 23 kms from the capital city, across the Ranchi – Khunti road, lies the Birsa Mrig Vihar at kalamati. Spread over and area of 23 hectares amidst the tree of Sal, Peepal, Baanyan etc, it is a rare feast for the eyes to sight the spotted sambhar and cheetal. The park has three watch towers from where the tourists may get wide view of the site without disturbing the natural activities of the animals. The entrance has been developed into a park for the children.
NAKSHATRA VAN – Nakshatra Van is a park located in front of the Jharkhand Raj Bhawan ( Governor’s Residence ) in Ranchi at about 5 kms from the Railway station and 8 kms from the airport.The park appears to have been developed on the principal of 27 Nakshatras of “Jyotish Shastra”, hence the name. it is divided into various sections and is centered around a circle. The latter in turn is divided in arcs precisely according to the angles, the zodiacs make with the earth. The trees of a particular zodiac have been planted in its corresponding arc. At the centre of this circle, is also a musical fountain. There is a section for medicinal plants in the park which has some rare herbs. A resting statue of Dhanvantari is placed in its midst. The best time for visiting the park is during evening , preferably around 6:30 PM, when the park gets brightly illuminated .Being in the heart of the city, it can be reached easily through various means of public transport plying within the city.
WAR MEMORIAL – The war Memorial in the state that pays tribute to the sons of the soil is located at Booty More, in the Dipatoli Army Contonent, on the Ranchi – Ramgarh – Hazaribagh Highway. It aims at immortalizing the sacrifices of the war heroes from the state in various military operations as second world war, Indo – China war, Indo – Pak war and counter – insurgency operations.
Param Vir Chakrwinner Late Lance Naik Albert Ekka from the Brigade of the Guards and Kirti Chakra recipient Late Sepoy Viswa Kerketta from Bihar Regiment, have found their rightful place in the Memorial with the legendary tribal leader Birsa Munda. The sound and light show in the Memorial along with a museum showcasing the various aspects of tribal history and culture are also worth seeing. It is easily approachable through any public transport from the city.
WAR CEMETERY – The war cemetery is an old Hazaribagh road, about 3 kms, from ranchi railway station. It is situated next to the SPG Christian cemetery near Kantatoli chowk. Managed by the commonwealth war Graves commission, United Kingdom, it happens to be the smallest concentration, cemetery in India with a total of 708 burials of soldiers of the world war -2 when Ranchi had become an important base. The cemetery was begun on 1 june 1942, and used until the end of the war. These graves are not only well maintained amidst manicured lawns and flowers, but are also classified accordingly, bearing the details of the martyrs and poignant messages engraved on their epitaphs. The cemetery is open Monday to Friday between 8AM – 5PM and on Saturday till 12PM. It is closed on Sundays.Being centrally located in the city, one can easily reach the place through the available public transport.
FISH AQUARIUM – Popularly known as “Machli Ghar” , it is the heart of the city next to the Governor’s house. It is about 5 kms from the railway station and 8 kms from the airport. Inaugurated way back in 1985-86, it presently has 16 aquarism. Watching the fish move in myriad shades and shapes is a visual delight. One can see the gold fish, in various flamboyant hues, the kissing Gurami, Black Molly, the ornamental shark amongst others. The site has been spruced up further with a well – cultivated garden complete with swings and slides for the amusement of the children.
Being so centrally located, it can be reached easily through various means of public transport plying within the city and its outskirts.
GOLF COURSE – This only 18 hole Golf course in Jharkhand, is located within the premises of Dipatoli Army cantonment, at booty more. It is about 7 kms, from the railway station and 15 kms from the airport, next to the war memorial. The latest addition to these 200 acres of golfing tract is a brand new club house complete with a gym and sauna. The small water bodies dotting the good greens on the raised portions increase the degree of difficulty, in the course of the game as well as aid in beautification. The fairway in the midst of the ground is also well – maintained. It can be reached by any public transport plying across the city.
HATIA DAM – Although it is called Hatia Dam, it is actually located in the Dhurwa region of Ranchi, covering and expanse of 7 sq. kms. Besides being a prominent tourist destination, the water of the dam caters to a huge population in the region. It is a about 15 kms from the city. The dam has gazebos on one side, where one may sit and enjoy the cool breeze by the dam. The slop of the dam has stones set on the soil, that provides a good grip while descending down to the waters of the dam. It is thus a favourite site for a quick swim, or simply for boating. The dam is also ideal for a view of the setting sun. it can be easily reached by three – wheelers and other light vehicles.
AMRESHW ARDHAM – Located about 40 kms from Ranchi in khunti, on the national highway – 33 is the temple of Amreshwardham. The temple is so called following the presence of a shivling, under the mango tree. The shivling is believed to be bhuiphore ( sprouting from beneath the earth’s surface, it was discovered by a local businessman about six decades ago. It has been later developed into a temple complex bearing the icons of Lord Ganesha, Ram – Sita and Hanuman. Essentially a shavic site , the other temples were added later. However, despite the presence of so many ornate temples within the complex, the shivlinga has simply a shed above it, ensuring just a bare minimum protection against sun and rain. “ Such is the wish of Baba….” Goes the local saying. The temple is flocked by devotees from far and wide particularly during the Saavan. Being located on the highway , the temple is accessible easily. It is close to the hatia railway station.
SHREE 1008 BASUPUJIYA DIGAMBER JAIN MANDIR – The latest addition to the legacy of the Digamber jain in the state is the shri 1008 Basupujiya temple, in Ratu road, about 10 kms from the ranchi railway station and 12 kms from the airport. It is dedicated to the 12th jain tirthankar, Lord Basupujiya. Sculpted in Jaipur from the Bijolia stone, of Rajasthan, the coffee brown icon stands 5.1 feet tall. It is atop a nine inch high lotus, which in turn is perched on a bedi or ornamental platform. The striking architecture is in Naagarshaili pattern of Rajasthan, and constructed out of red sandstone. The Garba Griha or sanctum sanctorum is 71 feet high which has been built without using any steel. Rich carvings of jain symbols as Om, Swastika, kalash , Gaja and padma, can be seen on its walls and shikhar. The main entrance has the depiction of the legendary 16 dreams, that the mother of the Lord is believed to have seen prior to his birth. The two side entrance or chatushika, are also embellished with the jain symbols.