It’s still a worldwide mystery why hilly regions have that special allure of a perfect holiday destination. We do occasionally think about beaches, desserts and wild-forests but hills have a completely different calling which can’t be ignored. I caved into that calling and visited Mussoorie during last summer and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Mussoorie is a small hill station in Dehradun district of the state Uttrakhand, about 290 km from New Delhi, the capital city of India.
How to reach Mussoorie?
My friends planned this trip suddenly on impulse. Fed up of the scorching Delhi heat, we decided to just pack up our bags and leave for the hills. However, I suggest you plan your trip to Mussoorie well beforehand, because it can get really crowded during the summer months and you’ll face lots of difficulty finding the right hotel or getting tickets and stuff. We should exploit the ease of online booking where-ever we can. So, there is a direct bus service to Mussoorie from New Delhi, however, it’s very rare. Thus, it’s advisable to book a train or an overnight sleeper/non-sleeper bus to Dehradun first (which can be easily done on redbus.com) , and then take a taxi or shuttle bus to Mussoorie. That way, we can even enjoy the scenic beauty en-route to Dehradun and then to Mussoorie. Now, who doesn’t enjoy a zig-zag ride to the hills? only if you don’t get motion sickness, that is!
Things to do once you reach Mussoorie.
You should do your hotel booking well before you pack your bags. This is because once you reach there, it’s very difficult to find rooms, especially in the summers when everybody is flocking to hill stations. Now, there are a number of affordable hotels at city centre (that’s where your bus drops you), just as you enter the Mussoorie main junction which can be explored. Upon entering the city center, you’ll find a large number of travel guides waiting to bombard you with their services. All of them cover a certain(very less actually) number of popular points at a fixed price. Although you may think that trusting a service like this would be the safest option, I would suggest hiring a personal vehicle with a local driver. That way, we could be able to manoeuvre our trip the way we want and not follow some age-old schedule fixed by a guide company. This may be a bit costly than the other alternative but it’s worth it.
Places to visit in Mussoorie.
You cannot touch all the destinations in a short and compact trip which most of you might be aiming for. Also, it becomes quite redundant after a point when you see three to four waterfalls which have the same attraction. So, here is a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in Mussoorie and also how to make the most of it.
1. Lal Tibba
Untouched by the city glare, Lal Tibba, one of the highest points in Mussoorie is definitely the most amazing viewpoints you would ever witness. Gifting us with an uninterrupted sight of the Himalayas, Kedarnath and other peaks, it’s one of the few locations you’ll find as very peaceful and serene. It’s ideal for a walk with your friend or loved one. It’s got a small cafe-cum-restaurant which serves delicious snacks while you enjoy the breathtaking sights from it’s viewing centre. It’s also a drool-worthy location for photographers looking for the perfect spot for the ideal picture.
2. Kempty Falls and other Water Falls.
Usually, hill-stations are not famous for water falls but Kempty falls is the face of Mussoorie. Providing an excellent panoramic view as the water falls from the mountains to the pond below, which is best for swimming, it’s quite famous among the tourist destinations in Mussoorie and is crowded throughout the year. I would suggest that you visit Kempty falls, early in the morning right at the opening time to enjoy a little less crowded falls. However, This water fall is a must visit when you visit Mussoorie. Along with it, you can also check out the Bhatta falls and the Jharipani falls if you are really invested into waterfalls. You can also see the camel’s head hill at the Bhatta falls.
Speculated to be an extinct volcano, it is the second highest point in Mussoorie and not just the look but the smell and feel of the location is satisfying enough. The path to Gun hill from the city center is an uphill road lined with beautiful handicraft by the local people and several viewing locations, which is best enjoyed on foot. You can go around clicking pictures and buying beautiful stuff ranging from clothing to items for house decor. Since the gun hill is located around 400m above the mall road, it’s only accessible through cable car which takes four adults at a time.It’s a quite cheap ride at Rs 75, per head and also pretty thrilling. Once you reach the hill up above, you get to enjoy the exhilarating sight of the mountains surrounding the place while a cool misty wind strokes your body gently. I’d advice you to visit it in the evening when the sun’s about to set. It’s a mind-blowing view then.
4. Nag Tibba Trek and Adventure Sports.
This trekking location is near Mussoorie and quite popular among the nature junkies and adventure freaks. This place provides a 10,000 ft climb amidst the snowy mountains and is perfect for a weekend trip. There are also some locations offering paragliding and the details can be got at the city center booking location.
5. Library Bazaar and Mall Road
The eventful Mall Road at Mussoorie is the stretchy road spreading in all four directions from the city center. Snuggled amidst it, is the Library Bazaar, famous for its vintage looks and endless array of shopping outlets. It is home to all the different brands and a large collection of local handicraft items ranging from clothing like salwar, suits etc. to home decoration items like small handmade chairs and wind chimes. A walk along the bazaar which is structured in a circular form will remind you of the yesteryear and how local business’ work. I would also suggest an early morning walk along the mall road before the shops open, to enjoy the beauty of nature at it’s inception. Just sit and relax on the benches and view the perfect sunrise amidst the clouds. It will surely be a memorable experience.
Bonus Location at Dehradun!
Above were some of the places which I thoroughly enjoyed while in Mussoorie. Although as the trip ends, we are all sad and emotional about leaving such a beautiful place, there is a small incentive if we travel back via Dehradun. There is a historical place called Robber’s cave in Dehradun which is accessible by taxi and has a nominal entry fee but is quite an intriguing location. Rumored to be the location where robbers used to hide gold and other valuable treasures stolen from the royal kingdoms during the British Rule, it’s famous for it’s perfectly aligned architecture of two caves facing each other yet not touching completely. There is also a 10m long stream which is at the heart of the cave. It’s a must visit when in Dehradun.
Summer is the time when you can experience the richness of a hill station to it’s maximum potential. A visit to Mussoorie will never disappoint you and you will surely cherish these memories for a lifetime, like I did.