About MussoorieBased at the foothills of the Himalayan range, in the region of Garhwal Hills lies the beautiful hill station Mussoorie, which is a municipal board in Dehradun district of the Indian State Uttarakhand. Being a part of the “Land of Gods", Mussoorie is a picturesque beauty of nature exhibited through lush green valleys and majestic sight of snowy Siwalik ranges and Doon Valley. Situated at a distance of 35 km from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand state, Mussoorie is often referred as the Queen of Hills which is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.
The name Mussoorie is derived from the “mansoor” plants spread all across the hill station in huge quantity. The roots of Mussoorie dates back to 1820, when Captain Young, a member of British Army visited the place and liked it so much that he decided to have his residence there. It was from that day that the hill station not only became a place of attraction for all, it presently stand as an integral location for business and education in Uttarakhand. However, tourism is the most flourished industry of Mussoorie since it is one of the best hill stations of the country.
Brief History of MussoorieAccording to Indian history it was 1819 when East India Company captured district Saharanpur and then discovered Mussoorie. Soon after the discovery due to its excellent climatic condition and peaceful environment it soon became a private summer capital for the British officers and in the next few years it became a favorite destination for many British families. The reference of Mussoorie again came in 1832 when the office of Survey of India was proposed to be based here but later it got shifted to Dehradun, where it is presently situated.
Towards the beginning of 19th century, Mussoorie was transformed into a socially active place with activities like horse riding, polo, etc which are some of the favorite games of the British. But with the growing popularity of the place within the British community introduced a racial discrimination which excluded several Indian families living there from any activity and which was later protested by the Nehru family by visiting the hill station frequently.
During this time it also marked the introduction of railways in Dehradun which made communication to Mussoorie easier and much quicker. However, by the end of the century the popularity of the location became huge with thousands of tourist visiting each year and, thus, promoting tourism facilities here.
For the Tibetan culture, Mussoorie has huge importance especially because during the Tibetan Rebellion, the Tibetan council for the 14th Dalai Lama was set up in Mussoorie. For more details on history of Mussoorie, click here
Geography of Mussoorie
Mussoorie was also referred as the Ridge Town since it was based on the ridge of the lesser Himalayas at around 1825-2145 meters forming a boundary on the northern side of Doon Valley. Based on a horse-shoe shaped hill the clearest view from the hill station is the Chor range and Bandarpoonch Peak. Located on the northern side of Dehradun, Mussoorie concludes itself before the Landour Peak at 2297 meters and Top Tibba at 2612 meters.
The adjacent town of Landour was included in the geographical area of Greater Mussoorie along with other towns Barlowganj and Jharipani. The average altitude of Mussoorie is 1880 metres or 6170 feet and with lush greenery it is often termed as the “fairyland” by the fascinated visitors. The town is basically located over a distance of ten kilometers along the winding ridge with Landour in the east and Clouds End in the west. The Mall Library, Jharpani, Landour, Happy Valley and Landour Cantt are some of the prominent places of Mussoorie.
Lal Tibba is considered as the highest point in Mussoorie at a height of 7500 feet located in the Landour area, one of the oldest colonized areas. However, presently Lal Tibba is also referred to a lookout point to enjoy the lovely scenic excellence which is a only a few distance away from the actual peak. Another tourism friendly fact of Mussoorie is that the location of the hill station remains well within close proximity to Hindu pilgrimage centres like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Demography of MussoorieThe population of Mussoorie as of 2001 census was 26,069 where male population holds a majority of 56% and females hold a population of 44%. However, as per census 2011, the figures have increased with the total population coming to 30,118. The average literacy rate in this hill station is amazingly 86% with the male literacy count at 88% and female at 84%. This is undoubtedly a sharp contrast against the literacy level of the country at 59.5%. It may be noted that 10% of the population remains under the age of 6 years.
Climate in MussoorieThe climate of Mussoorie is absolutely pleasant almost throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Mussoorie would be during the months of April to June and from September to November. The lush greenery of the hilly areas gets into full bloom during the spring season which forms in the months of September to November. And the summers are also extremely favorable in the hill station in the months of April to June with temperature fluctuating within 100C to 300C. The difficult weather in Mussoorie is the winter season from December to February which remains bone chilling cold with temperatures going under 10Cand the monsoon season when roads remain in poor conditions. However, for a visit in the summer season it is advisable to carry light woolens for maximum comfort.
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Economy of MussoorieThe most obvious source of income in Mussoorie is the tourism business which has grown massively in the last few years. It is tourism industry which serves as the pillar of growth for the hill station. The next most prominent source of income that supports the economy of Mussoorie is the agriculture business which engages almost 90% of the population here. Paddy, various kinds of rice including a special type of basmati rice, maize, Jhangora, sonk, kulath, sugarcane are some of the crops cultivated here.
However, the major crop of Mussoorie is potato cultivation which is an established agricultural business engaging the natives here for years and is considered best for consumption as well as exports to other districts and states too. Mussoorie also is quite rich with minerals, specially limestone, rock phosphate, etc which in turn supports the mining industry and, thus, helps the economy of the hill station. Again some of the best handicrafts are done here in Mussoorie which also contributes in a small quantity to the economy of the hill station. Lastly, there are several small-scale industries especially forest-based industries which also produces a considerable income to boost Mussoorie's economy. For more details on economy of Mussoorie, click here
Tourism in MussoorieOne of the most prominent and essential attribute of Mussoorie hills is the tourism industry. Mussoorie due to its charming and marvelous scenic excellence is considered as one of the best tourist destination for years. The most varied flaura and fauna and the clearly majestic natural beauty provides an awesome and breathtaking view which is a must see for tourists. Due to its charm and the varied sightseeing places added with the peaceful enviourment, this location gives a complete package for every tourist.
Some of the popular tourist spots in Mussoorie are:
- Bhatta Falls
- Mussoorie Lake
- Nag Devta Temple
- Lal Tibba
- The Mall Road
- Company Garden
- Jharipani Falls
- Sir George Everest House
- Cloud End
- Jwalaji temple
- Camels Back Road
- The Lake Mist
- Gun Hill
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Festivals in MussoorieMussoorie though does not have any specific festival entitled to its name but it is known to celebrate all major Hindu festivals along with many other festivals too. Apart from the usual last year a special initiative was taken to promote Uttarakhand tourism by organizing a special carnival called the Mussoorie Winterline Carnival during the time period of 27th December 2013 to 30th December 2013. Some of prominent performers in the field of art and music came to attend and grace the occasion with their presence.
Food in MussoorieMussoorie being a prominent tourist destination there remains the availability of all kinds of food specialty. One can find North Indian, South Indian food specialties along with Chinese and Continental in the restaurants available here. However, the best food available here is the Tibetan food with its authentic cuisine and flavor. It is all the more special because here it is prepared in the most authentic style by the natives. For more on food in Mussoorie, click here
How to Reach MussoorieMussoorie can be reached by all major modes of transport available in the country. For air travel tourists need to connect with the Jolly Grant Airport which is the nearest airport to Mussoorie at a distance of 60 km. Though regular flights are not available here but there are daily four flights to Delhi Airport which is the nearest major national and international airport. The time taken to reach Delhi airport by flight is 1 hr.
The nearest railhead to Mussoorie is the Dehradun Railway station which lies at a distance of 34kms from the hill station. Dehradun Railway station comes under Northern Railways and has many superfast trains which connect popular cities like Amritsar, Varanasi, Haridwar, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah, Rishikesh and many others.
One can also travel by road to Mussoorie as it connects some of the major cities through excellent road link. Dehradun is only 34 kms away so one can rake private taxis or local buses to reach Mussoorie from Dehradun. Apart from this there are long distances which can be traveled from major cities supported by the state transport buses. Uttarakhand State Transport Corporation (UASRTC) is the local buses here apart from private bus operators.
Quick Facts about MussoorieDistrict: Dehradun, Garhwal Hills
Governing Body: Government of Uttarakhand
STD Code: 013563
Time Zone: IST
Languages Spoken: Garhwali, Hindi and English