Anyone going to Mussoorie/Landour?
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India > States in India > India Travel > Uttarakhand
#46
| Member
Thank you so much for all the great info!

Is it quite easy to get to Dehradun from Landour?

From what I can tell there aren't too many movie theaters in the Mussoorie area, and I will certainly be needing a Bollywood fix while I'm there!
#47
| She-who-must-be-obeyed!
There are buses from Library Bazaar and I think Picture Palace down in Mussoorie. A taxi costs around 500 rupees although I paid this morning 600 rupees because it was to Landour Cantt to Wolfsburn, discovered access too difficult for Ambassador, so if coming up this far choose a narrow Maruti van i would suggest! The driver helped me with my bags on the last haul uphill so I gave him the extra 50 rupees (quoted 550 for the top of Landour).
Also for going down look into those jeeps which take passengers - I am not sure but I think they go to Dehra Dun.
Every cloud has a silver lining! :)
#48
| Member

Originally posted by: Ariel View Post

Is it quite easy to get to Dehradun from Landour?

From Picture Palace, there are plenty of buses and share-taxis going down. The bus takes 1.5 hours, not too comfortable, but ok if there's no choice. The taxi takes 1 hour and shud be 100 bucks a seat, going by Aishah's statement that it costs 500 from/to DD now (sheesh, I can remember when it used to be 200! [cry]). Five passengers per cab, so u pay 1/5th. If I remember correctly, you're arriving in Sept, which is not the high-season and cud mean u might have to wait a bit till there are 5 people (note: the drivers are ready to leave anytime so long as they get 500. So if there are 4 or fewer willing to split the cost, they'll drive). Bus or cab, coming up make sure u do not get into one heading for Library.
That's the easy bit. Now, to get to Landour Cantt [whoa] -- either walk the 3 km, or take a local cab. These guys are all crooks in disguise. Not bad people, just crooks. Actually I shud say cut-throats. They usually will charge 100 bucks one-way, though it's actually 80 (that's what the locals pay). If they think a foreigner is extra-gullible, they'll try to charge even more. On no account shud u pay more than 100, if u do use one. One poss is to walk down to PP, and take a cab up on the way back.
What everyone shud know - if u want to do some shopping in the bazar on the way up, they will wait upto 30 min en-route with no extra charge. Some might try to deny it at first, just wheedle a bit ("I've just arrived", or "the fridge/larder/cupboard is empty", or "it's my dog's birthday in a week and I HAVE to buy a card and send it today" - u know, that sort of thing. Ok, they might not buy that last one :rolleyes: )
From what I can tell there aren't too many movie theaters in the Mussoorie area, and I will certainly be needing a Bollywood fix while I'm there!

You're right, most of them are closed. There is still the Vasu on the Mall Road, near the Ropeway. They only open in "the season", not sure when it ends for them. It's old and hasn't been renovated in a long time. The local youth usually prefer to go down to DD. But hey, depending on where u stay, there's always satellite TV! 20 movies a day among the different channels.
#49
| She-who-must-be-obeyed!
You are right about the cab prices Dilliwalla - today I had to take a cab from Landour Bazaar up to Landour Cantt and he quoted 120 rupees - it is 80 rupees from Picture Palace, much further down. I got it to 100 and now the owner where I am staying is fixing the 80 rupee rate with one cab driver he knows and I have his telephone no. Landour Cantt is a very steep hike up from the Bazaar - I can walk down but not possible with heavy bags up again. I have now provisioned myself for four days so I don't have to do this too often but where I am staying it is lovely, much nicer than the Camel Back Rd flat I had last year (it is Wolfsburn owned by Professor Uniyal).
Every cloud has a silver lining! :)
#50
| Member
Like I said - cutthroats!
#51
| She-who-must-be-obeyed!
Yes, Dilliwalla, but luckily I now have the phone nos. of 2 good cab drivers recommended by another 'resident' up here. So the shot is to ask others staying up in this area about cab drivers, have a mobile phone (very handy) and then use them.
Every cloud has a silver lining! :)
#52
| Member
Feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to recommend good and reliable taxi!
"You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen." ~ Paulo Coelho
#53
| Member
Thanks again everybody for the great advice.

Aishah, you mentioned mobile phones. Is there a possibility to rent them for a brief period (in my case, two months)? On one hand I'm looking forward to a technology-free sejour... on the other hand, it's more practical to be connected!

I have a cell phone, but I'm afraid the fees would be exorbitant if I were to use it in India.

If anyone is in the mood to dispense some more much-needed advice, I was curious as to possible day trips or weekend trips... I'll be in Landour throughout September and October (and part of November), if anyone is interested in planning something.

Phir milinge!
#54
| Member
Hiya,
Can your phone instrument take any SIM card, or is it locked-in with your phone company? If it can, don't rent, that will be expensive. Better to buy an Idea or Airtel prepaid card in Mussoorie. They are available in a wide price-range, u can choose what u find most suitable.
Other than that, if u really want to be tech-free, there are plenty of shops from where u can make direct-dial calls, including international. So then it's really only about someone needing to reach u in a hurry. Your hotel/guest-house will have a fone anyway, for incoming messages. Internet cafes with broadband will be nearby wherever u stay (few mins walk at most), and are open usually till 10 pm.

Re trips, I'll tell u in a day or two. (It's late and I have to get some sleep!)
BTW, what kind of trips do u want to do? Walking, driving (including overnight?), or combining the two? What kind of stuff do u like to see?
#55
| Member
Ariel,
I will be in Landour/Mussoorie when you get there, I arrive July 22. I am very interested in taking plenty of weekend trips to places like rishikesh, hardiwar, and further up into the mountians. I will be teaching highschool there so my trips will be limited to weekends, except for my quarter break which is in early October. PM me when you get into town and I will give you a tour.
Chris
#56
| She-who-must-be-obeyed!
Ariel - Dilliwalla has covered what you need to know about mobiles - I have a govt. Sim card BSNL from Rajasthan and now the roaming charges are cheaper is o.k. for me here - but for you, if you need to rent there is a thread here about this, and I think you can rent from Delhi airport??? Much easier to have your own phone and buy a SIM card here. If you are staying the most time in Landour area then buy your card in Mussoorie or Landour Bazaar. I will check if available in Sisters Bazaar for you - at Prakash Ceneral Store, maybe. You will need passport and passport photo to purchase.
Every cloud has a silver lining! :)
#57
| Member
Thank you Dilliwala and Aishah for the information on phones! I'll have to check to see if my phone can take a SIM card, since that sounds like the easiest option.

Chris-- I will definitely PM you when I get to town. I should be there around the 5th or 6th of September. It would be great if you could show me around!

As for weekend trips, I get sort of queasy in cars (unless I'm the one driving) so I don't really want to go careening around in an off-roads jeep or anything... I think I'd be much more interested in trekking or renting bikes, or taking an overnight train to some nice town or village. From what I understand the whole "Valley of the Flowers" trek is a bit far from Landour, but it sounds wonderful.

I know very little about the area surrounding Landour-- other than what I've manged to glean online-- so I'm completely open to suggestions. Is there a good guide specific to the area? I have the massive Lonely Planet India guide, but the chapter on Mussoorie/ Landour is miniscule.
#58
| Member
As for weekend trips, I get sort of queasy in cars (unless I'm the one driving) so I don't really want to go careening around in an off-roads jeep or anything... I think I'd be much more interested in trekking or renting bikes, or taking an overnight train to some nice town or village.

In the Himalaya, on-road is off-road and off-road is on-road, heheheh.:)
Don't even think of driving yourself. Even long-time plains drivers with no experience in the hills often get psyched out, and u have never driven in the plains here(right?). Our hill-drivers are a separate species altogether, especially in Garhwal! [whoa]
Forget about renting bikes. U cud buy one and sell it off when u leave, but it won't be much use, since these are just regular bikes - no gears. What you're thinking of is a mountain bike, and those can neither be bought nor hired in Muss or DD. Yes, walking or trekking present many options - more later.
From what I understand the whole "Valley of the Flowers" trek is a bit far from Landour, but it sounds wonderful.

A very good idea. However, u wud have to bus it to Govindghat, beyond Joshimath. From there it's a 14-km trek. U wud need at least 3, maybe 4 buses to get to there. The best option wud be to hire a taxi for the whole trip, expensive for one person, but quite reasonable if u find others to go along. 3-4 persons in the taxi is ideal. This trip wud require 4 nights away from Muss, so u wud need to see how it cud be fit in. U cud cram it into three (only if u take a taxi), but that will be hectic. Best to go there by mid-Sept, thereafter it will get really cold at Ghangharia (where u have to spend 1 or 2 nights, in very basic accom).
I know very little about the area surrounding Landour--.....Is there a good guide specific to the area?

Yes. ME! :D
Nah, not really. But I do know Mussoorie and surroundings pretty well, so I'll post bits and pieces here by and by. Trying to do it all in one go will keep me in front of the PC a verrry long time.
Unfortunately there is no "official" publication that can be described as good. However there is a very good one available listing treks in the surrounding areas (plus the flora and fauna)- by Woodstock School in fact. It's the publication of their Natural History Society called "Ophrysia". Published in the '70s. Some of the info dates to the 60s, maybe even late 50s!. But it's good enough to give people a general idea, since the trek-routes are described in detail. Since Ocoeeg is going to be teaching at the school, he shud be able to get hold of a copy from the library (photopcopy the whole book if poss, dude - it's quite slim). There is also another book published around 1998 by the WNHS, whose name I forget - it incorporates the whole of Ophrysia and also has more articles about the surrounding forests, geology, etc. Also an interesting read.
#59
| ...thori si pagal hai vo...
I'd also be interested in tips on trips that can be made from Landour/Mussoorie during one day or during one weekend (Fri evening - Sun evening). I enjoy walking, I'm interested in trekking, but don't have experience in trekking, really. Will be there mid-September --> mid-December.
But rather, ten times rather, die in the surf, heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore! -Florence Nightingale
#60
| Member
In the Himalaya, on-road is off-road and off-road is on-road, heheheh.


I don't even know what that means, but it sounds scary! Should I be worried?

The thing that really makes me ill is a lot of curves in the road. And even then I'm usually all right if I hang my head out the window like a dog.

For the Valley of the Flowers trip, if we hire a taxi do you have any idea how long a drive that is? I'd also love to visit Ladakh. Once again, I'm not sure how long that would take. I am actually only booked at the school from September through October, and I'm not leaving until mid-November, so I did intentionally leave a little chunk of time for travel. My main priority is to polish up my Hindi, but I'd also like to see as much as I can in a (relatively) short amount of time.

As for bikes, is a regular bike really no good at Landour? I've had this fantasy of whizzing around on a little bike like they do in "Jewel on the Crown." I've already been hit by cars twice here in Paris... is it dodgier than that, or just impossible?

Ploink-- send me a PM when you get to town. And don't worry-- I have no real experience trekking either. Maybe we could go to Amritsar for the weekend, something like that?

So, full disclosure: I'm getting a bit nervous! I really have no idea what to expect, and I can be a bit, shall we say, "delicate" at times. I am 23, have lived in both the city and the country, have travelled all over Europe and America, quite a bit by myself, and been in more than a few hairy situations, but from what I hear nothing can compare to India. I guess I'm just wondering if I am cut out for this! (This question is mostly rhetorical, since I've already bought plane tickets).