One Winter Morning in Mussoorie

The long and winding road to Mussoorie

These photos were taken early one morning in the winter of  ’73  walking back down to the bazaar in Mussoorie (Northern India)  from Mt St George in Landour along the chukkar from Kellogg Church down to Rai Singh’s tea shop on Tehri Road, down Mullingar Hill and past the Clock Tower.

Landour is located in the Lower Western Himalaya, in the Mussoorie Range, the second of the five parallel folds of the Himalaya. It has an altitude of 6,000 to 6,600 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m). This is where I spent the final two years of high school.

View from Mount St George

Sunrise at Landour

To the left of the range is Swargarohini and to the right is Bandarpunch (Hindi for Monkey’s Tail). This is overlooking the Bandarpunch region of the Garhwal Himalaya taken near Kellogg Church.

Rai Singh's Tea Shop on Tehri Road

Rai Singh was the proprietor of this little tea shop on the road close to Woodstock School where many of us enjoyed his chai. I also learned much of my Indian history and politics from Rai Singh who constantly listened to the radio. Some of us, including myself, have written poems in his honour and so his memory will be forever in our hearts.

Hostel and Midlands - the high school dorms

These were the buildings where we lived in boarding. I boarded at Midlands, on the upper right hand sight. The high school boys boarded at Hostel, while the little boys lived in between at Ridgeland.  I didn’t particularly like the style of accommodation at Midlands, mainly because it was so rustic and run down at the time but I did enjoy going to the tri-weekly dances at Hostel which boasted a new refurbished recreation room in 1969.

The back of the shops at Mullingar Hill

Mussoorie

The town of Mussoorie has changed much over the years. This is how it was when I went to school between 1969-1971 – quiet and peaceful. Mules and coolies were the main form of transport with hardly a missionary jeep in sight.  The shops were small and mainly catered to the local population. Today, Mussoorie is busting with traffic jams (look at the size of the these roads) with every second shop offering internet services. There are still the beautiful shawls shops and great cafes. What used to be at least an hour’s walk back up the winding hill through the bazaar and to school is now only a ten minute taxi ride!!

Mussoorie Clock Tower 1973

Mussoorie Bazaar

Rai Singh (photo courtesy B.Gilmore)

 

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