The hills of North India, as I have found in all my travails, have an aesthetic aura about them. The diamond cut roads, the mystic air, the serene coolness and the feel of an Indian relaxation. One such place at an altitude of 2005 metres is the hill station of Mussoorie also regarded as the ‘Queen of Hills’ in India.
Mussoorie is situated in the state of Uttarakhand and comes under the district of Dehradun. It boasts of a 26069 member population as per the 2001 census. The hill station is situated in the foothills of the grand garhwal himlayan ranges. There’s this town adjoining Mussoorie named Landour that is actually a military cantonment is considered to be a part of the ‘greater Mussoorie’ that is also called to be the new extension of Mussoorie. The plethora of sheer beauty that surrounds the place is nothing like anything. It takes us away from the cacophony of our everyday schedules and gives life a new tinge that is graveled by the stone-chips of peace of tranquility. The very air and atmosphere of Mussoorie has that chill and serenity about it that grasps the minds of its visitors and captivates their souls for a time that is longer than what they spend there. Despite the crowd and bustle there’s an unworldly peace surrounding the Queen of Hills.
And this very place is also the most favourite hangout of our very own Novel writer – Ruskin Bond.
| how to get to Mussoorie? |
The most convenient rail-head to get down at Mussoorie would be the station of Dehradun where taxis and buses are readily available from.
Another major city is Delhi from where Mussoorie is well connected by roads.
Mussoorie is known to be the ‘Gateway’ to the two major shrines of Northern India – Yamunotri and Gangotri.
On the way up to Mussoorie from Dehradun, the best part is the deer parks where you can spot one or two deers at regular intervals or if you’re lucky you might even face a caged cheetah.
| feeling the weather |
The best time to be in Mussoorie would be the months of March to September though the months of July to September can get a bit troublesome due to the onset of the torrential rains.
| let us roam around a bit |
Mussoorie stands out as one of the major tourist attractions in India and why wouldn’t it be? When there are so many places to feast the mind and the sight.
Kempty Falls – this is an awesome waterfall situated at some 13kms away from the city and though it might get a bit crowdy but still this place is not something to be left out. The water here flows down a valley and gains maximum momentum during the times of monsoon.
Gun Hill – well for the name, there used to be a gun but no more. It’s basically the second highest peak in Mussoorie and for the adventurous ones it’s going to be an exhilarating experience provided they go by foot. A 40 minute walk is all it takes afterall. Well, for the gun, yes it said that during the pre-independence era there used to be a gun that fired at stroke of 12 in the noon and helped the locales to adjust their timings accordingly, interesting isn’t it?
Mall Road – Love walking? Get lost and be seen nowhere except the mall road. Beautifully architecture buildings, the tourist hush, fast food stalls make a scenic part of the mall road. Along the roadside it’s a buffet for those wanting to buy indigenous shawls and woolen garments at the most affordable prices. During the British era, it was written on a board over there ‘Indians and Dogs not allowed’ and Jawaharlal Nehru used to break the law everyday and pay the fine whenever he was in Mussoorie. Well you can’t blame Nehru after all that’s the strength of Mussoorie.
Camel’s Back Road – It is said that the name has been given since it resembles a camel’s hump, who knows. But that’s a beautiful place to walk or jog around or loiter with hands in hand with your love partner.
| bidding a good bye |
Mussoorie is a treasure chest of wonders that fills the heart with a love for nature and architecture. It makes you believe that life is a simpler equation than the complex puzzle we try to solve at cities. It takes you away from the regular slogging and surrounds you in an aura of peace and romanticism and captivates your soul for eternity.
Soham is a first year Media Student from NSHM Institute of Media and Design, Kolkata. His interest lies in writing, reading, photography; specially writing on travel and tourism and the culture and traditions of India. In these 18 years that he has travelled life, the thrill of roaming and writing just got him closer to himself.