Mussoorie and Dhanaulti: Biking through the hills

Tripoto
6th Mar 2018
Photo of Mussoorie and Dhanaulti: Biking through the hills by Sneha Basu

7 friends, last few days of hostel life and a tight budget. What do we do if not randomly take off for a short trip to one of the closest hill stations near Delhi-NCR area?

Day 1

We reached Dehradun at around 10 am and picked up our bikes on rent from GimmeByk, a bike rental store on Saharanpur road. We hired an Avenger for 850 rupees a day and a Yamaha FZ for 750 rupees. 7 of us on 2 bikes hired and 2 own Activas , we started off to Mussoorie.

Our first stop was at the famous Maggi Point on the way. We had piping hot Maggi and quenched our thirst with cold drinks, while enjoying the beautiful view of the Dehradun city in front of us. Cost: Rs. 50-60 per plate

We rode for the next one and half hours to reach our first destination, George Everest's house. The man after whom the highest peak of the mighty Himalayas is named, lived in a house now in shambles on Hathipaon hill near Mussoorie. The spot is now a lovers escape, with a beautiful view of the mountains and Doon valley.

To get a better view, we climbed the rugged mountain almost on all fours. There is no path made out, you have to climb the rocks, peeping at the deep crevasses behind you, hoping that you make it to the peak soon. For first time trekkers, it's advised to go with locals who know the way up.

The view from the top of the snowcapped mountains glistening in the sunlight is breathtakingly beautiful. After trekking back to Everest house, we mounted our bikes and head to Mussoorie.

It was almost evening when we reached Mussoorie, also known as the Queen of the Hills and the abode of literary legend Ruskin Bond. It is like any other hill station you visit, with a Mall road, local eateries and hotels in abundance. While walking down Mall road, we savoured roasted corn cobs (bhutta) and hot chicken soup.

We put up at Hotel Sunny Hilltop, a small place, being renovated in parts, with a quaint woodwork lounge and comfortable rooms.

As we walked down the Mall road, we passed Chick Chocolates, famous for its assortment of homemade chocolates. We picked up a bag of vodka filled chocolate drops, each for Rs. 40.

Kalsang's serves Tibetan and Chinese food. For starters, we ordered Chicken Shabaley, a succulent chicken filling with a fried exterior and Chicken Cheese steamed momos which melted in our mouth. For main course, we had Choupsey, both non-veg and veg. The quantity and taste were both worth every penny we spent. Cost: Rs. 1800 for 7 people, including 4 vegetarians.

After filling our stomach almost to the brim, we head to Mussoorie Sweet Shop for some hot Hot Gulab Jamun, Jalebi and Rabri. We also visited the Bengali Sweet Shop on the way for Rasmalai.

Our hotel was close to the Mall road, and private vehicles are not allowed onto the Mall road till 10. We then headed to the parking spot to bring our bikes in after paying around Rs.100 per bike.

Maggi at Maggi Point

Photo of Kalsang Friends Corner, Mall Road, Survey Colony, The Mall Road, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

Vodka Chocolate shots

Photo of Kalsang Friends Corner, Mall Road, Survey Colony, The Mall Road, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

The view from George Everest's house

Photo of Kalsang Friends Corner, Mall Road, Survey Colony, The Mall Road, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu
Day 2

Next morning, we took off to Chaar Dukan, Landour, for some sumptious breakfast. Tip Top Tea Shop, one of the four shops, had a cute little bench and table seating and the most amazing food. Bun omelette, parathas, pancakes, pizza, chai and coffee- it was a heavenly breakfast. The bun omelette, the pizza and the banana pancakes are a must try. Cost: Rs. 1500 for 7 people

Our next stop was the Surkhanda Devi temple in Dhanaulti. More than the destination, it's the journey that makes your day. Beautiful road with greenery and snowcapped peaks all the way to Dhanaulti. We crossed the eco park at Dhanaulti and a few camps on the way. I made a mental note to stay at a camp on my next visit here.

Surkhanda Devi Temple stands on the summit at a height of 2750 metres above sea level, 5 km from Dhanaulti. The walk up the mountain is around 1.5 km, steps cut out with benches for rest along the way. Although the climb is strenous, the view from the top is quite the remuneration for your troubles. A warning, be careful with the packets of prasad you carry with you, monkeys watching you closely on the way may snatch it away from you.

After seeking the blessings of Ma Surkhanda Devi, we headed back to Dehradun. A 50km ride back, we were quite exhausted when we reached the city and handed over our bikes.

My first bike trip came to an end, giving me memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Things I missed this time, but I wish to include in my next visit here:

1) Meeting Ruskin Bond- He meets his fans at Cambridge bookstore at 4pm on Saturdays only

2) Kempty Falls

3) Lovely Omelette corner

4) Camping at Dhanaulti

A tip from 1st time pillion rider, carry lots of sunscreen and a scarf, or else you will get terribly tanned even in winter. Ride with people experienced on the mountain terrain and be safe! Google maps and a good net connection is all that you need to guide you.

Banana pancake

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

Surkhanda Devi Temple

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

View from the temple

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

Bun omelette

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

Pizza at Tip Top Tea Shop

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu

The path to the Temple

Photo of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India by Sneha Basu
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