Camel's Back Road
Van Chetna Kendra
Welcome to Mussoorie Hill Station,
Mussoorie is a hill station in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Himalaya ranges, is also known as the 'Queen of the Hills'. Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills is a fascinating hill resort.
Mussoorie is a paradise spread over a vast carpet of greenery coupled with a rich variety of flora and fauna, a breathtaking view of the snow capped mountains and a town buzzing with activity marks a perfect destination for a memorable holiday. The rays of the sun reflecting on the snowcapped peaks, the valleys adorned with colorful flowers, and the gushing streams are a treat to sore eyes. Mussoorie unfolds a variety of activities for all tourists, be it trekking, mountain climbing, long walks down the nature's path, exploring glimpses of British occupancy in the town, or shopping to your heart's content. Definitely the best place to relax and rejuvenate in the lap of nature.
Amidst the beauty of nature and the pine-clad hill slopes surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, situated amidst thick jungles, is a boon for the adventure enthusiasts. 11 km to the south of Library Point. This sanctuary was established in 1993 covering an area of 339 hectares. This sanctuary has turned old now. It is famous for the vanished bird species, Mountain Quail (Pahari Bater), which was last spotted in 1876.
One can enjoy a daylong trek to this sanctuary to experience a few thrills and chills. Be on the alert if you want to spot the fauna around. Among the Himalayan wildlife, certain rare species of birds can be spotted. The almost-extinct mountain quails and red-billed blue magpie are some of the few fauna that you can come across, apart from the common leopards and deer.
Bhadraj Temple is located 15 km from Mussoorie; this temple is an ideal spot for trekking from Park Toll - Clouds end, Dudhi. This temple is situated on the extreme eastern region of Mussoorie town. Bhadraj offers a captivating view of the Doon valley. Chakrata ranges and Jaunsar Bawar areas can be viewed from here. Bhadraj temple is dedicated to Lord Sal Bhadra, brother of Lord Krishna.
Bhatta Falls are situated on the Mussoorie-Dehra Dun road near the Bhatta checking post; two kilometres away are the Bhatta Falls, where two huge water tanks store water for supply to the Galogi Power Station. Bhatta Falls are Ideal for picnics. The Bhatta Falls are accessable by car or bus upto Bhatta village from where the fall is 3 km.
True to its name, this road is a stretch of 4 km and is a natural layout of rocks shaped like the camel's hump back. The Camel's Back road originates from Library point and leads straight to the Kulri Bazaar, and is visible from the Mussoorie Public School.
A perfect spot for morning and evening walks, this patch promises an enriching experience for those who witness the magic of sun rays on the snow capped mountains. Ideal for a good exercise, this stretch also enables a refreshing walk. For those already tired after long walks and treks, auto rickshaws and horseback rides are available easily.
Also known as "Nahata Estate" is a huge property of more than 300 acres, owned by the Harakh Chand Nahata family, is also the highest peak of Mussoorie near Lal Tibba, it is situated at 5 km from the Tourist Office and one can go on horse back or on foot. The view of snow-clad mountains is exhilarating.
The Christ Church was built in 1836 as per the Gothic design and is believed to be the most ancient church in the Himalayas. The events in the life of Jesus Christ are depicted in the pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows in the Church.
Especially mentionable is the high altar in the Church that depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The interiors of the Church are impressive, with the walls adorned with contributions from various other people. Do not miss the ancient William Hill organ in the church, about a hundred years old. A deodar tree planted by Princess of Wales in 1906 stands tall in the churchyard. Those wishing to attend the Service may do so at 11:30 am on Sundays.
As the name suggests, the Cloud's end is the end of Mussoorie. Located at a distance of about 6 km west of the Library, the Cloud's end can be reached through the Hathipaon road from Happy Valley. Continue staying on your right till the road reaches a fork. Thick jungles cover the entire area, and a 2 km walk further up takes you to the Benog Wildlife sanctuary. This stretch promises a wonderful refreshing walk, with the vast spread of flora and fauna all around. You can even drive your car if you do not wish to travel on foot.
The first site to present itself to the saddened heart of Capt. Young was Landour, and was the first place of halt for the heat plagued troops stationed in the Doon valley. As time went on and the hill-station grew fast into a ritizy resort at a lower level, the revitalizing air of Landour resulted in the construction of a depot for worthless and recovering soldiers.
The highest point in Mussoorie and five kilometres away from the town, Lal Tibba, the peak of Landour, or Depot Hill is at an altitude of 2,440 metres. Here with the help of an exciting, coin-operated binocular, one can get a bird`s eye view of the Gangotri, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi and Sri-Kanta peaks. Gangotri, the reliable source of the Ganga, is within trekking distance, the surroundings at every point, is splendid as canyons, waterfalls and rushing streams rise to the eye at every turn 3,048 metres up in the sky, Gangotri rears its famous temple on the right bank of the river, dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. On the other side are spiritualist, residence in small huts, their life, and an escape from the chaos of the world, devoted to separating its mysteries.
Dhanaulti, a small hamlet, lies along the Tehri road, towards the east of Landour. To add to the beauty of Mussoorie and make your trip worthwhile, Dhanaulti is the destination for the spiritually inclined souls. This is where the Surkhanda Devi shrine is located.
The pilgrims and those seeking solace mostly visit Dhanaulti. A rather rough path leads to the hamlet and the beauty of this is the breathtaking view of the Himalayas one can witness. Dhanaulti is a quiet place to spend an entire day, surrounded by the pines and deodars and disturbed occasionally by the sound of the cicadas!
In the earlier days, a gun used to be fired from this hill at exactly 12 O`Clock noon to indicate the time. Though the practice is discontinued and the gun removed, the spirit of the name hangs to the hill. The hill is 2,143 metres above sea level and 400 metres away from the town. Two ropeway trolleys carry out from the Jhulaghar, on the Mall to Gun Hill, covering a distance of 400 metres in four and a half minutes.
Fluctuation high above the hills in the mid-air ropeway one gets a wide-angle view of the snowy Himalayan mountain peaks. An uphill road is easily reachable; it starts on the fashionable Mall opposite the elegant restaurant, Hickman`s one of the oldest established appointment of the elite. On top of the Gun Hill, now is water pool that feed the town. On a clear day a splendid view of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Nanda Devi and Banderpoonch presents itself to the viewer on top of this hill. When beauty scored a victory over strength, a portrait of a glamorous queen, symbolizing Mussoorie has replaced the gun, on top of the Hill.
Happy valley and the Tibetan township, is situated on winding Charlville road. It is here where prayer flags excitement in the breeze against a chortan (Tibetan stupa) and a temple clinge to an uncertain branch on a sea cliff while inside priests turn the bronze prayer wheel among scripture-reciting acolytes. Inside a saffron draped room reposes a large tome, turned to the page last read by Dalai Lama on his visit.
Shops are filled with exotic Tibetan ware, the unaffected restaurants serve the unique Chang (rice and barley Beer) along with steamed dumplings called Mo Mo and noodles mixed with fried carrot, cabage or mutton profusely seasoned mixed with vinegar and `soy saucea`. In the long Himalayan dusk monks blow the long trumpets just before prayer-way down below sparkle the lights of Dehradun.
One can approach Hathipaon by a lovely refreshing walk through the woods amidst silence. The Park Estate at Hathipaon used to be the one-time residence and observatory of Sir George Everest. The colonial bungalow is a must see with the fireplaces and the wooden beams still intact after these many years. Placed between the Himalayas and the Doon valley, the Park Estate promises breathtaking scenery from the top. The approach roads are very rough for small vehicles to manage, but bigger vehicles can move through the bumpy roads with ease. One can spot the Himalayan wildlife while navigating through this area.
Located 8 km. from Mussoorie on Mussoorie Dhanaulti Road is Himalayan Weavers, which produces hand-woven shawls, stoles, scarves and throws using only natural dyes and wool, eri silk and pashmina. Their aim is to produce high quality handloom products, popularize the use of environmentally friendly natural dyes and provide a market for craft products made in the Himalayan region.
A 6 km trek downhill from Mussoorie leads you to the amazing Jharipani Falls. Alternately, you can take the route to the Jharipani Main Market via St George's boarding school. A refreshing thirty-minute walk from the market takes you to the falls and promises to leave you spellbound!
Mussoorie's famous boarding schools, namely, St George's, Wynberg Allen, and Oakgrove are well packed within the estates of Jharipani. Who would want to leave the scenic surroundings of the school and get back to the city for their education? Your life gets a breather in the pure and unpolluted environment of Mussoorie.
Situated atop the Benog Hills, closer to the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, a trip to the Jwala Devi temple to seek blessings of the Goddess ensures a heavenly feeling. The feeling of being close to nature and even closer to God arises once you reach this amazing hilltop.
One can capture the breathtaking view of entire Mussoorie from the heights of the Jwala Devi temple, the Doon valley and the Yamuna River flowing in the north, as also the Yamuna Bridge in the far distance. Make sure you are equipped with precise binoculars to take a glimpse of the scenic beauty.
Situated at an altitude of 2240 m, this temple is 9 km west of Mussoorie. It is situated on the top of Benog Tibba (Hill) and contains an old idol of Goddess Durga. There is a marvelous view of the Aglar River valley. It can not be accessed by vehicle although a motor road goes most of the way from Mussoorie.
Kempty falls is one of the most popular and crowded tourist spots in Mussoorie. This is a perennial waterfall, plunging its way down about 40 ft from a mountain. Kempty Falls is the largest of the five cascades that emerge down from the mountains to flow down various huge rocks into the plains.
A visit to these falls is incomplete without bathing under the falls. Usually a crowded spot, you can escape the crowd and visit a more secluded place by climbing the steps lined along the flow of the stream, to find yourself in a rocky enclosure formed naturally by the stream. Get a feel of the cool gushing waters on your feet.
Landour Bazaar is located on a steep slope about 4 km up the hill from the Mall, and is a cantonment area. This is totally a silence zone, thanks to the handwritten signs nailed on the trees. A pollution-free zone, and with fresh pure air to breathe, recovery from any stress or disease is superbly fast here. During old times, the Britishers set up a rejuvenation center to enjoy the nature at its best. Captain Young, who once upon a time discovered Mussoorie, used to live in this area. His house (Mullingar Estate) still stands, marking the proof of his existence, but in a bad shape.
A Victorian-style Library, built in the mid-19th century, stands proud towards the end of the Mall. This Library permits access only to members and it may not be possible to gain entry inside. Remnants of the town's past are present in the form of a Band Stand, which used to play music all night. The entire day was spent in socializing away to glory, and all lived a life of content and leisure.
One can shop to your heart's content in this area, with lots of shops arranged in a circle around the town. This bazaar is also referred to as Gandhi Chowk symbolic of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which stands in one corner of the bazaar.
The Mall is the heart of Mussoorie. A walk through the mall throws glimpses of the colonial period with the benches and lampposts lined up and is a beautiful experience. Being in the center of the city, one has to pass the Mall enroute to any place in the city.
The 1980s style video game parlors, skating rinks, the Methodist Church are all attractions in this area. The skating rinks are popular among children. Fans of Ruskin Bond seeking his autograph should not miss the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Bookstore, where he is often seen. You can find all kind of eatables at road side nuts, corn roasted and boiled which comes from surrounding villages. One can buy local made shawls and woolens at cheap prices along the roadside.
Mossy Falls are located seven kilometres from town. Mossy falls are reachable by road, crossing a private estate. Mossy Falls is one of the most illustrative picnic spots encircled by dense forest. The fall is surrounded by a dense forest and is 7 km from Mussoorie. One can go there via Barlowganj or Balahisar.
The municipal garden, initially known as Company Bagh, belongs to the Happy Valley area. The gardens are a family retreat and entertain lots of families and tourists all round. An impression of old colonial gardens, the Company Bagh has a wide green carpet of neat and clean lawns and a fountain in the center. A lake, a recently created waterfall, and a nursery housing pretty plants are other attractions of this garden.
Mussoorie Lake is a newly developed picnic spot located on Mussoorie Dehradun road and is about 6 km from Mussoorie. It is a charming spot. It provides a captivating view of Doon valley and nearby villages. View during Night is marvelous.
An ancient temple is located on Cart Mackenjie road and is about 6 km from Mussoorie. Vehicles can go right upto the spot. This spot provides an appealing view of Doon valley as well as of Mussoorie.
Park Estate is where one can find the remains of the building and laboratory of Sir George Everest,the Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843. It is after George Everest that the world's highest peak Mt. Everest is named. It is 6 km from Gandhi Chowk / Library Bazaar and is accessible by vehicle, although the road is very rough beyond Haathi Paon.
The place provides an enchanting view of Doon Valley on one side and a panoramic view of the Aglar River valley and the snow peaks of the Himalayan ranges on the other. It is a wonderful walk from Library Bazaar and a beautiful spot for a picnic.
Sisters Bazaar is named after the Nuns who served as nurses in the British dormitory present in this area. Contrary to the term "bazaar", this area is more of a residential colony with old cottages and a few shops spread across. It is a divine area, lined up with pines, oaks and deodars.
Do not forget to visit the famous confectionery shop of Sisters Bazaar - the Prakash Brothers Store. Other famous attractions are the houses owned by personalities, namely, Dev Anand, Tom Alter and Victor Banerjee. Especially impressive is the house owned by Victor Banerjee, known as The Parsonage, which has a rich history attached to it.
The Temple of Surkanda is the highest point around Mussoorie and is at a height of about 3,030 metres. Besides peace of mind, it offers a splendid view. To get to this temple one has to drive 1 km upto Kaddukhal (2,559m) from Mussoorie and then walks up 1.5 km to the hilltop, which offers a spectacular view of 320 km of snow capped Himalayas. The temple itself is the mythological site where the head of Shiva`s wife fell when it was cut off to stop his tantric, huge dance which was rocking the universe.
Set up by the Tibetan population in Mussoorie, the Tibetan Buddhist temple is also known as Shedup Choepelling temple and is located on the Happy Valley road close to the IAS Academy. The temple can be visited between 7 am to 5 pm.
Dalai Lama took refuge in Mussoorie after he fled Tibet and was granted land in Dharamshala by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The Tibetan Buddhist temple has a divine atmosphere, and those seeking solace and peace of mind must make it a point to visit here. To add to the serenity are the clay lamps in the lamp house and the prayer flags.
One of Dalai Lama's initiatives in social work was setting up of the Tibetan Homes Foundation. This foundation is adjacent to the Tibetan Buddhist temple and provides refuge and shelter to hundreds of Tibetan refugee children. One of the main aims of this foundation is to impart education to these children. The Tibetan Homes Foundation runs on generous donations from the concerned and well wishers who understand the struggle and hurdles faced by these children.
Mussoorie is the ideal place for adventure lovers and trekkers. Being surrounded by hills, there is a lot of scope for trekking in Mussoorie. You can comb the hills out through adventurous treks to various spots like Aglar river which is a trek from Lal Tibba, Park Estate, Bhadraj forest, Nag Tibba, to name a few.
The Himalayan Adventure Institute, along with various other activities like rock climbing, nature camps and river crossings, arranges the treks for those interested. Tourist bungalows or cottages can be arranged for the trekkers depending on the route taken. Try to avoid Rangan Gaon as the trek to this area could be dangerous.
At a distance of about 2 km on Tehri by pass road, this place is developed as a picnic spot and has a park surrounded with pine forest and flowering shrubs. It was established in 1993 and covering an area of 339 hectares. It is famous for the extinct bird species Mountain Quail (Pahari Bater), which was last spotted in 1876. The main attraction is the wildlife of the park like Ghural, Kanakar, Peacock, and Monal etc.
- Nagtibba : Ideal spot for trekking.
- Yamuna Bridge : Ideal spot for fishing.
- Hardy Falls : Hardy Falls are situated to the northwest of Vincent Hill are hard to reach.