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Worldwatch: Queen of hills

Ranikhet is perhaps the only hill station that offers such a grand panoramic view of the Himalayas from the grand Panchachuli summit.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 14:38 IST

If you are reeling under the gruelling heat, taking a break in a cool Himalayan hideaway will definitely recharge your batteries. And, the quiet town of Ranikhet is just the right destination to chill out!

Ranikhet owes its name to an unknown Katyuri Queen of the 12th century. Travelling in this area, she was seduced by its green glades and awesome snow vistas and persuaded her husband to build her a home here. 

What you should know
STD Code of Ranikhet is 05966

Accommodation:

Rosemount Hotel

(Tel: 220989);

Hotel Westview (Tel: 220261); Holm Farm (Tel: 220891)

Ranikhet Club (Tel: 220611); KMVN Tourist Rest House(Tel: 221527)

Food: For Continental as well as Indian — Rosemount. For Chinese Westview and for Indian Meghdoot.

Sati’s dhaba for samosas and Hari Mishtan for Bal Mithai, a local specialty.

Travel Agents: Himalayan

Wanderers (Tel: 094-120-92072)

(
www.himalayanwanderers.com)


Though she visited regularly, the khets remained with the local populace till the British established a military base here in 1869. This serene and beautiful place captivated not just the Katyuri queen – Lord Mayo, one of the Viceroys of India, actually planned to shift the summer capital here from Simla!



Fortunately this did not come to pass and Ranikhet has managed to retain its pristine charm, largely due to the fact that it is predominantly a military cantonment.

Mapping your way
The Delhi-Ranikhet is 340 km and around 80km of it is a hill drive. With an early start, you could make it in eight hours. You drive along the NH 24, by passing Moradabad (160 km).