As the eminent writer Ruskin Bond, if mountains are in your blood or if you are a person who loves hills, quietness, forests and serenity, then a visit to ‘The Queen of Hills’ will be a dream come true for you.
Nestled amidst tall oaks and pines, in the foothills of Himalayas, at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea-level, at a distance of around 30 km from Dehradun, one of the charming hill-stations of India, Mussoorie (popularly known as ‘Queen of Hills’) is situated.
Historically the first settler in Mussoorie was Captain Young, a British officer, who liked this place and built a cottage, during the year 1823. Later it became a favourite to many British officers who wished cool climate and were homesick of their homelands.
Mussoorie has a distinct advantage due to easy access to major cities and attracts many tourists due to its breath-taking natural splendour. The uniqueness of Mussoorie lies in its calmness and quiet magic.
If you are a person seeking to spend leisurely time amidst shops and eateries, the mall road is the best place. With its pretty shops selling souvenirs, busy eateries, flower shops, the mall road bustles with gaiety and fun. People can sit on the benches provided on the roadside and enjoy looking around.
Would you love to stroll around? Then take a nice walk along the camel’s back road and visit the library which is built in old British architecture. As Mussoorie is the home for Writers, you can spot Ganesh Saili or Ruskin Bond in the library, if you are lucky.
Or opt for a two hour trek to the home of Sir George Everest from library from where panoramic views of Doon valley can be enjoyed. You may visit ‘Cloud’s End’, a bungalow from where a nice view of the river Yamuna and the Himalayan peaks can be seen.
If you wish for a tougher trek, then a walk to ‘Childer’s lodge’ near the highest peak of Mussoorie ‘Lal Tibba’ is refreshing. Or a trek in Benong hill is definitely worthy as it offers excellent picturesque views.
If you are a water bird, trips to Kempty falls, Bhatta falls and Jharipani falls is bound to be fun.
A must-do activity is to go for a Ropeway ride to the second highest peak of Mussoorie – Gun Hill. Even if the distance is only 400 mtrs, the ride is very thrilling. From Gun Hill mighty Himalayan ranges especially mountains ranges – Bunderpunch, Srikantha, and Gangotri are seen. Entire Mussoorie town and Doon Valley present an amazing sight.
Tall, regal deodars, mist filled hills, thick forests, spell-binding views of sunsets and sunrises, snow-capped mountains, friendly people and much more make Mussoorie a peaceful heaven on earth. Time flows slowly and at some moments it just stops still in this cozy town.
Indeed, Mussoorie is mesmerizing, it weaves a special magic of its own and no wonder many tourists lose themselves in its appeal.
The views expressed by the author are in her personal capacity.