Popularly known as 'The Queen of the Hills', Mussoorie is in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of 'greater Mussoorie', as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani. To the northeast are the Himalayan snow ranges, and to the south, the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges. 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.
Mussoorie was founded by Lt. Frederick Young of East India Company. Lt. Young came to these hills for the purpose of shooting game and 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.
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).
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 around 5,000 Tibetans live in Mussoorie.
The Landour Community Hospital is a Christian mission hospital run by the Emmanuel Hospital Association, Delhi, which has provided for the medical needs of Mussoorie's hill people for 75 years. Schools include Woodstock School (1854), Convent of Jesus and Mary, Waverly (1845), St George's College (1853), Oak Grove School (1888), Wynberg-Allen (1888), Guru Nanak Fifth Centenary (1969), and Convent of Jesus and Mary Hampton Court.
Mussoorie is connected by road to Delhi and major cities. It is called the "Gateway" to Yamunotri and Gangotri shrines of Northern India. And today due to 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.
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