Mussoorie Knowledge Guide
In 1803, the Gorkhas, under Umer Singh Thapa conquered the Garhwal and the Dehra, and by that Mussoorie implicitly came into existence. In 1814-1815, the Gorkhas clashed with the British, and evacuated Mussoorie. On 1 November 1814 a war broke out and Dehradun was evacuated of the Gorkhas by 1815 and was annexed to the district of Saharanpur by 1819.It was then established in 1825 by Captain Young an adventurous British military officer. Together with Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun, they explored the present site and jointly constructed a shooting lodge. This laid the foundation of this holiday resort which now has few rivals. Its name is derived from a shrub locally called mansoor behind the house of the Captain. Some believe that perhaps that is reason behind the name of the town, which is also known as Mansoori among the natives of the surrounding area. It is also alleged that Mussoorie was founded by Lt. Frederick Young of East India Company. Lt. Young came to these hills for the purpose of shooting game.He was so enamoured by the beauty that he decided to build a hunting lodge (shooting box) on the Camel's Back Road with FJ Shore, Jt. Magistrate of Doon in 1823. He raised the first Gurkha Regiment and planted the first potatoes in the valley. His tenure in Mussoorie ended in 1844 and he further served in Dimapur and Darjeeling and retired as a General and went back to Ireland. There are no memorials to commemorate Young in Mussoorie. However, there is a Young Road in Dehradoon on which ONGC's Tel Bhawan stands. In 1832 Mussoorie was the intended terminus of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India that began at the southern tip of India. Although unsuccessful, the Surveyor General of India at the time, George Everest wanted to have the new office of the Survey of India based in Mussoorie. A compromise was to have it in Dehradun, where it still is.In 1850 the first beer brewery in India was built in Mussoorie. By 1894 there were 22 breweries in India producing 6 million gallons a year. By 1901 Mussoorie's population had grown to 6,461, rising to 15,000 in the summer. Earlier, Mussoorie was approachable by road from Saharanpur, 58 miles (93 km) away. Accessibility became easier in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km). The name Mussoorie is often attributed to a derivation of 'mansoor', a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is often referred to as 'Mansoori' by most Indians.The main promenade in Mussoorie is called, as in other hill stations, the Mall. In Mussoorie, the Mall stretches from Picture Palace at its eastern end to the Public Library at its western end. The Nehru family, including Nehru's daughter Indira (later Indira Gandhi) were frequent visitors to Mussoorie in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and stayed at the Savoy Hotel. They also spent much time in nearby Dehradun, where Nehru's sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit ultimately settled full-time. During the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, the Central Tibetan Administration of the 14th Dalai Lama was at first established in Mussoorie before being moved to its present location in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The first Tibetan school was established in Mussoorie in 1960. Tibetans settled mainly in Happy Valley. Today, some 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.Mussoorie today has an increased development of hotels and tourist lodges, given its relative proximity to Delhi, Ambala, and Chandigarh, and has serious problems of garbage collection, water scarcity and parking shortages, especially during the summer tourist season. Landour, Jharipani and Barlowganj have fewer such problems.