Mussoorie, popularly known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, is a well known hill station situated in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 1880 m above sea level on the foothills of the Great Himalayas. The place is well-known for providing amazing views of the Shivalik Ranges and the Doon Valley. It is also known as the gateway to the religious centres of Yamunotri and Gangotri.
The name Mussoorie is derived from 'mansoor', a shrub which was once found in abundance in the area. Most of the time, this town is referred as 'Mansoori' by the common people. This picturesque hill station is popular for its ancient temples, hills, waterfalls, valleys, wildlife sanctuaries, and educational institutes. The Jwala Devi Temple, the Nag Devta Temple, and the Bhadraj Temple are some of the noted religious sites in and around Mussoorie.
The temple of Jwala Devi is devoted to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Located at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level, the temple holds great religious importance among the Hindus. There is a statue of the deity made of stone enshrined in the temple. Another popular shrine here is the Nag Devta Temple, which is dedicated to the Lord of Snakes. Devotees in a large number visit this temple during the popular Hindu festival of Nag Panchami.
The destination is renowned for its beautiful hills, namely the Gun Hill, Lal Tibba, and Nag Tibba. The Gun Hill is perched at an altitude of 2122 m above sea level. The second highest peak of Mussoorie, this hill is of immense historical importance. During the pre-independence era, it is believed that canon was shot from this hill every afternoon, to inform locals about the time. The residents used to fix their clocks according to it. At present, the water reservoir of Mussoorie is located on this hill. The ropeway ride to the Gun Hill is quite popular among tourists here.
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Lal Tibba is the highest point of Mussoorie and is also called the Depot Hill as there is a depot located in this region. The towers of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan are located on this hill. The Indian Military Services are also based atop the hill. A Japanese telescope was placed on this hill in 1967 for the convenience of the tourists. Through this telescope, tourists can view nearby places including Banderpunch, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Nag Tibba is another popular hill in Mussoorie and is also known as the Serpent’s Peak. Travellers can enjoy several adventure sports here.
The place is also renowned for its beautiful waterfalls, namely the Kempty Falls, the Jharipani Falls, the Bhatta Falls, and the Mossy Falls. The Kempty Falls, situated at an elevation of 4500 ft above sea level is most popular among tourists visiting Mussoorie. Impressed with the beauty of the place, John Mekinan, a British officer developed it as a tourist attraction. The Jharipani Falls is also quite popular among tourists. Situated in the village of Jharipani, it is a renowned tourist spot and an ideal destination for adventure lovers. The Bhatta Falls and the Mossy Falls are located at a distance of around 7 km from Mussoorie.
Apart from being a beautiful tourist destination, Mussoorie is renowned for its educational institutes. There are many European schools, which were founded during the British Raj. The place has some of the best and oldest boarding schools such as St. George’s, the Oak Grove, and the Wynberg Allen. Trekking is one of the major adventurous activities that can be enjoyed in this hill station. There are some popular trails which are considered as ideal for nature walks.
Mussoorie is conveniently connected to other parts of the country by air, rail, and road. The nearest air base to the destination is the Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun which is located 60 km away from Mussoorie. The Dehradun Railway Station is the closest rail head to the destination.
The weather in Mussoorie remains pleasant all the time, which attracts a large number of tourists every year. This hill station looks beautiful in all seasons. However, the best time to visit Mussoorie is from March to June and September to November.