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Benog Tibba Trek 2016, Mussoorie

Benog Tibba Trek

Hiking through historical Mussoorie


Duration       : 1 day (5-6 hrs)
Level            : Mix of easy & energetic 
Distance       : 15-20 km
Ideal Season : All year round
Location        : West of Library, Mussoorie

Package Inclusions
  • All snacks & packed veg. lunch on the trail
  • Forest trail permits
  • Trek guide
  • Services of trek leader

   * trek charges applicable from Clouds End near Mussoorie


Scenic Walk

Benog Hill Trek Mussoorie

Waverley to Park Chungi

TrailHikers invites you to Benog Hill Trek 2016, a long full day hike in Mussoorie, rich with historical, environmental and botanical insights that will delight the historian as well as a nature lover. The walk takes one past the fine colonial building of Savoy Hotel (the biggest in the Himalayas) and the exotic but authentic French lines of chateau, beautifully preserved but not open to public. The road doubles back at Modern School and brings you to Waverley Convent, one of Mussoorie's oldest and most famous girl's schools. The motor road walk from Waverley to Park Chungi is a level 3 km that passes through the unspoilt jungle preserved by virtue of belonging to private estates. In the nick of time, the Supreme Court banned resort developers from axing these forests.


Clouds End Forest Resort

Day hikes Mussoorie

Eco-friendly effort

Near the old Chungi is Leopard's Lodge, a ruin that marks the residence of the famous Delhi commissioner Fraser. The building of Cloud End bungalow, isolated and immaculately girldled by oak forest, was supervised by one of the first colonial travel writers, Fanny Parkes, in 1838. The present proprietor of Cloud End Forest Resort has made a sincere attempt to create a resort that combines its original ambience with latest eco-friendly regard for the surroundings. There is an outdoor restaurant that functions during the Mussoorie season.


Limestone Cliffs

Benog Hill trek Mussoorie

Old limestone quarries

It seems hard to believe that limestone trucks once ran up and down the sheer mountain side of Benog. A public outcry saved Benog from the fate of Hathipaon (adjoining Everest's estate) that was decapitated for its limestone, considered amongst the purest on the planet. So frenetic and irresponsible was the urge to quarry it that all eco-sense was abandoned and the Supreme Court had to intervene to enforce a ban. This eastern side of Benog has now been declared the Mountain Quail Sanctuary, popularly known as Benog Wildlife Sanctuary and, thankfully, new plantations have sprung up to obscure the limestone roads. The mountain quail was last sighted here in 1880's. It is believed that this bird species, assumed, extinct, has been re-sighted in another area of Uttarakhand.


Nature Trail from Clouds End

Day trips Mussoorie

Dense Forest Trail

TrailHikers organizes this day trek which involves walking between 15-20 km. This means a long day, but only half a distance if you use transport to and from Clouds End. If you wish you can start from Library (Kitabghar), a fine victorian building maintained by Hugh and Collen Gantzer, which presides over Gandhi Chowk at the western end of Mussoorie's Mall road. It is a 6 km walk to Cloud's End through a well forested, mainly level ridge, west of Mussoorie.


Benog Hill

Benog Hill Mussoorie

View from the trail

To get your trekking money's worth, walk on the main road from the Library, past the Savoy Hotel. The road doubles back at Modern School and brings you to Waverley. Just beyond the gates, you get an overview of the route that lies way ahead. To the west lies the solitary peak of Benog Tibba. Also visible is your return route, culminating in the yelow roof of the Happy Valley Tibbetan Monastary. Now note the sheer plummeting of the eastern face of Benog, and hope your knees will be warmed well enough to tackle it by the time you get there. From Waverley to Park Chungi is a beautiful, level, 3 km forested road.



Jwala Devi temple

Benog Tibba Mussoorie

At Benog Hill (2,250m)

At Park Chungi, there is a shop and piped drinking water. The shortest way to Everest's Park Estate which occupies the ridge overlooking the Doon valley is to follow the over-grown, quarry road uphill, taking appropriate short-cuts to cut off the corners (like all pragmatic hill people). The ridge walk to Clouds End from Everest's Estate is another 3 km through the pristine jungle. At Clouds End, turn north, descending to a narrow saddle straddling limestone cliffs. Then, swing east to traverse a well aligned path (3km) up to the southern, bald face of the mountain known to the British as 'Ben Og'. Benog gives great views of the snow peaks and the River Yamuna. The northern face is so steep and thickly forested that it hosts the 'ghoral', a mountain goat once quite common in these hills but now almost extinct. Benog Tibba peak at 2,250m has a small temple dedicated to Goddess Jwala Devi, worshipped by the locals.


Murray Pumping Station

Day trips Mussoorie

Colonial Machinery

From Benog you can either return via Clouds End and the motor road to Mussoorie, or make an adventurous descent down the eastern face (facing Mussoorie) by a pagdandi (faint foot-path) to the old stone quarries. Continue down near-vertical roads, built for high-geared limestone trucks that once zigzagged crazily to Dhobhi Ghat, famous for its gushing water springs. From Dhobhi Ghat, one of Mussoorie's least visited and magical corners (not to be confused with Woodstock Dhobhi Ghat), to avoid a long detour, opt for a 1-hr climb up the eastern flank of Mussoorie's Happy Valley (following the pipeline) through the forest. It will bring you to Murray Pumping Station, with its still-working colonial machinery. There is a jeepable road to Company Bagh, but it is just as quick to keep ascending by the original bridle path to emerge at the Tibbetan Central School. There is a reason for the big Tibbetan settlement here, mostly built in the authentic Tibetan style. When the Dalai Lama first fled Tibet, he took up residence here, at Birla House. From Happy Valley, a level, well forested motor road returns you to the Library after 4 km.


Mountain Quail Sanctuary

Benog Wildlife Sanctuary

Daypack Suggestions

Carry a daypack with follwing essentials :
  • Rain jacket
  • Hand towel
  • Sun cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (most important)
  • Hydration pack (ORS)
  • Juices / packed lunch
  • Walking stick

Mountain Quail Sanctuary

Benog Wildlife Sanctuary

Wild Facts

Benog forest region was established as Mountain Quail Sanctuary in September 1993. It is popularly known as Benog Wildlife Sanctuary which covers an area of 1081.97 hectares. The sanctuary was named after Mountain Quail, a Himayalan bird which is now extinct in the region. This forest has a rare species of Himalayan goat known as Himalayan Goral or Ghural, found at higher alitudes. Also known as Benog wildlife reserve, this region has some amazing nature walks, rich flora & fauna and an adventurous hike to the Benog Tibba peak (2,250m). It is a scenic nature trail & a learning experience for nature lovers of all age groups.


Himalayan Goral

Himalayan Goral

Wild Facts

Himalayan Goral or Ghural is a goat like animal that can be found in the mountainous regions at an altitude of 1,100-4,000m. Its greyish-brown coat becomes thick, shaggy wool in winter. Both sexes have short pointed horns, about 6 inches long. About 4 1/2 ft long, and 2 1/2 ft high, the Himalayan Ghoral (Nemorhaedus goral) weighs upto 80 pounds. It is remarkably sure-footed and can move at speeds even over near-vertical terrain. If faced with danger it 'freezes' and then, suddenly, runs if the danger becomes too close. Gorals are well camouflaged, and thus are very difficult to spot, especially when they are still. TrailHikers exploration team organizes special exploratory treks to spot this beautiful animal in the wild. 

Wormwood Herb

Wormwood Herb Mussoorie

Wild Facts

Among the many herbs to be found in the region is Artemisia parviflora, an aromatic, bitter-tasting plant with elegantly designed leaves that form part of the ayurvedic repertoire. Scientists refer to this as an 'invasive weed' and, in English, the family is disparagingly referred to as wormwood or mugwort. It has several medicinal properties and contains vitamins & antioxidants. Wormwood is used for various digestion problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, gall bladder disease, and intestinal spasms, to treat fever, liver disease, and worm infections. Some people apply wormwood directly to the skin for healing wounds and insect bites. Wormwood oil is used as a counter-irritant to reduce pain.

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Testimonials

Dr. Harveer Singh, Mansa Punjab
2016-01-24, 05:30
" My first Himalayan hiking experience to Nag Tibba peak is beyond words . . . We were well briefed … read more
Monali & Shreya, Pune Maharastra
2016-07-05, 05:30
" Chandrashila trek is the easiest & shortest beginner level Himalayan trek. We were complete … read more
Frank Martin, Sydney AUS
2016-05-15, 05:30
" A great Himalayan hiking experience to Chandrashila summit which gave breath taking views of snow … read more
Deepak Bilakhia, Nottingham UK
2016-05-11, 13:00
" My first hiking tour with my wife , enjoyed the scenic trail & did a lot of photography. We were … read more
Debyani Bannerji, Calcutta WB
2016-06-15, 05:30
" Chandrashila trek is for everyone, be it beginners, kids (5+yrs) or even physically active … read more
Jessica Long, Dakar Senegal
2016-07-30, 05:30
" Amazing trip to Benog Hill. An adventurous nature walk in the Mountain Quail Sanctuary & an easy … read more
Gavin Wilson, United Kingdom
2016-06-25, 05:30
" We had a great time on this adventurous day hike near Mussoorie. Benog hill region & wildlife … read more
Bullo Mamu & Group, IRS Batch
2016-01-10, 05:30
" We planned the trek to Nag Tibba as a part of celebration of the completion of 2 years training … read more

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