Mussoorie-Dehradun Trip

15th May 2018

Mall Road, Mussoorie

Photo of Mussoorie-Dehradun Trip by Daksha Patkar

They say, “The best journeys are not always in straight lines”.

During our 7 days long trip to Uttarakhand, we faced quite a few glitches here and there despite our extensive planning and organization. Initially, the plan was to take a trip to Dharamshala, Himanchal Pradesh. The allure of the Himalayan snow-capped peaks and cold climate drove us to begin planning the trip, almost obsessively. The first hitch in the road was that the hotel we were supposed to stay at put us on a long waiting list which made it difficult for us to book the flight tickets. After reconsidering our options, we both decided to change the destination of our trip to Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

Mussoorie is called “The Queen of Hill Stations”. It is situated 34km away from Dehradun and is a picturesque town which attracts thousands of tourists all around the year. My best friend’s parents booked us a beautiful suite in Club Mahindra Mussoorie, being members and whatnot. The room was luxurious, clean and comfortable with good service on the part of the resort. But that was only for the first two days of the trip. Never having had the freedom to go out on our own, my best friend and I were extremely excited about this trip. It wasn’t just about exploring a place off the map but also about taking responsibility for ourselves in an unknown place. Being a girl, it is difficult to get an opportunity to travel solo and make it a booming success with an abundance of beautiful memories to look back upon. Our parents kept giving us instructions on how to behave and the “do’s and “don’t’s”.

Day 1

We arrived at Mussoorie by a cab from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. There happen to be a prepaid taxi booth right at the exit of the airport. It cost us 2200 INR for a drop to the Library Chowk, Mussoorie. We reached the Mussoorie Library at about 7.45- 8.00 pm and had to take a cycle rickshaw to Club Mahindra’s pick up point. Mall Road, as it is called, was bustling with tourists flitting about the different shops offering a variety of goods ranging from shawls to handicrafts. The next day, a DSLR in hand, we decided to explore the place as much as possible. We rented a cab for 1050 INR to Company Garden and George Everest House. The Company Garden is a beautiful place exhibiting a large variety of flowers, a man-made waterfall, and a recreation park for the children. The George Everest House is, as the name suggests, the whitewashed mansion of Sir George Everest, the Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843. It is nothing more than a vandalized ruin now but at the back of the house, one can find a sweeping valley view of the Doon valley. Next we asked our driver to take us to Lal Tibba and Chaar Dukaan, both of which are situated in the sister town of Mussoorie- Landour. Making our way on narrow roads lined with valleys and grasslands was an unforgettable experience. Living in a metropolitan city makes one appreciate the beauty of nature more than ever. We had lunch at Chaar Dukaan in Café Ivy, known for its quaint location overseeing a valley.

Day 2

On our second day in Mussoorie, we were informed that the resort, in Tehri Garhwal, we were supposed to shift to was having some internal technical issues and therefore our shift had to be delayed by two days. Regardless, we took a cab to Kempty Falls and spent 3 hours just sitting with our feet dipped in the ice cold water of the falls and enjoying the serenity of nature surrounding us. We then went on to Mussoorie lake, which was quite a disappointment, to be honest. We bought a 15 minutes slot to boat around and got bored in 10. We decided to deal with the accommodation problem later in the day. Thankfully, we didn’t have to do anything since the resort manager called to inform us that we were being relocated to a hotel in Dehradun for two days after which we could shift to the resort. It worked just fine for us since we were ready to face whatever challenges came our way. We never assumed it would be all unicorns and rainbows anyway.

Day 3

The third day we shifted to Hotel Pearl Avenue, Dehradun. Since we were supposed to spend two days here we decided to make the best out of it. After having lunch at the hotel, which was quite another disappointment, we booked an Ola cab and headed off to explore the city. We went to Dehradun Zoo first and looked around the different animals and birds exhibits followed by a tour through the aquarium which houses an impressive variety of fish and sea creatures, including two types of Piranhas. After exploring the zoo, we went for a half an hour short film in the zoo’s audit which was both educational and fun. Our next stop was Sahasradhara, also known as the Sulphur water spring. The color of the water is a beautiful mix of navy blue and green and it’s said to have medicinal properties. The place is visited by many tourists and is only 14km away from the main city. Before heading to our hotel, we decided to make a pit stop at the Pacific Mall to pick up some much needed dinner of burgers and fries since the food service at our hotel was utterly poor.

Day 4

The fourth day of our trip, we started our day pretty late in the afternoon, around 1.30 pm. We planned to go on a safari in the well-known Rajaji National Park. We saw many different bird species, spotted deer, a Sambar deer and an elephant; however, we didn’t have the luck of coming across any cheetahs, bears or hyenas the national park boasts of being a home to. Nonetheless, it was my first safari and the sheer beauty of nature present in the national park was a humbling experience.

Day 5

The fifth day we shifted to Hill Stream Resort in Tehri Garhwal and our stay there was absolutely uneventful. I wouldn’t recommend the place to anybody. First of all, it is located in the middle of nowhere, the rooms are infested with different kinds of bugs and insects with no proper room service, the way to the leisure area of the resort was crawling with creatures like spiders and centipedes which is highly dangerous when one is travelling with children. Moreover, when we asked the resort to make arrangements for us to visit Dhanaulti the next day, the cost was phenomenally ridiculous- 4000 INR, which is double the cost of what we would have had to pay from Mussoorie or even Dehradun. So we ended up spending the last two days of our trip holed up in our room doing nothing.

Despite these snags, the trip was a success since we made amazing memories, took responsibility for ourselves as adults and have a beautiful story to share.

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