History of Mussoorie

Mussoorie is a scenic hill station located in the state of Uttarakhand. Located at the foothills of the Himalayan range, this hill station commands picturesque views of snow capped mountain ranges in the north east and glistening views of the Doon valley below and the Shiwalik ranges in the south.

So how this scenic hill station was first discovered? In the history of Mussoorie, this area was discovered as a perfect site to set up a shooting lodge by an adventurous military British officer called Captain Young in the 1820s. Young discovered this town spot along with the then resident superintendent of revenues, Dehradun, Mr. Shore. Together they found this scenic spot which later proved to be ideal for respite during summer months for most of the British officers in the northern province.

History of Mussoorie In 1827 a sanitorium was set up in the Landour area nearby to Mussoorie and to this day it is a large cantonment area. As the popularity of Mussoorie grew as a summer resort, more people began flocking to this holiday destination, especially during summer months. In 1901 it was first recorded that the local population of 6461 swelled to 15000 during the peak tourist seasons.

Initially the connectivity to Mussoorie was established from Saharanpur which is located 93 km away. However, when the railways came up to Dehradun, it became a more convenient point from where travelers could reach Mussoorie, only 34 km away.

The name has a history of its own. Local people are known to call this place “Mansoori” instead of Mussoorie which has been derived from the local name. “Mansoor” is a shrub which was found in abundance in this area and hence the name of the place is such.

Though Mussoorie was created only in the19th century, it has a rich Mussoorie history due to many famous names associated with it. Though it was not the official summer capital of the British Raj unlike Shimla or Nainital, this hill station was highly favored by both the British as well as the Indians. Sir George Everest, after whom the highest peak of the world is named, lived in this town from 1823 to 1860. The ex-Amir of Afghanistan, Yakub Khan, was put under house arrest in this town in Bellevue estate.

Mussoorie has a large number of Tibetan inhabitants. This is due to Dalai Lama forming the Tibetan Government in Exile here when he fled the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. However, he later on moved the exile Government to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

On visiting Mussoorie or reading about it, both in books as well as on online travelogues, one can unravel the colorful past of this town and the cultures and communities which have built this town and given it a distinct flavor of its own.

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