A MEDLEY OF SENSATIONS
Set on a horseshoe-shaped ridge 6,600 feet above sea level in the Garhwal foothills of the Himalayas in Uttaranchal, 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.
- Area: 65 sq km
- Altitude: 6,600 feet above sea level
- State: Uttaranchal
- Distance from nearby towns/ cities: Dhanaulti (25 km), Dehradun (34 km), Haridwar (90 km), Rishikesh (77 km), Delhi (278 km)
- Take away: Tibetan prayer wheels, metal ware, antiques, hand-carved walking sticks, cane baskets, embroidered wall hangings; Ladakhi, pashmina and jamawar embroidery shawls
#1. The Electric Picture Palace: One of the earliest cinema halls in India The Electric Picture Palace, one of India’s earliest cinema halls in India, was established in 1912, soon after electricity arrived in Mussoorie. It survived for 90 years and entertained many movie fans. Its now being renovated to make way for a multiplex.
#2. Mussoorie: The favourite escape for celebrities From actors to politicians to sports stars, #Mussoorie has been the first getaway choice for several celebrities. Bollywood star Dev Anand spent many vacations in Mussoorie; the members of the Nehru family are known to be regular visiting patrons of the hill town and so is Sachin Tendulkar, who chose to visit Mussoorie right after his retirement from cricket.
#3. National Academy of Administration: Once a hotel, now home to the sharpest brains in the countryIn 1958, when the Indian Government decided to set up a National Academy of Administration, where training would be given to all the recruits of the Civil Services, The Ministry of Home Affairs decided to amalgamate the IAS Training School, Delhi and the IAS Staff College, Shimla to form a ‘National Academy of Administration’ at Mussoorie, it was set up in 1959. In October 1973, it was renamed "Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration".
#4. The Corn Village In Mussoorie Tucked away on the outskirts of #Mussoorie, is the Corn Village. It got its name because of the unusual method of storing corn; the blue houses with bright sheaves of golden yellow corn hung from the roofs is surely a stunning sight to see.
#5. Mussoorie: Home to Cedrus Deodara or the Himalayan Cedar whose wood is said to last for centuries is found abundantly in #Mussoorie. The forests were the favourite abode of ancient Indian sages and their families who were devoted to Lord Shiva. The sages used to perform arduous tapasya (meditation) practices in the deodar forests to please Lord Shiva.
#6. Cambridge book depot: The book shop that Ruskin Bond visits every Saturday Cambridge Book Depot, opened in 1952, has a sixty-year old tradition of delighting book lovers. Located on the Mall Road in #Mussoorie, it is well known for hosting book signings by Ruskin Bond every Saturday. He has been doing this for almost last 10 years owing to his friendship with the bookstore owner Sunil Arora. Bond even chooses to celebrate his birthdays here.
#7. Lovely Omelette centre: Awarded India’s best Omelette sop by Lonely Planet Lovely Omelette Center is one of #Mussoorie most famous eateries known for its delicious omelettes. It’s located along the Mall road and often sees a long queue of waiting customers. This joint is renowned to whip up variants like butter and cheese omelettes. They also serve a lip-smacking chocolate omelette on request. Currently run by Mr. Lovely, after whom the outlet is named, it was established by his father nearly 25 years ago.
#8. When Guns told the time The Gun Hill in #Mussoorie gets its name from the canon that was mounted on top of the table hill. For several years, this canon was fired twice a day to tell the time.
#9. 350 varieties of birds and counting #Mussoorie is one of the most popular destinations for ornithologists because of its diverse bird populations. Even now, new types of birds are identified here. India's most revered ornithologist Salim Ali stayed in Dehradun and Mussoorie for five years. He described this period as "five of the happiest years" of his life in his autobiography.
#10. A town with a literary heritage #Mussoorie has played host to many authors, from Rudyard Kipling to Pearl S. Buck, #Jawaharlal Nehru to Arvind Adiga & Pankaj Mishra. One of India’s finest fiction writers, Anita Desai was born here. #Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was based on a sensational murder that occurred here in 1911. However, its literary claim to fame is largely rooted in its longtime resident, #Ruskin Bond, who has been living here since 1963.
#11. Mussoorie mystery: Conan Doyle’s loss & Agratha Christie’s inspiration The mysterious & unsolved case of Miss Frances Garnett-Orme's death in Savoy Hotel due to poisoning in 1911, has been a topic of great discussion. Noted author Rudyard Kipling urged Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, to write a novel on this. Doyle did not take up the case, but this incident did become the inspiration for Agatha Christie's first novel, 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles. #Mussoorie
#12. Mussoorie: Home to the man after whom MT. Everest is named Eminent geographer Sir George Everest, after whom Mt. Everest is named, lived in #Mussoorie. He was responsible for completing the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, one of the largest geographical surveys during that time. His house in Mussoorie is now considered a monument.
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10°C - 30°C
–1°C - 10°C
Jun to Sep
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The months between April and June and September and October are the most pleasant. Kempty Falls is closed during the winter and can be visited from the months of March through July