Exploring Mussoorie

Located in the North of India close to the Himalayas, Mussoorie is a former British hill station located approximately 70 km from the state capital of Dehradun.

Getting to Mussoorie

The view from Mussoorie through the cloud haze towards Dehradun
The view from Mussoorie through the cloud haze towards Dehradun
The gateway to Mussoorie is the city of Dehradun which has both a mainline inter-city train station and an airport. With flights, trains and buses providing connections to New Delhi and other Indian cities, your method of getting here depends on your mood and budget.

We opted for the Dehradun Express which takes just 5.75 hours to get from New Delhi Railway Station to Dehradun. Providing A/C Chair Class, this service leaves at 0645 from Delhi, allowing you to arrive into Dehradun just after lunch.

Just outside the railway station, the Mussoorie bus service terminus should be your first port of call to reach the hill station town. Buses are roughly every 30 minutes and alternate between the Library and Picture Palace drop off locations, positioned at either end of Mussoorie town at the end of a journey of approximately 90 minutes – make sure you know which one you want before you get to the window!

If you’re going to be volunteering at GEMS and living in Sainji, you will want to go to Library from where Lori and Kunwar will pick you up.

Exploring Mussoorie

Library sits at one end of Mall Road, a long shop-lined street that binds Mussoorie together. At the other end is the Picture Palace and Landour, the highest community in the area. Mall Road is a controlled road which reduces somewhat the volume of traffic along it (allowing you to walk a little more easily with a reduced risk of being run over!). You can walk from shop to shop, perusing clothes, stationery, keepsakes and even fine antiques. Alternatively, you can visit one of the many cafes or restaurants, taking advantage of the free WiFi that a number offer.

In the height of summer, Mussoorie can become very touristy as people flock to the mountains in search of cooler weather. Outside of this time though, there is a quiet buzz but you can move around freely in your own time.

What else is there to do?

Much of Mussoorie can be easily seen by foot and the highlight of the area is the natural beauty itself. A visit up to Gun Hill or a wander around Landour will while away the hours as you take in the breathtaking scenery that rolls away to Dehradun. If the weather’s fine, you may even be able to glimpse the Himalayas in the distance.

We visited Mussoorie whilst volunteering at GEMS, an English-medium school located at nearby Kempty Falls, with VPO. For more details about this and all other VPO projects, please check out their website.

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