For all you nature lovers, mountain enthusiasts and nirvana seekers, this piece isn’t a travel guide… it is a virtual experience, a preview of what the place entails in it’s true blue way, right to it’s heart! Mussoorie, Often known as the Queen of Hills, this nature’s prodigy, is situated at an altitude of 2005 meters, on the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range.
The drive from Dehradun is dotted with the humblest shacks, to serve you your craving- Maggie and Chai! As you sit and get lost in the reverie, the row of cars manoeuvring through the mountain roads, is a sight, unsurpassable!
So, of course, there is a good reason (in this case, a few over that), why Mussoorie tops the charts…. Have a field day playing these in your mind!
The famous promenade in Queen of the Hills, Mussoorie is The Mall. At a height of above 2000 mtrs, almost every visitor of Mussoorie must walk along the Mall Road with some picturesque viewpoints along it; Witness amazing views of the Doon valley. Colonial style houses are remnants of the British architecture, with shops, eateries, old styled video Game parlours and exciting skating rinks, an aquarium, a Methodist Church, the Mall road is the heartbeat.
As the second top peak of the Mussoorie, Gun Hill is popular place among photographers and Himalayan viewers as it provides a 360 degree view of Himalayan ranges namely Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara and Gangotri group etc.
Located at 400 ft above the Mall, Gun Point is at 20 min walking distance through the Mall.
The enchanting Jharipani Falls offers a picturesque view of the Shivalik Range. 6 km downhill of Mussoorie, lie the falls, that you can reach within a 30 minute walk. Mussoorie’s famous boarding schools, namely, St George’s, Wynberg Allen, and Oakgrove are well packed within the estates of Jharipani.
While there is a direct road from Mussoorie to Jharipani, adventure seekers can also indulge in a 5-km easy trek from Shahanshahi Ashram in Dehradun which leads straight to Jharipani.
Known for its milky streams of water, Kempty Fall was developed by a British officer as a place for organizing tea parties. At a height of 4500 ft surrounded by the valleys of Mussoorie, Kempty Falls soon become a favourite place for day out tour or a picnic. Now, a must visit tourist destination for people visiting Mussoorie.
Kempty Falls is located at 15 kms from Mussoorie on the Yamunotri Road.
Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration
Another reason for it being popular is the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, the training center of Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service.
A beautiful hill top in Mussoorie engulfed by clouds, surrounded by Oak and Deodar forest, Clouds End landmarks the geographical end of Mussoorie, offering adventure freak activities like hill climbing and nature walks in the nearby forest. 7 kms from main Mussoorie city, known for pleasant scenic views of hills, this is the pure virgin bit of Mussoorie.
Untouched by commercialization, Lal Tibba offers captivation to peace seekers. Located at the Landour area in Depot Hill, Lal Tibba is synonymous with mesmerising views of Himalayan mountain peaks as Badrinath, Kedarnath and Banderpunch through the telescope which installed long back in 1967 by the municipality or visit the British architectural style hill houses where Indian Military services and Broadcasting stations or towers of All India Radio and Doordarshan are working now.
Lal Tibba of Mussoorie is located at 4.5 kms from Mussoorie city at Landour Rd.
Sir George Everest
Sir George Everest’s House and Laboratory, also known as the Park Estate was built in 1832, the home and laboratory of Surveyor-General of India, Sir George Everest. His house is situated in a place from where you can see panoramic view of the Doon Valley on one side and the snow clad Himalayan ranges on the other.
6 kms away from Gandhi Chowk, West Mall Road, Mussoorie. You can hire jeep, cab or taxi from Dehradun or Mussoorie to reach here.
Starting from Library Point to Kulri Bazaar, Camel Back Road offers one of the most romantic sunrises and sunsets. A perfect way to walk with nature at all around, this 3 km long road credits it’s name to the presence of natural layout of rocks shaped like a camels hump at the end of road.
Camel Back Road is located at the centre of Mussoorie city and one can reach easily by auto rickshaw or by foot.
A major picnic location in Mussoorie, Company Garden is a colourful garden located at 3 km from The Mall. Also known as “Municipal Garden” or “Company Bagh”, is replete with a mini lake with a small artificial waterfall, an amusement park with ample space and adventurous rides. Paddled boating facility and a food court offering a variety of foods and snacks. The Entry Fees cost INR 18/- , Boating Fee: INR 75/- and Timings: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Char Dukaan is The cluster of four small shops known as sisters bazaar. Situated en route to Lal Tibba in Mussoorie. Savour the enchanting experience of sitting on benches, being served great food and an unbeatable view of the Himalayas. The tranquil surroundings make for a perfect day, with a Ruskin Bond book that line the shelves here, quaint and quiet!
The Best ‘Resort’… Stay Options!
The Queen is dotted with all categories of stay options, but here are a few that are considered a tad bit more extraordinary than the others.
JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa
Escape to this 5-star Mussoorie resort in the Himalayas. … Discover the staggering beauty of the Himalayas immersed in the elegance of luxury.
Where: Village – Siya, Kempty Fall Road, Charleville, Mussoorie
Perched on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the picturesque Doon Valley. With deodar trees lining the ranges, snow-capped mountains at a distance and clouds rising from below you, a stay at Sterling Mussoorie will steal your heart.
Where: Radha Bhawan Estate, Circular Road, Mussoorie
WelcomHotel The Savoy
The Savoy, is a historic luxury hotel in Mussoorie, built in English Gothic architecture style overlooking the Himalayas.
Where: Library Bazar, Gandhi Chowk, Mussoorie
Mussoorie’s Gift Of Adventurous Adrenaline Rush!
The Cable Car Ride: The Mussoorie Cable Car to Gun Hill which sits at a thrilling height of 6,640 feet (2,020 meters) is an absolute element of brilliance and proudly the second highest peak in its vicinity and see the astounding views of the rolling green hills in all directions.
River Rafting: Mussoorie is blessed with rapid mountain rivers making it a perfect spot for you to enjoy white water rafting. In fact, river rafting is the one of the most popular adventure sports.White water Rafting allows you to raft 20 km against the mighty Yamuna River.
Trekking: As a local traveller exploring Mussoorie you must realise that the place is like a base camp for some of the most famous treks in Uttarakhand including Har Ki Dun, Parashar Lake, Nag Tibba, Valley of Flowers. So once you are done with your travel up till Mussoorie, the local jeeps are very frequent between the lesser known villages that are the base camps for your chosen treks.
Best Time To Say Hello To The Queen Of Hills?
Though Summer months (March to June) will facilitate a smooth zip through your vacay, Monsoon months (July to mid-September) will add to the romance…. If you’re hoping to catch the best snowfall pictures, Winter months (October to February) are waiting!
Since you are already contemplating this Queen of Hills as your getaway destination, you cannot ignore these little bits of heaven around it, that you can hop to for a slightly offbeat, albeit penetrative experience!
Landour- The Bond Connect!
Landour, the British cantonment was named after a village called Llanddowror in south-west Wales. Lost in the mists of Himalayas, draped in the scarlet red of rhododendrons & thick deodars, Landour is a 5-kilometer steep drive or walk from the crowded bazaars of Mussoorie, it’s a different world of peace and lush views. Famously known as the The birthplace of Ruskin Bond, Landour has a vintage aura transporting you to a world which floats in the clouds and mist, and the one that is far detached from the crowded hill station at the bottom.
Apart from the colonial era churches, small shops and a 19th century cemetery, there are cottages made out of bricks and stones that peep out from the woods with signboards having names like Cosy Nook, Parsonage, etc. The place is home to the well-known author Ruskin Bond, whom one might bump into as you stroll through its streets.
Dehradun- Drona Dham
The city is perched at an elevation of 435 meters, situated 35 kms from Mussoorie and is currently enjoying its stature as the capital of Uttarakhand. Dehradun is the gateway to the famous hill station of Mussoorie. Revered as the ‘Educational Hub of Uttarakhand‘ as it is a home to several prestigious educational institutions including the Doon School, Welham School for girls, Welham Schools for boys and RIMC. Some of the popular tourist destinations of Dehradun are the Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple, Robbers Cave, Lachhiwala, Sahastradhara, Buddha temple, Dak Pathar, Malsi Deer Park.
Dhanaulti- The Ice Maiden
The tinsel town of Dhanaulti is emerging as a popular winter destination because of its tranquil vistas. Dhanaulti is situated 25 kms from Mussoorie, emerging as a popular weekend getaway as it is easily accessible affording exquisiteness and tranquillity. The pleasant weather, wooded slopes, invigorating views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas adds peace and tranquillity for the tourists visiting Dhanaulti.
Chamba-The Valley Of Tranquil
Chamba is one of the best excursions as the place offers panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan range and the sacred view of the Bhagirathi River. Situated 50 kms from Mussoorie at an altitude of 1676 mts above sea level, Chamba is unlike Mussoorie as the place provides peace and tranquility. The place is quiet and exudes serene lush with pine and deodar trees on it’s landscape.
Chakrata- Romance Is In The Air
Chakrata is perched at an elevation of 2270 mts above sea level in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand state. Primarily a cantonment area situated between Yamuna and Tons river amidst coniferous, rhododendron and oak trees, Chakrata is a place blessed with natural beauty and panoramic views. Peripheried by Mussoorie and Kinnaur, Chakrata is an ideal spot for nature lovers, bird watchers, adventure lovers and wild lifers. Chakrata is situated 80 kms from Mussoorie.
Kanatal- The Lost Hamlet
Located in the picturesque settings of the Garhwal Himalayas, the charming hill station of Kanatal is a perfect weekend getaway for the weary souls. 33 kms from Mussoorie on Mussoorie-Chamba Road in the Tehri District Uttarakhand, encircled by the sun-kissed peaks and the velvety coniferous trees, Kanatal still remains relatively unexplored. Stroll around the village, visit the apple orchards, breathe in the scent of the rhododendrons, pick the wildflowers, enjoy photography and bond with nature itself.
Rishikesh- Yoga Hub Of The World!
Rishikesh is an ideal spot for white water rafting and camping on the river beach. Rishikesh is covered under the Shivalik range of the Himalayas and the place is also the home of numerous temples. It is one of the busiest places of Uttarakhand where lakhs of tourists visit every month throughout the year. Rishikesh is situated 89 kms from Mussoorie.
Haridwar- Vishnu Abode
Situated 295 mts above sea level on the banks of the sacred Ganga River, it is the gateway to the Char Dhams of Hindus situated in Uttarakhand, namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri. Haridwar is visited by lakhs of devotees every month to take a sacred dip in the holy water of Ganga River. Har-ki-Pauri, Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi are the main attraction of the town. Haridwar is situated 85 kms from Mussoorie.
There is a little bit of heaven everywhere…. But the best ones are in the lap of nature!