Kulri, To Library Bazar, Gun Hill, Camel's Back Road, Library Bazar (Gandhi Chawk), Landour, Depot Hill, Waterfalls-- Kemptee Falls, Bhatta Falls, Mossy Falls
5 -- Places of Interest
Before we proceed to the numerous waterfalls and other beauty spots that surround this charming hill resort, there are a number of interesting spots in the town itself.
About .2 Km. (one furlong) from the Masonic Lodge bus stand along the town's main thoroughfare is the Picture Palace cinema from where a road to the right leads to Landour, another to the left to Kincraig, while the one in front takes us to Kulri, the town's showpiece.
A shopping centre anywhere would be dear to the heart of the women but Kulri's claims merit special attention. Besides being an uptodate fashion centre, its shops are exceedingly well-stocked with colourful wares and can please the most exacting of buyers. Big business houses, hotels, restaurants, banks and the General Post Office are all to be found here. Set up initially in response to the discerning demands of European clients and later, those of Rajas and Maharajas, most of the commercial houses in New Delhi have their branches here. It is no
accident that Mussoorie's Kulri has a marked resemblance to New Delhi's Connaught Place.
Kulri to Library Bazar (Gandhi Chowk)
A few metres from the police station at Kulri, the Mall Road ascends steeply and then descending gradually, it stretches beyond G.P.O. on a flat surface for about .8 Km. (half a mile) until we reach the Library Bazar. This road is ideal for an evening walk and is, during the season, crowded for that reason. The Children's Park, the Hakman's Hotel, the Standard Skating Rink and the Tourist Office are all here. From here, one can have a panoramic view of the serpent like motor road coiling up to the town, the St. George's College, the Oak Grove School at Jharipani, the Bhatta village, and even of the Doon Valley. It is a verisimilar landscape, painted to order with perspective, spread out at one's feet, and the visitor to Mussoorie can have it for the asking. At night, the scattered lights of Dehra Dun City appear like twinkling stars studded on the earth. The view of the mountain road in the winter is without compeer; it looks like a shining ribbon carved in the snow.
Proceeding a little further from the G.P.O. on the Mall, just in front of the Hakman's Hotel, we find a good cemented road leading up to the Gun Hill (2,142 m. or 7,029 ft.). The origin of the name "Gun Hill" is ascribed to a gun which, formerly, had been installed on the peak of this hill and sounded at 12 hours in the afternoon to mark time. Recently, a picture of a queen, symbolic of Mussoorie's sovereignty over the other hills, has replaced
the gun. The water reservoirs are located here which supply water to the whole of the town. From here, we can have a fascinating view of the surrounding hills as well as the snow-clad peaks of Badrinath and Bandar Poonch.
Besides Mall Road, there is another road which goes from Kulri to the Library Bazar. By the side of the Neelam Restaurant in the heart of Kulri, a narrow lane leads to the old Skating Hall. Turning round the Skating Hall this lane joins the famous Camel's Back Road.
The Camel's Back Road, a 2.4 Km. (1J mile) long winding path at the back of the town, is one of the most beautiful places in Mussoorie. It is ideally suited for horse riding, hiking and for those who prefer to walk on a plain road. A long evening walk along this road through cool and beautiful glades of conifers, oak and rhododendrons, stamps a happy impression on the mind of the visitor, which he assiduously preserves through the years. The charm of this road reaches its climax in the spring, when it looks .like a bride )decked with wild roses, daisies and rhododendrons.
There are several curves on this road and all along it benches have been provided at several points to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The road is not crowded and affords an ideal opportunity for those who are in search of seclusion and tranquility.
About .4 Km. (two furlongs) from the Skating Hall is Camel's Back, a hill peak, bearing a close resemblance to that of a sitting carrel. Nearly 1.6
Km. (one mile) further, a bridle path leads to the Bhilaru Pumping Station from where water is pumped on to the Gun Hill Water Reservoir. This road ultimately merges into the Mall Road which leads to the Library Bazar. '
From where the Camel's Back Road joins the Mall Road up to the Library is known as the Library Bazar. The Library Bazar is another beautiful shopping centre but ranks second to Kulri in grandeur. While going to the Library, we see big shops of photographers, provision stores and several hotels and restaurants on our right side. On the left, we can have a glimpse of the green meadows on the sloping hills and an endless view of the red-roofed cottages dotting over the hills. There is a Library facing us which dates back from 1843. There is a rickshaw and dandy stand here just below which a cemented road goes to Kincraig. Horses are available here on hire for sight-seeing.
Behind the Library is located the famous hotel Savoy. On the left side of the Library, the Circular Road leads to the Vincent Hill which ultimately joins the Dick Road near the Municipal Gardens. On the right ,side of the Library, proceeding a little further along -the Mall Road, a footpath goes to various places of tourist interest, e.g., the Municipal Gardens, the Park, the Cloud End and the Benog Observatory. Proceeding still further for about .8 Km. (half a mile) on the Mall Road, by the side of the Dak Bungalow, a jeepable road to our right (Chakrata Road) leads to the Kemptee Falls, the Jamuna bridge, Chakrata and Simla. A little further from hers is the Charleville Hotel, which was one
of the best hotels till recently, but now houses the I.A.S. Training School. The Charleville Hotel is supposed to be the end of the Mall Road. Here one sees two roads, branching off ; one of them goes to the Happy Valley Club while the other, the Dick Road, goes to the Municipal Gardens. We may also go to the Botanical Gardens from here.
The Landour Hill, lying to the north-east of Mussoorie, is connected to it by a narrow road running along the spur of the hill, with a sheer precipice on either side. The Landour Bazar, about .8 Km. (half a mile) in length, is the oldest part of Mussoorie and is very narrow and congested. Accommodation in this area is cheaper than Kulri or the Library Bazar. Here, the curio hunter will find many a treasure to add to his collection.
The Landour Bazar starts from the Clock Tower and ends at Ganesh Hotel. From Ganesh Hotel, the ridge rises rather abruptly to Landour Hill, the highest point of which is 274 m. (900 ft.) above Mussoorie. A little above Ganesh Hotel is Mullingar, the first building built in Mussoorie. From here, one road to the right goes downwards to, Jabarkhet and Tehri. One may also go to Gangotri, Jamnotri and Badrinath by this road. The road to the left goes up to Landour Depot and Lal Tibba (both. 2,438 m. or 8,000 ft.). Lal Tibba is not open to visitors now without permission as it lies within the precincts of a private estate. The tourists may, however, go to Depot Hill which is an ideal place for sight-seeing and picnics.
A morning walk to Depot Hill will be well rewarded by a fascinating view of the town, the surrounding hills, and the sparkling snow on the mountain peaks. The Depot hill is the highest and the coolest locality in Mussoorie and is mostly inhabited by Europeans. Life in this area is very calm and peaceful.
To reach Depot Hill, we may follow the road turning to left from Mullingar. The first .part of the road is rather steep and is lined with beautiful cottages dotting over the hills on both sides of the road. Further on, passing through beautiful tall and shady trees, one reaches a small bazar comprissing a few shops. Here one faces two roads, the one circular road to the right leads to the Language School. From the Language School, a circular road meets the Sister Bazar. Lal Tibba is situated on this road. Another path goes to Landour Depot Waterworks siding. At the top of the hill, there is a spacious flat ground where, most of the people enjoy their picnics. From here one can have a beautiful glimpse of the surrounding hills and snowcapped peaks of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Bandar Poonch.
A popular beauty spot, and one that is probably more frequented than any other, are the Kemptee Falls, about 8 Km. (5 miles) from the Library, They are the biggest and the prettiest of all the waterfalls
near the town. The easiest way of approaching these Falls is to follow the Chakrata Road, branching off between the Library and the Charleville Hotel. About 6.4 Km. (four miles) on this road is the Dak Bungalow from where the Falls are easily visible. In order to obtain a clear view of the entire volume of water as it comes cascading down the heights, it is necessary to proceed about 1.6 Km. (a mile) further down the road from where a thrilling view of the entire Falls may be obtained. In all there are three separate Falls, one over the other, aggregating about 183 m. (600 .ft.). During the season scores of people go there for picnics and enjoy bath under the Falls.
Another place of interest but second to Kemptee in grandeur is the Bhatta Falls, about 8 Km. (S miles) from the Library. To reach these Falls, one may go by motor to the Bhatta Toll Checking Station on the motor road, or on foot via Barlowganj which is a shorter route. From here, a zigzag-bridle path about 1.6 Km. (1 mile) in length leads to these Falls.
The Bhatta Falls are not very high but extremely spectacular. It is an ideal place for picnics and sight-seeing. The lofty hills enclosing the Falls present an excellent view. The Hydro-electric Power Station, which produces electricity from these Falls, is located here. It feeds the entire town of Mussoorie and the surplus power is supplied to Dehra Dun.
The Mossy Falls are comparatively smaller but in no way less interesting. Of all the Falls near Mussoorie, the Mossy Falls are the nearest. They are looted near Barlowganj, about 3.2 Km. (two miles) from Mussoorie, in the premises of Mary Villa. The owner of this estate charges 50 nP. per head from the visitors trespassing his land.
To approach these Falls, one may follow the road starting right from the Clock Tower in Landour, which via Wynberg School, reaches Barlowganj, a suburb of Mussoorie. Like other beauty spots, the Mossy Falls are an ideal place for picnics.
Besides these, there are also a few more Falls around the town, like the Hardy Falls, Hearsy Falls, etc., but they are not so popular and need hardly any mention here.