Guest writer and photographer, Raghav explores Mussoorie for The India Travel Blog, bringing us ten great travel tips.
Situated in the state of Uttarakhand, Mussoorie was initially a haven for the British during the scorching summer months. Still a popular “hill station” getaway for people from cities like New Delhi and Chandigarh, this picturesque town has had untimely and unorganized construction due to the ever increasing tourist trade.
Mussoorie might have lost some of its old world charm, but it still remains one of the most visited hill destinations of the north. Going off the beaten path and venturing into the lesser known sections of Barlowganj and Landour is a great way to explore the region.
To guide you through this quaint town overlooking the Doon Valley, here are ten tips to keep in mind;
The Car Ride
Situated some 8 to 9 hours from New Delhi, Mussoorie can easily be reached in a day by car from the capital. While taking the Meerut and Roorkie ByPass makes the trip more bearable, if traveling after the rainy season be prepared for a bumpy ride due to broken roads. Plan your trip ahead and make sure you reach your destination well within daylight time as night driving in the hills can prove to be strenuous and dangerous.
It’s feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!
Mussoorie might be 6000ft above sea level and amidst lush green mountains, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get hot over there. Carry an umbrella for those sudden rain showers and also to protect you from the direct rays of the sun that will surely make you sweat. Either way, without an umbrella, you are bound to get wet.
One of the most wonderful sites in Mussoorie was to watch the mist play hide and seek with the mountains as I sipped hot tea in my hotel balcony. It is both beautiful and dangerous as the mist can suddenly descend upon the mountains making it difficult to see anything if you are driving. Beautiful and deadly, the mist gives Mussoorie stupendous character.
Those Cozy Evenings
While the day time can get extremely hot, the evenings and night time are almost always cooler. With the mist coming down and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves, carrying light woolens is always advisable.
Probably the main attraction of Mussoorie, this stretch of road from the Picture Palace to the Public Library is lined with shops, street vendors, and an idyllic view of the valley. Unfortunately its upkeep has been rather poor and it is advised that you walk with one eye on the road, else you are bound to step on horse excreta. With bikes and cars whizzing past during the day, it is not always the best place for a calm and quiet walk. At night, with lights blinking in the hills, Mall Road can prove to be quite romantic when less crowded.
I am never really sure whether it is Mussoorie that made Ruskin Bond famous or visa versa. In my book, Ruskin Bond, author, remains the most celebrated person of Mussoorie. Although I have never been lucky enough to meet him, those who have come across him have always had fond lifelong memories of interacting with this humble and gentle individual. His stories are a must read for all bookworms.
Stay a week
While you might be planning a short trip, if you really want to experience Mussoorie, stay for a week and take in the charm of this hill station. You will have more time to explore and the chance to spend your vacation at your own pace.
Warm Street Food
India has always been synonymous with street food. Walking on the Mall Road you are bound to find numerous vendors selling all sorts of street foods from boiled eggs to popcorn to candy floss, perfect to warm you up during those cozy evening walks.
Although there aren’t that many “proper” hiking trails, Mussoorie has enough paths all around in the mountains to make any adventurous hiker jump with joy. A chance to take in some fresh air and exercise your body while enjoying the flora and fauna is highly recommended.
I was extremely disheartened to see the rash commercialization of Mussoorie during my recent trip. Although not much can be done about that, when you do visit next, make sure that you act like a smart traveller and while you remember to carry a camera, you also make sure that you throw the garbage at the right place and respect nature, helping restore the “Queen of the Hills” to its past glory.
About the writer
Raghav is an avid traveler, a born film buff, a true Sagittarian and most importantly a proud father. His recent passions involves using his newly acquired DSLR camera and writing his travel and film blogs.
If you are a travel blogger and would like to be featured on this blog please get in touch.
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