Summer season in Delhi has the potential to suck out every ounce of energy from your body. Added to that, if your boss is a dementor, you can say goodbye to happiness also. Something like this happened to me in May last year, when I was working at our capital city, deprived of energy and happiness. Due to the tremendous work load, I had not been to any vacation since many months. So, one fine morning when I was feeling choked with stress and frustration, my friend and I made an unplanned trip to Mussoorie.
Being a devoted mountain lover, I had always loved watching the roads going round and round around giant mountains. Excited to see the roads, huge rocks and lush green trees, we started our journey by car. After driving around 200 Km we reached Dehradun. The city located at the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas, was too crowded and filled with stores sending lucrative vibes to shopaholic like us.
We stopped at the Mall - a colourful and busy market in Dehradun where one can find shops selling everything from clothes to footwear to jewellery to gifts and souvenirs. Controlling the shopping urge, we simply grabbed McD burgers and headed towards our destination, since we wanted to reach there as early as possible. After driving for a few hours, we reached the point from where we were able to see the charming little hill station located at an altitude of 1880 m in the Garhwal hills.
It took us around 2 hours to reach our hotel, which was located at the mall road. When it comes to hotels in Mussoorie, one can pick from an extensive variety of extravagance, mid-range and budget range to suit their necessity. To keep pace with the developing interest, a few lodgings and visitor houses have sprung up along the mountain slopes to take into account a scope of tastes and inclinations. The hotel that we chose was at the entrance of the mall road, and our room had hill side view.
From our room's balcony, we got the opportunity to experience the bird's eye view of the valley below; it was breathtaking. After sleeping off the tiredness, we headed towards the mall road, the entire stretch was covered by small shops and like doon almost everything was available. I bought few funky tee-shirts which were very much in fashion and grabbed a few local jewelleries.
There are many places to visit in Mussoorie; the Kempty Falls, showing off its somersault of the streams before hitting the bottom; Gun Hill, providing an opportunity to experience the picturesque view of the Himalayas; Camel Back Road, a nature walk that would surely boost calmness and inner peace; Lal Tibba, the highest peak's topmost point and most famous place in Mussoorie. And for those who want a little more, they can eat at some of the precious little cafes and head to the outskirts with a picnic basket.
However if one wants to experience the real calmness of the mystic mountains, then I would suggest to drive 1 hour, amidst the mountain and reach Dhanolti. The hill station is situated at an altitude of 2286m, and is known for its quiet environs amidst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. Unlike Delhi, the air had chilliness and comes with stunning panoramic view of the surrounding Himalayas. Standing at the end point of the Hill, one could experience the untouched pure serenity of the beautiful mountain. Each and every layer of the hill from ground to the top is poetically pristine.
Dhanaulti's Eco park is a brilliant place to experience the virtue of stillness and if paid attention one could hear the whispers of the cool breeze that dance with happiness. There are a few tea and Maggie stalls, so one could ward of all the stress and sip tea in calmness, just like the good old days. While sitting at the utmost top of the park which is built at the hill, I noticed the entire landscape was filled with welcoming warmth from the nature itself. Once submerged in the natural beauty one could lose track of time. After watching the sunset, the rays of which had crowned the mountains, we headed back to Mussoorie. In our way back, I realized I had left something amidst the Cocoon of Mountains; it was my soul.
Once back at Mussoorie, it was no longer the same with crowds of people moving in groups, clicking photos, eating noisily and bargaining at the top of their voice. Longing for the calmness, I spent rest of the evening in my Hotel's balcony, looking down at the Doon valley and wondering if only if, I can run away and go back where my soul was sleeping peacefully in nature's lap. Next morning while heading back to Delhi, I felt like a child desperately longing more of the calmness, purity and nature's beauty. But, it was not possible, over the weekend my boss had already left 13 urgent messages, 6 voice calls and 4 angry emails. While driving away from the mountain, I switched on the music, on my headphones and slept my way back. I woke up only when my lungs felt a jolt of polluted air. I knew we were entering Delhi now.