Mussoorie is a hill station in the Dehradun District of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located about 35 km from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km north of New Delhi. This hill station, situated in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, is also known as the Queen of the Hills.
Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres, Mussoorie, is a fascinating hill resort with views of snow ranges to the north-east, and of the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges in the south.
Established by the British in 1823, Mussoorie became hugely popular with the Raj set. The ghosts of that era linger on in the architecture of the churches, libraries, hotels and summer palaces. During the British Raj, signs on the Mall expressly stated: “Indians and Dogs Not Allowed”. Racist signs of this type were commonplace in hill stations, which were founded ‘by and for’ the British. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day whenever he was in Mussoorie, and would pay the fine.
Central Mussoorie consists of two developed areas: Gandhi Chowk (also called Library Bazaar) at the western end, and the livelier Kulri Bazaar and Picture Palace at the eastern end, linked by the 2km Mall, which is still dominated by pedestrians. Beyond Kulri Bazaar a narrow road leads 1.5km to Landour Bazaar.
During the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, the Central Tibetan Administration of the 14th Dalai Lama was at first established in Mussoorie before being moved to its present location in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley in Mussoorie and today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.