Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A weekend in Mussorie - The Queen of Hills

We decided to head out to Mussorie for the weekend as we had already visited McLoedganj, Nainital. Choosing the hotel was not a tough job as we booked HotelMall Palace from GoIbibo. It costed INR 2000 but after applying the discount code and paying partly by GoCash, we ultimately only spent INR 952 for a Deluxe Room with Terrace.

We booked our onward journey through DTS (Daily Transport Service) via GoIbibo. BIG MISTAKE. The boarding was scheduled at 9PM from RK Ashram Metro Station, but the bus arrived at around 10:30 PM.As there was no mention of pick up bus between RK and Anand Vihar, when we were told to board a common bus which would be changed at Anand Vihar was a big shocker.

After reaching Anand Vihar they put us in a 25 seater TATA AC Seater bus where the conductor allotted seats as per his convenience irrespective to the seat numbers we had booked. What actually happens is that irrespective of the Tour Operator you book with, they ultimately place you in one bus heading to the destination, leading to frustration of the passengers as that was not what they had booked.

The Halt
The ride was very bumpy throughout and the cooling was very uncomfortable. They dint even provide blankets knowing that the cooling may become uncomfortable for passengers.

The only saving grace was that the halt was at a nice place and the driver was punctual about the timing. We had a Mix parantha and Chai at the Halt Hotel. The parantha was cooked in Tandoor and was very tasty.

We reached Library Bus Stand, Mussorie at around 7:30 in the morning the next day ie 9th April 2016. Our hotel was at a distance of 1 km+ from the Library Bus Stand, so we thought that the location will be a problem and we booked the wrong hotel.

View of the hills in the morning from Mall Road
Once we reached the hotel(Hotel Mall Palace), the staff kept us waiting and asked for Early Check-in Fees which he didn’t inform on the phone when we requested to keep the room ready by 8 AM as we were coming from Delhi. After talking to the manager, he finally let us check in without any extra fees but with a condition that we check out the next day by 10AM instead of 12PM. We happily agreed and proceeded to the room.

As we stepped inside the room, all our fears vanished and we realized that we did book the right hotel at the right place. The rooms were very spacious with a good terrace view overlooking the valley and the cable car station. I was further relieved after going to the washroom and seeing a working electric geyser and running water in the taps and shower.
The King Sized Bed

View from the room

We slept for some time and then ordered a Stuffed Omlet and Gobi parantha from the hotel itself for breakfast. The Omlet was a bit weird as they had put Aaloo Zeera sabzi on the bread slice and then overlapped it with egg. The parantha was good and tasty.

Chicken Hot & Sour Soup
After resting for some time we left the room at around 11:30 or so and started walking towards the market place. We did some shopping as well on the way. We walked all the way to the bus stop to enquire about the bus frequency from Mussorie to Dehradun and finally ended up in Momo’s for lunch.

Lunch was mouthwatering and delectable. We ordered Chicken Hot & Sour Soup, Veg Manchow Soup, Pad Thai Noodles and Strawberry Mojito. The pad Thai noodles was a big letdown as it could have been better. After a hearty lunch we started walking back towards the hotel and rested for some time.

We were able to capture the sunset from our room terrace and it was a beauty to watch. We headed out of the room at around 7 PM and started walking towards the CamelBack Road.

What we did not anticipate was the distance. It was a long walk of more than 3km from one end of the road to another. Definitely a Walk to Remember on The Road Less Travelled as there were hardly any people on the road. At places there was no light and we could hear some strange noises of the birds and animals along with the noise of trees swaying by the wind. Even though we were not able to enjoy the scenic beauty as it was dark, it will still be “A Walk to Remember” as for an hour or so, we were walking peacefully away from the city chaos.

We hit back on the mall road near Library end at around 8PM or so and decided to enjoy street food rather than dining in a restaurant. We tried Omlet, Momo’s, American Corn, Maggi and we ended the food trail by having a good hearty Chocolate Milkshake from Nirulas. A perfect dish to end the day with. After this we retired back to our room in the hotel to rest.

Next day we woke up and got ready to check out at 10 AM. We decided to go up Gun Hill and have food there only. Luckily there was no queue to board the cable car as we were early .The ticket costs INR 100 per person. We reached the top and were welcomed by the over commercialized place with stalls everywhere.

Sunset as viewed from the room terrace
We got a good place to sit and enjoy the view. Even had Maggi and Apple Beer and relaxed peacefully. After spending around an hour and clicking pictures we decided to head back to Mall Road.
Chicken Devil Momo's
As we had eaten only Maggi we headed to Kalsang Friends Corner opposite to State Bank on Mall Road. The internal d├ęcor was Tibetan with Quotes of Dalai Lama hung on the walls. What fascinated me was that there were napkins placed under a glass top on all the tables. These napkins had reviews written by the people who went there for a meal.

We were amazed by looking into the menu and finding so many unheard flavors and tastes for Momo’s and other dishes. Tried the Chicken Devils Momo’s and Veg Mix Momo’s along with a Blueberry Banana Honey Milkshake.

The serving was more than generous for the dishes. There were 7-8 big pieces of Momo’s in a bowl in a spicy gravy topped with melted cheese. It was deliciously mouthwatering and with that serving size, it was enough to fill 1 stomach. Rates were very economical with INR 150 for the Momo’s and INR 130 or so for the milkshake. By 12:30 we had a hearty meal, paid the bill and headed towards the bus stop.
We were just in time for the 1 PM bus to Dehradun with ticket costing INR 56 per head.There are buses running every half an hour and they usually take an hour or an hour and a half to reach Dehradun Railway Station.
Dalai Lama Quotes
Am glad we booked our return journey in Shatabdi Express and not by bus. We reached Railway Station by 2:15 PM and headed out to MCO Dehradun and relaxed for 2.5 hours till 4:45 PM. We were able to while off the time as Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was being aired on TV.

Finally we boarded Shatabdi at 4:45 PM and our trip to Mussorie came to an end. Indeed a weekend well spent in the hills.