Walking in Mussorie

Whenever I am free I try to visit and explore new places and food.Last year April I was in Delhi for work and got 3 spare days in between so instantly made a solo 3 day trip to Mussorie .1st thing to was to check train tickets,as it was not a peak season so got confirm ticket for Dehradun shatabdi to Dehradun and in Nanda Devi express to return Back to Delhi.

Whenever I am visiting anywhere alone my idea of exploring is by walking as much as I can,for me its the best way to explore any place and connect to locals and their culture and find hidden gems.

Day 1

Dehradun Shatabdi (12017) departs from New Delhi at 6:45 so I started my journey from East of Kailash around 5:30 using Uber,arrived New Delhi well before time,at the time I reached platform the train was already at platform so boarded the train and took my window seat.Journey from Delhi to Dehradun is mainly through countryside of UP,from Haridwar to Dehradun it goes between forest.

I had booked in Executive Chair Car,it has 2X2 configuration of seating,comfortable with good less space,even better than economy class of airlines,good for 5-6 hr of journey.The train started on time ,tea and decent breakfast was served on board,up to Haridwar the train was on right time but after that it got delayed and we reached Dehradun around 2 pm,1 hour late.

Dehradun is a small railway station with just 3 platform,after a small walk to exit I enquire about public transport,come to know that regular UK roadways buses are available from bus stand just outside railway station,before boarding the bus had light snacks at the food outlet situated at parking.

The bus starts from Bus stand just outside railway station,regular service are available from morning 6 am to evening 6-7 pm,buses goes to 2 stand in Mussorie,Picture palace and library,both are different ends of Mall road so as per your hotel location choose the bus.Average every hour 1 bus goes to Library and another to Picture palace,I had booked hotel Mall palace s which was at middle of mall road,I took bus to Picture palace but if someone staying in same location and having baggage and don’t want to walk should take bus to library so that paddle riksaw can be taken up to ropeway and the hotel is just near it,paddle rikshaw are available only at Library end,not at Picture palace side.

When taking bus from stand you have to get ticket 1st and then only board the bus,they start selling ticket only when the bus which is supposed to go arrives at stand,i had to stand in queue for 20-25 minute to get.Bus was a basic roadways bus but not over crowded,around one and half hour journey,just after Dehradun the hill roads started with lots of hairpin curves,what a scenic journey.

Those who don’t want this hassle there is option of taxi,there is a union prepaid taxi kiosk where you can book for fixed price.

I reached Picture palace bus stand around 3:30 PM, then a 15 min little uphill walk to hotel Mall Palace ,A decent budget hotel on Mall road in front of ropeway, rooms were clean, of good size with comfortable bed and basic amenity and a balcony with view of Doon valley,balcony was my main reason to book this hotel,didn’t used their restaurant other than tea so can’t comment on food. Weather was sunny but pleasant, colder in night to morning,light jacket was good for it.

After check in took a quick shower,had tea and proceed to 1st destination ,rope way which was just in front of the hotel,the rope way take us to Gun Hill, ,second highest point in Mussorie.Gun Hill is around 400 ft above mall road,a few minute rope way ride,there is no other way to reach Gun Hill other than rope way.The ticket price was rs 125 for return journey ,there was long queue to board and took around an hour to get the ride.The condition of ropeway didn’t looks good,was in shabby condition,even the box were not having proper door closing mechanism ,finally 5 minute ride to Gun Hill,not much scenic ride.

After spending 125 rs and more than one hour was very much disappointed after seeing the condition on top.I planned for Gun Hill expecting that there would be some good view point with scenic view but I was totally wrong,it was just waste of time and money,every possible space from where view could have been possible was encroached by restaurants and shops.Nothing to do,spend just 15 minute and I was again in queue for return back ride to mall road.Very much disappointed,not the way I expected the Mussorie trip to start.

At the time I reached back to Mall road it was already 7 so time to have some food,1st destination was Kalsang ,read lots of good about this place so this was in my must to be visit list,situated just 5 min walk from ropeway so easy to reach,ambience was basic,sitting arrangement congested but food and service was excellent,its run by a Tibetan family,ordered a chicken Momo and Tom Yum Soup,food was good,Momo was fresh and juicy,soup was good too,service was fast too,must visit restaurant in Mussorie for Chinese/Thai/Tibetan cuisine .

After having a good meal,it was time to have some dessert,so the place was Chick Chocolate,situated at Mall road and hardly 7-8 min walk from Kalsang,its one of the oldest cafe in Mussori and also one of the most sought after,ambience is like a cafe in 50s-60s,old world charm,its self service,when I reached around 8 pm it was nearly empty ,hardly 3-4 people that time,they have a long menu from Pizza to Burger to Pastry to Shakes,hand made chocolates are considered as their main USP ,this was the 1st product they started selling 40-50 years back so I thought to check them but the gentleman (most probably Owner) was not in mood to explain about chocolates,may be because I was asking in Hindi,also I found the rates of chocolates on higher side,in general I would love to leave these type of places but as already ordered my Kitkat Shake so waited for it and leave the place after getting,it was just ok,nothing special,overall my experience it looks that if you are a die hard chocolate fan then can visit otherwise certainly not a must visit place.

It was time to end the hectic day,walked to the hotel and it was time to get a sleep.

Mall Road (Picture Palace) in evening

Day 2

Woke up around 6:30 with a excellent view of Doon Valley,had a hot morning tea watching the views,weather was sunny and pleasant,a light jacket was ok and perfect for walking around.

Sharp at 8 am I left the hotel for day excursion,1st destination was lovely omelette,undoubtedly the most sought after food place in Mussorie online also most probably oldest running place in Mussorie,situated at mall road on picture palace side,just 10 min walk from my hotel,its a small place with just space for 8-10 people to sit,the time I reach there the owner was still opening the shop,as I was the lone customer that time so got the opportunity to talk with the owner about history of the shop and also mall road,he was an interesting person to interact .Menu is small,just 3 variety of Omelette,i ordered a cheese omelette,i was made with bread,like french toast, served hot,good for breakfast and also not crowded,during evening it get too crowded due to its popularity.

It was already 8:30 so time to proceed to next destination,Lal Tibba which is highest point in Mussorie,its around 4 km from Mussorie,though mostly people use cab or hired bike/Scooty to visit but i chose to walk,the route starts from Picture Palace and goes via Landour Bazz .For 1st 1 and half km till the starting of Tehri road the road is through old landour bazzar,the route is nearly flat with some incline at starting just after Picture palace,on the way we passed through the clock tower,took around 25 minute to reach the end of Landour bazar,from this point we have to take left turn,now the incline increases and not a easy walk,little tough hike for next few metres up to Domas Inn.

From Domas in there are two routes,one is shorter (Left side) is shorter and google map will show bust this route is having stiff gradient so better to avoid for going up,can be used for return journey.The road going on right side is better to walk,though little long but gentle gradient and scenic,both road meet at Char Dukan .It took me around 1 hr to reach Char Dukan from Mall road in leisurely way.

Char Dukan is situated a km before Lal Tibba,in earlier days there were 4 (char) shop (Dukan) so it was named char dukan,even now there are 4 shop all selling food stuffs ,tea and snacks,now a days its a ritual for tourist to stop at Char Dukan ,what i felt that menu and price of all are nearly same but two of them are more famous online,Anils cafe and Tip Top Tea Shop,both are 1st shop at both end.Just before Char dukan there is St Paul Church,I 1st visited the church but came to know that it opens at 10 and it was only 9:30 so decided to visit it on return from Lal Tibba.

Next stop was Tip Top Tea Shop,1st shop after St Pauls Church,as had my breakfast of cheese omelette just an hour before so only ordered Ginger Honey Lemon tea,there menu also includes Pan Cake,Waffles,Omlette ,maggie,heard that their pan cakes are best in Mussorie but was not in mood to eat anything so just went with tea.Tea was hot and refreshing also the owner was very hospitable .Now it was time to move next and main destination,Lal Tibba.

It was 15 min walk from Char Dukan with gentle slope,finally around one and half hour starting from Mall road reached Lal Tibba in leisurely way.The view point is on the road level and there are pine trees so wont get any view from road,you have to use any of the 3 cafes having rooftop but the entry is not free,when I visited entry charge was rs 60 per head but it can be use to pay the bill for any order from cafe.There was a telescope (though not in best condition) to view and also a 2 minute description of the mountain range by the staff.

View was good,as it was a sunny day with clear sky so got some majestic view of Gangotri range of mighty Himalaya,I spend around 1 hr there on roof top enjoying the views

At this time I was little bit hungry after walking ordered a coffee and Maggie,bill was around 100 or 120 so paid 40 or 60 deducting the rs 60 entry charge,nothing special with the food but with views it was an unforgettable experience, IMO you should go for the view point.It was already past 11 so started my return journey to Mussorie.

On way back to Mall road my 1st stop was Char Dukan,this time Anils cafe,its 1st shop when coming down from Lal Tibba.Anils cafe have the same menu as others,I just ordered my favourite beverage on hills,Ginger Honey Lemon Tea.

After the tea next destination St Pauls church,build in 1839.It was build for British soldiers of the cantonment ,the interior is build intrusively,wooden benches and glass windows are all glimpse of the time bygone.A must visit place in mussorie. After exploring the church sat at bench outside the church feeling the old world charm.Now time to move.

around 12:15 started back to Hotel,this time took the shorter route,just in front of char dukan there is Cafe Ivy,it is also a famous cafe specially among youngsters,heard about good food and some excellent view too,I was not in mood to stop again so skipped .After walking walking 100 m the slope downward became too stiff,it was very tough to go down,have to walk extremely slowly with small steps,for next 100 metre it was difficult walk downhill,what I felt that its better to use longer route for both way.It was already 1 when about to reach Mall road,thought to stop somewhere for a light lunch,online search shows I was close to Little Lama Cafe .The Little Lama Cafe is situated few minutes before Picture Palace,it was almost lunch time so expected to be crowded but I was wrong,my 1st experience of cafe was not good,even after entering it no one was interested in customer,staffs were busy with them self,no greeting,no smiling faces which are 1st thing what we expect,ambience is ok,nothing much fancy,sitting arrangements are little bit cramped,finally took a table facing the window so that can get some view then only one person came with menu.Ordered a Nacho and peach tea,Nacho was ok,Peach tea was better,was refreshing after a long walk,overall all my experience the food was ok but hospitality below average.

Now it was around 2,return back to hotel for little rest,left hotel again at 5 pm to explore Camel Back road.Camel Back road is a 3 km road on opposite of Mall road and starts from one end of mall road and ends at another end. In contrast of Mall road which is very touristy and crowded,the camel back road is very peaceful and calm,if I would have idea about this,would have booked hotel here.

I started the walk from Picture Palace end of the road ,it was 15 minute walk from my hotel to starting of camel back road,just after entering the camel back road it looks like a different world,scenic road,calm and peaceful,no crowd,very few people and that mostly locals,no shops or restaurants ,very few hotels and that too scattered,good for a stroll,in between there are few view points where we can stop and relax beholding the view.There is also a Christian Cemetery. situated in a scenic location surrounded by woods,it is 2nd oldest in India and one of the oldest in India,its gate were locked so just had some photo from outside.After around 1 hr of strolling reached end of Camel Back road on Library side.

Now I was at Mall road again,next 2 hour just explored the Mall road from Library end to Picture palace.As most of the hill stations there are hundred of street food vendors selling different items,I tried some from different locations.

This was end of a hectic day,time to take rest and be prepare for another day.

Day 3

This was my last day in Mussorie,my train was supposed to depart from Dehradun after 10 pm so had almost complete day to explore Mussorie,Checked out from hotel around 11 and 1st stop was Cafe Tea Totaler situated at Mall road.1st experience of the cafe was good,ambience was charming,surrounded by flower plants,well decorated and cosy,cheerful staff and good view of Doon valley.They have a vast menu,I ordered toast with cheese and Jasmine tea,service was fast too,food was good and above all the ambience and view,even after finishing the food sit there just relaxing.

Time to proceed to next destination, Shedup Choephelling Budhhist temple situated near LBSNAA,on google map it was showing around 45 min so gave it a try,1st Library chowk then pass through Kempty fall bus/taxi stand,unlike route to Lal Tibba this route was very busy,lots of traffic,finally reached the temple around hour after starting from mall road,from LBSNAA main gate there is a direct road to monastery but I missed that and ended in Tibet settlement so took more time,but it was an experience itself.

The temple is situated on the highest point of the valley with grand views.It was the 1st Tibetan temple build in India and sanctified by HH Dalai Lama,a small but magnificent example of Tibetan architecture .After praying at temple I sat on the benches outside it and spend the time watching the Tibetan people doing there rituals,kids playing and also had some chat with monks,was offered tea also by the monks.Quite peaceful and different experience with little bit of spiritual too,spend around an hour .Don’t know the reason but it looks very less visited by tourist,I was there for and hour and hardly family arrived.

Till now i hadnt decided about next destination,earlier plan was to return back to Mussorie but online seach shows that the Company Garden also called as Municipal Garden was less than 3 km so now time to move to Company bagh,1st had a light lunch near LBSNAA then again walk to Company Bagh.From LBSNAA the walk was easy on nearly flat route,paddle riksaw were also available between LBSNAA and Company Garden.

The garden was not so big but beautiful,well maintained and but annoying thing was small amusement park/Game zone with some rides and restaurants,it was just ruining the beauty,same experience as I got at Gun Hill,otherwise the Garden is worth for a small visit,it also have a green house with many species of plants.

Now it was almost 4 so time to move to Mussorie,on google map it was showing 2 routes with almost same walking time,35-40 min,one was the route by which I arrived ,via LBSNAA,another was of opposite direction,I took the second one and it was good decision,this route was calm and peacefull with very few vehicles,earlier it was a stiff inclined but later was comfortable flat or down slope walk,reached Library Library Chowk around 5,time to have some quick refuelling,visited Cafe Library which is situated just at Library Chowk,,grabbed a Kitkat shake and then to bus stand near the chowk for bus to Dehradun.

This was end of my 3 days Mussorie trip and back to Delhi with some good memories.There were many other attractions in Mussorie which I skipped like Everest House , Kempti Falls ,Clouds End which I may visit in next trip.

See you soon in next Blog with other destination,you can drop any query ,would love to reply as per knowledge.

Thanks for reading

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