My latest craving for a jaunt landed me at a place known for its extraordinarily beautiful hills and sunset points-Mussoorie. Also known as the queen of hills, Mussoorie is extremely picturesque. It indeed is a queen of hills. 33 kilometers from Dehradun, and only few kilometers from the holy towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, Mussoorie is one of the most popular hill stations especially for honeymoon couples and friends looking for a perfect destination for picnic and leisure.
To reach Mussoorie I first landed to Dehradun airport and taxis are easily available for several destinations near Dehradun. Road to Mussoorie from Dehradun is an experience different altogether in itself. Zigzag routes amid the sky touching hills on one side and deep steeps on another makes the whole experience rich. Not only this but one can also feel the fall in the temperature as one reaches near Mussoorie away from the hot or moderate temperature of Dehradun. After an hour and half long journey I was near picture palace road where I had my hotel booked away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s famous mall road which is a unique tourist attraction here but I wanted a place seclude to feel the serenity of the cold hills. An evening stroll, walk in leisurely manner at the mall road is one thing no one coming to Mussoorie wants to miss-neither did I. A cool temperature with chilling wind makes the whole place extremely fascinating and exciting. From books to bakery, apparels to antiques, jewelry, to roadside vendors, mall road never falls short in adding to the exotic experience of tourists the essence of Mussoorie.
Whole city of Dehradun looks amazing from mall road in the evening and makes one feel as if glittering stars have fallen in the valley.
Walk through the narrow lanes or sit on the benches or just enjoy the quaint beauty; shop, bargain cater your taste buds or just spend the quality time with you kith and kin, you can do all this and enjoy the mall road as it has something to offer to everyone coming to it; a solo traveler or a group people.
On day two of my jaunt I landed to Dhanaulti. Dhanaulti is 31 kilometers from Mussoorie and most famous attraction where almost everyone visiting Mussoorie loves to go mostly for its eco park. Dhanaulti is a place where temperature falls to some more degrees. One more place which completes the visit to Dhanaulti is the Surkanda Devi temple. Known as a Shakteepeeth Surkanda Devi temple is situated atop a hill and people walk all the way to the temple. Ascending to the top of the hill is very exhausting but once you are there inside the temple premises, all you feel is the bliss. But it’s not over since from the temple’s open area what you can see is completely enthralling. All the hills and moving clouds over them, fog mixed with mist, great hills extremely high to valleys extremely deep. Peaks of Himalayas are also visible from here as I was told but since it was evening and fog was in abundance, I couldn’t get fortunate enough to behold its view. As per the legends, it is the place where head of goddess Sati fell and a blog on this temple and its story is written by me and can be found in my blogs here (my exact previous blog post).
Eco park-though is a huge park with trees and forest like environment, but what I wanted to experience or what one must do here is to go to the top of the park and see the highest peaks and especially the Himalayan one. What I saw there can be seen here in the pictures.
I didn’t forget to buy the bottles of famous litchi and flowers’ juice just outside the eco-park which this place is famous for and after relishing a sip or two of it, I realized why.
In the evening while returning back to Mussoorie it was in my mind to visit Lal Tibba which is a famous point on Landour road, some 4 kilometers from Mussoorie and is famous for its sunset. But another thing which is worth mentioning is the icy cold wind which kept on making me tremble with cold till I was there taking some pictures of the sunset. It is the highest point which gives splendid view of surrounding landscapes. There was no place in my whole journey where weather was this cold and surrounding was impressively scenic. Sunset however looked something like never seen before by me. Pictures below can speak more on my behalf I guess.
After this, I left for Mussoorie again to continue the trip the next day.
On third day- my focus was mainly to visit a famous yet place less jostled by the tourists- Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Charleville. It is only 3 or so kilometers from mall road. Through roads sans many vehicles and cars unlike all the other roads of Mussoorie I had seen, I reached the temple through narrow road at the end of which is this monastery or temple is located. First thing that came to my mind when I saw it from outside was-beautiful…simply beautiful. The colorful building with cool colors is perfect to look at. Designed like any other Buddhist monastery, it has many small temples and chambers in the temple complex. Main building of temple as any other monastery had Buddha as a prime deity.
After spending some time in peaceful surroundings, I left for Santura Devi temple which was on my way back to mall road. It again is a temple on top of a hill which gives scenic view. It also had many deities inside the temple which again made my whole day very peaceful and blissful.
Kempty fall though is very famous or the most famous place in Mussoorie but as I like seclusion more than the throng of tourists, I spent not more than 10 minutes at Kempty lake and left.
After this I headed for my hotel at mall road as the day had already been exhausting for me.
Next day I had my flight booked and I left for Dehradun airport again.
And this was my trip to Mussoorie-queen of hills. It was great, it was beautiful, and it was a journey to get me rid of tensions that we all have in city’s diurnal activities. It is a beautiful place indeed to forget worries of life that we have and at least once in life one should visit it especially if one fancies hilly areas and on top of that if one likes to be away from other things to get some quality time for self to explore not just this beautiful place but also one’s own mind and soul.
Pictures courtesy- All the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s photography-www.facebook.com/Shekharsphotography001/