~ Activities & Places of Interest ~
om Mussoorie, the foothills of the Himalayas has a lot to offer and we're able to organize it all. Our Guest Services Manager will be happy to assist you with all your arrangements.
Any trip is incomplete without SHOPPING!!!! We have put together the best shopping haunts in Mussoorie for bits & bobs and souvenirs to take home.
Cambridge Bookstore – One of the oldest book shops of Mussoorie; the owner of the shop is helpful and well-known. Ruskin Bond, the famous writer often visits this place, and all his books are quite a specialty at the store.
Ram Chander & Sons – Situated close to the hotel is the mini supermarket of Mussoorie. A variety of grocery items local and imported may be bought and ordered from here. Bhuttico Woolens – A small sh op at Picture Palace that sells woolen handicrafts from Himachal Pradesh. Himachali shawls, caps and coats may be bought from here. Antiques – One can find a vast range of interesting items from antique British furniture to small curios that are perfect for gifts. A couple of these shops may be found on the road to Mullingar whilst the popular 'Ancient Palace' is on the road before Picture Palace.
Wooden Handicrafts – Hill Cottage Industries is a famous shop on the Mall Road. Choose from a wide variety of wooden walking sticks, hand carved jewelry boxes, magazine racks, wooden bowls & trays and other wooden showpieces.
Kashmiri Handicrafts – Mussoorie has an abundance of Kashmiri handicraft shops… Habibullah's the most famous of them is at the base of Mullingar. Kashmir Art Emporium is another place to visit.
Woolen Clothes – There is an abundance of hand knitted woolen clothes in Mussoorie the Pioneer Store is best for children.
The Himalayan Haat – Located on the slope near Mullingar, this little store sells lentils, juices, jams and products gathered and produced in the hills. Hand made shawls are a speciality of the store.
Panchachuli – Panchachuli Women Weavers is a development program, which facilitates economic and social independence for women in the Indian Himalayas. A wide array of woolen shawls, merino, pashmina etc. are available in this tiny shop.
Prakash's Store – One of the oldest grocery stores in town, this homely store has an amazing variety. From the famous 'Mussoorie peanut butter' to a variety of locally produced jams and chutneys may be bought here.
Himalayan Weavers – Located 8km from Mussoorie on Mussoorie-Dhanaulti Road is Himalayan Weavers which produces hand-woven shawls, stoles, scarves and throws using only natural dyes and wool, eri silk and pashmina.
Shoe Makers – Half way up Mullingar are the famous shoe makers of Mussoorie. One may place an order with them with a design of your choice. Their craftsmanship will not disappoint you and you will leave as yet another satisfied customer. Shoes can be made within 24 hrs. Jewelers – Mussoorie has a variety of jewelry shops, from traditional Gharwali jewelers at Landour to ethnic and junk jewelry. The Tibetan shops selling ethnic jewelry are opposite the Union Church, Kulri and below Tavern.
Tailoring – During your stay, if you like to take home a traditional Indian outfit, Fancy Tailors at Landour Bazaar will be happy to stitch you an outfit in just 2 days.
Parri Tibba (Witch's Hill) – A nice and easy short day hike of around 2 hours (2 km). You will get a nice view of the Doon Valley and the Mussoorie area and is a great spot for picnics. It is not advisable to visit Witch's Hill during storms as it seems supernaturally prone to lightning strikes. Suakholi – An easy and pleasant walk eastward on Tehri road. Watch for the curious sedimentary formations along the way. The ripple effect observed is actually an ancient ocean bed that has been thrust skywards millions of years ago. Fantastic views of the snows along the way.
Pepperpot and Pepperpot Cave – A mountain so named because the squareness of its top resembles a pepperpot or shaker. Located to the east of Mussoorie, it is a leisurely day hike of around four hours (8 km). A nice place to see spectacular views of the surrounding hills, valleys and the distant snows. Also, a good area to meet up with some of the local fauna and birds.
Flag Hill – Headout before sunrise, east on upper Tehri road, till you reach The Gap; then up the trail on the left till you reach the top of the hill where you will find Tibetan prayer flags hung all around. A short 2 km hike that gives you a good view of the snows and the Aglar Valley to the north. Bear Hill – A similar short hike and in the same direction of Flag Hill, but instead follow the trail at the base of Flag Hill and then up to a saddle between the two hills. From here the trail is clear to the top of Bear Hill.
Benog Tibba – This is a moderate hike around 18 kms distance which is accessible by jeep except for the last 7 kms. It is a rather bare-looking mountain to the west of Mussoorie. On the way there, you will enjoy a fantastic view of the Doon Valley. Expect to see a lot of bird species and keep your eyes open for Ghoral (Mountain Goat). From the summit you can uniquely view Mussoorie with the snows to the north and the sweeping curve of the Yamuna river far below.
Sunrise / Sunset Points – The best places to see the sunrise are Fairy Glen or Flag Hill, and sunsets are best viewed from Rokeby Manor.
Winter Line – From mid-October to January, when the sun sets, the western horizon turns a myriad combination of yellow, red, orange and mauve. The winter line can be observed at the Chakkar walk. This rare phenomenon can only be seen in 2 places in the world; Mussoorie and Switzerland. It occurs due to the refraction of sunlight at a particular angle, visible only from mountain areas with a long, clear valley towards the west.
Tea in Tibet – Allow us to arrange a tea with a Tibetan couple and engage in insightful anecdotes about their culture and traditions back home. Char Dukan – Literally meaning 'four shops' though there are more than four shops now. A cool place to hang out with family or friends and enjoy chai with snacks. Writers in Mussoorie – We can organize a 'Meet the Author' session (if you're lucky) at our Tea Garden. Here are a few distinguished authors, who reside in Landour… Ruskin Bond, Stephen Alter, Sudhir Thapilyal, Bill Atkin (Travel Writer).
The Corn Village – Experience life in a village in the heart of the Himalayan foothills. Tucked away on the edge of a mountain, fondly termed the Corn Village because of the unusual method of storing the corn, the blue houses with bright sheaves of golden yellow corn hung from the roofs is surely a stunning sight to see. Happy Valley – Get a glimpse of the Tibetan community in Mussoorie, experience their culture and visit their traditional Thangka paintings gallery where thangka paintings, made on site are sold along with traditional tibetan costumes.
Dhanaulti – Situated 25kms from Mussoorie at an altitude of approximately 2000mts above sea level and set amidst thick alpine forests of rhododendron, deodar and oak is Dhanaulti. The drive to Dhanaulti is exhilarating and one can feel the change in the air as the drive snakes away from the hustle and bustle of Mussoorie. As the drive progresses the scenery changes from thickly wooded oak forests giving way to majestic alpine forests with a sprinkling of rhododendron clumps. The landscape is enthralling as one can get a view of the majestic snowcapped Himalayan ranges as well as the contrasting view of the Doon Valley on a clear day.
Surkunda DeviTemple – En route to Dhanaulti is the Surkanda Devi Temple, an ancient temple at an elevation of approximately 10,000 ft. or 3030 mts. above sea level. This temple is dedicated to Shankar's consort - Sati and one can reach there through an easy 2 km trek. Atop the Surkanda Devi summit one is afforded the breathtaking view of the Doon Valley and the Himalayan snows, 360 degrees from one vantage point.
Kanatal – Kanatal, a small village that is 30 km from Mussoorie and 10 kms beyond Dhanaulti. A lesser frequented destination, Kanatal greets the occasional visitor with crisp, cold and fresh mountain breeze. Situated at a height of 8500 ft. the place gets heavy snow fall during winter and is cool even in peak summer.
Park Estate / Everest House – Park Estate or Everest House is where one can find the remains of the residence and laboratory of Sir George Everest, the Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843, and after who the world's highest peak Mt. Everest is named. It is an 8 km drive from Gandhi Chowk / Library Bazaar, although the road is quite rough beyond Hathipaon. The place provides an enchanting view of Doon Valley on one side and a panoramic view of the Aglar River valley and the snow peaks of the Himalayan range on the other.
Yamuna Bridge – The 27 km drive down to Yamuna Bridge via the Kempty Falls offers a scenic view of the Himalayan range. It is an ideal spot for some lazy fishing (fishing permits required).
Clouds End Hotel – The Clouds End hotel is surrounded by thick deodar forest though the drive up to it consists mainly of rhododendron and oak forest. The bungalow was built in 1838 by a British major, was one of the first four buildings of Mussoorie and has now been converted into a hotel. One senses a feeling of peace and tranquility there.
Adventures around Mussoorie
For those who'd like to wander off the beaten track and experience the beauty of nature… Listed below are some adventure treks that can be organized with the help of our Guest Services Manager.
Tungnath and Chandrashila Peak – (Duration: 2 nights-3 days) - In the course of this hike one can enjoy views of majestic peaks of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth, Kedarnath. The trek takes you through a combination of dense forests with occasional open pastures which offer a view of the majestic Himalayas. The Alpine meadows, called Bugyals in the local language, are a feast to the eyes from where the mountains seem just within touching distance. Having transversed all these wonderful sights, the ancient temple comes to view which is set at an altitude of 3680m and said to be over 2000 years old.
Har Ki Doon – (Duration: 4 nights-5 days) – Har - ki - Doon is situated in the Western ganges of the Garhwal Himalayas, at an elevation of 3,556 metres. This cradle shaped valley is surrounded by dense pine forests and towering mountain peaks. The forests are rich in wildlife and are a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watchers. The trek from Netwar to Osla takes one through dense forests of chestnuts, walnuts, willows and chinars. In contrast the trek from Osla to Har-ki-Doon is through terraced fields, coniferous forests and lush green pastures. As Har-ki-Doon falls within a wildlife sanctuary, if lucky, one may get to chance upon a deer of a bear perhaps. There is also a beautifully carved temple dedicated to Duryodhana , the Kaurava Prince.
Khatling Glacier – (Duration: 4 nights – 5 days) – The Khatling Glacier is situated in the Tehri district and is the source of river Bhilangna. The glacier is surrounded by snow peaks of the Jogin group (6466 m), Sphetic Pristwar (6905 m), Barte Kauter (6579 m), Kirti Stambh (6902 m) and Meru. The trek starts from Ghuttu, a small village. One has to trek about 45 kms and pass through remote villages with thick kharsao forest and wide open beautiful lush grassy meadows. The entry to the Bhilangna valley provides excellent spots for camping.
Nag Tibba – (Duration: 2 nights-3 days) – Nag Tibba, situated to the northeast of the Doon Valley, at an elevation of 10,000 ft, is the highest peak in the area, surpassed only by the altitudes at which Har-ki-Doon, Yamunotri and Gangotri are situated. Nag Tibba gets its name from a very old temple of Nag Devta (the Snake God) situated at the summit of the mountain.The locals call this place Devta. One can get a stunning view of the Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, the Kedarnath peak in the north, to name a few, and Mussoorie in the south.
Himalayan Village Life – (Duration: 8 hours) – Take a walk to a typical small village of Uttarakhand. Khandajhak is located across the valley and a scenic day trek across the Aglar River. Consisting of about 50 families, the villagers are extremely hospitable and live a simple life of subsistence farming. A visit to one of their homes for lunch or tea can be arranged.