Travel does take your mind off the most stressful of things. I have always felt that in times of utter madness,;in personal or professional life, I have always craved to land in an unknown place and lose myself in its charms. And that’s exactly what I needed after a long spell of mundane mediocrities that surround life. Being in Mussoorie just washed away those feelings, and just how!
I travelled to Mussoorie in the third week of December in 2019, when nature was just starting to get draped in Christmas colors and capes. Air was heavy with possibilities of snowfall and our enthusiasm spiked by notches.
Mussoorie is also called the queen of hills and is one of the most-visited tourist places in India. It is located at a height of 2000 km above sea-level nestled cosily in the valleys. This Honeymoon Capital of India was founded by the British military officer, Mr Young in 1825. Mussoorie, originally called Mansoori, was named after a local shrub called Mansoor, and that was something we learned from one of the locals.
We drove from Rishikesh to Mussoorie and truly it was an exhausting business, what with the hairpin bends, every 10 seconds on the ghats. It took an astonishing 9 hours to reach Mussoorie, after which we couldn’t feel our lungs or limbs; thanks to the extremely cold temperatures we were suddenly exposed to.
Since, I always wanted to visit Mussoorie, I had planned for a good long stay on the hill-station. We had 4 days to explore the beautiful queen of hill stations and we definitely managed doing a lot than we had initially planned. Which is why, I have divided my Mussoorie travelogue in two parts and the first one begins here.
At a height of almost 3000 kms above sea level, Mussoorie offers spectacular view of the Himalayas beyond. Of all the tourist points, this scenic view stretches across the whole of Mussoorie, and no matter which street you turn to, you’ll find yourself hypnotised by this trademark beauty of Mussoorie.
We reached Mussoorie in the middle of the night because the weather kept getting bad, and our journey delayed. We were estimated to reach by 6 in the evening but only touched Mussoorie streets by 9 and another hour to reach our hotel. So the day ended there. The following morning however, was as rewarding as it could get.
We hit the famous Mall Road at about 10 in the morning, and the climate, the roads, the scenery, the views, the valleys, were just mesmerising. What seemed like a never-ending blanket of start dark in the night was actually a blessing in disguise. The above photo was of the valley at about 11 am and the temperature nearing 10 degrees.
A view of the settlements from our restaurant.
The traveling trio at the Mall road.
The Mall Road draped in its serene charm.
The promenade called Mall Road. The singular most famous tourist spot in Mussoorie. We explored Mall road thoroughly visiting clothing shops, antique flea markets, book shops, making conversations with locals, hotels, and other places, soaking in the beauty of Mussoorie. Wandering around the street itself felt so lit with the totally charming vibes of the place.
The Hot Spot Bar and Restaurant, a 100-year old joint for quality food and ecstatic views.
Wall art at Mall Road end.
The cable car that helps you enjoy the views of the valley from a height of 60 feet above. At a fare of 200 Rs. per person, it takes you on a ride for 20 mins covering about 1.2kms.
And we made some friends!
The view of the valley by 5pm.
The view of the valley by the promenade. The Mall road is about 3 kms but it takes you all day easily to explore the many advantages, right from hotels, cafes, shops, tourist spots, churches, street food, and just hanging out. One can easily find cycle rickshaws here, but I suggest explore it on foot, as that’s an experience you’ll never forget!
At the end of Mall road, one can see the famous tourist point Cloud’s End far beyond. This view was at about 7pm when the sun had disappeared behind the clouds, and the valley lit up in a thousand lights from the houses below. The sight was one to behold.
The famous Cafe Library at the Mall road that is almost a tourist spot in itself since the John Abraham starrer Batla House was shot at this cafe.
The warm and welcoming interiors of the cafe was a welcome relief from the dropping chilling temperatures outside.
Hot chocolate drinks that came as Godsend, after the exciting albeit tiring evening. Visit this cafe for quick bites of sandwiches, pizzas, pastries, muffins, hot drinks, brownies, etc.
By the time, we reached out hotel, we could barely keep our eyes open. The temperatures by then had dropped to 4 degrees, and we snuggled in our blankets close to the heater, finally kissing the day’s adventures good night.
The view from our window.
To be surrounded by the mountains is all I ever ask for.
The brunch was totally Indian. Dum aloo with gravy and bread.
The view from our hotel. On all sides, the property was being hugged by hills, and one would feel as if you could hear them whisper, if you could only go still for a moment or two. This was Hotel Sun Village on Kempty Road, Mussoorie.
Wherever you go, take a book along; just in case, you don’t like the place.
The following day our journey began a bit early in the morning because we had planned to touch a few places. We began with the Happy Valley.
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That’s all for the part one of my Mussoorie experience. In my next post, I shall share the next of my experiences traveling around Mussoorie. Stay tuned.
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Have you visited Mussoorie? What do you love most about the city?
Do share you thoughts in comments below. 🙂
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© Asha Seth