(Last Updated on : 01/10/2010)
After independence unlike some other resorts Mussoorie, still maintains the old world charisma and way of life. The maharaja, sportsman and businessman, make the town carefree, friendly, and cosmopolitan. This was the town in its impressive past and as such it still remains the same. In 1827, Captain Young, accompanied by a hunting party, was lost into the mountainous regions of the Doon valley, wandering in the mountains he spotted the area now known as Landour, 275 metres, higher than Mussoorie, which was first developed as a military station but slowly became an essential part of the hill resort. In India, the British discovered their hill stations for them; it was not a practice but had become a second nature for them to flee from the plague like heat that surrounded in the city, they spend a meager weekend or weeks of leave and leisure. They invaded the sanctuaries of snow and silence the trouble of loner and hill-men, bringing to the serious isolation a spirit of cultured simplicity and cheerfulness mixed with a dash of Anglo Saxon playfulness.
Captain Young was responsible for founding Mussoorie; he fell in love with the spot. Besides the beautiful viewpoint and splendour, the weather was refreshing, the climate hygienic. In 1927, for the purpose of summer stopover the first building was constructed in the area. It is now the location of Mullingar Hotel and still in a good. Almost immediately the flow of visitors began to pour in. The building appeared in periodic style and the architecture, used was of Elizabethan English. Almost overnight a small piece of Europe had been transplanted in India. Among the first of the elite to join the group were the Indian Maharajas who contributed enormous palaces on the hills, built to look like the countryseats of British nobility.
In the early, the only access to reach Mussoorie was through 11 km trek from Rajpur either on horse back or on a `dandi` carried by porters. The tiredness of the journey was quickly forgotten on reaching the peaceful spot. However, in 1920, the first car arrived from Dehradun, the connecting motor road had been completed almost as soon as the motorcar was developed in India. The road looks like a snake it increases from 640 metres to an altitude of 2,005 metres.
Mussoorie is carefree, friendly and cosmopolitan hill station. It connects people of all the strata be it Maharaja or beggar in a friendly manner with harmony. The ever growing holiday spirit has resulted in establishments like dancing, riding, theatre and cinema going, skating and sporting events etc that cater to the needs of pleasure seeking society. For the nature lover seeking tourists there are easy to reach beauty spots.
Mussoorie also caters, to the sporting obsession. The Polo grounds hold annual tournaments; the rink stages boxing tournements while at Savoy there is a Dog show every September. In summer, the Happy Valley Club, with 19 courts, holds tennis matches. Billiards rooms are in the rink; Happy Valley Club and Picture Palace while, Kulri and Library Bazaar provide to the skating set. Mussoorie is surrounded by hills on all sides, and overlooking is the Doon valley, which is covered in snow. The Delhi road to Mussoorie runs between golden sugar cane and wheat fields spread with deep lichee and mango groves, giving way to the densely forested Shiwalik hills leading to the railroad junction of Dehradun in Doon valley.
The hilly people of Mussoorie are simple and strong, they live in tiny villages scattered over the surrounding hills. These people are cheery and honest, and their main occupation is agriculture. Their houses are built of cut rocks roofed with heavy beams strong to stand the winter snows. Almost overnight, Mussoorie has become one of the most popular hill stations in Northern India famous for its intrinsic picturesque beauty and carefree social life.
The heart of Mussoorie:
The Mussoorie bazar stretches from the Landour Clock Tower to Library, and leads to the Post Office, Himalaya Club, Picture Palace and the Jubilee cinemas. The fashionable street and Mall, runs through the Kulri Bazar completing at the Library.
Nag Devta Temple:
An ancient temple is located on Cart Mackenjie road and is about 6 km from Mussoorie. Vehicles can go right upto the spot. This spot provides an appealing view of Doon valley as well as of Mussoorie.
Mussoorie Lake ,Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Mussoorie Lake is a newly developed picnic spot located on Mussoorie Dehradun road and is about 6 km from Mussoorie. It is a charming spot. It provides a captivating view of Doon valley and nearby villages.
Van Chetna Kendra , v:
At a distance of about 2 km on Tehri by pass road, this place is developed as a picnic spot and has a park surrounded with pine forest and flowering shrubs. The main attraction is the wildlife of the park like Ghural, Kanakar, Peacock, and Monal etc. This place is accessible by foot or taxi.
Happy Valley , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand-
Tibetan Township: Happy valley and the Tibetan township, is situated on winding Charlville road. It is here where prayer flags excitement in the breeze against a chortan (Tibetan stupa) and a temple clinge to an uncertain branch on a sea cliff while inside priests turn the bronze prayer wheel among scripture-reciting acolytes. Inside a saffron draped room reposes a large tome, turned to the page last read by Dalai Lama on his visit. Shops are filled with exotic Tibetan ware, the unaffected restaurants serve the unique Chang (rice and barley Beer) along with steamed dumplings called Mo Mo and noodles mixed with fried carrot, cabage or mutton profusely seasoned mixed with vinegar and `soy saucea`. In the long Himalayan dusk monks blow the long trumpets just before prayer-way down below sparkle the lights of Dehradun.
Gun Hill , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand-
Erstwhile timekeeper of a town: In the earlier days, a gun used to be fired from this hill at exactly 12 O`Clock noon to indicate the time. Though the practice is discontinued and the gun removed, the spirit of the name hangs to the hill. The hill is 2,143 metres above sea level and 400 metres away from the town. Two ropeway trolleys carry out from the Jhulaghar, on the Mall to Gun Hill, covering a distance of 400 metres in four and a half minutes. Fluctuation high above the hills in the mid-air ropeway one gets a wide-angle view of the snowy Himalayan mountain peaks. An uphill road is easily reachable; it starts on the fashionable Mall opposite the elegant restaurant, Hickman`s one of the oldest established appointment of the elite. On top of the Gun Hill, now is water pool that feed the town. On a clear day a splendid view of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Nanda Devi and Banderpoonch presents itself to the viewer on top of this hill. When beauty scored a victory over strength, a portrait of a glamorous queen, symbolizing Mussoorie has replaced the gun, on top of the Hill.
Municipal Gardens and Park , v:
Near the library on the Mall, is a footbath leading to the blooming Municipal Gardens. Four kilometers from the Municipal Gardens is an artificial lake, which has a glow of gay flowers, velvety lawns, and deodar and pine trees. The park is three kilometres away from the gardens it is a flat land, and is well known for its excellent synchronized view of both the Himalayas and the Doon valley.
Camel`s Back Road , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
It is an ideal place for horse riding; this road starts from Kulri behind the Skating Rink ending at the Library Bazar. On the Mall 2.5 km in length on this road, a footpath goes to Bhilaru pumping station, an interesting place to visit. The Hawa Ghar is one of the several resting places on this road, twisting round a mountain looking like the back of a Camel.
Depot Hill and lal Tibba , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
The first site to present itself to the saddened heart of Capt. Young was Landour, and was the first place of halt for the heat plagued troops stationed in the Doon valley. As time went on and the hill-station grew fast into a ritizy resort at a lower level, the revitalizing air of Landour resulted in the construction of a depot for worthless and recovering soldiers. The highest point in Mussoorie and five kilometres away from the town, Lal Tibba, the peak of Landour, or Depot Hill is at an altitude of 2,440 metres. Here with the help of an exciting, coin-operated binocular, one can get a bird`s eye view of the Gangotri, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi and Sri-Kanta peaks. Gangotri, the reliable source of the Ganga, is within trekking distance, the surroundings at every point, is splendid as canyons, waterfalls and rushing streams rise to the eye at every turn 3,048 metres up in the sky, Gangotri rears its famous temple on the right bank of the river, dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. On the other side are spiritualist, residence in small huts, their life, and an escape from the chaos of the world, devoted to separating its mysteries.
Mossy Falls , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Mossy Falls are located seven kilometres from town. Mossy falls are reachable by road, crossing a private estate. Mossy Falls is one of the most illustrative picnic spots encircled by dense forest.
Benog Hill and Observatory:
Benog Hill, is located at an altitude of 2,104 metres, once upon a time it was home of an observatory. Benog Hill is nine kilometres from the library through a motorable road.
Jwalaji Temple is situated on the top of the Benog Hill and has an idol of Mata Durga in it. The Temple is surrounded by thick forest and offers picturistic view of the Himalayan peaks, Doon valley and Yamuna valley.
Bhatta Falls are situated on the Mussoorie-Dehra Dun road near the Bhatta checking post; two kilometres away are the Bhatta Falls, where two huge water tanks store water for supply to the Galogi Power Station. Bhatta Falls are Ideal for picnics. The Bhatta Falls are accessable by car or bus upto Bhatta village from where the fall is 3 km.
Kempt Falls , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Kempt falls are located twelve kilometres away on the Mussoorie-Chakrata road and are the most beautiful spot in Mussoorie, attracting hundreds of people every day. The majestic waterfall gushes out of mountains and splits into five distinct falls one on top of the other, the highest one over forty feet. During summer the water falls only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, on the other days of the week it is diverted and used for irrigation. Taking a bath at the foot of the falls is refreshing and enjoyable both for children and adults. There is a charming restaurant and a Forest Rest House.
Hardy Falls , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Hardy Falls are situated to the northwest of Vincent Hill are hard to reach.
Bhadraj Temple , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Bhadraj Temple is located 15 km from Mussoorie; this temple is an ideal spot for trekking from Park Toll - Clouds end, Dudhi. This temple is situated on the extreme eastern region of Mussoorie town. Bhadraj offers a captivating view of the Doon valley. Chakrata ranges and Jaunsar Bawar areas can be viewed from here. Bhadraj temple is dedicated to Lord Sal Bhadra, brother of Lord Krishna.
Vinog Mountain Quail Sanctuary , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Vinog Mountain Quail sanctuary is11 km to the south of Library Point. This sanctuary was established in 1993 covering an area of 339 hectares. This sanctuary has turned old now. It is famous for the vanished bird species, Mountain Quail (Pahari Bater), which was last spotted in 1876.
Dhanoulti , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
Dhanoulti is located on Mussoorie-Tehri road about 24 km from Mussoorie. On the route, Buraskhanda offers a pleasant view of the Himalayas as well as pine and deodar forest. Dhanoulti is an ideal place for a calm weekend. A Tourist Rest House is available. There are many private hotels in and around Mussoorie.
Surkanda Devi Temple , Mussoorie, Uttarakhand:
The Temple of Surkanda is the highest point around Mussoorie and is at a height of about 3,030 metres. Besides peace of mind, it offers a splendid view. To get to this temple one has to drive 1 km upto Kaddukhal (2,559m) from Mussoorie and then walks up 1.5 km to the hilltop, which offers a spectacular view of 320 km of snow capped Himalayas. The temple itself is the mythological site where the head of Shiva`s wife fell when it was cut off to stop his tantric, huge dance which was rocking the universe.