Thundershowers, Mist and Chill greeted me in Mussoorie, The Queen of Hills. It is another Darjeeling that we are used to. The serpentine climb, the pine forests, endless hills, incessant rains, chilling cold and off course a vibrant Mall.The day I arrived was overcast with frequent drizzles and strong winds. It was an unplanned, under prepared trip rather spawned out of whims and chances. As a result, I could not cover up much and arrived shivering with inadequate warm clothes for the Garhwals in early March(and it indeed snowed after couple of days).
I had only two half days in hand to explore Mussoorie meaning I cannot hop on to different points but has to extract the charm of the quintessential Garhwal experience in shortest time.Rain and mist ruined on half of the day. It rained all the night plummeting the mercury down and finally, I woke up next morning with a glorious sunny day with snowpeaks peeping from my window.
Mussoorie means a vibrant promenade with a colonial era building, eateries, the people, shops. It is called the Library Chowk or The Mall. All the happening things happens here in Mussoorie but if anyone want to enjoy the charm of this beautiful hill station shun the hopping between points and have a quite walk on the Camels Back Road which forks out of the Mall Road and meanders about 3 kms along the quaint part of the town away from the crowd amidst the serene surroundings.
The road has an almost equal gradient meaning flat road without any climb and sweeping views. There are several hotels, mansions perched around this road in a serene atmosphere. There are very little traffic on the road so one can walk amidst crisp mountain air without any hindrance.
The Camel Back Road is nicely paved and dotted with several view points.The civic authorities has made little yet beautiful resting points with shade and benches to enjoy the panoramic views.
It was clear flawless morning and the big snow peaks of Garhwal and Kumaon added to the blissful walk. One can visit several vantage points like Gun Hill or Lal Tibba or Everest House which are situated at the crests nearby but all of these had the same view from a little different angle. Anyways, I did not have enough time to reach all of those, so the Camel’s Back Walk offered an apt synopsis of what Mussoorie has to offer.
The Camel Back Road leads to quieter quarters of Mussoorie with every bend offering a new panorama one after another. While most of the tourists flock away to hoping points or Kempty Falls for picnic, Camel’s Back rejuvenates a city dweller with all its glory.
And, then comes the reason for such nomenclature, a set of rocks high above the cliffs that resembles a perfect Camel.
Mussoorie is a town to be visited and explored slowly on a do nothing fashion. Wish next time I visit, shall have more days as it would expose more of its hidden gems and changing season and color. Two days later, (Holi, 2017)it snowed heavily across Himalayas in Northern India engulfing Mussoorie as well. Reasons enough to plant better, travel better.