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Muslim presence in Mussoorie

By Salman Sultan, TwoCircles.net,

Mussoorie, 6950 feet above sea level, is referred to as Mansoorie by the local people. Mansoorie (Coriana nepalensis) is named after the Mansur shrub which still grows on the hill sides. Captain Young established this British retreat in 1827. His stately house Mulligan is atop the horse shoe shaped ridge. The vegetation is verdant.

Total population is around 2 lac seventy thousand. Muslims form a miniscule minority of around 15 thousand people. Prior to 1947 only English and Muslims dominated. All was destroyed in the days of partition. Muslims were asked to move in Nawab Rampur’s Camp, afterwards they shifted to Dehradoon Parade Ground. After 1952, Muslims returned to Mussoorie. There is differentiation not only between Hindus and Muslims abut also between people from Hilly areas and plains.

Imam Saheb

There are four Intermediate Colleges (2 for girls) and one Degree College. In a Government Junior High School, out of 57 students only two are Muslims (6th to 8th). In Intermediate and Degree Colleges, only 5% are Muslim students.

There are five mosques and the oldest habitat of Muslims is ‘Bucharkhana’. Imam of Jama Masjid, Mr. Abdul Wahab (Hafiz) studied four years in Deoband, Saharanpur, which also is his hometown. There is communal harmony due to mutual cooperation. Further, Mussoorie has total migrated population. ‘Garhwali’ are from Tehri, Pauri, Uttarkashi etc while Muslims are from Bijnor, Saharanpur, Muzzafarnagar etc.

View of Jama Masjid from top

Mohammad Sami @ Sonu owns a mobile service shop in Dehradoon and lives in ‘Bucharkhana’. As per Sami, Muslim boys are doing well in business. Mohammad Yameen is a fruit seller who waits for business in season. Presently, he is out of work. However, young Mohammad Shahzad is a fruit seller in ‘Kulri Bazaar’ (another Muslim habitat) and doing business on his father’s fruit stall. Shahzad was born in Mussoorie where his father settled down 40 years ago.

Tibettan instittute second house in Mussoorie

Shahzad and his friends

Spacious Jama Masjid

Clock tower

Mohammad Yameen

Captain young’s house