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Landaur Bazaar

The Landour area is the oldest settlement in the entire township and still preserves the tranquility of the bygone colonial times. The gradual uphill walk towards Landour begins from the Bhotia Market at Picture Palace on the eastern end of the Mall road (The Picture Palace square is called so after the erstwhile Electric Picture Palace cinema theatre which happened to be the first cinema theatre in India which was projected with electricity, presently it houses a 3D gaming zone).

The point where the erstwhile Clock Tower once stood is where the Landour Bazaar exceeds till the GurudwaraChowk. During the British times the same stretch was known as Parade Lane as the British Army troops marched on it. Later a market evolved here which was named as Shivaji Market. The Clock Tower had a history of its own the gong of which was audible till Rajpur as claim some elders. The Castle Hill Estate is the where Maharani Jinda Kaur of Patiala lived in exile. Now the Estate belongs to the Survey of India. The numerous Dosa joints opposite to the Castle Hill gate are favorite hang outs amongst youngsters of the town who frequent there for mouthwatering South Indian cuisines. Another land mark in the Landour Bazaar is the Kohinoor Building which has completed more than hundred years of existence. The Survey Chowk is lined with shops famous for delicious sweets and namkeen (Indian fried snacks).

The Landour Bazaar is also famous for the shops where exclusive Pahaari silver jewelry is made to order. The Survey Chowk leads through GurudwaraChowk from where a further steep uphill climb provides birds’ eye view of the Landour settlement. This narrow alley is lined with small shops of customized handmade leather footwear, antiques and Bhotia eateries and Woolens. The climb pauses at Mullingaar, the first residential building of Mussoorie (the residence of Captain Frederick Young, the founder of Mussoorie, who named the building after his county in Ireland) thus giving the locality the name after it. Mullingaar is the only Bhotia habitation in the town and the Bhotia elders can be seen playing cards or just basking cozy sun in slumbering Mullingaar. The Woodstock International School and the Language school is the prime nucleus of this area.

The Mullingaarjunction is the bifurcation point for the road leading to Dhanaulty and the one reaching further to Chaar-Dukan, LaalTibba and Sister Bazaar. The tranquil walk towards Chaar-Dukan is thickly wooded with oak, deodar and rhododendron the very air of which is quite soothing. Reasonably, the area comes under the Landour Cantonment Board and the residents include Padmashree/Padmabhushan award recipient author Ruskin Bond, Padmashreeaward recipient actor Tom Alter, author Steve Alter, actor Victor Banerjee, media-person Pronoy Roy, author Ganesh Saili, film maker Vishal Bhardwaj, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar andbusinessman Sanjay Narangto name a few. Chaar-Dukan is named so after the four (Chaar) shops (Dukan) which stands next to the St. Pauls’ or the Kellogg’s Church where the parents of legendary Sir Jim Corbett entered into holy matrimony. Chaar-Dukan is a really laidback joint where the culinary delights are hot and tempting cheese omelets, pizzas, pastas and macaroni, noodles, pancakes, juices and aromatic tea and coffee, all under the lazy lukewarm sun and the naughty crispy breeze.

Chaar-Dukan also stands as a bifurcation point for two routes, locally known as ‘Chakkar Road’, meeting at a point near Sister Bazaar. The evening sun of autumn and winter kiss the forehead of the Queen of the Hills and she blushes red. LalTibba is the highest hill in the town which turns into the hues of red when the evening sun of winter falls on it. The circular path goes through Childer’s lodge where a powerful binocular enables the best view of the great Himalayas. A canteen at the ticket counter makes it a cozy little joint. An old cemetery amidst the scented deodar forest leads through the Sister Bazaar where the sisters of the Landour Sanitarium once lived. Today, the tiny bazaar is known all over for some of the best verities of cottage cheese, peanut butter, jams, marmalades and other tempting homemade goodies.