MUSSORIE OVERVIEW

Set on a horseshoe-shaped ridge 6,600 feet above sea level in the Garhwal foothills of the Himalayas in Uttaranchal, the delightful town of Mussoorie is a medley of sensations. It’s where exuberant tourists rub shoulders with adventurous trekkers headed for the Himalayas and pious pilgrims on their way to the holy sites of Gangotri and Jamnotri. You’ll find houses across town with the curious prefix of Glen — these once belonged to British folk from Scotland who identified the Himalayan meadows with their glens (long, deep, U-shaped valley typically with a watercourse running through it) back home! Names like Connaught Castle, Grey Castle and Castle Hill remind us of the British love for the cooler climes of the hills and their yearning for home. Mullingar House, the oldest building in Mussoorie, was the home of an Irishman called Captain Young from Mullingar, who commanded the first Gurkha battalion here. According to popular lore, the ghost of Captain Young visits his home on moonlit nights. Lal Tibba, the highest peak in Mussoorie at 7,510 feet, is a restricted area because of the presence of the Indian Military there. Lower down, in Mussoorie town, you can find the schools and settlements of Tibetans who fled after the Chinese took over their homeland. Mussoorie offers a variety of options for visitors. Entertainment arcades like mini Appu Ghar and the skating rink at Kulri Bazaar are perfect for families and kids. For nature lovers, there’s the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, and bargaining in the Himalayan and Tibetan curio shops is a shopper’s delight. The more adventurous will enjoy trekking and horse-riding through the forest-rock terrain. It’s a brilliant mosaic encased within the awesome beauty of the Himalayas.

FACT FILE

  • Area: 65 sq km
  • Altitude: 6,600 feet above sea level
  • State: Uttaranchal
  • Distance from nearby towns/ cities: Dhanaulti (25 km), Dehradun (34 km), Haridwar (90 km), Rishikesh (77 km), Delhi (278 km)
  • Take away: Tibetan prayer wheels, metal ware, antiques, hand-carved walking sticks, cane baskets, embroidered wall hangings; Ladakhi, pashmina and jamawar embroidery shawls

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The months between April and June and September and October are the most pleasant. Kempty Falls is closed during the winter and can be visited from the months of March through July.

ATTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS


GUN HILL

GUN HILL

A 400-metre ropeway connects the Mall (main Market) with Gun Hill, the second-highest peak in Mussoorie. It’s a thrilling ride with panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges of Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara, Gangotri, etc and a bird’s-eye view of Mussoorie town and Doon Valley.
JHARIPANI FALLS

JHARIPANI FALLS

Jharipani Falls is located in the Jharipani Estate, which is where Mussoorie’s famous boarding schools such as Oakgrove, Wynberg Allen, and St. George are located, in the midst of rhododendron, and deodar and horse-chestnut trees.
KEMPTY FALLS

KEMPTY FALLS

Situated at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the 40-foot Kempty Falls are the most popular falls in Mussoorie. The main waterfall splits into five distinct falls that appear to somersault before hitting the ground. Trout are in abundance here, and you can get fishing permits from the Divisional Forest Officer. Check locally for day and timings as the falls can be only be seen on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer; they are diverted for irrigation on other days of the week.
BHATTA FALLS

BHATTA FALLS

The pretty Bhatta Falls is another idyllic picnic spot. Two huge water tanks store water for supply to the Galogi Power station.
MUSSORIE LAKE

MUSSORIE LAKE

This man-made lake offers pedal boating and commands a great view of Doon Valley and neighbouring mountain villages.
BENOG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

BENOG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

This fir and pine forest has rare Himalayan bird species such as the near-extinct mountain quail and red-billed blue magpie. Be alert and watch for animals such as deer and leopards that may appear out of nowhere and vanish again into the forest within seconds.
TIBETAN BUDDHIST TEMPLE

TIBETAN BUDDHIST TEMPLE

Set up by the Tibetans in Mussoorie, the Shedup Choepelling Buddhist temple is located in Happy Valley. Prayer flags and clay lamps create a sense of serenity and one inevitably comes away feeling calm and restored.
CAMEL’S BACK ROAD

CAMEL’S BACK ROAD

Connecting Kulri Bazaar and Library Bazaar, this 3-km road offers great views of the Himalayas. Walking or horse-riding along this road are popular pastimes in Mussoorie.
VAN CHETNA KENDRA

VAN CHETNA KENDRA

The lush green park surrounded by pine forests and flowering shrubs is a visual treat.
DHANAULTI

DHANAULTI

25 km from Mussoorie, Dhanaulti is a resort hamlet at a height of 7,500 feet in the Tehri Garhwal district amidst alpine forests of deodar, oak, and rhododendron. Himalayan Weavers on the Mussoorie-Dhanaulti Road produces hand-woven shawls, stoles, scarves, and throws using only natural dyes on eri silk, pashmina and other wool.
SURKANDA DEVI TEMPLE

SURKANDA DEVI TEMPLE

Located 8 km from Dhanaulti, the Surkanda Devi Temple is the highest point near Mussoorie at a height of 10,000 feet. The temple has been built on the site where the charred head of Goddess Sati or Parvati fell as Shiva carried her body after she immolated herself in a fire ceremony at her father’s place. The place offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
CHAMBA

CHAMBA

Chamba, 50 km from Mussoorie, is a mountainous district at elevations that vary between 2,000 and 21,000 feet. The Chamba valley is tranquil and picturesque, lying on the banks of river Ravi and between two principal Himalayan ranges, Dhauladhar and Pangi-Pir Panjal.
DEHRADUN

DEHRADUN

Dehradun is located 34 km from Mussoorie at an altitude of 2,200 feet. It is famous for its residential schools including Doon School and research institutes like the Forest Research Institute, which has six museums showcasing a wide variety of botanical species and animal life.

ACTIVITIES IN MUSSORIE

horse

HORSE RIDING

Camel’s Back Road and the route to Children’s Lodge are popular places for horse-riding.

roller

ROLLER SKATING

The rink at Kulri Bazaar and Disco Skating Rink near Tourist Office are great places to enjoy skating.

appu

MINI APPU GHAR

This place has games and entertainment rides for kids as well as adults.

fish

FISHING

With a permit from the Divisional Forest Officer, you can go fishing in the Aglar and Yamuna rivers that are filled with mahaseer and trout.

bike

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The road that rises and falls to Dhanaulti past Surkanda Devi Temple is a popular biking route. The landscape is lush green and abounds in pine, oak, apple and pear trees.

photo

PHOTOGRAPHS

Don’t forget to click photographs in the Garhwali dress available at most photo studios

HOW TO REACH

rail

The closest railhead is Dehradun, 30 km away.

bus

Mussoorie is well connected by road to all major cities of India.

plane

The closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport (on the outskirts of Dehradun), 55 km away.

WEATHER

summer

Summer: 10°C – 30°C

winter

Winter: –1°C – 10°C

monsoon

Monsoon: Jun to Sep