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Landour - a relaxing getaway

Away from the crazy hustle bustle of Mussoorie, Landour is a haven for relaxation. With clean roads, big beautiful houses with well-manicured lawns, exploring the town is a serene experience.

travel Updated: Jul 18, 2011 17:02 IST
Nikki Sachdev
Nikki Sachdev

 The roads suddenly tilted to 60 degrees the moment we took a right from the Mussoorie mall. I heard Namrata saying "Welcome to Mullingar", and the already nervous driver almost refused to go up to our guesthouse till he got some encouragement from the locals. 

Away from the crazy hustle bustle of Mussoorie, Landour is a haven for relaxation. Not only is it quiet and peaceful, it is perhaps even more beautiful than what I had expected, what with clean roads, big beautiful houses with well manicured lawns it was all just perfect. Breakfast at Chardukaan

The sun was shining bright as we got out of our rooms the next morning. Surprised as we were, because Sunil, the caretaker told us that it has been raining for the past six days. Not that we were complaining because more rain meant, no stepping out of the rooms.

The idea of this trip was to sit back, relax and take it easy and nothing sounds better than starting your day by having nice wholesome breakfast sitting outside while you bask in the sun, something you do not get to do in the humdrum of city life.

I had only read about Char Dukaan in one of the travel magazines and Namrata who has lived all her life in Mussoorie studying in Woodstock school was already grinning to ear because she had planned to take me out for Breakfast at the famous place as surprise.

A ten-minute drive from Landour will land you in the famous Char Dukaan. The place is called Char Dukaan primarily because it has all of four shops in the vicinity. Flanked by families and bikers and locales, Char Dukaan has a certain charm about the place. If you are lucky, you will see Ruskin Bond the famous author having tea here.

The reason why I loved it the most was the mouth-watering food they served. From bun-omelet (highly recommended), maggi, pancakes, waffles and yummy paranthas, it is all worth it.

360 Chakkar walk
After having a lavish treat of bun-omelet, tea and waffles, we headed next for 360. Yeah, you read it right. A little ahead of Char Dukaan is the famous hangout of kids from the nearby schools and perfect way to have a 360 degrees view of Mussoorie.

In fact the winter line, a rare phenomenon can also be observed at the Chakkar walk and it can only be seen in two places in the world; Mussoorie and Switzerland. It occurs due to the refraction of sunlight at a particular angle, visible only from mountain areas with a long, clear valley towards the west.

But if you happen to miss it, the chakkar walk will give you a perfect view of Houses that date back to the early 19th century, a graveyard from the 18th century and gives you a mesmerising view of Landour.

Churches: Mussoorie houses some of the oldest churches that date back to the 18th century and one such church is The Christ church that as built in 1836 as per gothic design and is said to be the most ancient churches in the Himalayas. The highlight of this church is the immaculate description of the life of Jesus Christ depicted in the pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows in the Church.

However, what commanded my attention was the ancient William Hill organ in the church, about a hundred years old still stands tall and looks gigantic. Even though the organ is no longer in a working condition, the church's caretakers have been doing a brilliant job at maintain it.

Shopping at Mussoorie: After crazy two days of site seeing, it was now time to shop. So we headed straight to the mall in Mussoorie. Since the brands have invaded the mall, you can pretty much get everything here. However, we decided to ditch the branded stops and head straight to the evergreen Tibetan market. After a ten-minute rickshaw ride we finally managed to get to a small lane covered by big blue plastic sheets that covered the entire lane and making it stand out.

Now if you are good at bargaining, this is your kind of place. Be nice and sweet to the shopkeepers and you can buy clothes for as low at Rs 150. And when you hear prices like that there is going to be no stopping. By the time we exhausted all our shopping money, we were carrying three bags each over flowing with clothes. So do remember to carry a bag with you so you don't look foolish like we did.

Prakash's Store is one of the oldest grocery stores in town; this homely store has an amazing variety of homemade products. From the famous 'Mussoorie peanut butter' to a variety of locally produced jams and chutneys Prakash's is a landmark.

Half way up Mullingar is the famous shoemakers of Mussoorie. One may place an order with them with a design of your choice. Their craftsmanship will not disappoint you and you will leave as yet another satisfied customer. Shoes can be made within 24 hours.

Mussoorie has an abundance of Kashmiri handicraft shops. Habibullah's the most famous of them is at the base of Mullingar where you can splurge on authentic Kashmiri handicrafts. But since we have killed are shopping budget, we chose to get back to your lovely and peaceful Ivy Bank and promised ourselves to come back for more.

Content courtesy: Contify

First Published: Jul 18, 2011 17:02 IST