Experiences

Named after the Welsh village of Llanddowror, Landour is a quaint little cantonment town near Mussoorie in the foothills of the Himalayas. Its poetic beauty inspired the British to call it the ‘Hamlet in the Hills.’ With the Shivalik hills on one side and lofty Himalayan peaks on the other, the dramatic landscape and serene atmosphere make Landour the perfect getaway.

Shopaholics Anonymous

Shopaholics Anonymous

Whether it’s shopping for antiques, or looking for that perfect memento or gift , there is a lot that this quaint little hamlet in the hills has to offer. We’ve put together a list of the best shopping haunts for these bits and bobs and other souvenirs to take home.

Cambridge Bookstore - One of the oldest book shops of Mussoorie; the owner of the shop is helpful and well-known. Ruskin Bond, the famous writer often visits this place, and all his books are quite a specialty at the store.

Ram Chander & Sons - Situated close to the hotel is Mussoorie’s mini supermarket. A variety of local and imported grocery items may be purchased, ordered, and delivered to you from here.

Bhuttico Woolens - A small specialty shop at Picture Palace sells woolen handicrafts from Himachal Pradesh. Bhuttico’s specialties are Himachali shawls, caps, and coats.

Antiques - One can find a wide variety of extraordinary items from the days of the British Raj. From antique British furniture, to small curios these are sure to make a perfect gift for someone. A few of these antique shops may be found on the road to Mullingar, while the popular ‘Ancient Palace’ is located just before Picture Palace.

Wooden Handicrafts - Hill Cottage Industries is a famous shop on the Mall Road. Choose from a wide variety of wooden walking sticks, hand carved jewellery boxes, magazine racks, wooden bowls & trays and other wooden showpieces.

Kashmiri Handicrafts - Mussoorie has an abundance of Kashmiri handicraft shops. Kashmir Art Emporium is one of the oldest and well stocked ones.

Woolen Clothes - There is an abundance of hand- knitted woolen clothes in Mussoorie. The Pioneer Store in Library bazaar also caters to children sizes.

Kashmir Valley Art - A wide variety of shawls for men and women, woven with merino, pashmina, hand embroidered and more are available here.

Prakash’s Store - One of the oldest grocery stores in town, this welcoming store has an amazing variety of groceries, the famous Mussoorie Peanut Butter, as well as locally produced jams and chutneys.

Himalayan Weavers - Located 8 kilometers from Mussoorie on the Mussoorie-Dhanaulti Road. Himalayan Weavers produces hand-woven shawls, stoles, scarves, and throws using only natural dyes. Materials predominantly used are wool, silk, and pashmina.

Shoe Makers - Half way up on Mullingar Hill you’ll find the famous shoemakers of Mussoorie (or ‘mochis’). These ‘mochis’ will customize a pair of shoes for you according to your design, size, and specifications. By special request these magicians will customize your footwear within 24 hours!

Jewellers - Mussoorie has a variety of jewellery shops, from traditional Gharwali jewellery (mainly found in the bazaar in Landour), to ethnic and inexpensive fashion jewellery. The Tibetan shops have a large selection of ethnic and fashion jewelry and are located opposite Union Church, and in Kulri, below the Tavern restaurant.

Tailoring - Another must-have item that’s always popular with tourists is the traditional Indian outfit. Faiz Tailors, located half way up on Mullingar Hill, will be happy to tailor an outfit for you in just 2 days.

Nature Trails

Nature Trails

Landour is perfectly perched for easy nature hikes or multi-day trails of moderate intensity that will delight nature lovers, birdwatchers and photographers. Try the Village Trek to Kolti and the short Fleming Nature Trail (Eyebrow Path) or longer hikes like the Mussoorie Ridgeline Trek, Seven Summits Trek or Nag Tibba Trek, the most prominent summit in the Lower Himalayas to the north of Landour. Listed below are details of the most popular hikes and trails around Mussoorie.

Nature Trails and Activities

Parri Tibba (Witch’s Hill) - A nice and easy short day hike of around 2 hours (2 km). You will get a nice view of the Doon Valley and the Mussoorie area and is a great spot for picnics. It is not advisable to visit Witch’s Hill during storms as it seems supernaturally prone to lightning strikes.

Suakholi - An easy and pleasant walk going east on Tehri road. Watch for the unique sedimentary formations along the way. The ripple effect in these formations is actual proof that an ancient ocean bed had been thrust skywards millions of years ago. You will also find fantastic views of the Eternal Snows along the way.

Pepper-pot and Pepper-pot Cave - The mountain gets its name from the square shaped formation of its peak (resembling a pepper-pot). Located to the east of Mussoorie, this is a leisurely day hike of about four hours (8 km) and is a nice place to see breath-taking views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and the snow-capped Himalayas.. This is also a good area to view the local fauna and birds.

Flag Hill - To view a spectacular sunrise head out early. After travelling east on upper Tehri road you will change directions at The Gap. From here take the trail on the left , marked Jaberkhet Nature Reserve, till you reach the top of the hill where you’ll see Tibetan prayer flags. This is a short 2 km hike that will give you a view of the snow peaks and the Aglar Valley to the north.

Bear Hill - A similar hike as Flag Hill and in the same direction. Follow the trail at the base of Flag Hill and then up to a saddle between the two hills. From this point the trail is clear to the top of Bear Hill.

Benog Tibba - Most of this 18 km hike is accessible by jeep except for the final 7 km. West of Mussoorie it is a moderate hike ascending a mountain with not much vegetation. On the way you will enjoy a spectacular view of the Doon Valley. Expect to see many bird species, and stay alert to spot Ghoral (Mountain Goats). From the summit you’ll get a unique view of Mussoorie with the Himalayn ranges to the north and the sweeping curve of the Yamuna River far below.

Sunrise / Sunset Points - The best places to see the sunrise are Fairy Glen or Flag Hill, and sunsets are best viewed from Rokeby Manor.

Winter Line - From mid-October to January, when the sun sets, the western horizon turns to hues of of yellow, red and orange, and The Winter Line can be seen while walking the Chakkar. This rare phenomenon is sighted in only two places in the world, Mussoorie and Switzerland. It occurs due to the refraction of sunlight at a particular angle, visible only from higher elevations with a long, clear valley situated towards the west.

Char Dukan - Literally meaning ‘four shops’, although there currently are more than four shops, Char Dukan is a cool place to hang out with family and friends to enjoy chai and snacks.

Writers in Mussoorie - We can organize a ‘Meet the Author’ session (if you’re lucky) at our Tea Garden. Here are a few distinguished authors, who reside in Landour; Ruskin Bond, Stephen Alter, Sudhir Thapilyal, and Bill Atkin (Travel Writer) amongst others..

Scenic Drives

Scenic Drives

Scenic bends and stunning views of the majestic Himalayas make driving around Landour a rewarding experience. From some of the first buildings of Mussoorie located at Clouds End, Tibetan settlements of Happy Valley or longer drives to charming villages, follow the mountain roads to where they take you.

The Corn Village - Experience life in a village that’s in the heart of the Himalayan foothills. Tucked away on the edge of a mountain, fondly named Corn Village because of the unusual method of storing corn. The blue houses are hung with bright sheaths of golden yellow corn from the roofs. This is a stunning sight.

Happy Valley - Get a glimpse of the Tibetan community in Mussoorie. Experience their culture and visit their traditional Thangka paintings gallery.

Dhanaulti - Located 25 km from Mussoorie at an altitude of approximately 2000 meters above sea level, this small village is set amidst thick alpine forests of Deodar, Oak, and Rhododendron. The drive is exhilarating and one can feel a change in the air as the road snakes away from the hustle and bustle of Mussoorie. As the drive progresses the scenery changes from thickly wooded Oak forests giving way to majestic Alpine forests with a sprinkling of Rhododendron trees. The landscape is captivating as one can get a view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges to the left, with a contrasting view of the Doon Valley to the right.

Surkunda Devi Temple - En route to Dhanaulti is the Surkunda Devi Temple, an ancient temple at an elevation of approximately 3,030 meters (10,000 feet). The temple is dedicated to Sati, Lord Shankar’s consort. After leaving Mussoorie drive out for about 10 km, this will bring you to the foot of the hill where the temple is situated. After this it’s an easy 2 km trek up hill. Once atop the Surkhunda Devi summit, one has a breath-taking 360-degree view of the Doon Valley and the eternal snows of the Himalayas.

Kanatal - Is a small village that is 30 km from Mussoorie and 10 km beyond Dhanaulti. A less frequented destination, Kanatal greets the occasional visitor with crisp and fresh mountain breezes. Located at a height of 8,500 ft. the small village gets a heavy snowfall during winter and is refreshingly cool even in peak summer.

Park Estate / Everest House - Park Estate, or Everest House, is where one can find the remnants of the residence and laboratory of Sir George Everest, who was the Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843, and after whom the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest is named. From Gandhi Chowk/Library Bazaar it’s an 8 km drive. Although the road is quite rough beyond Hathipaon, Everest House provides a fantastic view of the Doon Valley on one side and a panoramic view of the Aglar River Valley and the Himalayas on the other.

Clouds End Hotel - Built by a British major in 1838, Clouds End is one of the first four original buildings in Mussoorie. The drive to Clouds End winds through Rhododendron and Oak Forests and terminates at the hotel that’s surrounded by Deodars. At the destination one gets a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

Yamuna Bridge - The 27 km drive down to Yamuna Bridge via the Kempty Falls offers a scenic view of the Himalayan range. It is an ideal spot for some lazy fishing (fishing permits required).

Adventures around Mussoorie

For those who’d like to wander off the beaten track and experience the beauty of nature. Listed below are some adventure treks that can be organized with our team at Reception.

Tungnath and Chandrashila Peak - (Duration: 2 nights, 3 days) – Throughout the course of this hike one can enjoy views of the majestic peaks of Panchchuli, Nanda Devi, Nilkanth, and Kedarnath. The trek takes you through a combination of dense forests and occasional open pastures. The Alpine meadows, known as `Bugyals’ in the local language, are a feast for the eyes. It’s as though the high ranges are within touching distance. After trekking through this wonderland, the ancient temple of Tungnath comes into view. Tungnath is situated at an altitude of 3,680 meters and said to be over 2000 years old.

Har-ki-Doon - –(Duration: 4 nights, 5 days) – Har ki Doon is situated in the western ranges of the Garhwal Himalayas. At an elevation of 3,566 meters, dense pine forests surround this cradle shaped valley. The forests are rich in wildlife and are a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watchers. On the first stretch, the trek from Netwar to Osla takes one through dense forests of Chestnut, Walnut, Willow, and Chinar. In direct contrast the trek from Osla to Har ki Doon traverses terraced fields, coniferous forests, and lush green pastures. As Har ki Doon is located within a wildlife sanctuary, one may be lucky enough to spot a deer or even a bear. There is also a beautifully carved temple dedicated to Duryodhana, the Kaurava Prince.

Khatling Glacier - –(Duration: 4 nights – 5 days) – The Khatling Glacier is situated in the Tehri district and is the source of river Bhilangna. The glacier is surrounded by snow peaks of the Jogin group (6466 m), Sphetic Pristwar (6905 m), Barte Kauter (6579 m), Kirti Stambh (6902 m) and Meru. The trek starts from Ghuttu, a small village. One has to trek about 45 kms and pass through remote villages with thick kharsao forests and wide –open, grassy meadows. The entry to the Bhilangna valley provides excellent spots for camping.

Nag Tibba - (Duration: 2 nights-3 days) – Nag Tibba, situated to the northeast of the Doon Valley, at an elevation of 10,000 ft, is the highest peak in the area, surpassed only by the altitudes at which Har-ki-Doon, Yamunotri and Gangotri are situated. Nag Tibba gets its name from a very old temple of Nag Devta (the Snake God) situated at the summit of the mountain.The locals call this place Devta. One can get a stunning view of the Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, the Kedarnath peak in the north, to name a few, and Mussoorie in the south.

Himalayan Village Life - (Duration: 8 hours) – Take a walk to a typical small village of Uttarakhand. Khandajhak is located across the valley and a scenic day trek across the Aglar River. Consisting of about 50 families, the villagers are extremely hospitable and live a simple life of subsistence farming. A visit to one of their homes for lunch or tea can be arranged.

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