In 1832, Mussourie was the intended terminus of the Great Survey of India that began at the southern tip of India. Although unsuccessful, the Surveyor General of India wanted to have the new office of the Survey of India based in Mussoorie. A compromise was to have it in Dehradun, where it still located.
By 1901 Mussoorie’s population had grown to 6461, rising to 15,000 in the summer season. Earlier, Mussoorie was approachable by road from Saharanpur, 58 miles (93 km) away. Accessibility became easier in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km).
Mussoorie view from the top of the hill (can be viewable while traveling on the way towards down of the hill)
The name Mussoorie is often attributed to a derivation of ‘mansoor’, a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is in fact often referred to as ‘Mansoori’ by most Indians.
The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library (shortened to ‘Library’) at its western end. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated: “Indians and Dogs Not Allowed”; racist signs of this type were commonplace in hill stations, which were founded ‘by and for’ the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine. The Nehru family, including Nehru’s daughter Indira (later Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and stayed at the Savoy Hotel. They also spent much time in nearby Dehradun, where Nehru’s sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled full-time.
During the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, the Central Tibetan Administration of the 14th Dalai Lama was at first established in Mussoorie before being moved to its present location in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley in Mussoorie. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.
Now, Mussoorie suffers from over-development of hotels and tourist lodges, given its relative proximity to Delhi, Ambala and Chandigarh, and has serious problems of garbage collection, water scarcity and parking shortages, especially during the summer tourist season. Landour, Jharipani and Barlowganj have fewer such problems.
Day 01: Delhi – Mussoorie
Today you arrive at Delhi and are greeted by our local representative and are driven by an air conditioned car to Mussoorie – Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas (approx 292 Kms / 8-9 hrs). Mussoorie is located at the foothills of Himalayas. You will be engulfed by the fresh pine-scented mountain air, and will be left feeling rejuvenated and calmed by the rich green around you. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Rest and refresh. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 02: Mussoorie
In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to visit Kempty Falls located 15 kms from Mussoorie. It offers a panoramic view with water cascading down from an altitude of 4,500 feet and splitting further into five cascades. Later visit Gun Hill situated 400 mts above The Mall. Pre independence a Gun mounted on top of the hill used to be fired at mid day for the people to adjust their watches. Later visit The Mall Road where you have numerous restaurants hotels and shops. This is one of the most crowded places in Mussoorie.
Day 03: Mussoorie – Dehradun
After breakfast you are driven by car to Dehradun (approx 29 kms / 1-2 hrs). Dehradun is a blend of city and hill culture. Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalaya, it is one of the oldest cities of India. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel, rest and refresh. Rest of the day is at leisure.