Fed up with the official pressure and the incessant calls from your boss? Or you just want to get away from the daily grinding? Here’s a place where no one can find you; where you can be yourself, in the pristine surrounding.
Leave the world behind and relax in quiet, quaint surroundings of Lansdowne. Located at an altitude of 1708 meters (Approx) in the Shivalik Hills on the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, the idyllic, cantonment town is ideal for a perfect romantic retreat! Best thing about the place is that most of its area is far away from the mobile coverage. Therefore, you’ll simply be away from continuous texting, constant calls (which is extremely annoying when you’re travelling), or reporting to your boss. It’s a kind of place where you will love to spend time doing nothing, absolutely nothing! What you can do is: spend time leisurely, appreciate the nature–tall oaks, blue pines, and lush, green hills; and if you’re traveling in March and April, the red flowers of rhododendron will welcome you everywhere. Towering oaks covered by mosses from stem to foliage further add to its beauty. Lansdowne is totally unspoilt. What you can’t find here is tourist hordes, souvenir shops, and continuously following touts. Go. Relax. Rejuvenate. And come back charged. Let’s find out what all you can do here; in this striking quiet town:
Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial: If you’ve the slightest of interest in the history of Indian Army, pay a visit to the Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial. Established by Lord Rawlinson of Trent in 1923, the War Memorial is the biggest attraction for the people traveling to Lansdowne. Not farm away from the Memorial is Garhwali Mess—one of the oldest buildings of the Cantonment. Garhwali Mess is very well maintained heritage site of Lansdowne. You can also find the rarest collection of Garhwal Rifles at the Regimental Museum.
Bhulla Lake: Built by army men this shallow lake, which has also revived some of the dead natural springs of the town, is dedicated to the young Garhwali youth of Garhwal Rifles who contribute their services to the nation. Paddle the boat in the lake and rejoice in the park around it. It opens between 9 am and noon, and again between 3 pm and 6 pm. Boating charges Rs. 15 for three rounds.
Tip-n-Top: This is the highest point in Lansdowne offering a mesmerizing view of the snow-clad peaks of Chaukhambha and Trishul on a clear sky day.
St. Marry’s Church and St. John’s Church: Take a stroll to St. Marry’s Church. Located near Tiffin Top, this Anglican Church was built by Colonel AHB Hume in 1896. Now this has been partially converted into a reading room and restored by Garhwal Rifles Regimental Center. Located on the mall road, St. John’s Church is run by the Catholic Diocese of Bijnore.
There is nothing much to do in Lansdowne. It is a place where you can really relax, take rest and enjoy your holiday break. And if you’re really getting restless out here; get up and go on trekking. Around Lansdowne, there’re some quite popular trekking trails – from a few hours hiking trails to tougher climbs lasting a couple of days. Secondly, Lansdowne is on the western border of Jim Corbett National Park’s Sonanadi Forest Range. The thence manager of GMVN Guest House at Tip n Top (she is presently posted at the GMVN Chill in Rajaji National Park) informed me that the road that connected Lansdowne to Jim Corbett was opened by the Forest Department to public use. This road, though a little difficult and advisable for seasoned travelers, is great to spot wildlife of Jim Corbett including the big cat!
Places to Stay
- Blue Pine Resort
- GMVN Guest House
- Lansdowne Tip n Top Huts
- Oak Grove Inn
- FiaryDale Resort
- Lansdowne Villa
I stayed in Lansdowne Tip n Top Huts run by GMVN. When I stayed huts were not in good shape and services were sloppy and below average. But if a good location is what you’re looking, this is undeniably the best available option. For good homely food and fine services, choose Oak Grove Inn. Others are also good options.
How to Reach
By Road: Lansdowne is around 248 km from Delhi and is well connected through regular bus services from ISBT at Kashmere Gate to Kotdwar and then to Lansdowne. If you’re going in your car, take NH 58 to Meerut, and then catch NH 119 to Kotdwar via Bijnore, Kiratpur and Nazimabad. The road is in good condition and is lined with green fertile fields. Do take a break to have a glass of fresh sugar cane juice. Nothing can be more refreshing and energizing than this.
By Train: Kotdwar is the nearest railway station (45 km/2 hours). Mussoorie Express that leaves Delhi around 23:00 hrs is the best available option. It will drop you to Kotdwar at around 06:00 hrs in morning. From there, you can hire a cab.