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The quiet and quaint little Himalayan town is like a travel back in time, trapped in the previous century. The colonial culture of the city, the picture-perfect landscape with the breathtaking views of the Garhwal Himalayas, the fresh mountain air, is what this hill station is famous for. If you are looking to refresh your senses and wake up to nature, then Mussoorie is just where you need to be.
Sitting on the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, Mussoorie is surrounded by the Doon Valley and Shiwalik Ranges. The town has an average elevation of 6578 feet with the highest point at Lal Tibba, at 7476 feet in adjoining town of Landour.
The town’s name is a derivation of ‘mansur’, an exotic Himalayan shrub, endemic to the region. Mussoorie was established in 1803 when the Gorkhas under Umer Singh Thapa conquered the Garhwal region. Later with the British invasion, they lost their territory and became a part of the British government. In 1825, a British military officer, Captain Young, re-established the hill station as a resort town, the popularity of which still remains.
Best Time to Visit Mussoorie
Sitting on the Garhwal Himalayan Region, the weather is what you would call a classic mountain weather. The summers are cool and pleasant, while winters are extremely cold. Snowfall time often varies. The monsoon in the town sees heavy rainfall. So, if you are looking for outdoor time, then visit during the warmer months, when temperature is the most conducive. The best season to visit Mussoorie is between December and March.
How to Reach Mussoorie
Mussoorie has excellent connectivity with all major cities and towns across India by road, rail, and flights.
Mussoorie can easily be reached by train. The nearest railway station is in Dehradun, about 36 KM away. There are a host of trains to from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar, Jammu etc. From Dehradun station, you will need to rent a car or book a taxi to reach the queen of hills.
You can travel two ways to Mussoorie by road.
You can take a bus – The town is well-connected by bus routes from nearby cities like Delhi, Dehradun, and other major cities/towns of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There are daily and direct bus services and in both state and private buses that operate between these routes.
You can take a car – You can reach Delhi or Dehradun and rent a car or book a cab to reach Mussoorie. From Dehradun, it takes only an hour and a half to Mussoorie. From Delhi, it’s about 300 KM and takes at the most 8 hours to reach. There are two routes – Saharanpur Road and NH 44 to reach Mussoorie from Delhi. For a faster, better, and enjoyable travel experience, we recommend a road trip from Delhi to Mussoorie by car.
Mussoorie does not have an airport so there are no direct flights from other parts of the country. There are only 2 airports nearby– Dehradun and Delhi. The town of Dehradun is served by Jolly Grant Airport which is about 62 KM. There are a number of flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jammu, etc. To reach from Dehradun, rent an airport taxi from Dehradun airport.
Places to visit in Mussoorie
With a picture-perfect landscape of alpine forests and glacial rivers and the colonial culture that still boasts its colonial heritage, sightseeing is as exotic as it could get. Here are the most famous places to see in Mussoorie
- Christ Church – the oldest church of town. It is also one of the most historic structure known for its fine 19th-century Scottish architecture with stone arch, carved columns and façade, and tinted glass windows.
- Sir George Everest Mansion – the former residence of the legendary mountaineer. The expansive mansion also has an in-house museum which preserves memorabilia, souvenirs and documents from Sir Everest’s expeditions.
- Lal Tibba – the highest point of Mussoorie. The site known for stunning views from a great height as you get to see the surrounding ranges of Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Nilkantha.
- Mussoorie Lake – a manmade lake with boating options, surrounded by a promenade for relaxing.
- Kempty Waterfall – the most prominent waterfall in Mussoorie. It is said to have originated as a glacial stream from the upper Himalayas and is now a popular site for picnics and day treks.
- Mall Road – the most-visited and popular commercial part. The entire road houses the best hotels, restaurant, and souvenir shops.
- Mossy Falls – a 145 meter tall and scenic waterfall. It sits amid a dense and serene area and offers great photos ops.
- Gun Hill – the second-highest point here. Once a wartime vantage point, the hill is now the best viewing point for sunrises, sunsets, and panoramic mountain vistas.
- Dalai Hills – a range of scenic hills settled in the Happy Valley. It sits adjacent to the Shedup Choephelling Temple, known to be one of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples.
Things to do in Mussoorie
The charming hill town offers a host of options for the best adventures and activities to do in the queen of hills.
- Take an hour-long paragliding tour with an expert glider, around the grasslands and enjoy the awe-inspiring views from a height of 10,000 feet.
- Go for short day treks or forest hikes around the nature trails, waterfalls of hills, and viewpoints.
- Try horse riding.
- Enjoy a 10-15 minutes of cable car ride from Jhulaghat to Gun Hill in the ropeway service.
- Walk along the Sky Bridge, the longest hanging bridge of the country, suspended from a height of 80 feet.
- Do a Nag Tibba Trek and walks you through dense forests Garhwal and get the beautiful sighting of Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak in the north, Doon valley and peaks of Changabang.
- Try ziplining, the highest zipline in India, with a 600 ft of height and 1700 ft of total length and could take you with a speed of up to 90 km/h.
- Visit the Mussoorie Adventure and choose from their package of adventures like sky bridge, valley crossing, zip line, skywalk, zip swing, Superman ride, Spiderman, Commando Bridge, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, etc.
- Have a fun skating day at the Disco Skating Rink where you can get on the wheels and swerve along upbeat music while watching the scenic valleys.
- Plan a picnic at the Jharipani Falls, flanked by the Doon Valley and step farming fields, shrubs, and exotic Himalayan wildflowers.
Places to Eat in Mussoorie
Once dominated by the old English food fare, Mussoorie’s cuisine was as colonial as in any other retreat town in those days. But now, the local food scene is a blend of several communities dishing out their specialties. When here, these are a few must-visit places to sample the local flavor.
Here are some of the best places to eat –
- Landour Bakehouse, Sister’s Bazaar, Landour – a colonial-time bakery serving classic style bakery goods and cakes.
- Top.Top.Tea.Shop – tea shop and bakery serving café style food, desserts, and more.
- Domas Inn, Ivy Cottage, Landour Cant. – Café in a cottage with Tibetan décor and serving Tibetan, Chinese, and continental fare.
- The Glen Retro & Bar, West End House, The Mall Rd – fine dining restaurant serving continental and Indian food in a retro setting with mountain views and live music.
- Kalsang Friends Corner, The Mall Rd, Survey Colony – an old-timey restaurant serving authentic Tibetan and Chinese food.
- The Writer’s Bar, Welcomhotel, The Savoy, Library Bazar, Gandhi Chowk – very upscale restaurant in a five-star hotel in an authentic colonial setting, serving bar menu
- The Tavern Restaurant, Kulri, Survey Colony, The Mall Road – spacious restaurant with old world charm intact in wooden furniture, serving North Indian cuisine.
Popular Nearby Places Around Mussoorie
Make the most of your vacation, visit these interesting places near the hill station –
- Dhanloti, 31 KM – A sleepy town on the Chamba – Mussoorie Road, known for towering forests of oaks, deodars, and rhododendrons, great for forest trekking.
- Dehradun, 34 KM – Mussoorie’s sister town and the nearest major commercial center, Dehradun is equally famous for treks, drives, and nature hotspots.
- Kanatal, 47 KM – A mountain hamlet of pristine beauty and raw nature, Kanatal offers breathtaking views and is known for Kodia Forest, and Eco Park. You can also go to Tehri dam on Tehri Lake.
- Rishikesh, 77 KM – At two and half-hour drive, Rishikesh is perfect for all kinds of adventure sports. Whitewater rafting on the Upper Ganges is the best and most popular activity here.
- Chakrata, 81 KM – A small town on the Yamuna Valley, the retreat town of Chakrata is famous for alpine forests, ancient caves and temples, waterfalls, to enjoy camping, river rafting, and trailblazing.
- Kalesar National Park, 90 KM – A natural enclosure of dense forests and grasslands, housing many endangered species of Himalayan flora and fauna.
Mussoorie Hotels & Resorts
To make your vacation truly comfortable and memorable, here are some of the best places to stay –
- Rokeby Manor
- Dunsvirk Court Luxury Boutique Resort
- Royal Orchid Fort Resort
- Welcomhotel The Savoy
- Hotel Padmini Nivas
- Domas Inn
- JW Marriott Walnut Grove
- Chimney House