For some Mussoorie may be just a place to enjoy their vacations but for me it’s a source to rejuvenate and recharge the soul with optimistic breathes. Given the ease of commuting Mussoorie has become one of the most preferred destinations for quick and short breaks, it is well connected through road, rail and air travels.
I keep visiting this heavenly place very often as it is one of my desired places to spend some time with myself strolling the lanes and by-lanes of Mussoorie, variety of street munching options, window shopping and to latest watching movie at the Ritz theatre newly opened on Mall Road.
Recently I and my friend visited this place, but this time it was decided that we will not treat this trip merely as hills calling trip but will take it as foodie’s trip, in search of food along with some peace. So this trip started with a sumptuous dinner at the Nizams (Connaught Place) munching upon their double egg roll and kadak chicken tikka.
After the dinner we left for Kashmiri Gate ISBT to board our bus to Dehradun, it costs around INR 700 for a Volvo and around INR 500 for normal AC bus till Dehradun. The last UP roadways bus leaves at 2330 hrs from Kashmiri Gate ISBT and reaches Dehradun at around 0500 hours. From Dehradun reaching Mussoorie is very easy and it takes about 60-80 minutes to reach the doorstep of the Queens of Hill. One can find sharing taxi from Dehradun railway station and they charges INR 250 per person and will drop you at the Mall road.
So we took the sharing cab reached Mussoorie by 7 am and by that time we were heavily hungry, so to start our day at the Queens of Hill we started for a decent place to have breakfast, being a touristy place shops on Mall road usually opens around 0900 hours, after failing to find a good place for breakfast we ended up having breakfast in the hotel we had booked for our stay.
After breakfast we decide to take a power nap so that we can enjoy the day at the fullest. As it was decided, that it will be food finding trip so after the nap we got onto our mission. The weather was pleasant, sun was shining majestically, elegantly flowing cool breeze. The view of the doon valley from the Mall road was mesmerizing. Infact the entire atmosphere was pleasant and relaxing.
We started from the Library Chowk end of the Mall road to start our stroll and had luscious paranthas at the Uphaar restaurant, which serves best north and south Indian breakfast and moved on towards the Picture place end. One thing that attracted our attention was the bike renting services which have now started, earlier it was very costly for travellers like to visit palaces as one had to get the vehicles hired at the Taxi union rates which were very high. The bike rent provides easy and economical commuting options within the city.
They charge INR 1000 for bikes and a refundable amount of INR 1000 as security deposit. I found it very interesting so I decided to rent a scooter on our second day in Mussoorie. While strolling on the Mall road I found another very interesting place that was the Ritz Cinema theatre. This is a latest attraction added on the mall road, being a movie buff we instantly decided to spend the evening watching movie as it will be our first movie on the highs.
To resume our hunger satisfying hunt, we moved on to our next point which was Lovely omelette centre, one of the most famous eatery on Mussoorie’s mall road, it offers various types of omelettes but there speciality is the cheese omelette. Though it’s a very small place but worth the wait one have to go through to grab the omelettes. After the omelettes we continued our stroll and stopped at a small Chaat bhandar towards Picture Palace end to have pav bhajis and matar kulcha, though it seemed very normal though the pav bhaji or matar kulcha is very normal as we at Delhi can find it at most of places but he the taste changed our perception, the pav bhajis tasted very different from what we get in our city, very tangy, with good balance of spices and freshness of the hills.
After that we continued our stroll and moved towards Picture Palace end hoping random shops for window shopping, the shops near Picture Palace really offer good stuff, there are some branded shops but the local ones are the show stealers they offer good handmade cloths and home decor artefacts, and the local eateries are the gem on the mall road as they offer good food with localised flavours. The entire Mall road has the lots of options that it may require a full day at the Mall to explore the things and enjoy the local flavours. There is a very famous chocolate shop also by the name of Chic Chocolate which offers sinful chocolates to lure your food cravings; they offer cakes, shakes, homemade chocolates and snacks. The softies and the slush are the best ones you will find on the mall road. This shop is crowded most of the time with tourists and the hostellers of the town.
By the time we finished our stroll it was time for our first movie at a hill station, and I was very excited for that not for the movie but for the theatre. Mussoorie was once home to 7 theatres but due to high running cost all the theatres were closed eventually. The Ritz opened just a few days back and it is providing the much needed entertainment to the locals and tourists like us. By the time we were finished with the movie it was almost 10pm and the shops started to roll down there shutters, so we rushed to grab something for dinner, since it was closing time for most of the stores we did not found anything suitable and decided to have dinner at the hotel only.
The next day as planned, after breakfast at the hotel we went to the bike renting shop and took a scooter, we planned to hire a bike but due to our late arrival there were no bike available at that time and they were left with only one scooter, we took that and headed for the nearest petrol pump to refuel the scooter and to carry on our bike ride to Cloud End, it is about 15 kilometres from Gandhi Chowk and the roads are good till a place called Leopards Estate from there on have to traversing through kuccha road to reach Cloud End. It is a must vist palce for all the nature lovers.
You will be taken over the calmness and the serenity of the place, once can hear the sound of air brushing with the tall pine trees. The view of deep valleys and the solitude brings solace to your soul. It is a place you will never want to depart. After spending super time we moved on towards another place called George Everest House. It is about 6 km from Gandhi Chowk and about 3-4 kms from Cloud end, while going towards George Everest we stopped near a small shack to have some tea and Maggie, believe me the joy of tea and Maggie one can enjoy at a hillside shacks is mere inimitable. Hot steaming tea with Maggie and beautiful landscape in front of you, one cannot demand anything more from God at a place like this.
Coming back to George Everest, the approach road is quite in a bad condition and we were finding very difficult to ride through the slopes and hikes, at some palce we even had to get down from the scooter to make it climb the steep hikes. So, to ride in such terrains one must opt for bikes instead of the scooters as the scooters don’t have much needed power to accelerate on the hills. Anyhow, we reached George Everest the view from there was very fascinating, George Everest House also known as the Park Estate was once the home of Sir George Everest, he was the surveyor-General of India during the British rule over India and the Mount Everest has been named after him. The place gives a magnificent view of the Doon valleys but the entire place is in a very bad state. One can find empty beer canes, chips packets littering all over the place. The house requires serious maintenance work itself. The government and the tourism department should pay attention in developing and protecting the place to preserve our heritage. Overall it is a good place to visit and spend time sitting and overlooking the beautiful Doon Valley.
After that, we came back to Mall road, as the time of departing the beautiful place was approaching very fast we decided to take a quick stroll on the Mall road and while strolling we stopped at a sweet shop known as Mussoorie Sweet Shop, it is famous for hot flavoured milk in kulladhs and jalebies.
After our stroll we left for Dehradun, we boarded a shared cab from the Gandhi chowk and reached Gandhi road, as we had our reservation in Nanda Devi express which leaves at 2300 hours we had lots of time to spend so we went for a quick window shopping at the Market on the main Gandhi road, after wandering in the market we went to Ali’s Non-veg restraint at the Gandhi Road, it is a famous non veg eatery and it has two outlets one at EC road and the other one at Gandhi Road. This food joint offer good non veg food and that too at very affordable prices. By this, the trip that started with food we wrapped the trip with food only.