First Hill Station of Uttarakhand

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First Hill Station of India
Mussoorie Library

The development of Hill Station in India was initially done by the Britishers. Britishers developed the hill stations in India for the sanitarium. Britishers were uses the term ‘Hill Station’ for the ‘Mountain Resort’. Actually, Hill Stations are nothing but an area that is located at high elevation than the nearby area. Their height is measured by the Sea level in feet or meters.

The First Hill Station of
Uttarakhand is the Mussoorie that was first developed by the Britishers.
Mussoorie is also the First Hill Station of India. The people who develop the
Mussoorie as hill stations were mainly British Army officers, military doctors,
businessmen, and administrators. The hill stations in India are the type of
tourist place that was developed by the Britishers for their own recreation.

The credit goes to Captain Young,
who was a British military officer to the establishment of Mussoorie as the
first hill station of India in the year 1823. Mussoorie is located at 6578 feet
meters in height from sea level. Due to much popularity of Mussoorie, it is
also popular as Queen of Hills in India.

Uttarakhand has more than 40
famous Hill Stations like Mussoorie, Nainital, Almora, Bhimtal, Chakrata,
Chopta, Dhanaulti, Lansdowne, Ranikhet, etc. But the credit of the first hill
station of Uttarakhand gets only Mussoorie.

You Should Read: Tourist Places to Visit in Dehradun

The Concept of Hill Station in

queen of hill stations in india

Britishers are the main person
who launched the concept of Hill stations in India. They developed the hill
stations for official, private purposes, and satellite stations. Origins of
Hill stations can be traced to the early nineteenth century when the Britishers
establish sanitaria in the lap Himalayan Mountains to recover from the heat and the disease of the plains.

To build sanatoria and military
containment for the soldiers that would also be used as health resorts and
vacation resorts of British origin, they purchased land in 1820 for the first
time in the hilly area of Mussoorie from the local princes.

Later they also establish hill
stations in Shimla, Ooty, Darjeeling, etc. Between the years 1820 to 1830
twelve hill stations were established all over India. In the next decade,
between the years 1830 to 1840 the maximum number of hill stations are
established, which was 23.

Mitchell divided the hill
stations into five categories on the basis of size and function, which were
developed by the Britishers in India.

  1. The Official Multifunctional Hill
    Station- Examples are Shimla, Darjeeling, Nainital, and Ooty.
  2. The Private Multifunctional Hill
    Station – Examples are Kodaikanal, Matheran, and Mussoorie.
  3. The Single-Purpose Hill Station
  4. The Minor Hill Station
  5. The Satellite Hill Station

Monika Bührlein identifies the chronological pattern in the development of Hill Stations of India in the
current form from the British era, which is listed below.

  1. Sanitarium to a high refuge
  2. High refuge to hill station
  3. Hill station to town (1892-1948)

Mussoorie-The First Hill
Station of India

indian hill station

Mussoorie was under the leadership of Umer Singh Thapa who was the leader of Gorkhas in 1803. Gorkhas
wanted to extend their kingdom in Kumaon, Garhwal, and Sikkim. So there was a
war broke out between the Gorkhas and the Britishers in November 1814.
Britishers win this war and later in 1815, Britishers win this place from
Gorkhas and merged it with Saharanpur. To control and secure the area they
fixed the boundaries.

The first house was a small hut
of Mr. Shore and Captain Young at Mussoorie. Later Captain Young built his
large residence named ‘Mullingar’ at Mussoorie. Gradually lots of other
Europeans attracted by the natural beauty of Mussoorie and came here. It is
said that the first English apple tree was planted at Mussoorie.

In the early 1840s, there were
more than a hundred European houses in the famous hill station like Mussoorie, Shimla,
and Ooty. Where Darjeeling had just thirty and Mahabaleshwar has a dozen

Mussoorie was never served as a summer capital and official purposes. It always remained an unofficial hill
station where Britishers go for the affairs, gossips, romance that makes it – The honeymoon capital of India. Ooty and Shimla are also parallelly established
as Hill Stations in India by the Britishers with Mussoorie.

Later in 19th century, Mussoorie
with the other hill stations like Simla, Darjeeling, Ooty established
themselves as places of social prestige. After the development of
Hardwar-Dehradun Railway line in the year 1900 Mussoorie becomes the easily
accessible hill station in Northern India that made it more popular.

Mussoorie-The Queen of Hill
Station of India

hill stations in uttarakhand

Mussoorie is about 35 kilometers
from Dehradun by road and is located in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan
range. Now Mussoorie is more famous as the Queen of Hill Station of India.
There are lots of tourist places with beautiful natural sceneries, waterfalls,
snowfalls attracted the tourist here around the world. Mussoorie weather is very
pleasant during the summer and chill in winter. Tourists come here to see
snowfalls in winter and enjoy the pleasant weather in summers. The most famous
tourist places of Mussoorie are listed below.

  • Lal Tibba
  • Lake Mist
  • Kempty Falls
  • Gun Hill
  • Lakha Mandal
  • Happy Valley
  • Mossy fall
  • Dhanaulti

You Should Read: Best Honeymoon Hill Stations in India 


  • Preferred Citation: Kennedy,
    Dane. The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. Berkeley:  University of California Press, c1996 1996.
  • Isabelle Sacareau: Himalayan hill
    stations from the British Raj to Indian tourism

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