A charming hill station cocooned at an altitude of 1880 m in the Garhwal hills, Mussoorie is the ideal getaway for city-dwellers. If you’re in a rush with only 24 hours to spare, we help you manoeuvre through the day without missing out on the highlights. From stocking up on some deliciously prepared local goodies and strolling along the Mall, to walking through green, misty environs on the outskirts, gorging on spicy Tibetan food and soaking in the serenity of a Buddhist Tibetan temple—there’s so much you can do in so little time.
KEMPTY FALLSThese vertical waterfalls are one of the most popular spots for tourists visiting Mussoorie. The water cascades down from a height of 40 feet and crashes against the boulders below before splitting into five streams. Plunging from a mountain placed at about 1,364 metres above sea level, the Kempty Falls are usually crowded with tourists, so the best way to take them by is by picking a picnic spot at a vantage point and observing them from a distance. The more adventurous can also take a dip in its cool water.
DHANAULTI At a height of 2286 m, Dhanaulti is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, especially city-dwellers who want to escape to the quiet for a weekend. Located on the road from Mussoorie to Chamba, Dhanaulti is devoid of the thronging tourists, commercial mall, cramped hotels and noisy cacophony that is synonymous with its more commercial counterpart, Mussoorie. A small and sleepy hill town nestled within thick forests of deodars, rhododendron and silver oak, there’s very little to do here, other than take in the stunning views and absorb the calm.
Infuse your sleepy vacation with a touch of activity by visiting Surkhanda Devi, a 13th century temple perched atop a hill, best approached by a steep climb up from Kadu Khal. It’s said that Shiva passed through this spot carrying Sati’s dead body and accidently dropped her remains at this spot. A little lower down, make your way to View Point, which offers you panoramic views of the sprawling Doon valley below, and the Himalayas rising high in the distance. There’s also the Eco Park to discover. Established by the forest department, this protected forest has narrow pathways and trekking trails running through it, perfect for a leisurely evening walk. Accommodation in the area is limited, although there are a few mid-range hotels close by, and the government guest house (GMVN) is also an option.
SHEDUP CHOEPELLING TEMPLE Also known as the Tibetan Buddhist temple, this was set up by the Tibetan population in Mussoorie and is located on the Happy Valley road close to the IAS Academy. The Dalai Lama took refuge in Mussoorie after he escaped from Tibet, before the Tibetan community was granted refuge in Dharamshala. The temple has a serene vibe and is especially suitable for those seeking a bit of tranquillity amidst the madness. Housing many Tibetan literature and books, the temple is adorned with clay lamps and colourful prayer flags.
THE MALL The Mall in Mussoorie is the chief shopping shopping hub in the hill station. Jam-packed with people at any given time, you might have to wrestle your way through the crowds to get a spot of shopping done here, but for shopaholics in need for a fix, this is the best place to pick up a wide range of stuff. Comprising of one main street with a few off-shoots along the way, there’s nothing you can’t get here—from woollens, handicrafts, and the famous Ladakhi shawls, to freshly baked biscuits and boxes of cherries—a stroll along Mall Road will tick all the items off your shopping list.