Mussoorie: The Queen of Hill Stations
Uttarakhand has two hugely popular hill stations – Nainital and Mussoorie. It is hard to say which one is the best.
Perched on a 2km high hilltop, Mussoorie is called the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. The mist enveloping the hills clears in summer and then the snow-capped Himalayan peaks peep out. Tourists flock to the town to enjoy the incredible views Mussoorie offers. The mountain air is fresh and cool. It is not surprising that Mussoorie attracts lakhs of tourists every summer. The peak season here runs between May and July.
Like Nainital, Mussoorie was established by the British and it was hugely popular with them. The British influence is still visible in the architecture of the churches, libraries, palaces and hotels. There are about 300 hotels in Mussoorie; still finding accommodation during peak season is not easy. But if you visit Mussoorie at other times of the year, you can find cheap accommodation fairly easily. Clouds envelop Mussoorie during monsoon. Read about the Top 10 Hill stations in India.
Central Mussoorie has two developed areas: Gandhi Chowk or Library Bazaar is at the western end and Kulri Bazaar is at the eastern end of the city. Mall the 2km stretch that links the east and west is dominated by pedestrians. Kulri Bazaar is the busiest bazaar in Mussoorie. Landour Bazaar, another busy market, is about 1.5 km from Kulri Bazaar.
Mussoorie is in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It has the advantage of strategic location. Mussoorie is only about 35 kilometers from Dehradun which is the capital of Uttarakhand. Mussoorie lies at an altitude of 1,880 meters. It offers impressive views. Snow-peaks are to the north-west and Doon Valley and Shiwalik mountain ranges are to the south.
Like Nainital, Mussoorie also has a promenade called the Mall. The Mall stretches from Picture Palace in the eastern part to the Public Library in the western part of the town. During the British era, neither Indians nor dogs had access to the Mall.
Mussoorie is now full of hotels and tourist lodges. Lal Tibba is the highest peak in Mussoorie. It has an elevation of about 7500 feet.
How to reach
Mussoorie has easy access to Delhi, Chandigarh and Ambala. The closest railway station is Dehradun (35km). Pilgrims often visit Mussoorie on their way to the shrines at Yamunotri and Gangotri. From Dehradun, you can take a bus or a taxi to Mussoorie.
The best time to visit Mussoorie is from mid-March to mid-July. Mussoorrie is one of the wettest places in India, so the monsoon season (July to September) is not exactly a great time to visit it. However, Mussoorie looks splendid in October and November.
Things to see
Mussoorie is in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges. It has a nature trail called Camel’s Back Road. There is a cemetery on this road. Gun Hill is also on Camel’s Back Road. Tourists can access Gun Hill via the cable car. St Mary’s is the oldest Christian church in Mussoorie. It is close to the Mall. Mussoorie has several tourist attractions and these include Kempty Falls and Company Garden. There is a small Tibetan temple in Happy Valley. Lal Tibba is a beautiful lookout point near the peak of the same name. Gun Hill is the second highest point (2024m) in Mussoorie.
Kempty Falls is about 13 kilometers from Mussoorrie. It is on the Chakrata Road. This waterfall is one of the most popular picnic points in Mussoorie.
Another popular tourist attraction, Lake Mist is on the Mussoorie-Kempty road. It is about 5 kilometers from Mussoorie. There are several restaurants and hotels here. Tourists can enjoy boating in the lake.
This is another picnic spot with a garden. There is also an artificial lake here. Paddle boating facility is available.