Backpacking Mussoorie | Exploring the 'Queen of hills' and The unforgettable meet with Ruskin Bond


There are reasons why Mussoorie is called ‘Queen of hills’, The mind blowing  elevation of 6579 fts. of the valleys, huge mountains possessing scenic beauty and that amazing feel of being above the clouds, all these together makes you spell bounded. Mussoorie is not a tad different to heaven, the one which makes you besotted of its beauty. Being 35 kms away from  Dehradun it constitutes an overall population of 27k people making itself an ideal loacation for seekers of peace.

Honestly when I first stepped at Mussoorie I had no idea how wonderful it’s going be, it was never planned (giving weight to the fact that best things are never planned ) I was dealing with a record number of disappointments and stress in life and it was then when I decided to backpack in order to find some peace and isolation at this place also known as heaven on earth.

And also this place didn’t disappointed me (unlike my life at that moment) there is some different level of energy present here which connects with your soul and gives out positive vibes.

How to reach

Mussoorie is 295 kms ride away from national capital Delhi via Dehradun, which can be covered completely by Train, Bus or Cab. The aerial route is only up to Jolly grant Airport, Dehradun and from there again you can travel  through a  Cab or Bus to Mussoorie.

While proceeding towards Mussoorie after you have reached Dehradun a firm change in atmosphere (chilling of air and rise in elevation) with a steady rate is likely to be observed.

The route to Mussoorie is kind of mesmerising in itself, the round tracks with elevation is complete scenic beauty, it’s same like travelling in a circular loop only difference is you rise 2000 meters above sea level unbeknownst to the fact that you left clouds behind, way before.

Road from Dehradun to Mussoorie

Handy stuffs

  •  Collect the maps. After reaching first collect a detailed map of there it is easily available at any of the spots, Although GPS are more in trend but sometimes a map comes more handy to plan the journey.
  • Find the place to check in, Mussoorie has a good OYO facilities now a days , find a hotel which is likely to be in the centre of the town.
  • Do not forget your jackets, DO NOT !
  • Be camera ready, the scenic beauty is going to make you photo bomb a lot.
  • Last but most important Provisional ID of yours. (especially if you are travelling lone )

Planning the travels

It is recommended to plan your travel in such a way that the first spot of your day should be picked from the place near you are staying and then travelling all the spots around, your last spot must also be at the same place near you are staying, but from the other way round. In other words you have to circle around the place where you are staying, that’s the way you will utilise the maximum hours of a day while travelling. (Use the map,  it comes very handy while planning the travels)

Places to wander out at Mussoorie


Lal Tibba

Lal tibba is the highest point at the Mussoorie and is located 5 kms from the town, this place is well known for the mesmerising views of Himalayan ranges provided by a Japanese Binocular present there at 20 meter high tower, which also gives a zoomed view of mountain ranges of Kedarnath and Badrinath. Apart from these Lal tibba boasts of scenic views of sunrise and sunset which leaves visitors spell bounded, this place is quite popular amongst shoppers also with famous “Sister’s Bazar” nearby selling all the must buys.

To reach: Lal Tibba is located at 4.5kms from Mussoorie at the Landour Road and be easily reached through a cab.

Pro Tip: There is no specific time to visit Lal Tibba but it is advised to visit this place before 5 PM as it gets darker to see views from telescope after that.

A view from Lal Tibba

Binocular situated at Lal Tibba

Gun Hill

Gun hill is the second highest peak of the Musssoorie located at 400 metres above from mall road and can be reached using ropeways ride which is a worth experience in itself, the 15 minutes ride enthrals you with amazing feel of floating in the cloud, at the mid of rope way it also gives a heaven like experience when find yourself surrounded only by clouds and valleys. Meanwhile Gun hill is also a famous photographer’s stop because of its mesmerising  views of Himalayan ranges from there, it provides fascinating 360 degree views of Bunderpunch, Srikantha, Pithwara group of ranges of Himalayas.

The name of the place is driven from the pre-independence scenario when a gun is used to placed there and fired at mid-day to enable people to adjust their watches.

To reach: Rope way is the ideal way to commute there but you can also use the route way if have a height fear.   

Pro-tip:  Reach there before 4.30 PM IST you can also get see sun drowning in the clouds at the mid of the ropeways, probably one of the best sunset you will ever see. 

 The ropeway ride

Another view 

Camel’s Back road

Camel’s  back road is an apt place for someone who loves long breezy walk (including me), a peace full long walk under the nature always boosts calmness and inner soul, camel’s back road is exact the same place to do that, starting from Library point to Kulri bazari this 3 km walk is full of beautiful mountain views sidewise and evidences one of the most romantic sunset in the world. This is also one of the most crowded place in the Mussoorie local vendors also provides horse riding facilities for those who can’t walk this long.

The most amazing part about this place is in it’s name, when I first arrived here I was also shocked to see it, the camel’s back road consists of big natural rock exactly in the shape of camel’s hump, like a alive camel is siting at the end of the road, truly justifying the name of the place

To reach:  Camel’s Back road is situated exactly in the centre of the Mussoorie one can easily reach there by rickshaw or through walk.

The camel’s hump view

The camel’s back road

Happy valley

Happy valley or Mini Tibet stretches out out in the outskirts of Mussoorie and became home of about 5k refuges after Dalai lama established the Tibetan Government in exile at Mussoorie, later Govt. exile was moved to Dehradun in Himachal but it left behind a sacred Tibetan culture and heritage at Mussoorie.

It was the place which was on my wishlist from the first day after reaching and was worth visiting as the drive to the place was awesome. The Buddhist temple calms your mind and the mountains make you feel blessed. You will be missing a part of your life if you are skipping this spot from your travel itinerary.

To reach-  Happy valley is a 2km ride from Library bus terminal and can covered by any mode either cab or Bus.

The happy valley

Sir George Everest’s house

Sir George Everest’s house was the residency of George’s Everest, the man on whom the  the great Mount Everest is named after. It was built in 1832, He was a Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843. Sir George was largely responsible for completing the section of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from the south of India extending north to Nepal. The house is under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India and has likely  to adopted for renovation.

This place gathers visitors only after his name and also a very untouched because of its isolation but yet a must visit.

 To reach :  Sir George’s Everest house is situated at 6km from Gandhi road west to the mall.


Sir George’s House

The Mall Road

Mall road at Musssourie is more a scenario than a spot, being at an altitude of above 2000 meters it’s the major attraction of Mussoorie and at nights this place is not less than a wonder with a glittering view of complete town; a vivid panorama will be the right word to express it. This place is in the wishlist of almost every visitor here and honestly your visit to Mussoorie worthless if you haven’t experienced an evening here. Benches and lampposts are fixed at every view point of Mall road which invites you to spend one of the memorable evening of your life with a twinkling view of city in front of you.

A fine work of British architecture can also be observed at mall road, as you will see a lots of colonial houses there and at the same time this place is also a shopping stop where you can buy some of the exclusive products of Mussoorie.

To reach: Mall road is situated exactly at centre of the Mussoorie one can go there by any modes of transport or through by walking also.


A panorama of Mall road

Mesmerising view of Dehradun From Mall road

Company garden

Company garden is precisely a picnic spot also known as company Bagh, The garden has some artificial lakes and an amusement park which offers some cool rides and beautify this place more, it’s also has a boat ride which is chargeable at Rs 75 per person. Apart from these a wide variety of flowers is showcased here (which obviously you cannot pluck). Overall Company garden is very beautiful place with some eye candy flower view and to be must visited.

Pro tip- Give this place your time, only you if have some or exploring it completely can be very time taking.

To reach-  A 3km ride on kempty Road from the Main city brings you to the company garden.

Entrance of company garden

The Flowers collection at Company Garden

Kempty Fall 

Keep this place at the bottom of your bucket list( just like in this blog) because kempty fall has takes all your travel fatigue away when you  experience the fascinating water fall at this place has developed more than 150 years ago by a British man (many thanks to that man). It’s a precise day out place spot, 15 kms near Mussoorie. You can enjoy a complete refreshing bath under 40 Fts. high kemty water fall and in no time this place becomes your best picnic experience because of it’s such natural exposure. Water in this fall is so chilled that local vendors use to cool there soft drink by keeping it dipped into the fall. Since kempty is 15 kms away from Mussoorie so it is only opened at morning from 8 Am to 5 Pm and it is best experienced at summers.

To reach: Kempty fall is situated at 15 km ahead of Mussoorie at Yamunotari road and can be reached via bus or cab.

The Fascinating Kempty fall

The Meet

Ruskin Bond embedding autographs on his books

It was a book launch event at JW marriott hotel where he came as a guest, I consider my self lucky that I was also present at the city at the same time. For me it was a fan moment to see the man himself  whose books I have been reading since my childhood. At the Q&A session I asked him, can Rusty still be found somewhere within him, even now at the age of  82? (Rusty is the name of the child character of his semi-biographical television show “Ek tha rusty”) obviously amusement overtook everyone including him ( It was meant to amuse) but stealing the moment was his response, He said “ Rusty went nowhere, so the question of can he still found within me never arises” with a smile. It was amazing to see him this full of life at this age and at the same time contrary to that I was disappointed and dealing stress in life, definitely there was something to learn from that moment which irked me to figure out things in my life, it was my last day of my trip and it could have never ended much more better than this.


So this is it, this is what my unplanned journey to Mussoorie was  where I have spent some of the best moment of my life. I have never been this close to nature before and best part about that is that it heals you, it has that tendency to boost your soul by letting you connect with it own energy and its quite worth to submit yourself into it giving some time to yourself.

” Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R. Tolkien ( some are in search of themselves also)


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