decorated Tibetan restaurant specializing in soups, meat
dishes and juicy dumplings, also known as momos.
BEYOND THE CIT Y
There’s even more to Mussoorie outside the city limits.
About 10 kilometers away is the small town of Bhatoli,
also known as the Corn Village. There, among the
nearly 100-year-old wooden houses—vibrantly painted
in turquoise, orange and red—the villagers hang corn
on their outside walls. Once it dries, it is ground to
make corn flour.
With its dazzling colors and striking corn displays,
Bhatoli is one of most picturesque locations in this part
of the world and a most memorable glimpse of life in a
traditional Himalayan village.
In the other direction, about six kilometers from the
center of Mussoorie, stands a grand white structure on
top of a flat hill. This is Park Estate, what’s left of Sir
George Everest’s house in Mussoorie. The Wales-born
geographer was the Surveyor General of India from 1830
to 1843. His work extended across India all the way up
to Nepal and, yes, Mount Everest is his namesake.
The white house is now falling apart, although a roof
still stands over a section of the structure. But the views
of the mountains and valley from the estate, and the
drive along its rolling green hills, are quite charming.
One hopes that the plans to preserve this historic piece
of architecture and turn it into a museum will indeed
come to fruition.
A RETURN TO NATURE
The beauty of Mussoorie is most fully appreciated in
the early morning, and especially on a nature hike. The
one I enjoyed most was up a steep hill to the Santura
Devi temple. The trek felt like a scaled-back version of
climbing the Great Wall of China. It was exhilarating,
and a bit tiring, but the resulting panoramic view of
Mussoorie, the mountains and the valley below is nothing short of breathtaking.
Finally, 15 kilometers from Mussoorie is the famous
Kempty Falls. It’s believed that the name originates
from the colonial period, when the British used to
gather by the water for “camp-tea.” You can take an
easygoing walk to the falls by starting at the midpoint.
Along the way one can get a partial or full view of the
majestic falls: all 4,500 feet of them.
Kempty Falls may not be huge by global standards,
but the site is beloved by Indian tourists for good reason.
Find a tranquil corner to sit, listen to the rush of the falls
and lose yourself in the wonder of nature.
As is common in Mussoorie, the experience will
rejuvenate your soul. [
Top, left to right:
One of several dining
options in nearby
Band Stand on
Mussoorie’s Mall Road.