5 Reasons to Head to Mussoorie for a Long Weekend
December! The heart of my absolute favorite time of the year. With a slight nip in the air and jackets being pulled out from the bottom of the suitcases, this is the perfect time to get on the road and experience the hills in a way that’s just not possible during the sultry summer months. And with so many destinations constantly spoken about, sometimes its the ones we don’t take consider seriously, that end up having more to offer than we may have ever imagined.
To experience Mussoorie in the best way possible over a long weekend -
1. Luxury with Relaxation - With all the planning and hours that probably go into figuring out which place to stay, considering the number of options available are endless; for a long weekend marked with an occasion like Christmas it’s ideal to scope out options which happen to be celebrating the same. Look out for hotels that are keen on marking this day with an evening of celebration and festivities. The fact that you would be making the drive for a good 6-7 hours to the hills, this would ensure that once you arrive at your destination, it proves to be well worth your time on the road.
2. Walk Lovers - With mountains that seem endless and views so breathtaking that you would never wish to return to the city - there are various ways to explore the Queen of Hill Stations. For those who love their morning walks, you simply cannot miss Camel Back. Recently restored ensuring cleanliness and benches to put up your feet post the walk, it’s ideal to view a beautiful sunrise and watch the sun rays strike the snow peaks. Another walk is an upward climb from the Harnam Singh Road which leads up to the Church - Waverly Gate and back to Ghoda Stand (the starting point). For those who can manage a few more kilometers, walk further up towards the Dunsvirk Court Hotel for the most magnificent view of the Himalayas. On your way back down look out for the roadside dhabas for a steaming cup of tea and hot toast.
3. Art Enthusiasts - The Soham Heritage & Art Centre showcases Himalayan culture through various art forms like paintings, sculptures, murals and artifacts. Ask for Sameer and Kavita the owners of the centre to help you through a guided tour. Visiting hours - 9am - 1pm and 4pm - 8pm (all seven days of the week)
4. Landscape views - Head to Lal Tibba for a great view of the valley. There are two viewing points, one on either side of the road and it is recommended to head to the one on the left side, infinitely better indeed though be prepared for a bit of crowd once there. Around the same point be sure to try the homemade coffee and sandwiches.
5. Religious places - Head to the Shedup Choepelling Temple but be sure to reach the monastery during visiting hours; between 5am - 12pm and 4pm - 9 pm. This Tibetan Buddhist Temple is among the most popular shrines in the region. Must visit for the architecture - the clay lamps and prayer flags as well as a photographer’s delight wherein the mountains and green valleys as well as the flowers surrounding the shrine add a sense of beauty and tranquility to the place. The Christ Church located on the Mall Road Mussoorie boasts of an old world charm and its USP is the Raphaelite glass windows which represent the life of Jesus Christ. Another unexplored place is Happy Valley, mostly inhabited by Tibetans, it remains untouched by the crowd and chaos of the tourist attractions and is unknown to most tourists.
6. Landmark pit-stops - The Mussoorie Adventure Park as the name suggests offers a variety of activities like Zip line, Rope Walking, Valley Crossing, Quad bikes etc. The Library Bazaar houses all the shops in one arena and is open from 9am - 10pm. This is one of the most popular places in Mussoorie and is always buzzing with energy and is host to tourists and the local people.
7. Food trail - No holiday is complete without the palate being teased and tested. The whole idea of a getaway is to gorge on food unlike the kind offered at city restaurants and the one we can always get our hands on back home. What is fantastic about eateries at hill stations is the opulent variety available and the distinct flavor of their food.
Kalsang Friends Corner - Chinese, Tibetan and Thai specialties from dim sums to noodles to Thukpa. From Library Chowk towards the main market, one road goes towards the mall road and the other across Tibetan market and opens right at Kalsang.
Cafe by the Way - Artistically furnished with Polaroid cameras, couches and wooden furniture, highly recommended for their desserts and shakes. Located on the Mall Road. Easy to spot - near Baskin Robbins.
Emily’s - This is part of the Rokeby Manor which is on the side of Landour. With a countryside ambiance and floral wallpapers it serves up Continental and Indian food. It’s known for its Garlic Dal Tadka and Mustard Chicken and Fish. Its USP is that it has a tea garden and outdoor seating with the best view possible.