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The Mall Road

Stretched over an area of 2 km, the Mall road beats through the very heart of the town on the south face of the hillside providing a commanding panorama of the vast Doon Valley which appears as a dream during the day and a shimmering heaven in night. Most of the hotels, restaurant, bars, liquor shops, showrooms, handicrafts and souvenir shops are lined on the Mall road. Vehicles can enter the Mall Road after getting a token of Rupees 100/ on either entry points, that is, Library bazaar and Picture Palace. Vehicular movement is restricted after 4 pm till 10 pm after which entry is free till 7 am. However, the Mall road is best recommended for leisurely walks. Cycle rickshaw cruises between Library entry barrier and Jhulaghar ropeway point. (Click on ‘Town Tales’ and check ‘Love-rides on the roads of Mussoorie’ to read more). Horse-rides and peaceful walks are recommended on the Camel’s Back Road which bifurcates from the Mall Road leading through the north face of the Mussoorie ridge.

The entire Mall Road is very charming with flowering trees, wide open views and murals on the hill side. Numerous street vendors sell tempting momos and roasted sweetcorn with a dash of lemon and pinch of salt. A walk while munching leads to Tibetan Market where Tibetans of Mussoorie sell woolen and other wears on a good bargain. The hillside over the Tibetan Market blossoms with infinite multi-color Dahlia (Dahlia sambucifolia) during monsoon while two Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia) bloom with their blue glory aside Mall Road. Further ahead, the Jawahar Aquariums houses exotic species of fresh water and marine fishes. The Jawahar Aquariums exit door opens to the route leading to Gunhill which is also connected with the Mall Road through a cable-car ropeway. The Ropeway station is known as Jhulaghar where cozy eateries and rides on a giant wheel keep the giggles and shrieks loudly alive. (Jhulaghar is fortified by ShahidSthal where, on the fateful noon of 2nd September 1994, police opened fire on the innocent citizen of Mussoorie who were rallying for the demand of a separate state of Uttarakhand, six of them were martyred). Jhulaghar also happens to be the bifurcation point for Upper Mall, with make-shift shops on the model of the Tibetan Market, and Lower Mall Road which soon unites at the entrance of Kulri bazaar. Right here lies the Cambridge Book Depot where renowned author Ruskin Bond interacts with fans on the evenings of Saturday. Kulri bazaar is rather busy and glittery with most of the Restaurants, bars and showrooms. Yet, tongue tingling street food joints equally holds the crowd. The tiny and cozy Lovely Omelet Center, opposite the Methodist Church, can be smelled from far even before reaching it and followers from far make it the point to reach it when in Mussoorie. The loop of the Camel’s Back Road culminates at the RastogiChowk on the Mall Road. A small loop on the south face is often trailed by school children between Chic-Chocolate café and Picture palace. Amidst the ultra-modern restaurants and eateries, the humble Delhi Sweets Shop hides itself cozily to serve the locals aromatic Chai-Samosa and hot Doodh-Jalebi. The Tilak Memorial public Library also stands in the vicinity.