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Around some of the world in 180 days


INDIA | Wednesday, 14 March 2012 | Views [1154]

Mussoorie, also known as Queen of the Hills is 34km from Dehradun. The bus ride was approximately 1.5 hours and no doubt the views were great. I wouldn't know as I kept my eyes shut all the way to Mussoorie to cope with the winding roads. At an average height of 1800 metres up, it gets a bit nippy. For the four weeks, I'd been feeling rather foolish carrying a fleece around, but I'm glad I brought it along. 

Day 1

Having avoided food before travelling, the first item was to get some lunch. I found the Rice Bowl restuarant just outside my hotel. In spite of a couple of terrible experiences of chinese food, I went in anyway assured that the restuarant was run by a Tibetan family. The chinese food here is amazing and about as authentic as you're going to get in India. I ate there 3 times during my 2 days in Mussoorie. Just for the record, it's just before the State Bank of India at the Picture Palace end, opposite Hotel Naaz. Go there if you like chinese food.

Mussoories, as with hill stations in India has 2 ends, Picture Palace and Library. The view are great from either end. As you walk along the mall from one end to the other, the views are even better with a bird's eye view of the Dehradun valley. If the Himalaya and K2 ever had a love child, it would be Mussoorie. Dehradun valley is the flat area in the background of this picture:

The first item on the itinerary is Gun Hill from which it's possible to view the snow capped tops of the Himalayas. Unfortunately the cable car was down for repairs for another 10 days, so I choses to take the 15 minute walk up. It's a steep climb and hard going all the way to the top. Having over-taken several fellow climbers, I have to say that my arrogrance is not completely unjustified. Here's a view from Gun Hill:

This was followed by a car trip up to Lal Tibba, the highest point of Mussoorie. From Lal Tibba, it's possible to see the whole of Mussoorie:

In the entire 5 weeks I've been in India, not one person has gotten my ethnicity right, insisting that I'm Japanese. So just this once, I had this photo to remove all doubt:

Oddly, a couple of the hotel staff decided to join me on the trip:

Day 2

The sight-seeing for today are all on the Library end of Mussoorie, a 1km walk from my hotel. I have to admit, the views of Dehradun valley and the mountains at the Library end are much better and it's much easier to find a hotel with a view. From here, it's a 3 and 4km walk to Company Gardens and Happy Valley respectively. Happy Valley is a 5000 strong Tibetan community in Mussoorie. Not much to see in either places, but a nice gentle hike with great views.

On the way back, there was a protest march against the chinese occupation of Tibet. This was one time when I was hoping my ethnicity wasn't too obvious. The protesters:

Overall, I found Mussoorie one of the nicest places in India so far. The shop owners are less pushy and don’t try to rip you off as much. The taxi drivers will still try it on though.

Tags: hill, india, mussoorie, protest, station, tibet, tibetan


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