Location: Garhwal Hills
Altitude: 2500 meters above sea level
Nearby Attractions: Lal Tibba, Gun Hill, Kempty Falls
Excursions: Yamunotri Bridge, Nag Tibba, Dhanaulti
Mussoorie, located some 250 miles north of Delhi, is among the most popular hill stations of India, and is called “the Queen of the hill stations”. It overlooks the sprawling Doon valley and the city of Dehradun, the gateway to Mussoorie and infact to the entire Garhwal. Mussoorie, a hill resort at a height of around 7,000 ft above the sea level, straddles a ridge in the Garhwal Himalayas - a region that is fast developing into a major tourism destination of India.
Although Mussoorie, as a hill station was established only as back as in 1823, it has quite an intriguing past. Mussoorie was never an official summer capital unlike Shimla - a hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which was the summer capital of the British Indian Government and even unlike Nainital - the summer capital of the united provinces government in British India. Mussoorie always remained unofficial - for the affairs of heart. It has always been a gossipy place - with an air of informality and a tradition of romance - The Honeymoon Capital of India.
An idyllic stroll through any of the meandering mountain roads of the town on a clear and sunny day will bring you to some of the well known and not so well known spots - each having its own tales to tell - Landour Bazaar, Chaar dukaan, Lal tibba, Gun hill, the Camel Back Cemetery, the Mussoorie Library, and of course the Hotel Savoy - an historical edifice in itself.
PRIME ATTRACTIONS OF MUSSOORIE
The Mall & Camel’s Back
Rickshaw rides down the Mall, and around the wooded road of Camel's Back with its timeless views of the northern ranges of the Himalayas, are a pleasure which is virtually unique to Mussoorie. Younger, and younger-at-heart, people prefer to amble down the Mall. And, in keeping with our informal atmosphere, it is fashionable to eat roasted peanuts while you amble. These are bought from barrows and little roadside vendors who keep them around little terracotta Gharras - pots filled with glowing, smoking, faggots. One of the barrows offers a bonus; it stands beneath a hoarding depicting Mussoorie's attractions so that you can get the lay of the land while you crack-crunch-relish.
This temple is located in Happy valley area of Mussoorie. Both Company gardens and Tibetan temple can be seen in one day. They are located one kilometer from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Administrative Academy. The Tibetan temple is evidence to rich Tibetan cultural heritage. This temple is sure to attract attention of tourists.
This place is seven kilometers on way to Kempty. Lake mist offers a perfect resting place for tired and weary tourists. There are good accommodation facilities available here.
This lake is located some 7-kms on the highway to Dehradun. The gateway of this lake appears to be welcoming tourists from Dehradun. One can enjoy boating at this lake. One also gets a very good view of the Dun Valley from this lake. The villages surrounding Mussoorie can also be seen from here.
This place is highest point in Mussoorie. Lal Tibba is located in Landour area which is the oldest inhabited place in Mussoorie.
This was the first hotel in Mussoorie. Charlieveli Hotel was only hotel in India which was under Queen Mary, who later became Queen of Britain. Since the last century till independence this hotel was very famous both in India and abroad.
A British major had a building constructed in 1838. This beautiful building was converted into hotel and was named Cloud End. It got the name because it appears that the clouds have ended here. From this place one can have a good view of the valley. Cloud end is located some 8-kms west of Mussoorie hills. Due to its location, at the end of horizon, it is very popular among the Honeymooners and foreign tourists. Good place to take break from crowd.
PLACES OF INTEREST AROUND MUSSOORIE
Another must-do thing in Mussoorie, apart from shopping, is a ride in the 'Ropeway': the cable car that carries visitors from the roundabouts and snackbars of the Childrens' Playground on the Mall to the heights of Gun Hill. Around its flat top are snack stalls and over a hundred photographers who snap visitors in glittering 'hilly girl' costumes, as brigands with ferocious mustaches and turbans, and as country-and-western stars with guitars and straw-hats. But quite apart from these 'souvenirs' of your Mussoorie visit', Gun Hill also offers excellent all-round views of Mussoorie, Dehra Dun, the eternal snows of the higher Himalayas and the wooded slopes of the sister- town of Landour.
If you walk past the clock tower and look between the plains and the rising slopes of Landour, you'll see a road that leads to the green meadows and Deodar forests of Dhanolti, 24-kms away. There's both a forest bungalow and a tourist bungalow and a tourist bungalow at Dhanolti and its a delightfully lonely place to spend a weekend from Mussoorie.
If you're not quite ready for such seclusion, take the western trip out to Kempty Falls, a 15-km drive from Mussoorie. Also served by regular buses and taxis this perennial cascade is a mountain stream which has cut and sculpted its way through great boulders and down rock faces offering a stimulating, drenching, shower when it reaches a sandy basis before rushing on. Here there is snack bar and bridge and, inevitably, a few photographers. The journey down is a 20 minute stroll, the way up is a 30 minute trudge, and you should allow half an hour or so at the base of the falls.
55-kms from Mussoorie is very good place for trekking. Nag Tibba, as it is called, is the highest place around Mussoorie. It is surrounded by thick dense forests. The actual trekking for Nag Tibba starts some 21-kms away from the place. The 34 kms journey from Mussoorie is done on Taxi or Bus and the rest is covered on foot.
SHOPPING IN MUSSOORIE
The main shopping centres in Mussoorie are Gandhi Chowk, the Mall, Kulri Bazaar and Landour Bazaar. Mussoorie is famous for wooden decorative and gift items. But one can also bargain brass statues and ceramic vases. Some good showrooms are located on the Mall where one can look for wooden boxes, brass statues, Tibetan Prayer wheels and vases. The hand carved oakwood walking stick are also popular among tourists. In the markets, photographs can be clicked wearing a dazzling Garhwali Dress. To be photographed in Garhwali garb against a painted Himalayan range makes a wonderful picture. Pure Ladakhi Shawls are bit costly but are worth a good purchase here. The antique Jamawar Shawls are expensive, but they are worth having a look if not being purchased. Nowadays modern techniques are being applied in weaving these shawls so buyers can get them on a reasonable price.
Nirankari Cottage Industries, at the library end of The Mall, has carved wooden boxes, brass statues of Hindu deities and Buddhas, Tibetan prayer wheels, ceramic Chinese vases and hand-carved wooden walking sticks made from oak. Queen Mary, then the Princess of Wales, took the last of these away with her as a souvenir of her visit to Mussoorie.
The closest airport is the Jolly Grant but it does not have regular flights.
The closest railway station is Dehra Dun which is 36 kms from Mussoorie. Dehra Dun is connected by rail to all the metropolitan cities. From Dehra Dun to Mussoorie one can go by bus or taxis.
From Dehradun one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Mussoorie. The queen of hill stations is well connected with roads with other major cities. There are regular bus services from various metros and other tourist destinations in Uttar Pradesh as well as from out side the state. Bus services are provided by State transports. There are conducted tours to Mussoorie too.