Introduction: Mussourie is a city and a municipal board, about 30km from Dehradun is in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand (Uttarakhand was known as Uttaranchal between 2000 and 2006, Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India on November 9, 2000). This hill station, situated at the foothills of the Himalaya ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of Greater Mussoorie, as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani.
History: Mussoorie has a rich history. It started in the year 1825 when Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, together with Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun explored the present site and jointly constructed a shooting lodge. From then on, this place became a popular tourist station. Regarding the name Mussoorie, its quite interesting to know that it is derived from the name of a shrub 'Mansoor' which is indigenous to this place. Locals often call this place 'Mansoori'. This place was a part to play in the freedom struggle, during the British days. The Mall – the main promenade in Mussoorie had a hoarding stated 'Indians and Dogs are not allowed'. One historical attraction of this place is the houses and resorts. They are named after their owners and many of them from well to do families and lived a western lifestyle during the British Raj. To this date the old names of houses and estates were not changed.
Description: Mussourie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill resort. Commanding a wonderful view of extensive Himalyan snow ranges to the northeast, and glittering views of the Doon Valley, Roorkee, Saharanpur and Haridwar to the South, the town presents a fairyland atmosphere to the tourists. Mussourie is famous for its scenic beauty and hectic social life. It provides all kinds of amusement and every facility for domestic and foreign tourists.
Mussoorie Quick facts
Mussoorie Geography and Climate
Climate of this place, like any other hill station, is quite pleasant throughout the year. But the best season is the spring time from September to November. During this time the Himalayas become clearly visible from this place. During spring time greenery is at its best and the numerous parks in this town springs to life. In winters the roads are blocked due to snowfall and also during monsoons because of the rains the roads here becomes too bad. So these two seasons are to be left out.
Best time to visit Mussoorie
The best time to visit this place is the summer months like visiting any other hill station. But we need to keep in mind about the monsoons. The ideal months are April to June and September to October. Summer temperatures range between 29°C - 7°C. Winter temperatures can dip to 1°C. The monsoon pours down on the hill station from June to August, causing landslides and even cutting off road links with Dehradun. The summer rush remains from April to July. The evergreen forests around Mussourie break out in bloom in September, and remain till November, making it a good time to visit. To see Mussoorie under snow, end December to early February is the best.
Mussoorie Near Getaways
If you are looking for a long holiday than some places are also there close to Mussourie that you can see visit. This will give you the same pleasure as that of Mussourie.
For the elder people this temple situated on a peak at a height of 10,000 feet is the best place to visit. But you should be careful as there is a steep climb of 2 kilometers. Legend says that head of Lord Shiva's fell off here while his dance of death was tried to be stopped.
This place is for those who like to watch the nature with silence. Sometimes Mussourie gets filled with tourists and as such it's the perfect getaway for rejuvenation. Located in the midst thick, virgin forests of deodar, rhododendron and oak, Dhanaulti are all about peace and tranquility. It is 35 km from Mussourie.
Located 31 kilometers from Dhanlauti it is another peace loving tourist destination. Nestled on the bank of the river Ravi, Chamba town complete 1000 years of its existence. The town stands on a plateau on the right bank of the Ravi river valley between Dhauladhar and Zanskar ranges south of the inner Himalayas. In the genealogical rolls of the Chamba Rajas, a reference occurs of place, which was adorned with highly fragrant Champaka trees and guarded by Goddess Champavati. Chamba valley lies enclosed between two principal spur ranges of the Great Himalaya, the Dhauladhar and the Pangi-Pir Panjal. The sedimentary deposits of the Shivaliks give way to the first granite range in the system, the Dhauladhar.
This River is 12 km from the Kempty falls and joins the Yamuna in its course. You can enjoy fishing here, but only after permission from the Divisional office of Mussourie.
About 30 km away, the Doon Valley is situated between the Ganges and Yamuna, the two most important rivers of India.
Fairs and festival that the Garhwali and the Kumaon region organizes are Hatkalika Fair, Surkhanda Devi Mela, Tapkeshwar Fair, Kunjapuri Fair, Mata Murti Ka Mela ,Lakhawar Village Fair Hatkalika Fair, Tapkeshwar Fair, Kunjapuri Fair, Surkhanda Devi Mela, Lakhawar Village Fair, Mata Murti Ka Mela.
This town has a strong and rich culture. This is evident in three things – fairs, temples and the houses. Fairs and festivals are organized with pomp and show all throughout the year which is constant reminder of the culture that this place has. Further this place has a number of temples, in fact for every religion which again highlights the rich culture that this place has. In this town most of the houses are named after their ancestral owner which is again a highlight of this region.
Garhwali is the local language of the area. English and Hindi are also two dominant languages in this hill station.
Mussoorie Religious Places
This town has a place of worship for every religion. It has numerous temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches. Some of them are the Arya Samaj Mandir, Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Radha Krishna Mandir, Sai Baba Mandir, Masjid Bucharkhana, Masjid Nalapani, Central Methodist Church , St. Clare's Catholic Church.
Nag Devta Temple:
An ancient temple situated on Cart Mackenjie Road and is about 6 km from Mussourie. Vehicles can go right up to the spot. It provides a charming view of Doon Valley as well as of Mussourie.
Jwalaji Temple (Benog Hill):
It is 9 km to the west of Mussourie and at an altitude of 2104m. It is situated on the top of the Benog Hill and has an idol of Mata Durga in it. The temple is surrounded by thick forests and offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks, Doon valley and Yamuna valley.
Sir George Everest House:
The Park Estate of Sir George Everest, First Surveyor General of India, who had his office and residence here, is approachable by road. The highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, is named after him.
The bungalow built in 1838 by a British Major was one of the First Four buildings of Mussourie. The bungalow has since then been converted into a hotel called Clouds End, and is situated at the extreme west of Mussourie Hill, 8 km from Library. The resort is surrounded by thick forest, offers a wide variety of flora and fauna besides a panoramic view of snow clad Himalayas, and Yamuna River. The most ideally suited resort for foreigners and honeymoon couples.
Enjoy a Ropeway ride to the second highest peak of Mussourie. It can also be negotiated by bridles path which forks-off from Mall Road near Kutchery and to reach takes about twenty minutes. The Ropeway distance is only 400m. And the sheer thrill of the ride is memorable. Gun Hill offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges namely Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara and Gangotri group etc. and a bird's eye view of Mussourie town and Doon Valley.
It is the biggest and the prettiest waterfall in the Northern part of India. Located at a distance of just 15 kilometers from Mussourie, it has an altitude of 4500 meters. Special attraction of this fall is that it divides into five distinct and beautiful cascades.
It is 8.5 km from Mussourie on Mussourie-Jharipani Road. Visitors can go by bus or by car up to 7 km to Jharipani from where the fall is 1.5 km, on foot.
It is 7 km from Mussourie on Mussourie-Dehradun road. Access by car or bus up to Balta village from where the fall is 3 km by car or foot. An ideal spot for bathing and picnics.
Most of the hotels and resorts in Mussourie have attached pubs, lounge bars, beer gardens etc. In the vicinity of these hotels you can enjoy the flavor of vibrant nightlife of the town. The Dickens Bar at Dunsvirk Court is a popular bar because of its beautiful location. There are hotels in Mussourie such as Oasis Resort and Jaypee Residency Manor, which have good night clubs, but the town as such has not much to offer in terms of an active nightlife.
Kidding around Mussoorie
Kids as well as grown ups should definitely visit roller skating rink in Mussourie is the largest one. The mini Appu Ghar and the Skating Rink at Picture Palace are two places that kids love.
Trekking Walk across to Charleville and the Tibetan settlement of Happy Valley, a warm-up 3 km walk from Mussourie.
Fishing Aglar River and the Yamuna River flow just a little away from Mussourie. Both the rivers offer ample opportunities for trout fishing. You may seek permits from the Divisional Forest Officer (Tel: 2632335) of Mussourie in advance.
Mountain Biking Cyclists can pedal along the road that rises and falls to Dhanaulti (25 km), past the Surkhanda Devi Temple, till one reaches Chamba.
It is the highest peak of Mussourie near Lal Tibba. It is about 5 km from the Tourist Office and one can go on horse back or on foot. Snow view from this spot is exhilarating.
Camel's Back Road:
It starts from Kulri Bazar near Rink Hall and ends at Library Bazar covering a total distance of about 3 km. The main charm of this road is horse riding and walking. Sunset view of the Himalayas is superb. Camel's Rock with a life like resemblance can be seen from the spot near Mussourie Public school.
Whenever you visit any place you always want to buy something that reminds you off the place throughout your life. Well if you are searching for such a thing in Mussourie the place you should go is The Mall. It has several imported as well as indigenous goods that suits the variegated demands of the buyer and also acts as an apt reminiscence of this place. From the Mall you can get Tibetan metal ware, antiques, books, hand-carved walking sticks, embroidered wall hangings, cane baskets, hill jewelry, garments, dry pinecones, knick-knacks, curios. Tibetan prayer wheels, wooden boxes and pen stands, hand-carved walking sticks and Ladakhi shawls are some of the things to pick up from here. Pure Ladakhi shawls are a bit pricey, but worth it. The antique jamawar shawls carry heavy price tags, but they are worth having a look at even if not being purchased. Nowadays modern techniques are being used to weave these shawls, which have reduced their price. So, if the shopkeeper asks for the sky, bargain!
Famous To Eat at Mussoorie
Green The Mall, Kurli known to serve an amazing biryani from locally grown basmati rice makes it a treat to dine here. The Chinese food comes as a close second favourite.
JP's Residency Manor, Barlowganj is the only five-star in Mussorie, offers variety of cuisines and wines.
Clarks The Mall, Kurli is a multi-cuisine place has a bar and a bakery that are part of the menu.
Gardens and Parks at Mussoorie
It is a picnic spot having a beautiful garden and an artificial mini lake with boating facilities. It is located at a distance of 4 km by cycle rickshaw, pony or by car and only 2 km on foot via Waverly Convent Road.
Van Chetna Kendra:
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, and is approachable by foot or taxi/car. The main attraction is the wildlife of the park like Ghurar, Kanankar, Himalayan Peacock, Monal etc.
Lake at Mussoorie
A newly developed picnic spot, situated on Mussourie-Dehradun road and is about 6 km from Mussourie. It is a delightful spot. Pedal boats are available. It commands an enchanting view of Doon Valley and nearby villages.