Table of Contents:
Mussoorie at a Glance
1. How to reach
2. Where to stay
The top 5 experiences of Mussoorie
1. Happy Valley.
2. The Roads of Paradise.
2.1. Mall Road.
2.2. Camel Back Road.
3. Company Bagh (Municipal Garden).
4. Kempty Falls.
5. Omlete at Lovely Omlete Centre.
Mussoorie town spreads out over a ridge in the Garhwal Himalayas, more than 6500 feet above sea level. Although founded less than 200 years ago, its strategic location played a huge role in establishing its importance.
It is a pit stop for Hindu pilgrims on the sacred “Chota Char Dham Yatra” to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath; as well as adventure enthusiasts who are gearing up to scale the higher mountains beyond. The mighty rivers Yamuna and Ganga also flow past the two sides of Mussoorie for nearly 19 KM.
Mussoorie has multiple view points, waterfalls, parks and nature trails. I have tried to summarize my top 5 experiences from my trip of the ‘queen of the hills’, so as to provide you with an honest glimpse of the city.
|How to Reach:|
|Mussoorie is located in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, 300 kilometers to the north of the national capital New Delhi. Dehradun, the capital of the state is the entry point for Mussoorie which is well connected with all major Indian cities by, especially New Delhi.|
|By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in DEhardun is the nearest airport to Mussoorie located 65 Km away.|
By Train:Dehradun Railway Station is the nearest railway station located 46 km away.
Where to Stay:
Mussoorie has no dearth of good hotels. Budget, luxury and hostels, all kinds of accommodations are available in the town. You can pre book your accommodation or book one after reaching Mussoorie as well.
Top 5 of my Mussoorie experience:
1. Happy Valley – The most underrated view point
As per all the available tour guides, Happy Valley is a Tibetan settlement and nothing more. There is neither any designated scenic point for panoramic views nor any market for shopping. But that is exactly why you should go to Happy Valley as this ambiguity has allowed it to retain its old world charm in the otherwise commercialized city of Mussoorie.
You will be in company of nature and nothing else. The maddening crowd will not be anywhere close, the photographers, hawkers and unending rows of vehicles, all will be out of your sight. It will be just you and the mountains.
It’s true that Happy Valley doesn’t boast of any ‘view point’ per say, but that does not mean that there is no place for the splendid view of mountain peaks. The views from the Dalai Hill or from the Shedup Choepelling Temple are some of the most tranquil and scenic view you can get of the surrounding hills, so much so that you will fall in love with Happy Valley.
2. The roads of paradise – Mall Road and Camel Back Road
Mall road is the heart of Mussoorie. The main market area of the town, is the first thing you will see when you reach the queen of the hills. Vehicles are not allowed beyond a point and one can thus take leisurely strolls on the road while munching on corn, roasted on open charcoal fire. Locally known as bhutta, the warm corn, smeared with lemon and spices, is one of the best thing to gorge upon in a winter evening.
Well ornate seating areas are placed at strategic locations that provide not only place to rest but also great views of the hills and the doon valley that lies beneath the hill station. Just take some munchies and you can spend hours on these benches, under the umbrella and treat your eyes to the beautiful twilight that changes colors with every passing moment.
The two-kilometre-long stretch begins from Library Point and goes all the way up to Picture Palace, although you won’t find it as long owing to the variety of stalls selling snacks and other knick-knacks along the way, stores selling woolens and shawls. If you are in a mood for shopping, the mall road won’t disappoint you.
Camel’s Back Road:
This road connects two prominent locations, starting at Library Point and leading up to Kulri Bazaar. Its not very crowded like the mall road, so if you are into quite strolls along beautiful roads, this stretch is for you. This 4 km stretch is named after a natural cluster of rocks that are shaped like a camel’s hump.
From this road one can enjoy the beautiful sunrise/sunset while munching on some amazing snacks, with the mesmerizing doon valley inthe backdrop. There are multiple benches along the road where visitors can take rest while on the road. It is worth noting that due to foggy mornings and evenings the rock formation may not be visible.
3. Company Bagh (a.k.a Mussoorie Municipal Gardens)
Entry fee – Rs. 18 (Boating is an extra Rs. 75, wax museum extra Rs. 50). Timing:9:00AM-6PM
Located 3 km from The Mall, “Municipal Garden” or “Company Bagh” is the most popular garden in Mussoorie, which is visited by a number of tourists round the year. The garden boasts of unmatched greenery, beautiful flowers that can make any nature lover fall in love with the place. Fern, deodar and pine trees dot the outer periphery where as smaller ornamental and flowering plants are strategically sprinkled across the landscape of the expansive lawn.
Apart from the plants and trees, a small waterfall and a pond also find place inside the garden. Both of these are artificial, but adds to the beauty of the place. Particularly the waterfall, which is really picturesque irrespective of the fact that its not natural. Boating facility is available in the pond, which adds as an added attraction for the garden.
The attractions don’t just end there, as recently a wax museum has also been setup inside the campus. Food, souvenirs and toy shops are also present in plenty in and around the garden.
4. Kempty Falls:
Perched atop 1362 meters, at a distance of 13 KM , Kempty falls is the most sought after attraction of Mussoorie.
The water cascades down from a height of 40 feet and crashes against the boulders below before splitting into five streams. It is also a very popular picnic spot, so tends to get crowded by both tourists and locals alike.
There are two levels to the waterfall, one lower where the water flows down from the rocks above and falls in a big pool which offers an excellent opportunity for people to take a dip and rekish the cold, mountain stream. The other is higher in the hills. The higher one is relatively calm and has somehow maintained its natural charm over the over commercialized lower fall. To reach the higher fall, taxis drop off patreons on the main road and then a hike up of around 30 steps needs to be undertaken.
5. Grabbing an omelette at Lovely Omelette Centre:
The place claims to serve the best omelet in India. Since 1918, Khurshid Mohammed has run this small eatery on the mall road that has seen consistently long queues waiting to take a bite of his signature omelettes. It might come as a surprise as to what’s so great about omelettes? but trust me, the piping hot omelettes served in the cold chilly atmosphere has something magical about it.
Beating the egg properly is the first key trick that only comes with experience. The next is mixing a little turmeric to it, that eliminates the eggy smell and aids in digestion. If you are an egg lover and seeking an outstanding omelet, this is the place to be for a hearty meal.
There is nothing fancy about this 8 seater joint but two open cooking stations churns out hundreds of omelets for the huge crowd waiting for their turn. The special ones are with cheese, chilies, onions and spices, served on toast. But what stand out are chocolate omelets, very popular amongst the kids.
Mussoorie’s pleasant weather, fresh and life-giving breezes, scented mists and gorgeous panoramic views act as a magnet for tourists weary of the heat and dust of the Indian plains. When in one side, Kempty falls kind of epitomises the commercial, touristy part, at the same time Happy Valley, is the offbeat, more serene spot. Having both the options is what makes Mussoorie a great choice for vacations.