Mussoorie is one of the most visited hill station of Uttarakhand which tempts many globe-trotters to spend some leisurely moments in the beguiling Himalayas. If you are well aware of the hot spots of Mussoorie then just check out some of the interesting hidden facts related to the “Queen of Hills” and amaze other backpackers by sharing your knowledge with them.
1. The name Mussoorie has been derived from a shrub called Mansoor: The unique name of the hill station comes from an indigenous shrub called Mansoor which is primordial to this region. The scenic hill station of Mussoorie is also referred to as ‘Mansoori’ by most of the Indians. Next time you visit this place just share this information with your friends.
2. This hill station was discovered by two young lads: Mussoorie was discovered in the 1820s jointly by Captain Young serving in the British army and Mr. Shor a doonite and Superintendent. Captain Young who was bewitched by the winsome beauty of Mussoorie made his abode in this hill station.
3. The name of Mall road was kept after a popular site of the town: The bustling Mall road which is one of the favourite places of the love birds and tourists was named after a popular place called The Mall located in Mussoorie.
4. During the Colonial rule, people used to adjust their watches with gunfire: When India was under the British Raj, a cannon was mounted atop the Gun Hill in Mussoorie and was fired every afternoon for the people to adjust their watches accordingly. However, it was later dismantled when the cannonball that fired at noon from the hill, landed on the lap of a lady who was travelling in a hand pulled rickshaw
5. Once the scarcely populated town is now densely populated: Back in 1901 when this toy-town was alienated from the outside world the population density of this hilly terrain was 6,461 which has increased by leaps and bounds. The hill station has recorded 400% rise in the past 100 years and in the 2011 census its total population was recorded as 30,118.
6. From Lal Tibba, you can have a bird’s eye view of the hill station: Lal Tibba or the Red Hill perched at an impressive altitude of 8000 feet above sea level is the highest vantage point of Mussoorie. It offers a panoramic view of the kaleidoscopic landscape of the toy town.
7. Dogs and Indians were not allowed in Mussoorie: It is quite ironical that one of the picturesque hill stations of India had signboards reading “Tress-passers and Indians are strictly prohibited”. You will boil with anger to know that the British had placed racist signs on the Mall stating “Indians and Dogs are Not Allowed”. But Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawahar La Nehru used to break free and stroll on the roads of Mussoorie. Later on, these sign boards were removed from the hill station.
8. Mussoorie was one of the favourite destinations of Nehru Family: Mussoorie was one of the favourite tourist destinations of the Nehru family who used to plan frequent trips to this magical place during 1920-40s. They used to await their stay at the lavish Savoy Hotel. Also, the house of Vijayalakshmi Pandit, the sister of Nehru is situated in the tranquil Doon Valley.
9. Mussorie became Tibetan Guru, Dalai Lama’s first home in India: In 1959 when the 23-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was exiled due to occupation and colonization of Tibet by China, he came to Mussoorie to establish a Tibetan deported government. Mussoorie had the honour of becoming the first home of ‘His Holiness’ Dalai Lama in India and was later transferred to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Mussoorie also houses the ‘Tibetan Homes Foundation’, one of the best Tibetan Schools in the country, spread and nestled in and around Happy Valley, Charleville etc. At present, more than 5,000 Tibetans reside happily in this comforting hill station.
10. The magical vistas of Mussoorie have allured many celebrities: This hill station has lured many famous Bollywood actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ajay Devgan and Abhishek Bachchan to have a rendezvous with the quaint hills. The veteran actor Dev Anand bought a home here and Tom Alter is a proud resident of Mussoorie. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar also visits this hill station every year with his lovely family.
glorious day, beauty of nature, ek selfie to banta hain!! pic.twitter.com/nOd2gYKkqs
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 25, 2014
11. Mussoorie is a home to the famous Indian writer Ruskin Bond: Yes we all grew-up reading beautifully written children stories by Ruskin Bond such as Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra, The Train to Deoli, The Cherry Tree and much more. The author has his hush abode in Landour in Mussoorie and lives a solemn life in a wood house away from the glitz and glamour of the metropolitan cities. One must read Mr Ruskin Bond’s Strange Men, Strange Places to get an insight into more such revelations, happenings in Mussoorie.
12. The hill station possesses its own Wax Museum: Surprisingly, Mussoorie is India’s third town to get a wax museum. The K- Dev Bhoomi Wax Museum houses 26 wax statues including ‘The Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and renowned international celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, Michele, Barack Obama and many others. However, Mohammad Rafi, the famous playback singer of Bollywood steals the spotlight. This museum is located about 5 km away from Mussoorie’s famous Library Point. You can access this wax museum by paying an entry fee of Rs 50.
13. Mussoorie is the frist free Wifi Hill Station of India: In September, 2015, Mussorie became the first free Wifi Hill Station in India when the government of Uttarakhand joined hands with Reliance Jio to provide free wireless service on hand-held sets in the Queen of Hills.