Mossy Falls, Mussoorie

I was absolutely charmed by the name of this waterfall and marked it down on the map as a detour to take on our way from the airport to our hotel in Mussoorie. The route was not terribly well marked, and we could find our way only by following directions of a school’s coach who was leading a platoon of teenagers on a strenuous jog through mountain roads. He stopped his motorbike, let the sweaty youngsters pass, and then gave us detailed directions. The road was one which could only have been imagined by a gym instructor. At some turns the car was close to vertical, and I was held to the seat only by the seat belt.

The road abruptly ended at a point where a stream made a right turn, and there, just around the corner, was the waterfall. In better light the place must be gorgeous. Even in the flat light of a heavily overcast day, the greenery surrounding the place was stunning. I could almost forgive the large amount of raw concrete which was being poured into directing the stream around the bend. We walked down the concrete steps to the narrow steel bridge over the water. We’d had a long day’s travel, from the early morning flight, a change at Delhi, and the drive up from Dehra Dun. It was nice to stand in this utterly still place, where the only sound was of water and look down into the shallow but swiftly flowing stream.

On the far side of the construction was a grotto, where a Shivaling was placed strategically under a fall of water. One interesting thing about this place is that it isn’t a single waterfall. The main stream comes down the water fall which you can see in the featured photo, but there are smaller waterfalls around which all add to the stream flowing down from here.The Garhwal Shivaliks are full of these little streams which eventually wend their way into the main rivers which wash through the north of India. Of course, the place was mossy, but I’d just finished reading a story about the naming of this place by Ruskin Bond. That story is so funny that it definitely deserves to be true. So I leave you with it.

The naming of places is never as simple as it may seem. Mossy Falls is a small waterfall on the outskirts of the town. You might think it was named after the moss that is so plentiful around it, but you’d be wrong. It was really named after Mr. Moss, the owner of the Alliance Bank who was affectionately known as Mossy to his friends When, at the turn of the century, Alliance Bank collapses, Mr. Moss also fell from grace. ‘Poor old Mossy’, said his friends, and promptly named the falls after him.
Landour Days by Ruskin Bond