The capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi comes as a surprise to most travellers simply because of its unexplored beauty. With its simple way of life and natural heritage, there is something inexplicably heart-warming and magnetic about this city. Home to numerous waterfalls, temples and scenic viewpoints, the city has got quite a few places to explore. To make things easier and help plan your holiday, we have a compiled a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in Ranchi.
Best places to visit in Ranchi:
1. Jagannath Temple
The first thing that strikes you about Jagannath Temple is its resemblance to the temple in Puri. Located about 10 km from the main city, this 17th-century shrine is one of the most popular places in the city and is thus visited by innumerable tourists. The best time to visit the temple is undoubtedly during the Ratha Yatra which is held every year in the months of June-July. As the temple is built on a hill, you will have to climb several stairs to reach there. After seeking blessings, don’t forget to spend a few minutes enjoying the splendid views of the city from the top.
- Timings: 5:00 am to 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
2. Ranchi Lake
Located in the heart of the city, Ranchi Lake was excavated in 1842 by the British Colonel Onsely. A great place to spend a relaxed evening, this lake offers ample space for family picnics and boat rides. The lake is located at the base of Ranchi Hill, which is another great spot in the city to explore including the small Shiv Mandir perched atop it. The panoramic view of the cityscape from the hilltop is a sight to behold.
3. Rock Garden
Built from the rocks of Gonda Hill, the Rock Garden is one of the most visited tourist places in Ranchi. It is located on a small hill by the Kanke Dam, which further adds to its alluring charm. You must not miss the unusual iron footbridge here which stands on the support of only two poles and is a sight to behold. The garden also encompasses small waterfalls, beautiful sculptures and statues which make for a lovely setting to enjoy a picnic.
- Timings: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
4. Kanke Dam
Kanke Dam is situated conveniently close to the Rock Garden so it is best to visit the two spots together. The dam has slowly become a must-visit place in Ranchi and is brimming with people, especially during evenings and on weekends. Surrounded by undulating hills and offering charming views of the city, this is a great place to unwind after a long week or enjoy a leisurely picnic.
- Timings: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Travel Tip: The views of the sunset from here must not be missed.
5. Sun Temple
The first glimpse of the Sun Temple in Ranchi is absolutely captivating. Situated on a hilltop, the temple is constructed in the typical Sun temple architecture depicting a giant chariot with 18 wheels, pulled by seven horses. Other than the Sun God, the shrine holds idols of many other Hindu Gods and Goddesses and also has a pond within its complex which is considered sacred. The temple is visited by a number of tourists every day and makes for one of the most popular places to see in Ranchi.
- Distance from Ranchi: 20 km
- Timings: 6:00 am to 7:30 pm
- Travel Tip: Another popular shrine Deori Temple is located on the same path and can be visited on the same day.
6. Tagore Hill
Tagore Hill owes its name to the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, who is believed to have spent a lot of time here. Also known as Moradabad Hill, this spot is perfect to enjoy and admire the beautiful views of the city and the clear blue skies. The hill is also very popular among adventure seekers who can try rock climbing and trekking here. At the base of the hill is the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, the centre of Agrarian Vocational Institute and Divyayan.
7. Pahari Mandir
Situated atop Ranchi Hill at an altitude of 2140 ft., Pahari Mandir offers the most overwhelming views of the city. It sees a huge crowd of Shiva devotees round the year, especially during the season of Shravan, which is typically observed between July and August. The temple is also revered among devotees as it’s believed to have the powers to fulfil their wishes. To reach the temple, one needs to climb close to 400 steps.
- Timings: 4:30 am to 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
8. State Museum Hotwar
Originally known as Ranchi Museum, the State Museum Hotwar showcases ethnographic displays, arms & ammunition, artefacts and jewellery which trace back the history of the state. The clear winner of the museum is the sculpture gallery, which features stunning pieces and a collection of interesting pictures of the architectural sites across Jharkhand. Taking you on a journey of the state’s dynamic history, this museum is a centre of knowledge for history enthusiasts.
- Timings: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (Closed on Monday)
9. Nakshatra Van
Nakshatra Van is an urban park situated in front of the Governor House (Raj Bhawan) in Ranchi. Created on the unique concept of Nakshatras, the park is divided into various sections, each of which represents a Zodiac sign and celestial bodies. Hindu astrologers also believe that each constellation corresponds to a tree that has medicinal, aesthetic, social and economic value. Exploring the park according to your star sign is an experience unlike any other so you certainly don’t want to miss on it. The musical fountain and the scenic pathways surrounding it add to the beauty of the park. Evenings are typically the best time to visit!
- Timings: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm (Closed on Monday)
10. Dassam Falls
Located some 40 odd kilometres from the city, Dassam falls is one of the most popular spots for tourists in Jharkhand. The cascading waters of the fall are mesmerizing and a treat for photographers and nature lovers. A striking feature of this waterfall is when it is at its maximum glory, you can also see 10 streams of water falling into the plunge pool. Owing to the gradual rise in tourism, a number of restaurants and clean restrooms have come up in the area, making the visit far more convenient than it was earlier.
- Distance from Ranchi: 41 km
11. Jonha Falls
There are some places which become a symbol for the city they are in; Jonha falls is one of those places. Breathtakingly beautiful, the first glimpse of these hanging valley falls is unforgettable and will stay with you long after you have left. The Gunga and Raru rivers merge and fall from a height of 141 ft. to add to the most amazing surroundings to watch. Even though it is visited by a number of tourists every day, it is far from over-crowded and you can easily find a quiet spot to enjoy your time.
- Distance from Ranchi: 43 km
12. Patratu Valley
If long winding roads overlooking a breathtaking valley is what makes your holiday perfect, then you do not want to miss the Patratu Valley! Perhaps the best stretch you can find in the state of Jharkhand, the drive from Ranchi to the valley is every bike lover’s delight. The S-turns, hairpins and swooping corners, and the stunning vistas make the drive all the more exciting. You must stop at the Patratu Dam which is just as breathtaking and makes a great spot for picnicking.
- Distance from Ranchi: 34 km
13. Hundru Falls
Among the 50 highest waterfalls in India, Hundru Falls in Ranchi has to be part of your itinerary. Similar to the myriad falls in the region, this one too keeps the tourists captivated with its scenic splendour. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Ranchi, especially during the monsoon as the waterfall is in all its glory. But even in the dry season, you can head to this beautiful site for a picnic and to enjoy some of the best views of the Chota Nagpur Plateau.
- Distance from Ranchi: 48 km
14. Birsa Zoological Park
The Birsa Zoological Park is a great place to visit if you are travelling with children. The park is home to a wide variety of faunal species including tigers, lion and deer. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you can get all kinds of information about the wildlife of the region from here and even become a part of the animal adoption program. The zoo has a small canteen at the entrance which serves snacks and beverages.
- Distance from Ranchi: 26 km
- Timing: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Closed on Monday)
- Entry fee: INR 30 (Adults), INR 15 (Children)
15. Panch Gagh Falls
Located a little away from the city, Panch Gagh Falls is a favourite among locals and is quite popular as a picnic spot. The waterfall gets its name from the fact that five cascades can be seen falling from here. If you head here on a weekend, you’ll see a number of locals enjoying the beauty and serenity of the falls. You will need to take the stairs to reach here so be careful in case you are travelling with children.
- Distance from Ranchi: 50 km