Mid Himalayan Range- Badrinath Range.
This Mid Himalayan Range is clearly visible from almost many part of the Towm, even from our Hotel Vishnu Palace. These peaks are also known as Badrinath/ Kedarnath range where four greatest of Hindu Shrines are located. The Shrines are known as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri( from where The Ganges emerges), and Yamunotri( from where river Yamuna emerges). Thousand of people all over the world visit these places every year. I have visited these mountains in 1982 but I do dream to take Rakhi & Munu along with me someday in near future.
Now one can go by road upto Badrinath and then 14KM trek to Kedarnath & Gangotri.
Snow at Mussoorie.
Gone are the days when December used to bring snow at Mussoorie! Our dream of having lot of snow and perhaps even try our hand at skiing at Mussoorie is shattered. We learnt het due to global warming there is no snowfall in an around Mussoorie for quite sometime. But snow falls in February & March if the weather is bad or if it rains!!
We also learnt that now snow is not there in 6/7000 feet but it is there at 10000+ feet. Global Warming!!!
We could see little bit of snow while going to Kempty Falls, we had to be satisfied with that only. Here are the pictures.
The Mall - The Heart of Mussoorie.
Like any other Hill Station the Main throughfare of the town is called The Mall. Mussoorie too is no exception. The live here revolves around The Mall. The Mall here has numerous hotels, Cafe, Shopping plazas( small), restaurants, Revolving Restaurant, Ropeway, Offfices and what not. For Mussoorie The Mall is life and life is Mall.
When the British came here in India, they made all better schools in the Hill Stations only as probably they felt theIndian heat will be too much for their children. They left but over the years the Indian Gentry send their wards to the better schools in the Hills.Mussoorie too has very good schools.
Mussoorie Botanical Garden
Like in all Hill Station Mussoorie also has a beautiful Botanical Garden, where they have also made a Nursury. They have also created a small lake for boating. A good place to see those are flowers and plants.
Kempty Falls- Ropeway.
Now Kempty Falls also has Capsule Ropeway to make our visit more comfortable. It takes about 6-8 mts to get down and Up. Fare is Rs.50/- or USD 1.20 for up and down. But choice of geting down by foot always remains open. Since, we are from plains we prefered to use the Ropeway as we had three children with us.
Gun Hill at Mussoorie.
Gunhill is the second highest point in Mussoorie. To access Gunhill, there are two ways. The first one is to begin trek from court complex on the Mall road. This path takes you to Gunhill in about 20 minutes. Now Gun Hill also has a ropeway.
This is also one of the best view point of the town. There are telescopes here you can see the mountain peaks from very close range with the telescope. The British had placed a large firing Gun there during 1857 ( time of Sepoy Mutiny) to prevent them to access Mussoorie. After independence it became a place for tourist attraction. But the Gun was removed in the 70's and this place is now have water supply tank of Mussoorie.
Whatever it is you will enjoy the place. It has many souvenier counters, view point, Telescopes, tea & Snacks stalls.
Our Queen of Mussoorie.
This is also a Mussoorie tip. Anywhere in Mussoorie you go, you will find photographers are ready with this Hill dress of Queen or King to dress you and take photographs. For a small sum of money they will take your photograph as King or queen and send you by post. The charges are forpost card size Rs.40 or about USD $1 in India. Bigger size will cost more. They earn their bread with this. Not a bad idea.
Things to do
Just drive at leisure. There is too much of scenic beauty to appreciate
. Mussoorie offers an average night life till 9. After that, it's better to remain inside as the wind gets chilly. Though one is never going to miss the city life you ask for it you have it. It is far more developed. So no probs in getting anything. Carry lots of woolens though. The weather is quite unpredictable. It might rain all of a sudden and the wind becomes very chilly then.
Nice roadside restaurants are quite affordable.
If you are a literary buff don't forget to meet Mr Ruskin Bond and evening tea at Gun hill point is a must.
Kempty falls is 40 feets in hight,it is considered very beautiful however when we went the water was diverted as the construction was going on.It was simply waste of time for us.However in its former avatar,as described it looked lovely.
The Kempty Falls are a major attractions of Dehradun and Mussoorie. The falls are situated mid way between the Dehradun-Mussoorie path. Set on the hilly terrains, the Kempty falls are stunningly beautiful. The water cascading down from an altitude of 4,500 feet and splitting further into five cascades, the water falls from a height of 40 feet giving the appearance of water jumping and playing on the rocks before falling down. This place was developed as a tourist destination by John Mekinan, after 1835. The name Kempty is derived from 'Camp-tea', as the Britishers would organise their tea parties here
Kempty Falls, located 15 kms from Mussoorie are the biggest attraction of the place. With water cascading down from an altitude of 4,500 feet and splitting further into five cascades, Kempty Falls offers a panoramic view.
Cable Car for Himalayan Views
From about half way along the Mall there is a cable car which takes you up to the top of the ridgeline where you can get views over to the mighty Himalayas. The owners run the cable car when it is packed to the brim (we had 14 people in ours). The views on the way up are pretty spectacular too as you can look back over the town of Mussoorie and also down into the valley towards Dehradun, provided it is a clear enough day - otherwise you look down into a murky void but the Himalayan views were stunning even when the views into Dehradun weren't.
A round-trip costs Rs.50 and you buy the tickets from the window on the Mall.
- Budget Travel
Views from the top of the Ridgeline
At the upper Cable Car station there is a courtyard with small shops all around and some funfair rides in the centre. Move on out past these and down onto the lane bahind and you will get the most stunning views of the Himalayan giants. You can gaze out towards Bandarpunch, the Bhagirathi Peaks and Shivling. We stopped at one of the places along here for a chai and just to sit in the strong mountain sun and take in the views. See my other tip about returning from here - try and sell-off your return cable-car ticket (if you are a backpacker like I was, or just keep it as a souvenir) and go back by the footpath...well worth it.
(Picture Note: A camera never does the views justice, I was raving to friends and family back home about how stunning the mountains were and then went to show the picture to end up saying "If you squint you can just make them out in the middle there!" again, my pictures don't do them justice...go and see for yourself!)
34 Years Seems Like A Lifetime
A trip to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Happy Valley, which was once the Charleville Hotel, 1.5 kms from Library point, is a must. This is the place where the future administrators of India are groomed after they are selected by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It’s during the Foundational Course (FC) that all these youngsters get to know each other and forge bonds which last them throughout their service career and sometimes, their lifetime. The two-storeyed wooden building which houses the Director’s office is a heritage building. The full-length statue of the late Lal Bahadur Shastri as well as the bust of the late Sardar Vallabhai Patel, are both impressive. At one end of the campus, you get an uncluttered view of the hills and ranges that seem to roll on endlessly.
- Historical Travel
100-Years' of Sweets
If you have a sweet tooth and you’re in Mussoorie, head straight for ‘Omi Sweet Shop’ at Landour. They have been in the sweet business for a little more than a century and a half (1860 onwards). From the Mall as you walk towards Landour, the shop is to your right-hand side.
Besides an array of mouth-watering delicacies, a number of different types of ‘namkeens’ (salted savouries) are also on display to entice you. You could pick up some chilly hot ones also for your sundowner. A few tables are also set aside for guests who may not want to wait too long to taste the sweets.
A type of sweet produced here that defies logic is chocolate ‘burfi’. These square-shaped dark brown sweets may be kept in your house for almost a month without it getting spoilt. And it’s not too sweet either.
The owner of the shop (Ashwani - +919897491821), is a knowledgeable person. You ask him about the town and he’ll tell you how to get there, when to go and whether it’s worth it or not.
A veritable feast.
- Food and Dining
Authentic, period furniture, British-style, is available aplenty in Mussoorie. The reason could be the wholesale departure of the English residents of the town after Independence.
Whatever the reasons, there are quite a few shops dealing in antique furniture as well as antiques. One treasure house is just beside ‘Omi Sweet Shop’ in the Landour region of Mussoorie. Called ‘Ancient Palace’, you lose yourself in this shop if you like antiques. Some of the items are so old and uncared for that even the owner (Irfan Ahmed) or the shop helper can’t tell you much about them.
The other shop is near the Clock Tower area and doesn’t appear to have a name. The owner, Vinod Kumar, is a bit more knowledgeable. He judges your interest and only pulls out the real treasures if he feels you are truly interested and not just shielding yourself from the rain or the cold. A pure silver tea pot, milk pot and sugar pot, were a bargain. So also were a 100-year calendar (1950-2049) paper weight from Stanley, London, a sand timer (5-minutes) and an antique clock.
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