“These great trees of the mountains, I feel they know me well, as I watch them & listen to their secrets, happy to rest my head beneath their outstretched arms.”
While several new and offbeat destinations entice travelers to explore newer places, there is just something very comforting about tried and tested destinations that remind you of simpler times and make you go there repeatedly. Mussoorie with its old-world charm would definitely be among them. For some, a train ride away, for some a road trip while for others an air ticket away, Mussoorie could be the destination you’ve all been looking for.
Flex your Muscles
While taxis and rickshaws are easily available, the compact town is best enjoyed on foot. The clear blue sky and clean roads make the walk even more enjoyable. Sure, you’ll get breathless once in a while but the idyllic lifestyle won’t get you bogged down. The little shacks along the Mall Road selling trendy knitted hats and mufflers or the hawkers selling corn on a cob or momos give you a break whenever you need one. Mussoorie is also crazy about skating too. It has plenty of skating rinks where you can rent roller skates as well as inline skates at reasonable prices. What could be better than flexing your muscles without putting any effort into it?
Mussoorie has plenty to offer in terms of sightseeing. The perennial Kempty Falls, surrounded by green and high mountains, hogs the limelight for starters. Developed as a tourist spot way back in 1835 by the British, you can either walk till the falls or use the cable car to get there. If you’re adventurous enough, you can play in the man-made pool right next to it.
Though not as hyped as Kempty Falls, other haunts are definitely worth a try. Probably a little crowded with the shops surrounding the small lake, Lake Mist still offers a retreat from the busy towns. Hike up to Happy Valley, a large Tibetan settlement, and you’ll find monasteries and unique Tibetan architecture including the Tibetan Buddhist Temple, in the midst of lush green surroundings. You could also trek to the less popular falls such as Bhatta Falls and Jhari Pani Falls where you can unwind from your busy routine.
Take a trolley ride up to Gun Hill and the mesmerizing view of the snow-capped Himalayas and the town below will amaze you. It is definitely as enchanting as Ruskin Bond describes it in his works.
All the walking and the sightseeing is sure to make you hungry. But worry not! Mussoorie surely knows how to take care of that. At a stone’s throw, you will find a place to eat. Be it a fancy five-course meal or a delightful softy, you will find it all here. The delicious smelling bakeries, authentic Tibetan cuisine, or the good old Biryani will definitely make you a glutton.
Save room for desserts because the freshly baked cakes and muffins will be hard to ignore. And don’t forget to enjoy coffee with the sunset at one of the many coffee houses spread over Mall road.
There is a reason why Mussoorie is such a busy tourist destination. The warm and welcoming conduct of people here will make you forget your troubles and you will take home new experiences. The cold mountain air will give you the much-needed break you need. And if you’re lucky enough, you might even bump into the ever-so-great Ruskin Bond. Who knows? Your simple break for tea might become the fuel for his next book.