Mussoorie is a hill station nestled in the foot hills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges in Northern India. It's a fantastic tourist destination including the magnificent walking trails that surround the village. The following sections describe how to get to Mussoorie, where to stay and some other tourist experiences you can do while staying in the Mussoorie region.
When to go:
The weather in Mussoorie is cool and enjoyable throughout the year. Most people prefer to visit from the middle of April to the middle of July (summer), to escape the heat of the plains. Summer is also a good time to camp and to go on some of the longer treks. From September to November the greenery is in full bloom and there are spectacular views of the Himalayas.
During summer, March to June, the average temperature is around 37°C. From mid-July to mid-September the monsoon season arrives. During this period there is moderate rainfall and there can be landslides, making travel hazardous. Winter extends from October to February with chilly weather conditions and snow. At night, the temperature can be below zero. Snowfall tends to occur from the very end of December to mid February, and the roads can become blocked.
How to get there:
Internationally, the most direct route to Mussoorie has you flying into Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. You can then make a direct connection to Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand (flight time ~45 min). A return flight from Delhi to Dehradun should cost less than US$300. Often, much cheaper deals are available. You can also get to Dehradun via Mumbai.
Nationally, you can fly from Delhi (or Mumbai) to Dehradun.
Alternatively, you can travel by train from Delhi to Dehradun. If you choose this option, make sure you book on the Shatabti Express, the fastest and most comfortable option. Travel time is about 5 ½ hours, but it is very comfortable in the air-conditioned executive cabins, and a lot cheaper than flying (Rs645-1305, depending on the class). For bookings go to: http://www.indianrail.gov.in/
There are taxi booths at both the airport or Dehradun train station at which you can arrange a taxi to take you directly to your hotel. This will cost you about Rs 3,000 (US$60) per car from the airport (59km), and somewhat less from the train station (30km).
Things to do in Mussoorie:
The municipal gardens (Company Bagh) is located in the Happy Valley region. It is a popular tourist spot.
Gun Hill is a historic place with history dating back prior to independence. A canon used to be fired every day so that people could correct their watches.
Cloud End is at the western end of Mussoorie, and is a beautiful place for some refreshments and a view of Binog Tibba and the Himalaya. Many of the walks in the book go out to or beyond Cloud End (see Walks 12, 15, 17 and 22).
Camel’s Back Road, is part of Walk 1 and extends for a distance of about 4 km from the Library to Kulri Bazaar. If you use your imagination you may be able to make out the rocks in shape of the camel’s hump. It is an ideal spot to wander in the mornings and the evenings.
Lal Tibba is the highest peak in Mussoorie. While it is not possible to go to the very top of the hill, it is possible to go along the road to a viewing area where there are often spectacular views of the snows. This region features in a number of Walks in the book, as there are many paths that descend to villages below Lal Tibba (Walks 4, 6, 13, and 18).
George Everest’s House. This historic ruin is located approximately 6km from the Library. Located on a spur, it has spectacular views of the Himalaya as well as the Doon Valley. George Everest was the Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843, and he completed the Great Trigonometric Survey of India. The walk to George Everest’s House is detailed in Walk 15 of the book.
The Yamuna Bridge is located about 27kms from Mussoorie on the Chakrata-Barkot road, beyond Kempty falls. It is an ideal spot for fishing and seasonal rafting. Permits for fishing can be obtained from the Divisional Forest Officer, Mussoorie.
Shopping. There are a number of different bazaars in Mussoorie. The Library and Kulri bazaars are located on the Mall Road, and offer produce, clothing, and other wares. The Landoor Bazaar caters more for the locals, and has a large number of stalls with fruit and vegetables, tailors, kitchen wares, hardware and fabric shops. Sister’s Bazaar, near Lal Tibba, has a produce shop with numerous produce items desired by foreigners (homemade jam, cheese, locally made bread).
Things to see around Mussoorie:
Dhanaulti (25km). Located amidst beautiful forest of Pine, Cedar, and Rhododendron, Dhanaulti is located at an elevation of about 2286 meters above sea level. There are staggeringly beautiful views of the snows here. The temple of Surkanda Devi is a sacred Hindu temple located beyond Dhanaulti. The Ganga festival is celebrated around May and June every year.
Other places further afield include Yanunotri, Uttakashi, Govindghat, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Corbett National Park is about a day’s drive away.
Places to Stay:
There are numerous places to stay in Mussoorie, and hotels that suit all budgets. We outline some favourites at different budgets:
Hotel Padmini Niwas is a converted heritage property, with spectacular views of the Doon Valley. It is ideally situated towards the Library end of Mussoorie, just below the Mall Road, in a relaxing garden setting. The beautifully maintained garden includes tall cedar and elegant chestnut trees. This hotel offers a serene environment, within a very comfortable heritage property. For bookings and more features go to http://www.hotel-padmininivas.com/
Royal Orchid Fort Resort is located on the Picture Palace side of Mussoorie, a little below the main Mall Road. It has been built like an ancient fort, and has lovely secluded garden areas. The hotel also offers a multi-cuisine restaurant, outdoor eating with bon fire, games room, spa, and 24-hour room service. For more details visit http://www.royalorchidhotels.com/royal-orchid-fort-resort-mussoorie/overview.asp
Fortune The Savoy is an elegant and historic hotel located at the Library End of the Mall,that was originally opened in 1902 as a summer resort. Recently refurbished, the rooms are beautifully appointed, many having terraces with views of the Himalaya. For further details go to http://www.fortunehotels.in/resort/Mussoorie-Fortune_The_Savoy.aspx
Kasmanda Palace, built in 1836, is one of the oldest buildings of Mussoorie. In 1915 it became a summer retreat of the royal family of Kasmanda, and has now been with this family for more than 100 years (6 generations). The hotel has a multi-cuisine restaurant and large and comfortable rooms. More details can be found at http://www.kasmandapalace.com/index.html