Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We finally made a trip to one of the many hill stations in the Himalayan foothills. Mussoorie is a regional town sitting at about 6,000 ft above sea level. It is about 5 hours away by train (Dehradun) and then another hour by taxi up into the mountains. Our friends, Nicki, Jennifer and her 2 children, Artie and Mazzy made the trip with us.
When we arrived in Dehradun our group hired two cabs to take us up into the mountains and our hotel in Mussoorie. This was definitely a treat, because we all got to ride in "Ambassadors" up the mountain roads. The Ambassador is a very old design - the original Indian "Luxury" automobile. Now they are mainly used by government officials and taxi companies. There are hundreds of Ambassadors in Dehradun and Mussoorie.
The town of Mussoorie is situated on a winding ridge that overlooks the valley below. There is an increase of maybe 4,000 feet from Dehradun (in the valley) up to Mussoorie. As you increase in altitude you begin to see fir trees for the first time and the air becomes clean and cool.We often found ourselves wearing jackets and looking out above the clouds. We walked narrow village streets shrouded in thick mist. Our hotel was in an old summer-estate originally owned by a former Mugal prince. We ate some wonderful Tibetan food (common in the hill stations) and our visitors enjoyed poking around in the local shops. Sellers on the street roast fresh popcorn and sell hand woven clothing, Himalayan crafts and, oddly, magic kits - a strange phenomenon Mussoorie is known for... Because much of the town was laid out by the British during the Raj, some of the streets look rather English, lined with flowers and trimmed with wrought-iron.
We definitely will be exploring more of these lovely hill stations in the future - as with so much of India, each place we go has its own unique beauty and personality.


jenzim said...

I am so excited we finally got there to see you guys. Thanks for the great trip.

Heidi said...

Love the post. I also love the banner photo of the train! Glad you had a good trip.

HouseBoy said...

The staff on the train got a kick out of me hanging out of the door to shoot this photo as we went around a long curve - Shatabdi Express to Mussoorie.