The hill stations in North India are some of the most beautiful destinations to respite for holidays. The hill stations like Shimla and Manali of Himachal draw many tourists’ attention likewise there is Mussoorie, popularly known as ‘Queen of Hills’. Located in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is one of the best hill stations that should definitely be in your travel bucket list.
Mussoorie is around 34 km from Dehradun situated at a height of 2000 metres (approx 6500 ft) above sea level. It is most accessible from cities like Dehradun, New Delhi and Chandigarh. That is why it is a perfect weekend getaway for the locals from these neighbouring regions. This Queen of Hills provides an incredible snowcapped Himalayan sceneries, rich flora and fauna, panoramic Doon valley and breathtaking spots in and around Mussoorie that are worth to hike for.
Mussoorie is peaceful and its chilly weather creates a very cool setting for a getaway. Here’s my complete Mussoorie travel guide with the top things to do in this hill station.
How To Reach
One of the reasons for Mussoorie’s popularity is the ease of reaching here from anywhere. Below are the most feasible options to consider for reaching Mussoorie.
By Bus: Mussoorie is well-linked by a network of state and private buses to its neighbouring cities like Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, etc. Buses are easily available in ISBT Kashmiri Gate in Delhi that takes about 7 to 9 hours to cover a distance of 290 km to reach to the destination and costs around Rs 500 to Rs 800 approximately. It is super cheap and easiest option to reach Mussoorie. These buses drop at either Picture Palace or Library Chowk in Mussoorie. One can also reach Mussoorie by car. The drive is super fun and scenic.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Dehradun situated at a distance of 28 km from Mussoorie. Trains like Shatabdi, Mussoorie Express, or Nizamuddin Special connect Delhi to Dehradun. One can opt to take bus or hire private or shared taxis from Dehradun railway station to finally reach Mussoorie. The cheapest way to get up the hill from Dehradun is to take a government owned bus for which a single ticket will cost next to nothing at Rs 56 whereas hiring a private taxi will cost more to somewhere around Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. You can also opt to get in a shared taxi with other travellers given the circumstance. The share for which should come between Rs 300 to Rs 500 per head depending on the number of commuters.
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport situated 50 km away in Dehradun is the closest airport to Mussoorie. You can hire a taxi from there to reach Mussoorie. It is the costliest option to reach to the Queen of Hills.
Places to Stay
Mussoorie being one of the busiest hill station of North India especially during summer and winter months. So these months are full of tourists and classed as ‘high season’ in Mussoorie, the hotels are little pricey at this time. On the ‘low season’ time, the hotels are cheap and cheerful in monsoon. Mall Road in Mussoorie is the promenade where you’ll find many shops, cafes, rickshaws and hotels. Staying at Mall Road is the best to grab in all these comforts.
Tip for booking a hotel in Mussoorie
Where there are a lot of online options to book hotels that may provide a good deal according to your budget. However once you reach Mussoorie, you’ll find a lot of agents approaching you to book hotels. Of course, they work on commission basis for this. But it is also one of the affordable option to just turning up and negotiate rates while you’ re already there.
I did the same and was lucky enough to get a better deal and an amazing place to stay at Library Chowk in Mussoorie. I stayed at Hotel Shree Residency for a tariff worth of Rs 1500 per night. Staying close to Mall Road at a not-too-pricey hotel is the most convenient thing to do if you are travelling low on budget. This is where the action is!
If you’re looking for luxury, I would personally recommend to stay at these high-end hotels like Welcomhotel The Savoy and JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove. These hotels are sure to provide an experience like a fairy tale palace in the hills.
Commuting in Mussoorie
Mussoorie being the touristy hill station has sure to offer multiple ways to explore this hilly Queen. One of the most affordable option is by rickshaw which you will find across this station’s happening street which is Mall Road. Those residing at and close to Mall Road can easily hire a rickshaw to explore nearby spots conveniently. consider bargaining for a fair price, depending on far you have to go.
Other convenient option for tourists like bagpackers, individuals and groups can go for scooty and bikes renting. It will cost around Rs 500 for a day charge. Renting is basically the best and most affordable option if you want to explore Mussoorie on your own with no time constraints. You will find many hawkers approaching you for the rent across Mall Road and Library Chowk. Likewise, you can also rent a bicycle (cost per hour basis approx Rs 100 an hour) for a leisurely play.
You can also hire a private taxi from Library Chowk bus stand to explore places like Kempty Falls and George Everest Peak. The hotel staff will sure to guide you for this but this one is the most expensive option here as it will cost around Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 depending upon the locations you want to visit with this hired taxi.
Otherwise what’s best and most convenient is having your own car at this hill station if you are someone who has reached Mussoorie by your own car then there’s no point in spending on other ways of transport.
Best Time To Visit Mussoorie
Mussoorie is welcome almost throughout all the months of the year. Summer months are usually the peak season where Mussoorie has a splurge of tourists from all around the country escaping that scorching heat. The weather is sunny during the day and goes pleasant as the sun sets in. The average temperature varies from 18 to 28 degrees during summers in Mussoorie.
On the other hand, monsoon in Mussoorie is the off-season where you will find many rates drop compared to other seasons like hotels, vehicles rent, etc. However, Mussoorie is covered with a big heap of monsoon clouds during monsoons and may have lack of mobility depending on weather conditions and landslides.
Winters in Mussoorie go as low as 0 degree and sometimes even in minus with magical bouts of snowfall. If you want to experience that chilly Northern winters, then November to February are your months. You’ll find snowfall from the end of December month that lasts till March.
Places To Visit And Things to Do In Mussoorie
As Mussoorie is a popular hill station, there are a lot of things to do and many places to see in and around Mussoorie like forest trails, moderate hikes, eat at major eateries and cafes at Mall Road & Landour, unwind history and cultural remnants at George Everest Peak and Happy Valley etc, all in all making it a kickass package for a short as well as long holiday escapade. Here’s a list of top things to do in Mussoorie and its must have experiences.
1. Experience Breathtaking Views From GUN HILL
Gun Hill is the second highest peak and a popular viewpoint located just 20 minutes walk uphill (400 ft) from Mall Road. There is also a very interesting fact as to why this is named Gun Hill, a gunshot used to be fired from its peak to indicate locals about the time during colonial rule so they could adjust their watches accordingly. To reach Gun Hill point, one can also take a ropeway to reach to the top. This cable car ride is sure going to give you a joy ride. Apart from the 360 degree view of whole of Mussoorie and Doon Valley, you will also be able to take in the views of Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Gangotri and Pithwara Himalayan ranges from the top. Its entry is free, however the cost of ropeway is Rs 75 for a round trip.
2. Kempty Falls and Zip-Lining Adventure Activity
No trip to Mussoorie is complete without visiting this famous Kempty Falls, located approximately around 14 km from the centre. This was originally founded by a British officer who used to organise tea parties and picnics in 1830s, it has become a popular attraction since then.
Flowing from the height of 40 ft, this waterfall cascade into 5 other waterfalls down their course. Bathe in the chilly waters, click some pictures or just sit by the side and enjoy tea and maggi are some of the amazing things you can do at this Kempty Falls. These falls offer a spectacular view of the valley surrounding it. However, Kempty falls are always crowded, if you wish to spend a peaceful time then this spot is not for you.
Quick Tip: Please ensure that you bring extra pair of clothes while visiting Kempty falls if you wish to dip in the waters. The locker facility is available there at an extra cost.
Go for a zip-lining adventure activity a little uphill from the water fall base. I am sure this will give you a little adrenaline rush if adventure is your thing. The cost for the same is around Rs 300 to Rs 500, considering the bargains.
3. Company Bagh
Situated at 3.5 km from Library Chowk, Company Bagh is a very renowned tourist spot in Mussoorie. This garden is a perfect family destination that is full of flowers and greenery. It also houses a wax museum, food outlets and an artificial lake where one can enjoy little boating experience. The park costs Rs 18 to enter which is dirt cheap and does have a beautiful waterfall for your pictures.
While I was there, I enjoyed the whole greenery ambience which was full of family and kids. I went for boating inside and it was fun. I also managed to visit the wax museum that costed Rs 100 to enter. There were statues of some prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama, Vivekanand ji, Mother Teresa etc and some renowned artists like Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, etc. It is purely up to you if you want to visit this museum otherwise you can give it a skip.
4. Paragliding at Mussoorie Lake
Mussoorie lake is yet again a man-made lake that is one of the popular tourist attraction. Its entry fee is just Rs 15. There are several souvenir shops, restaurants and food outlets inside. Where there is a lake, there is boating. Apart from boating here which most of the tourists do, you can go for some adventure here which is just in a short distance inside. There are zip-lining, water-zorbing, ATV and Paragliding activities that you can opt for at this destination.
I went for paragliding that costs Rs 1500 per head. It was fun though nothing great compared to paragliding at Bir. Landing at the vast green land downside was a major experience.
5. George Everest House- Excursion and Heritage
Around 6 km from Library Chowk lies George Everest House also known as Park Estate. The estate are the remains of the building, laboratory and observatory that belonged to the discoverer of Mount Everest. It is after Sir George Everest that the world’s highest peak is named who was the Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843. The views from the peak where the heritage building sits are astonishingly beautiful.
As soon as you’ll reach here, you will be greeted by many prayer flags. You will have to do a 1 km short hike to reach to the peak from the base. It is totally a scenic walk with spectacular views. So even if the history doesn’t attract you, the vistas around here are sure to keep you captivating. The hike is smooth on the camping grounds of George Everest Peak and completely lists out as one of the best things to do in Mussoorie.
6. Unwind Tibetan Heritage At Happy Valley
The Happy Valley in Mussoorie holds a very high Tibetan cultural significance in India. The Happy Valley has been a home to an approximate 5000 Tibetan refugees since 1959 when the 14th Dalai Lama took refuge in Mussoorie and established a Tibetan monastery at the Valley. The Tibetan community has been prospering and spreading teachings of Buddha in Mussoorie even after Tibetan government in exile led by Dalai Lama moved out to Dharamshala. It houses a central school for Tibetan children, Tibetan Home Foundation and the Shedup Choephelling Buddhist Temple.
You can explore every corner at the Happy Valley and relate the Tibetan culture around. The Shedup Choepelling Temple is situated at the highest point there on the cliff. It houses prayer wheels and flags, idols of Lord Buddha, beautiful paintings and a meditation hall. The entire tour of the Valley will give you a peaceful charm.
6. Visit less commercial and less crowded Bhatta Falls in Mussoorie
Mussoorie is a hill station that can definitely lure us with its gorgeous view points, heritage and gigantic natural waterfalls. So if Kempty Falls didn’t attract you much, you can travel a distance of about 7 km from the centre, and visit Bhatta Falls. Located in the Bhatta village, Bhatta Falls are less commercial and less crowded with tourists as compared to Kempty Falls. It has natural water flow cascading down at the course from the height of 20 feet. Bhatta Falls offer a peaceful leisure and spectacular scenery. And if you missed bathing at Kempty Falls, then Bhatta Falls is your charm. Do not forget to carry extra clothes while visiting here.
7. Nature Walk at Camel Back Road
A beautiful peaceful walk under the nature at Camel Back Road is one such soothing experience. The best time to visit here is in the morning and evening as you will see many nature and fitness enthusiasts during this time. It is best to engulf in such experience of calmness and inner peace at Camel Back Road.
This 2km long road is named Camel Back due to the presence of naturally shaped rock like a camel’s hump at the end of the road and is located on the other side of the Mall Road. Here is my ultra zoomed picture of the camel’s hump for your amusement!
I had lot of fun strolling around the corners of this road and managed to pit-stop at every view points there as the views from here are extremely breathtaking. My favourite view point is the Hawa Mahal which is nearest to the library end of Mall Road. I generously enjoyed having tea and maggi over here. I ended up touring around Camel Back Road on a cycle which was a wonderful experience for me.
8. Mall Road
Like every other hill station has a mall road, so does Mussoorie. Mall Road is the centre point of Mussoorie that houses plethora of shops selling clothes, wooden handcrafts, woollen garments and souvenirs, hotels, and many food outlets. It stretches 4 km long east from Kulri Bazar or Picture Palace to the Library end or Gandhi Chowk in the west. All the buses run to either end of this road. No vehicle is allowed to enter the Mall Road in the evening. Please ensure that you check the ‘enter and exit’ timings of the vehicles with the police authority available at either end of the Mall Road.
You can enjoy strolling, shopping, skating and eating across the Mall Road. There are so many activities to do at Mall Road. The best part for me of the mall road were the amazing views of the mountains and the Doon Valley. You can never get tired of strolling across this most happening street of Mussoorie. If you do get tired then its always a great idea to get a rickshaw from here. Some amazing food outlets like Chic Chocolate, Lovely Omelette centre, Kalsang etc are located here that you should definitely try. There is Mussoorie sweet shop located at Kulri Bazar that serves some lip-smacking gulab jamun, jalebis and doodh.
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Mussoorie is so beautiful and its natural vistas are astonishing that one cannot go awe on their visit. I have listed down some of the amazing things to do and places to visit in Mussoorie but honestly, there are tonnes of many other activities to do around here which I have not mentioned here. Like trekking to Nag Tibba, Dhanaulti eco park, Landour and the list is endless. I am pretty sure that I will be covering these – a different side of Mussoorie on my next visit.
Mussoorie is just one of the many places in Uttarakhand which is outstandingly beautiful. It is the perfect getaway to unwind in the lapse of nature if you’re tired of the city life.
Check out my MUSSOORIE TRAVEL VLOG on YouTube!!