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Flora and Fauna

Flora Mussoorie was once a lush forest comprising oak, rhododendron and deodar where the people of Bhattaand Kyarkulivillages grazed their cattle. One particular shrubcalledMansoor (cororiananepalensis) grew in abundance here hence the villagers named the ridge Mansuri. It was during the year 1826 that Captain Frederick Young of the Sirmour Rifles ventured out on a horse from Rajpur into the Mansuri ridge. As the region was rich in exotic flora and fauna, Captain Young, along with Sir F.J. Shore, built a shooting box around the Camel’s Back Roadarea. Later, Captain Young made the first residential building in Mansuriwhich he named Mullingaar after his county in Ireland. The ridge, with its pleasing climate like that of the Irish and Scottish highlands, was chosen as the best location for a healthy sojourn and subsequently, the Landour Sanitarium was established here.The soothing climate of Mussoorie prompted Dr. King of the Royal Botanical Garden Calcutta, Dr. Royale of the Saharanpore Botanical Garden and General Biddulf of the Bengal Engineers to establish a branch of the gardens in Mussoorie and the plan was executed in the year 1842 as Company Garden. The garden houses a healthy accumulation of exotic flowers and the rare Gingko Biloba trees (Gingko Biloba is a living fossil).

Fauna As mentioned above, the region was rich in exotic flora and fauna and hence Captain Young, along with Sir F.J. Shore, built a shooting box around the Camel’s Back Roadarea The thick jungles in and around the township inhabits a healthy population of exotic Himalayan birds along with leopards, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, jungle martens, rabbits, pheasants, reptiles and wild rodents. The Benog Birds Sanctuarycovers the forest of the western ridge of Mussoorie and happens to be the area where the extinct mountain quail was last seen during the 1970s. The impressive Benoghilltop is guarded by the temple of Goddess Jwalaji where an annual fair is held during autumn. The hilltop also provides magnificent view of the great Himalayas, the Mussoorie Township, and the Yamuna river valley. The healthy population of avifauna in the forest makes it an ideal place for bird watching.