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Heritage

Mussoorie is abundantly gifted with the legacy and heritage which has completed 200 years of existence. Most of the buildings and structures date back to the times of the pioneer settlers of Mussoorie. The Mullingaarbuilding (the residence of Captain Frederick Young and the first residential building in Mussoorie) still stands above Landourbazaar overlooking the town and the Doon valley. The list is really very long but the heritage building to name a few includes the Hakman’s hotel, Charliville, Library and the Criterion, Velridge, Lynndale, Clouds End, the Exchange, the Kilmarnock and the Kohinoor. The Galogi power station at Bhatta village is the second hydro-electricity power station in the country after Orissa.

The Picture Palace or the Electric Picture Palace as it was then called is the first picture hall in the country which was run with electricity. The Christ Church is the oldest Church of North India. The Rink was the biggest and the most happening roller skating rink in the country. The Savoy hotel was the biggest hotel in the country in terms of area. The Park Estate, also known as Sir George Everest house, was the residence cum office of Sir George Everest who was the then Surveyor General of the Royal Trigonometric Survey of India. The residence and the observatory still exist at the Estate. Mussoorie has been home to many great personalities of the past and present. The list is long again but to mention a few names it includes Sir George Everest, Sir John Mackinnon, Sir Henry Bohle, Sir Frederick ‘Pahari’ Wilson, Sir John Lang (all resting in peace in the cemeteries of Mussoorie), Sir Jim Corbett, Sir Mauger Monk, Maharani Jinda Kaur of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh of Punjab, Maharaja Rajendra Singh of Kapurthala, Maharaja of Baroda, Maharaja of Jind and the great travel writer Rahul Sanskrityayan.

The well-known residents of the present time include Padmashree/Padmabhushan Ruskin Bond, Padmashree Tom Alter, Stephen Alter, Victor Banerjee, Hugh and Colleen Gantzer, Late SudhirThapliyal and Ganesh Saili. Facts related to Mussoorie suggest that Sir George Everest measured the height of Mount Everest from here, Rahul Sanskrityayan, who was an avid traveller, writer and master of seven foreign languages, compiled his most famous volumes staying in Mussoorie and noted Novelist Agatha Christie’s first ever novel ‘Mysterious affairs at styles’ was based on an incident happened at the Savoy Hotel. The monolith outside Bhadraaj temple on the westernmost reach of Mussooriebears the inscriptions in English and Arabic pertaining to the early visitors of Mussoorie.