Mussoorie is a quaint hill station , situated about 35 km from Dehradun and about 4 hours drive from Chandigarh. It is the perfect getaway spot for people looking to beat the heat of the plains and in fact was used as an alternate to Simla as a summer residence by the British and the Maharajas before Independence.
Mussoorie has a distinct colonial charm to it with any many beautiful bungalows and churches built in the Victorian Style.The residences of the former rulers of the Princely States have been converted to Hotels and this has boosted Tourism in the small city.
Here is a quick snapshot of my summer holiday in Mussoorie and some must visit places :
We arrived by road via Dehradun from Chandigarh. It’s quite a lovely drive and despite it being summer there was hardly any traffic on the roads,though you have to be careful of the landslides especially during the monsoon,but by and large the route is very scenic especially the one along the river. We stayed at the Chateau, Mussoorie, the private residence of the Maharaja of Kapurthala, it is like a castle standing amongst the clouds straight out of a scene from Harry Potter and is one of the finest examples of French Architecture in India and one of the most splendid buildings in Mussoorie. The insides are done up in regal splendor and we were instantly transported back to the days of the Raj.Most of the furniture was at least a 100 years old as the Chateau was built in 1899 as a summer residence of the Maharaja, who was a Francophile.
The next day we made a trip down to Landor and the old Bazaar. If you’re looking for malls or fancy restaurants you wont find any here, in fact the place is ridded with authentic Tibetan Restaurants.We had lunch at one such restaurant Momo’s ,and it was absolutely delicious with delicate flavours,the real Tibetan- Chinese food.
After a sumptuous lunch we headed down to Landor where we came across the Mussoorie Heritage Centre. This place was opened up in 2013 to showcase the rich culture and heritage of Mussoorie from 1814 when the first map of the region was compiled by the Survey of India, till 1959, when HH Dalai Lama built his first colony in Mussoorie.Apart from that you get lovely antique curious to decorate your house with, which you would not find elsewhere.
After about an hour at the MHC, we headed down to Rockeby Manor, another landmark property built in 1840.This heritage building is resplendent with character in its elaborate brick arches and niches, intricate stone walls, real wood floors and beams, and cosy fireplaces. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the traditions of bygone years ? where colonial officers, renegade soldiers of fortune and pious miss saibs lived under one roof ? can still be felt. An air of mystery beckons visitors.Cottages are available and you can book yourself a nice log cabin on their website 😕
Our last day at Mussoorie was rather peaceful. We set off in the morning to the Kasmanda Palace hotel, one of the oldest buidings in Mussoorie dating back to 1836, it now belongs to the Royal Family of Kasmanda which was one of the premier Taluqdaris in Awadh near Lucknow.As you enter you are greeted by the barks of dogs as there is an in house kennel in the compound where dogs of exotic breeds are kept and bred. As you enter the heritage hotel, you are greeeted by the busts of wild animals, from deer to the “barasingha”to tigers and bears all peering down from the top of the walls,along with photographs of the royal family.The furniture is exquisite and the lawn is very well kept and overlooks the valley. This makes for a perfect picnic spot,although the food and drinks is quite expensive. After a quick snack we marched off to the nearby St Paul’s church built in 1839 and one of the most premier churches for the British officers in the cantonment during the Raj.It has beautiful stained glass windows. During the Mutiny of 1857, all the offciers were required to bring their weapons while worshipping and the same can be seen even today in the form of Clamps made to keep the rifles.
Show Comments (0)