Travel to the top of tall peaks, swim under waterfalls and tour India’s first Tibetan temple at this delightful hill town.
Hills covered with blankets of trees, Tibetan temples and views of snow-capped Himalyan peaks make Mussoorie a fascinating vacation destination. The hill town lies in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, more than 6,500 feet (1,981 meters) above sea level.
Hike to the top of Lal Tibba for superb views of the Himalayan ranges. At 7,500 feet (2,286 meters), Lal Tibba is the highest point in Mussoorie. For more spectacular vistas, take the cable car to the top of Gun Hill, Mussoorie’s second-highest peak.
Spend a morning or afternoon at Kempty Falls, the largest of the area’s waterfalls. Water drops from a great height and splits into several cascades. Plunge into the pool at the base of the falls then enjoy a freshly cooked meal at one of the nearby food shacks. Mussoorie's other well-known waterfalls are Bhatta Falls and Jhari Pani Falls.
Go for a stroll along the Camel's Back Road, a 2-mile (3-kilometer) mountain path. See the unusual rock formation that's shaped like a camel, from which the road gets its name. When you are back in town, browse the shops and stalls that line the Mall, the main shopping street. Vendors sell an eclectic variety of goods from antiques and electronics to clothes, jewelry and Tibetan prayer wheels.
Walk or take a rickshaw to Happy Valley, a Tibetan settlement that’s less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the end of the Mall. This is where the Dalai Lama established his government in exile after he fled from Tibet in 1959. Enjoy a meal and a cup of chhaang rice wine in a restaurant, then make your way up to the cliff top Shedup Choephelling Temple. This was India's first Tibetan temple.
Mussoorie is approximately 34 miles (55 kilometers) from Dehradun Airport, a domestic airport with connections to several major cities. Once you are in town, get around on foot, by rickshaw or taxi. Summers are hot and winters are cold in Mussoorie and, because of its altitude, temperatures are generally cooler here than in the plains below.