Mussoorie Water History

The most basic necessity of a township

  Water is the most basic necessity of us humans. Many Civilizations have risen and vanished due to the changes in the water geography.  The present Landour and Mussoorie, the twin towns which later merged, saw their inception in circa 1825. Primarily a British town where most of the Houses were built near a Spring. Water was in abundance, but the terrains were tough for agriculture. Hence prior to the British occupancy, the region was used by the adjoining Villages for livestock grazing in the hot Summer months. The early residents obtained their water manually from the various springs that were to be found usually at a level somewhat below that on which the houses were built. The water was carried to the houses on Mule back...

Pani, Pahar – Guardian Article

Sacred, Life Affirming and Disappearing

Published in the Guardian on December 27th, 2017 – LINK HERE Rapid urbanisation, dwindling groundwater reserves and changing rain patterns are driving a water crisis in the lower Himalayas of India and Nepal.  Photojournalist Toby Smith took part in a research project charting the shifting demands on this fragile landscape Photographs by Toby Smith/University of Cambridge Text by Professor Bhaskar Vira and Eszter Kovacs

Dhobi Ghat

Laundry services

  The Dhobighat community downstream of Mussoorie provides laundering services to the upstream town’s schools, hotels and government institutions. Washing is done along a natural stream which flows through the settlement, first inhabited by the dhobi (washing) community over 80 years ago. The livelihood of the dhobi community depends on clean, fast-running water. In recent times, they have been asked by local government to “share” their stream with other nearby settlements. This has given rise to a decline in water flow to the community, as well a breakdown in communal water-collection activities, disrupting both physical flows and social interactions. With youth out-migration and the advent of mechanised washing machines, the demand for washing services is declining, so these livelihoods look increasingly vulnerable.