Spreading for 15km along a high serrated ridge, Mussoorie is the closest hill station to Delhi, just 278km north of the capital and 34km north of Dehradun, from where it is visible on a clear day. At an altitude of 2000m, it gives travellers from the plains their first glimpse of the snow-covered Himalayan peaks of western Garhwal, as well as dramatic views of the Doon valley below.
A favoured retreat since the 1820s, Mussoorie is a highly popular weekend retreat for middle-class Indians up from the plains, with many of its Raj-era homes converted into heritage hotels. Most foreign visitors come to Mussoorie to study Hindi at the excellent Landour Language School, but the town also makes a handy base for treks into western Garhwal. Dominated by the long Bandarpunch Massif (6316m), with Swargarohini (6252m) in the west and the Gangotri group in the east, Mussoorie’s mountain panorama forms a pleasant backdrop to the busy holiday town.
Mussoorie centres on the 2km pedestrian-only Mall, bookended by the town’s two most lively hubs: Library Bazaar (also called Gandhi Chowk) to the west and Kulri Bazaar (or Picture Palace) to the east.