Set on a horseshoe-shaped ridge 6,600 feet above sea level in the Garhwal foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, the delightful town of Mussoorie is a medley of sensations. It’s where exuberant tourists rub shoulders with adventurous trekkers headed for the Himalayas and pious pilgrims on their way to the holy sites of Gangotri and Jamnotri.
You’ll find houses across town with the curious prefix of Glen — these once belonged to British folk from Scotland who identified the Himalayan meadows with their glens (long, deep, U-shaped valley typically with a watercourse running through it) back home! Names like Connaught Castle, Grey Castle and Castle Hill remind us of the British love for the cooler climes of the hills and their yearning for home.
Mullingar House, the oldest building in Mussoorie, was the home of an Irishman called Captain Young from Mullingar, who commanded the first Gurkha battalion here. According to popular lore, the ghost of Captain Young visits his home on moonlit nights.
Lal Tibba, the highest peak in Mussoorie at 7,510 feet, is a restricted area because of the presence of the Indian Military there. Lower down, in Mussoorie town, you can find the schools and settlements of Tibetans who fled after the Chinese took over their homeland.
Mussoorie offers a variety of options for visitors. Entertainment arcades like mini Appu Ghar and the skating rink at Kulri Bazaar are perfect for families and kids. For nature lovers, there’s the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, and bargaining in the Himalayan and Tibetan curio shops is a shopper’s delight. The more adventurous will enjoy trekking and horse-riding through the forest-rock terrain.It’s a brilliant mosaic encased within the awesome beauty of the Himalayas.
A 400-metre ropeway connects the Mall (main market) with Gun Hill, the second-highest peak in Mussoorie. It’s a thrilling ride with panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges of Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara, Gangotri, etc and a bird’s-eye view of Mussoorie town and Doon Valley.
Jharipani Falls is located in the Jharipani Estate, which is where Mussoorie’s famous boarding schools such as Oakgrove, Wynberg Allen, and St. George are located, in the midst of rhododendron, and deodar and horse-chestnut trees.
Situated at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the 40-foot Kempty Falls are the most popular falls in Mussoorie. The main waterfall splits into five distinct falls that appear to somersault before hitting the ground. Trout are in abundance here, and you can get fishing permits from the Divisional Forest Officer. Check locally for day and timings as the falls can be only be seen on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer; they are diverted for irrigation on other days of the week.
The pretty Bhatta Falls is another idyllic picnic spot. Two huge water tanks store water for supply to the Galogi Power station.
This man-made lake offers pedal boating and commands a great view of Doon Valley and neighbouring mountain villages.
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary
This fir and pine forest has rare Himalayan bird species such as the near-extinct mountain quail and red-billed blue magpie. Be alert and watch for animals such as deer and leopards that may appear out of nowhere and vanish again into the forest within seconds.
Tibetan Buddhist Temple
Set up by the Tibetans in Mussoorie, the Shedup Choepelling Buddhist temple is located in Happy Valley. Prayer flags and clay lamps create a sense of serenity and one inevitably comes away feeling calm and restored.
Camel's Back Road
Connecting Kulri Bazaar and Library Bazaar, this 3-km road offers great views of the Himalayas. Walking or horse-riding along this road are popular pastimes in Mussoorie.
Van Chetna Kendra
The lush green park surrounded by pine forests and flowering shrubs is a visual treat.
The Claridges Nabha Residence, Mussoorie
Airfield Barlowganj Road, Mussoorie 248179, India
Jhula Ghar, Mall Road | Opp Cable Car, Mall Road, Mussoorie 248179, India
Jaypee Residency Manor
Barlowganj, Mussoorie 248122, India
KBS Value Hotel & Spa
Camels Back Road, Kulri (The Mall) | Near Sadebro Apartments, Near Picture Palace Bus Stand, Mussoorie 248179, India
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