Our Magical Mussoorie Adventure | MF Travels
The sun starts setting, and as you stand on what seems like the edge of the world, you can see the horizon coloured in a mix of myriad hues of orange and purple. Your vision can detect a distinct line that separates the world right in front of your eyes, almost creating a separation between two worlds.
The best way to reach the small town of Landour in Mussoorie is by a direct flight to Dehradun, followed by a 2 hour long drive, that lead us to Rokeby Manor. A 175 year old property, Rokeby Manor looks like it is straight out of a big budget Hollywood period drama. The main property has 12 rooms and a Log Cabin, apart from 3 large, separate residencies under Rokeby.
Where We Stayed
As soon as we reached, our roaring stomachs demanded a quick mini meal. Sharing a Burmese Khao Suey between the two of us, at Emily’s, the in-house restaurant, we immediately set out to explore all of Rokeby Manor.
The very top of the Manor had a Jacuzzi from where you can see Mussoorie’s famous Winter Line, a view that can only shared by Mussoorie and Switzerland.
Apart from the rooms in the main manor, Rokeby Manor has a Deluxe, a Superior and Premium residencies, that differ in number of rooms, and overall size of the house.
The Premium Residency, which is the largest of the three, has three bedrooms, a lobby, a kitchen, a work station and an extended outside area built over a cliff, that is big enough, and ideal for parties.
They come with a fully stocked kitchen, and staff from the main manor will be available at all times to cook food. Living in these residencies of Rokeby Manor, will make you want to stay for atleast a month. It’s the kind of place you stay in to completely disconnect from the city, and live amidst the beauty of Mussoorie. You can often spot deers from the manor itself.
It comes almost naturally to artists to be the best version of themselves when they extract themselves from their regular life, only to make it to a destination in Mussoorie. We know this is where we are heading when a probable mid-life writing block hits, only to return a few months later with a novel manuscript ready for publishing (especially when Ruskin Bond lives right down the corner?!).
When the temperatures are dropping down as low as 6° C, staying indoors by a warm fire becomes your new idea of heaven. Wilson’s Chamber is a lounge-like area inside the Manor that looks like something straight out of Sherlock Holmes, or Downton Abbey. Here you can lounge all day, reading books from their in-house library or indulge with all the board games in their collection.
What We Did
We stepped out of Rokeby, and headed to Jabarkhet Nature Reserve. A 2 kilometres long trek from within the reserve lead us to a view of the Himalayas. There are a number of routes that you can take to trek through at Jabarkhet, and if you pick some specific ones, there are chances of spotting wild leopards, sambars, barking deers, and more. The reserve is a home for more than a 100 kinds of birds, mammals and insects.
Sir George Everest was a geographer, who resided in Mussoorie, who, as part of the British East India Company was working on surveying Indian land. His home and laboratory are famous tourist spots, for it was here, where Mt. Everest was visually spotted for the very first time. Sir George Everest had the honour of lending his own name to the highest mountain on earth.
We also dropped by Lal Tibba, which is one of the best spots in Mussoorie to view the distant Himalayas.
Lastly, we visited the Shedup Choephelling Temple. The top of the Buddhist Temple had a statue of Buddha, while all of the outside had prayer flags hung, which, according to traditional belief, spread goodwill and compassion by the wind which flows through them.
What We Ate
Emily’s is a restaurant inside Rokeby Manor where we had most of our meals. When we just reached Mussoorie, we had to treat ourselves to a quick meal before we got on with all our planned activities for the rest of the day. A quick Khao Suey and Hot and Sour Soup later, we had set off on our plans for the trip. For dinner, we relished the classic Indian and Continental food selection at Emily’s. Bhindi do pyaza, Acchari Broccoli, Mutton Sheekh Kebab, Palak Paneer, Lasooni Dal Tadka, Jeera Rice all made up one single meal. We ate most of our meals at Emily’s, because the comfort that resonated with the food was too good to allow us to step outside.
For breakfast at Emily’s, we were served gorgeous waffles and pancakes with maple syrup and side of fresh fruits, fresh fruit juice, and some parathas. Do appetites somehow get larger when you’re at an elevation of 2006 meters?
One of our favourite visits was at the locally famous Landour Bakehouse. We recommend that you try their Almond Rose Cake, and do not return home without a jar of their famous hot chocolate powder!
Char Dukan is a small cluster of a market, next to St. Paul’s Church. The little market is lined up with cafes that serve pancakes, pakoras, and maggi.
Rokeby also has an in-house tea garden, where you can relax, sipping a selection from their variety of flavourful teas, accompanied by tea-time cakes and savouries.
Lastly, we visited Clock Tower Cafe in Landour Bazaar for a lunch meal, which is known for it’s pizzas. So we tried their tex-mex pizza, spaghetti, a couple of milkshakes, and a side of fries.
What our Mussoorie trip showed us, was a dream, where we make a small town like Landour our home, at least in the form of a sabbatical. It was a reminder, that being connected with nature is an actual thing, a reality, and not just a sentence over-used in this digital age.
We can’t wait to see Mussoorie again, in all its magical glory.