Weekend Getaway to Mussoorie
Updated: Feb 6
While Mussoorie is a great place to visit any time of the year, it shines through during summer. The captivating beauty of the Himalayan Mountains and the peaceful atmosphere, thanks to the monasteries and Tibetan settlements are what make Mussoorie, Queen of the hills. Mussoorie is located in Uttarakhand and is about 300-kilometers north of New Delhi. Mussoorie is also known to attract adventure sports enthusiasts. With options like sky-walking, river rafting, rock climbing, and paragliding, people are literally spoilt for choice.
How to Reach:
Falls in the Dehradun District and is 30 km from Dehradun. Dehradun has a national airport along with railways and bus transport. A bus is available every half hour between 5 AM and 8 PM. The bus will leave you at the Library point where cab rentals and self-driving rentals are available. Mussoorie does not have a direct rail link to any of the major towns and cities. Dehradun is the only station that serves Mussoorie throughout the day.
Lal Tibba is the highest peak in the region. One should never miss out on a chance to visit Gun-Hill, which is the second-highest. There is an interesting story about this place. It is said that every afternoon, The British used to fire cannons from atop the hill at 3 pm so that the locals knew what time of the day it was. Gun Hill is also popular because it is located above the Mall, which has a cable car ropeway for those who are lazy to trek to the top. Anyways, once you get to the top of the hill, you are treated to an astounding view of the Himalayas, and the city.
In the midst of all the hills, forests, and adventure-seeking is a settlement of Tibetans. A few thousand Tibetans migrated two generations ago to areas around Uttarakhand along with the Dalai Lama. It was in Mussoorie that Dalai Lama had established the Tibetan ‘government in exile’ after fleeing from Chinese authorities in 1959. The government in exile later moved to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Most of the Tibetan community stayed in the Happy Valley. It is located on the western side of the Library Point, which leads to the ‘Cloud’s end’. Serene gardens, beautiful Tibetan temples, and the famous IAS academy call Happy Valley their home. The Valley seems like a mini-Tibet. The houses, temples, and monasteries are a sneak peek into the Tibet-Chinese culture.
The immense beauty is sure to leave everybody spellbound. From the wooded estates to the gardens, and the beautiful temples, these endless sights are always a treat to watch. It is impossible to not mention the snow-covered mountain caps and mountain streams. For Photographers, Happy Valley is the paradise of their dreams and is an absolute must-visit, any time of the year.
It is ideal to explore the valley around the summer months(During the winter half the valley is covered in snow, xD). Another place to add to the ‘never miss out’ list is the Char Khamba ridge point. This point falls at about 250 meters from the Dalai Hill. Though not the tallest peak in the area, Char Khamba has is known for the view which it provides, a complete 360 of the Valley.
Lake Mist and Kempty Falls:
This quaint lake gives one an unforgettably rejuvenating experience. The peaceful, unpolluted environment around the lake is complemented by the several waterfalls fed by the waters of the Kempty river. A number of multi-cuisine restaurants and accommodation options make this an ideal place to unwind with your family and friends. Do not forget to get your camera to capture the beauty of the cascading Kempty waterfalls.
Landour is a cantonment town around 4 kilometers away from Mussoorie and it is among the calm places around the Himalayan region. It sits among the forest-covered terrains and is perched atop the slope of a hill. It is a quaint place and is a perfect getaway to wind down and chill. Travelers who spend some time here come out refreshed, and relaxed. The homemade peanut butter around here is a treat to the taste buds, one you will take home with you.
And for those unaware, Landour is home to Ruskin Bond. He is an established children’s writer and comes down to Cambridge Book Depot every weekend. The depot is at the Mussoorie Mall Road, yet another crowd magnet. The road has everything from restaurants and cafes to souvenirs and video game parlors. It is a typical market that is always bustling and is referred to as the Library and Picture Palace side by the locals. No doubt that it gives life to the streets of Mussoorie and is a throbbing artery of the district. In addition to this, the Shivalik range nearby gives breathtaking views of the Doon Valley and is surrounded by a range of shrubs, creepers, and wildlife.
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary:
If you are a wildlife enthusiast then you have a lot to get excited about Mussoorie, from the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary to the Vinog Mountain Quail Sanctuary. These sanctuaries are known for the lush vegetation amid snow-covered mountains. They were established around 1993 and are expansive, spreading over 340 hectares (That’s 340 hectares of heaven for you folks) including space for the Mountain quails and the Pahari Bater. Sadly, Mountain quails are very low in number and are on the verge of extinction. The sanctuaries are open all round the year and are a heavenly treat for birdwatchers all over the world.
From the lush-green sanctuaries to the snow-capped mountains, and from the sky ride adventure parks to the quaint Tibetan settlements, Mussoorie has something for everybody. It is a great set up for family and especially for solo excursions, making it a perfect weekend getaway destination. The fascinating images of this hill station stay in the mind for long after. Unarguably, Mussoorie the ‘Queen Of Hills’ will conquer over your head and heart in the shortest of amounts of time.