Mussoorie – Queen of hill stations
Mussoorie is lovingly called ‘Queen of all hill stations‘. Now I know why. So after a hectic action-packed day in Rishikesh, we headed to the mountains for some relaxation. This time around my husband and l were happy to bring in our wedding anniversary away from the maddening city life.
The drive commenced after a bumper breakfast at Aloha. We were all set to enjoy the cool air and winding roads taking us to Mussoorie. Just nature, beautiful landscapes and no one in sight. Wanted my heart to pound, feeling the scare of the climb. But unfortunately, that never happened.
At each turn, there was either a construction work in progress or shops and eateries. The ghats were full of honking cars, tourist buses and scooters…Yes, scooters and bikes too.
We even stopped on the way to take some touristy pictures and grab a bite. But I was just expecting that little more. Finally, we reached our Hotel Vishnu Palace, off Mall road overlooking the valley.
The hotel is over two decades old yet well maintained with all basic amenities. Our room was spacious with a view of the valley. There was no A/Cs in the room, but a big double blanket. And we know the reason why. It is bound to be so cold at night.
In most hotels in Mussoorie including Vishnu Palace, the floors went from 0 to -4. The reverse of what we are used to. Check the image above.
To give is a company on our cliff room window we had a pair of monkeys.
Malsi Deer Park
On our way, we stopped by a road sign that read Malsi Deer Park. With the hills as a backdrop this mini zoological park with many deer and a children’s area amid natural surroundings.
This place is an ideal stop to grab a bite and enjoy wildlife. We stopped at a vegetarian restaurant overlooking the deer park while enjoying a scrumptious thali for just Rs 120/.
That evening we walked down the Mall Road, the main shopping area of this delightful hill station.
Exploring shops, selling everything from woolens to mobile phone accessories. I visited shops for souvenirs.
In one of these shops, I met a 75-year-old pink-cheeked Sales lady who was the mother of the owners. Couldn’t refuse anything she sold me. In the end, I bought two caps, a few fridge magnets, a Tibetan bell and a stand to keep my spectacles at night. Don’t forget to try your hand at bargaining; it is a common practice here!
Mussoorie is known for it’s unique and special Bal Mithai. A must try.
Take a Cycle rickshaw ride
Being an eco-conscious state car in certain parts of Mussoorie are banned. You can commute by foot or by cycle rickshaws, particularly on the mall road.
Lucky Omelette Centre
A visit to the most famous Lucky Omelette Centre is a must when here in Mussoorie.
The specialty is the cheese omelette, with chilies, onions and spices. It’s a small place so do not expect any fine dining experience.
The humble owner Mr. Khursheed cooks it himself in a pan and very cleverly combines it with toast. Such a cheesy delicacy, no eggy smell and the kick of chilies was thrilling in the nippy weather. The omelette is so full of cheese it just melts in your mouth.
This store is over 100 years old, being run by the second generation – Mr. Gangoli who now at 60. He personally cobbles and sells handmade shoes, sandals, slippers etc. He started working at the age of 9, now manages this business single-handedly. I bought a pair of sandals with modern design and colors, handmade with solidity and quality.
It was such an inspiration to watch him cut the leather and feel so proud of his goods.
The entrance to the falls is camouflaged by a row of shops on both sides. Kempty falls is situated at 1,364 meters. One can walk down or take a cable car to the main area.The fall was heavily crowded with fat bellies uncles and saree clad aunties.
The sound of the water left me spellbound. The cascading waterfall was mesmerizing. Kids will definitely enjoy getting wet and floating on tubes.
The drive to this grand hotel was delightful. It was our 32nd wedding anniversary lunch. The coffee shop overlooked the valley. A pretty sight – you get a stunning view of the lush green valley is so much more than plush interiors.
The hotel is also aptly located on the outskirts of Mussoorie. It a perfect destination for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
The cable car ride is definitely another major attraction that draws a lot of tourists. It was a 10 minutes ride that starts from Jhula Ghar to Gun Hill.
The car can accommodate 10 passengers. You get an amazing view of the mountains of Doon Valley up the hill on the ropeway. The sun was setting at that time. Upon the Gun hill, there are many stalls of artifacts, food, games and rides for kids. But we preferred to climb higher to Parvati Mandir following the trail of bhajans.
Tourists, as well as locals, love to visit this beautiful picnic spot where one can enjoy boating. This is an artificial lake but has been beautifully developed by the local authorities. This place was heavily crowded so we decided to do some local handicrafts and handloom shopping at the nearby stalls.
Santura Devi Mandir
Santura Devi Temple is located on the way to the JW Marriott Walnut Grove. It is located on a hill top and offers excellent views of the entire valley around you. The trek uphill takes about 20 minutes and is not very strenuous. A must visit for those seeking blessings of the Devi Mata.
The library stands at the center and is the prime hub of Mussoorie, right next to it is the Band Stand. The ground floor is lined with general merchants, hosiery showrooms, chemists and Cafe Library, where you can get some good coffee, pizza and momos.
The library is on the first floor and is still opens between 9 am to 5 pm for its members.
Besides being a tourist attraction and a religious state Dehradun/ Rishikesh/Mussoorie is also promoted as a futuristic educational hub in Uttarakhand.
I recommended all holidaymakers to visit Mussorrie for sure. Just keep it clean and don’t litter. We should try to safeguard the nature and tranquility of this magical place. Also, friends, do let me know, what you would like to read more on my blog.