Welcome to Mussoorie
Mussoorie ,like other hill resorts in India, came into existence in the 1820s or thereabouts, when the families of British colonials began making for the hills in order to escape the scorching heat of the plains. Small settlements grew into large stations and were soon vying with each other for the title of "queen of the hills." Mussoorie's name derives from the Mansur shrub (Cororiana nepalensis), common in the Himalayan foothills; but many of the house names derive from the native places of those who first built and lived in them. Today, the old houses and estates are owned by well-to-do Indians, many of whom follow the lifestyle of their former colonial rulers. In most cases, the old names have been retained.
Take, for instance, the Mullingar. This is not one of the better-preserved buildings, having been under litigation for some years; but it was a fine mansion once, and it has the distinction of being the oldest building in Mussoorie. It was the home of an Irishman, Captain Young, who commanded the first Gurkha battalion when it was in its infancy. As you have probably guessed, he came form Mullingar, in old Ireland, and it was to Ireland that he finally returned, when he gave up his sword and saddle. There is a story that on moonlit nights a ghostly rider can be seen on the Mullingar flat and that this is Captain Young revisiting old haunts.
As everywhere the Scots were great pioneers in Mussoorie too, and were quick to identify Himalayan hills and meadows with their own glens and braes. There are over a dozen house names prefixed with "Glen." The English, of course, went in for castles-there's Connaught Castle and Grey Castle and Castle Hill, home for a time to the young Sikh prince, Dalip Singh before he went to England to become a protégé of Queen Victoria. Mussoorie did have a Dickens connection in the 1850s when Charles Dickens was publishing his magazine Household Words. His correspondent in India was John Lang, a popular novelist and newspaper proprietor, who spent the last years of his life in Mussoorie. His diverting account of a typical Mussoorie "season," called "The Himalaya Club," appeared in Household Words in the issue of March 21, 1857.