Random drives are always amazing, you don’t plan you destinations and just go where the path takes you. As I have mentioned in my previous blog, Mussoorie , the queen of hills being very near to my home town is my favourite destination for random drives. So just a day after Diwali with few holidays still in hand we again headed towards the queen of hills. Toddler dropped at his grandparents as we were going by my scooty.
Going by two wheeler is generally a nice idea because it can go even in those narrow lanes where a four wheeler cannot go. We started at 11 in the morning and within an hour we were at Mall road Mussoorie. As expected Mussoorie was hugely crowded. This has become a common trend on long weekends or national holidays, you will see all the tourist places Jam packed. We stopped by Mall Road for some time and enjoyed the views.
Over the years both Mussoorie and Dehradun has changed a lot. Since the formation of Uttarakhand as a separate state in 2000 , and Dehradun as its capital a lot of commercialization has taken place in both Dehradun and Mussoorie. Over the last one decade or so, Mussoorie which was once known for its rare tranquillity has changed dramatically. It seems that the quite town has been robbed of its tranquillity and a kind of city rush and restlessness has taken over.
Thankfully there are still some places in Mussoorie which are still not overtaken by commercialization. After stopping by Mall road we headed towards Landour. Landour and Mussoorie were formed in 1983 by an Irish Army officer Lt. Frederick Young in search of games peculiar to hills. Landour (the old and original Mussoorie) has been spared of a lot of changes. At Landour we had to stop to take the help of Google maps to find directon of famous “char dukan”.
You cannot rely on Google maps when you are at a hill station, at least this is what I have experienced so far. With narrow lanes and so many twisting turns you are sure to get lost. This is what happened with us we were looking for “char dukan” but confusion took us somewhere else and the path which we were supposed to cover in 20 minutes was covered in 50 minutes. But we reached “char dukan” through beautiful narrow, green and curvaceous routes.
Char Dukan is a small place en-route Lal Tibba and near St Pauls church. Char means four, originally there were four shops at this place which provided different types of teas and eatables , but now commercialization has hit his place too and number of new shops have come up. In fact when I was here a few years back there were only four or five shops but now the number of shops has almost doubled. Here one can enjoy delicious pan cakes, Maggie, shakes , tea and other snacks. From here one can further drive to Lal tibba and Tiffin top but we decided to drive back as we had to reach Dehradun before sunset.
One thing that one must do in Mussoorie is ditch their cars and hire a two wheeler or bicycle (which are available on rent at some shops in Mall Road) and explore the town. There are a number of treks in the hill station which your tour organizer may not tell you but you can explore them on your own.