Soon as the new year dawns upon us, we get busy streamlining our resolutions and traveling mostly features at the top of the bucket list. Helping you additionally with the listing, here my suggestion to go to Mussoorie in January that recover because of the winter season peaks.
Mussoorie, Uttarakhand: once life offers you snow, float thereon:
A panoramic view of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand after receiving fresh snowfall. Also seen in the picture is a tree almost uprooted due to heavy snow fall.
After Diwali (Indian festival) vacation, I've been called by one of my friend Rajat to meet in Delhi, India . But, O boy! we were greeted with bad smog (as bad that Delhi was declared the most polluted city on earth!).
"Take only memories, leave only footprints"
Upcoming Saturday (17th November being a holiday for us, was a perfect window to escape from the bad smog. So, we friends decided to go on a short trip nearby Delhi to re-energize ourselves for 1 night 2 days in Mussoorie!
Deciding the weekend trip from Delhi: November in northern India is the month of transition to cold season. We had two choices, either chose plains ( Amritsar, Chandigarh) or Hills (Shimla, Manali, Mussoorie) . After searching a lot and multiple debates (which included, distance, people of group who already visited a place, purpose of trip etc.) on our whatsapp group (yes we create whatsapp group for each trip!), we finally settled down on Mussoorie as our weekend getaway from Delhi. Reason being:
None of us had been to Mussoorie before. Mussoorie is just 300 km from Delhi (around 4-5 hrs of the journey). Purpose of visit was to get away from the busy (and smoggy) life to relax and fill our lungs with some fresh air - hills will always offer you this and Mussoorie is a hill-station! Weather at Mussoorie in November is like this: Clear blue sky, starry nights, a little nip in the air, high visibility (you can see Himalayas peaks! - means no pollution!) - a perfect weather one could wish for!
Hence Mussoorie as our weekend getaway was pinned for November 17th weekend.
Planning logistics for Mussoorie trip: Once we decided the place, we quickly got into straightening out the logistics which included transportation and our stay for 2 nights in Mussoorie.Transportation: Since we love road trips we decided to go by self-driving car but later decide to go by bus as we aren't aware of the roads. We also wanted to cover a few places in and around Mussoorie like Dhanaulti and Dehradun, we decide to take an outstation cab in Mussoorie for the same. So after reaching Dehradun, we took an Ola cab for Mussoorie which is 35Kms, he charged us INR 1200, They have clean and well-maintained GPS fitted cabs, professional drivers along with fair and transparent pricing.
Stay: Our Mussoorie trip was going to be a relaxed trip, which meant our stay had to be really good (outside seating with valley view!) and under budget at the same time. This was going to be a tough task for me! So my friend Rajat took the lead on this and shortlisted few properties (hotels and resorts) based on user reviews, photos, and budget. After looking at Rio resorts, Seagreen lodges, Jharipani resort, Brentwood and a couple more, we finally settled down to Hotel Raj Reason being: nice rooms, outside seating area with valley view, close to mall road (walkable), good reviews and under budget!
"We quickly searched for online hotel booking deals and got a good discount on booking through Make my trip app. Finally a humongous task ended! Phew! Hi-five Bestie!"
Trip begins (17th November): Idea was to leave by night from Delhi as it was over night journey for Dehradun from Delhi. We reached Dehradun by early morning 6! After spending some time in Dehradun we quicky book a cab for Mussoorie and headed towards Mussoorie.
"Route was: Delhi Ghaziabad Meerut Muzaffarnagar Roorkee Haridwar Dehradun Mussoorie."
We reached our resort - Hotel Raj by 7.30 am. Yes, it took us just 8 hrs to reach Mussoorie from Delhi!
The moment we arrived at Hotel Raj, we got full view of Doon valley with sunrise in the backdrop! We all got so excited that we started clicking pictures as to capture the moment! -we both went insane. Moments later when sense prevailed, we checked-in. Staffs at Hotel Raj are courteous, and they allowed us for early checkin even! They recommended us places to visit in Mussoorie as well.
This was the view when we reached at our hotel!
After reaching the hotel we had our breakfast and quickly had a power nap (really quick power nap!) then around 10am we headed to explore Mall road and have lunch as well. We quickly grab a glass of chai (Tea) from a local tea store as it was very cold even by 10am. After roaming around and having our lunch and then we came down to our Hotel.
"I just Crashed down to my bed as we returned back by 7 pm whereas Rajat was still had some energy to use his phone!" lol!
18th Nov - Sunday: So next morning, we got up by 8am get morning view of doon valley. We came out of our room into the open area from where doon valley was visible. We opened our arms, filled in our lungs with fresh, cool air - it was heavenly feeling! We ordered breakfast which hotel staff served us in the open sitting area. It was all good - tasty and fresh breakfast under open sky, slight nip in air and warm sun rays - until we got some visitors (monkeys!).
After heavy breakfast, 11 am is an idea for the day was to take light, relax and enjoy our stay at Mussoorie. Based on our last day's discussion with resort staff, our search online and time at hand, plan of the day was decided to:
Leave at around 11 AM, chuck Dhanaulti and go to Kempty falls instead Go to Laal Tibba for sunset Go to Mall road to get some drinks Come back to resort to enjoy bon-fire, drink, food and gossip!
Kempty falls: Kempty falls is around 17 kms from Mussoorie, Mall road. We reached there in an hour. The road basically dissects the fall, which means, you could either climb up-stairs to see the upper part of fall or climb down to see the lower part of fall. We chose to go to the lower part of fall as it had cable car ride (INR 150 for both side and INR 100 for one side). One has to walk a little to reach to the cable car station.
For us, Kempty falls was kind of let down as we have seen other magnificent falls and this was kind of small and not very beautiful as it looked too much commercialized.
So, we quickly finished our visit and headed to Tibetan temple.
Sunset at Laal Tibba: At around 5.15pm, we came out of cafe and headed towards Lal Tibba which is around 1 km from Char Dukan. We reached Laal Tibba just before sunset! Lal Tibba is run by a local who would charge INR 20/head to go to the top of building to view sunset or order some food/beverage from there cafe!
We quickly went up to find bunch of people already there waiting for sunset. One of us pointed toward the moon that was visible during that time in opposite direction!
We could clearly see full moon and sun at the same time! This was really crazy!
"Don't miss the yummy cheese maggie at such a beautiful spot!!"
Enjoying maggie at 2220 meters!!
Finally, the moment arrived when Sun started setting in west. This was one of the best sunset of my life!
Sun set in the west!
Crazy evening: With mesmerized look in our eyes, we came back to Mall road, Mussoorie for our last plan of action - get some drinks! On the way, Rajat suggested 'let's get a beer instead of Whiskey or any other drink'.
So we quickly grab couple of beers and sat at the open location in front of our room while enjoying this beautiful and amazing view!
What else could we have asked for that night!?!
Trip comes to an end: From our experience of starting late and completing Delhi to Mussoorie in whopping 8 hrs, we decided that on way back, we will leave this Amazing place by evening.
So the next day, Monday morning, we had our complimentary breakfast which was served by the hotel staff including hot yummy stuffed paronthe and Puri bhaji! After this heavy breakfast we decided to roam around our hotel and then will say goodbye to Mussoorie!
Transport: Best is to get your own vehicle or hire a cab. This gives you enough flexibility in case of a change in plan. We won't be able to make an plan of stopping at Haridwar and have famous Hari ki Puri as we didn't hire a cab for our whole ride.
Where to stay: Entirely depends on your purpose of visit. In our case, we wanted a relaxed stay with good valley view (I mean you are on hills - unless you have a view, it doesn't feel hilly!). Hotel Raj was not the first choice but then it turned out to be the best!
Make my trip reviews helps a lot in finding good accommodation as per your needs. Though can't say the same when looking for places to visit! Look for deals online - we got good INR 2.5K discount on booking through Make my trip! In case you find a hotel booked online, try calling the hotel directly. At times, you may get rooms at a better price! We tried that and we're getting a good discount as well!
Kempty falls roasted corns: Though we were disappointed with Kempty falls, if you happen to visit there, don't forget to eat roasted corns that you will find on the main road shop. Juicy corns with lemon and salt will take you to another world!
Sugarcane juice: One should definitely try the sugarcane juice from one of the makeshift shops on highway next to sugarcane fields. With lemon and mint, sugarcane juice is a lot tastier!
Best time to travel from Dehradun to Mussoorie: As there is heavy traffic on this way I would suggest to travel by early morning 5 or 6 am, as there is no traffic on the roads by this time and you will reach Mussoorie in 1.5-2 hours as the distance from Dehradun to Mussoorie is around 34km.