The forgotten Kipling Road in Mussoorie


If you were to walk or drive near Bala Hisar, along what was the old bridle path to Rajpur, you find that the old stretch of Kipling Road, above Barlowganj looks like a war zone.  What was  essentially a lifeline, or an escape route to decongest traffic on the main roads in the summer months has been effectively cut off. In an ill-timed move, the only alternative escape route from Mussoorie is now a pile of mountain debris.

This stretch of road comes with glorious history. Long before Wynberg Allen School came into existence in 1888, above this stony crag was in 1840, home to Amir Dost Mohammed of Afghanistan, who after his surrender during the First Anglo-Afghan War was whisked away to the hills. For those twenty-four months, the seven-mile bridle path from Rajpur bristled with troops,up until the time, two years later, in 1842 when he was restored to the throne of Kabul.

Today, on the same spot stands Allen School’s Bahuguna Memorial Hall. It commemorates the memory of their alumni: two brothers, both valiant Army Officers, Harsh and Jai Bahuguna who perished on two separate ascents to Everest.

That this road had to be widened in undeniable, but it has been closed nigh close to three months. It would surely be in the fitness of things if all the clutter on the road was cleared at the earliest. Just a few rounds of a sturdy JCB is what it will take to restore this lifeline to Landour, Barlowganj and Jharipani once again and help ease off some of the infamous traffic jams for which Mussoorie has made onto  the headlines of all media houses.