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The Queen of Hill Stations

The century-old Savoy Hotel (left) lends colour to the tales that Mussoorie, by night, is packed with ghosts of the Raj era including that of Captain Young. The huge, decaying hotel has probably dozens of ghosts flitting through its sprawling, eerie premises. Once a school, it was converted in 1902 into a luxury hotel and pompously named after London's Savoy hotel. No expense was spared in giving it charm.

According to Ruskin Bond, the Savoy, in its halcyon days, was equipped with the grandest and most regal Victorian and Edwardian furniture, snooker tables, even pianos, carted up from the plains by bullocks.

The hotel played host to Queen Mary (then Princess of Wales), Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, the emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie, the King of Nepal, the Crown Prince of Laos, Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S Buck, as well as every maharaja worth his salt.

When you roam through ballroom after ballroom, it is easy to picture the grand style it had in its day. It has been called the largest hill station hotel. A sign in the erstwhile billiards room mentions that a panther was once spotted under the billiards table.
Also read: The old-world charm of Darjeeling

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