Mussoorie – The Queen of Hills
Mussoorie is a hill station which lies 35km away from the capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun. It has an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft). However Lal Tibba in Landour, has a height of over 2,275 metres (7,464 ft). Mussoorie is popularly known as The Queen of the Hills. The name of Mussoorie is derived from ‘mansoor’, a shrub which is indigenous to the area.
A brief history of Mussoorie
It was due to the conquest of the Garhwal and the Dehradoon in 1803 by the Gurkhas, under Umer Singh Thapa that, indirectly, Mussoorie came into being. Due to the expansionist policies of the Gurkhas, an inevitable war, broke out on November 1, 1814, and Dehradun was evacuated of the Gurkhas by 1815 and was annexed to the district of Saharanpur by the British by 1819.
The first house erected on the ridge of Mussoorie was a small hut built on the Camel’s back road by Mr. Shore, the then Joint Magistrate and superintendent of revenues of the Doon, and Captain Young of the Sirmur Rifles in 1823. Captain Young built his large residence called ‘Mullingar‘ as his residence as the Commandant of Landour. The cool climate of Mussoorie similar to temperate climate of Europe gradually attracted other Europeans. In 1827, the Government established a convalescent depot for European soldiers at Landour. There were parties in Landour cantonment and Polo, fetes and Riding in happy valley where the Charleville Hotel stood.
By 1842 the town consisted of 42 houses, a hotel and five barracks.
Main attractions in Mussoorie
Nainital – The Lake City of India
Nainital is the judicial capital of Uttarakhand, the High Court being located here, and is the headquarters of the Kumaon division. It also houses the Governor of Uttarakhand, who resides in the Raj Bhavan. Nainital was the summer capital of the United Provinces.
The city is set in a valley containing an eye-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south.
The Kumaon Hills came under British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). The hill station town of Naini Tal was founded only in 1841, with the construction of the first European house (Pilgrim Lodge) by P. Barron, a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur.
In his memoir, he wrote: “It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles (2,400 km) trek in the Himalayas.”
Nainital can be reached by the National Highway from Haldwani, 40 km away, or by State Highway from Bajpur, 60 km away. The nearest airport is in Pantnagar near Rudrapur, about 71 km from Nainital.
Main attractions in Nainital
Chopta – ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India
Chopta is a small region of meadows and evergreen forest area which is a part of kedarnath wildlife sanctuary located in Uttarakhand state, India and a base for trekking to Tungnath, third temple of Panch Kedar, which lies 3.5 kilometres away.
This unspoiled natural destination lying in the lap of Himalayas, offers vistas of the imposing Himalayan range including Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba. It is located at an elevation of 2,680 metres (8,790 ft) above sea level.
Chopta also popularly known as ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India, lies 29 km from Ukhimath and 162 kms from Rishikesh on the road from Gopeshwar to Guptkashi.
Chandrashilla, Tunganath and Devariyatal are the best known trekking routes in the Chopta region. Because of an abundance of birds, Chopta is becoming popular among birdwatchers.
Main attractions in Chopta
Auli is a Himalayan ski resort and hill station in Uttarakhand.
It’s surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, plus the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains.
A long cable car links Auli to the town of Joshimath. North of Auli are the beautiful Badrinath Temple, and the Valley of Flowers National Park, with its alpine flora and wildlife like snow leopards and red foxes.
Auli, also known as Auli Bugyal, in Garhwali, which means “meadow”, is located at an elevation of 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) to 3,050 metres (10,010 ft) above sea level.
Main attractions in Auli
Lansdown was founded as a military garrison under the British Raj, and the Garhwali Museum traces the history of the Garhwal Rifles regiment, which still trains in the town.
Lansdown was founded and named after then Viceroy of India (1888-1894), Lord Lansdown in 1887.
Lansdown was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdown was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period.
Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.
The nearest railway station is Kotdwar at a distance of 44 km situated an elevation of only 370 m. Since Lansdowne is more than 1,300 m higher than Kotdwara, the drive from Kotdwara to Lansdown is quite steep and scenic.
Main attractions in Lansdown
Kausani is a hill station and Village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km-wide panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli.
During Independence of India in 1947, Kausani was situated in the Almora District till 15 September 1997 after which Bageshwar district was carved out of Almora district.