Ranikhet means ‘Queen’s Field’. According to a local legend it is named after Rani Padmini, wife of the 12 th -century king, Sudhar Deve. The queen in the course of a journey came here and was so enchanted and mesmerized by the beauty of the land that she decided to settle down here.
It wasn't Rani Padmini only who was enthralled by the grandeur of but British as well. In the year 1869 the British troops selected it to be their cantonment, away from heat and dust in the tranquility of the land surrounded by pines and deodar.
Ranikhet is one of the oldest cantonments in the country. Traces of British history are still evident in the old British cemeteries and in the lovely houses facing the mountains.