Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Mussoorie - seat of oldest schools in India


Mussoorie hill station, Uttrakhand, India. www.tripadvisor.co.uk
Mussoorie hill station, Uttrakhand, India.indialine.com
Mussoorie is a beautiful quiet hill station (average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft) in Dehradun District in the North  Indian state of Uttarakhand. Situated in the foot hill of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges and it is frequently tagged as the Queen of the Hills. The nearest town is Dehradun, the new state capital, about 35 km from here.
 

First discovered by the British during the colonial period, lots of people visit this hill station and other adjacent places during the summer season when it will be horribly hot. Particularly people from Delhi and other places turn to the cool places of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges for fun, relaxation and to be free from summer heat and hot wind.  From here one can have  see majestic snow ranges to the north-east, and glittering views of the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges in the south. This hill station is often believed  to have  'fairyland' environs and the visitors to this place are just overwhelmed by the beauty of this serene place away from the din of Indian cities.A sense of elation comes about the visitors when we they in the cool shades of the greenery here, enjoying a congenial weather.

Mussoorie was founded by an Irish man  Lt. Frederick Young ( 1786 -1874; died in Ireland) of East India Company. Lt. Young came to these hills for the sole purpose of looking for  some game areas.  Mesmorized by the beauty of this place, he settled down here and  built a  hunting lodge (shooting box) on the Camel's Back Road along with one  F. J Shore, Joint Magistrate of Doon in 1823. He  not only  raised the first Gurkha Regiment and but also planted the first potatoes in the valley here. His tenure in Mussoorie ended in 1844 and later moved over to East India. There are no memorials worth  his name here except a road named after him in Dehradun town.
Map location. Mussoorie.
www.mapsofindia.com
This wooded,  picturesque place and its surrounding areas are also  known for international / national boarding schools where the students get quality education. Surprisingly the place is dotted with many old schools in India started by the British during their height of glory in the Indian sub continent. The old  buildings remarkably carry the British flavor and their legacy. 

The following are some of the well-known schools:
 

St. George's College, Mussoorie (founded in 1853) is among  the oldest and most reputed schools in the country. It has been run by the Patricia Brothers since 1893. Spread over 400 acres (1.6 km2), the school is also popularly referred to as 'Manor House'.
Woodstock School's campusMussoorie hill station. en.wikipedia.org
Woodstock School is a Christian, international, co-educational, residential school located in Landour, a small hill station contiguous with the town of Mussoorie; Londour is also a military cantonment. The history of this school goes as far back as  the 1850s when a group of English ladies were enlisted by British East India company officers and American missionaries to impart a Protestant education for girls. Perhaps, it may one of the oldest girls' schools in India.
Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie hill station.en.wikipedia.org
Woodstock is among the most well-known boarding schools of the Indian Subcontinent and is believed to be  currently the best international school in India. Others  being Kodaikana  International School and the Hebron School, Ooty, both in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India.  The school’s  campus is built on a plot, covering a large area of  about 250 acres (1 km2),
 

Wynberg  Allen  School, established in 1888, is equally  a well-known school which ranks among the best in the country.  In Kanpur, during the year 1887, about 30 years after the British Crown had directly taken over the administration of the Indian sub continent from the oppressive East India Company rule that culminated in the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, a group of like-minded friends, Mr. Alfred Powell, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Foy and Brigadier J. H.  Condon  met and decided to set up a school in Mussoorie. The school was built at Jabarkhet along the Tehri road and was later shifted to the present Wynberg Estate. The object of the school was to provide for and give to children, wholly or partly of European descent, an education based on Protestant Christian principles; to maintain such children and to impart them an academic and practical training conducive to economic growth, welfare and happiness. It now accommodates students of all descents.
Oak Grove School,
Mussoorie hill station.en.wikipedia.org
Oak Grove School differs from the other notable institutions of Mussoorie for two reasons. First, it is affiliated with the CBSE, New Delhi, which is a rarity among  the residential schools of Mussoorie. Second, it is a secular government-aided school, run by the Northern Railways. The school was founded in 1888 by the East Indian Railway (EIR) and passed to the Indian Railways when railways were nationalized after Independence.Since then, it has been managed by the Indian Railways. Presently it is under the control of a Board whose members are the railway officials.
Ref:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mussoorie

Tit -Bits:

01. Accessibility to this hill station became easier only in 1900 with the railway coming to Dehradun, thus shortening the road trip to 21 miles (34 km).

02. The Surveyor General of India,  George Everest wanted to have the new office of the Survey of India based in Mussoorie when a Geodetic survey was on under his direction. A compromise was made and he had his office in Dehradun,

03.The name Mussoorie (Garhwali/Hindi: Masūrī) is derived from 'Mansoor', a shrub which is indigenous to the area. The town is often referred to as 'Mansoori' by many Indians.