It was the Holi weekend of March 2017 and as happens before any such weekend the question was which short getaway to explore from New Delhi. We finally zeroed on Mussoorie after lot of back and forth between Nainital and Mussoorie. I was excited for the first Hill station visit with my 3.5-year-old son.
After browsing all prominent travel sites, we finally got a good deal at Sterling Resorts Mussoorie. We booked it directly through the Sterling website. Rated among the best resorts at Mussoorie I was looking forward to experience the hospitality in the Hills.
We had just 3 days so in order to save time we took a flight to Dehradun and booked a cab further to the hills. Mussoorie is approx. 35 Km from Dehradun and it takes approx. 1 to 1.5 hrs from Dehradun city. However, Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is again an hour’s distance from the city limits so add another 25 Km and 40 – 45 min to the total travel time to Mussoorie. Incidentally the approach Road towards Jolly Grant Airport is narrow and not so good thus increasing the travel time. It is advisable that if you have time in hand and are not driving down, take a Shatabdi Train to Dehradun and a cab further. You won’t lose much on travel time to the hills and the cost arbitrage is also worth it.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
On the way up the hill, we were welcomed by the scenic valley view on one side and traditional sharp bends on the other. The green flora made the entire landscape picturesque and heavenly with a few snow-capped peaks also visible at a distance.
Valley View while driving up
Usually the month of March is supposed to be pleasant and considered an a good time to visit Mussoorie but this March had some more surprises for us. We were greeted by a sweet chill in the air.
It had snowed a day before which is slightly unusual in the month of March. Though we had packed sufficient woollens we were slightly apprehensive for our 3.5 year old son. Thankfully he was enjoying….
As we escalated the curves we could see the signboards of popular landmarks: Gandhi Circle, Library Chowk, Mall Road etc…etc…. Rising above to the summit of the hill the serpentine road and green hills formed a picturesque landscape.
At the peak was nestled our abode for next three days ‘Dancing Leaves- A Sterling Resort’. The resort emerges as the wonderland of Alice in Wonderland as it’s not in the main area. You need to drive approx. 1 km from the main Mall Road through an extremely narrow lane to reach this place. And yes, if you are behind the wheels, you need to be an expert in manoeuvring the car. Phenomenally located on a cliff of the hillside with a view of the beautiful valley, the Resort has 300 steps connecting its rooms and other areas. We were lucky enough to get the room on the top floor. For families travelling with children it is highly recommended to ask for a room on the top. Most of the rooms are valley facing and steep stairs connecting the rooms at bottom make it difficult for children and elderly. No doubt an amazing Property on a steep Hill Top. The private balconies provided an alluring view of the Doon valley both in day and night.
View from the Balcony
The weather was cold and cloudy. During check in we were informed by the hotel staff that there were chances of snowfall at evening. I was excited and felt lucky to witness snowfall for the first time. As we checked in our room the mesmerizing view of the Valley from the balcony was the first to grab our attention.
The beautiful view of the valley and the sporadic clouds moving into our balcony made us feel like being in heaven. Adding to this was our elegantly decorated room. Thanks to Sterling Resorts we got an upgrade…. adding some more spice to our Holiday fun.
View from the Balcony
My son had a gala time enjoying the property
Mesmerizing view from the beautiful room
By evening the thick clouds flocked inside the balcony of our room, and covered the mesmerizing valley view. Just an amazing view I would say!!! And a little while after came the moment we were waiting for – the light white flakes from the heaven. We were fortunate to see snow in the season of March in Mussoorie. Stunning view as if a painter had veiled original colour of the resort with shiny silver stroke of snow.
Hotel Rooms clad with snow after a good snowfall
Resort view from balcony at night after snowfall
Second day morning was welcomed by bright sun. The snow had started to melt on roof tops while we could still see the higher hill caps covered with snow sparkling in sunlight.
We drove down to “Mall Road” the shopping hub of every hill station flooded with souvenirs, handicraft items, and winter clothing. My kiddo enjoyed initially but soon got tired after some walk. Yes it slightly long for kids. By that time we had reached the Cable car Ropeway and decided to try it. The destination of Cable car is known as
Gun Point. Despite being exhausted my son’s excitement rocketed to the peak seeing the Cable car. Despite of the large queue he regained all his energies waiting to enter the Cable car.
The ride gave a panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges and a good view of the city as well as Doon Valley but you should be lucky enough for a clear weather. The ambience was similar to any other hill station. Toy shops with small rides for kids, restaurants offering snacks (particularly Maggi and Paranthas), Tea / Coffee, Gun shooting for a little fun, and photos being clicked in local attire for memories.
The Cable Car on the way to Gun Hill Point
The telescope point offers a pleasant view of the valley and snow-covered peaks. The stall at the Telescope Point was a better place to sit. Though the space was tiny it offered an amazing view. The Masala Chai they serve is amazing. The sun was bright and shiny and was gradually melting the snow. Thanks to the weather we could catch a magnificent view from top.
Nothing specific to mention about The Gun Hill Point except for a ride in the Cable car and relishing a cup of Masala chai at the top. Finally we decided to call it a day and move back to the resort as my kiddo was sleepy. Sterling Resort being slightly off the main area a cab needs to be hired from Gandhi Chowk. No negotiations, they have a fixed rate of Rs. 300.
As the snow melted next day the roads to Kempty falls opened. Approx. 14 km from Gandhi chowk it was almost 40 – 45 min ride by taxi. The magnificent falls offer a scenic treat to eyes with Water falling from approx 40 feet amidst plush greenery. A true Natures wonder!! However the place is lot commercialized with Tea, Maggi and Parantha stalls are very common. Steep stairs make it slightly uneasy for elderly and kids. Must say a nice place for anybody coming during summers to experience the Waterfall.
We came back to the resort and decided to spend the last day relaxing and spending time with our kid in the garden and play area. Sterling Resort has a very good play area for kids. My son just wouldn’t come out of it. I would also like to complement the Chef of Dancing Leaves Sterling for preparing delicious food. With every meal the guests relish a new menu and superb delicacies. As evening approached I wanted to absorb all the scenic beauty. Slowly the valley turned into a sky full of hundreds of stars twinkling and adding to the beauty of night.
Valley view from Balcony at Night
Our mini vacation (yes mini as it was just over a long weekend) was about to end. We could have explored the place more but got restricted as many roads were closed due to snowfall. But whatever we experienced was truly refreshing. To explore the unexplored attractions calls for another visit to this beautiful place. Overall it was a perfect family time and memorable moments (Thankfully no phone calls). Thank You Mussoorie… looking forward to come again soon!!