Yes, the winter holidays are on! And if you are still pondering upon which place to visit next to experience snowfall, don’t miss this awesome weekend gateway of Lansdowne. A 6 to 7-hour drive from Delhi will fetch you to the serene and picturesque destination of Lansdowne. Located in the state of Uttarakhand amidst the rugged slopes of the Himalayas, Lansdowne is a perfect weekend destination from Delhi and its suburbs. The place was named after the Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887. During the British period, it was the training center of the Garhwal Rifles. The place is to date an army cantonment, renowned for the most decorated infantry regiments of the Indian army, Garhwal Rifles. Being an army cantonment, the hill station of Lansdowne is very neat and clean compared to other hill stations of India. Besides, the place is much less crowded and unheard of. Mentioned below are some of the best places to see in Lansdowne.
- Garhwali mess
One of the oldest erections in Lansdowne, Garhwali mess was built in 1888. The colonial architecture is known for its old museum that displays a wide collection of wild animals and trophies. The place has been very well preserved the old legacy of one of the most decorated infantry regiments of the Indian army, the Garhwal Rifles.
- St. Mary church
Built-in 1895, this Catholic Church stands close to the viewpoint of Tip N Top. Though the place was once a preaching center, it has been converted to a museum after 1947. The museum’s wide galleries have a proud display of pre-independence depictions and portraits. The place also demonstrates audio-visual presentations of the history of Lansdowne and Garhwal Regiment.
- Bhulla Lake
Bhulla Lake or Bhulla Tal is an artificial lake shaped by the Indian Army. Away from the touristy crowd, the place is tucked in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere amidst a country park. One can also go for boating at the lake waters. Moreover, a children’s park, a souvenir shop and a small café are situated just beside the water body for the amusement of the visitors.
- Tip N Top
The most sought viewpoint in Lansdowne is the Tip N Top. At a distance of 1.5 km away from the city center, this point endows the nomads with some magnificent views of the Shivalik range. Just let the surreal views of the Himalayas mesmerize you from this 1700 m high junction in the city. You can also go for experiencing the sunrise and sunset from Tip N Top.
- Darwan Singh Museum
The two-story museum of Darwan Singh has every detail related to The Garhwal rifles of the Indian Army. Numerous portraits of army generals, arms and ammunitions, old military outfits and certificates of excellence in various wars are the main displays here. There is also an adjacent parade ground and a memorial but public access is denied at these two.
- War Memorial
Very near to the Darwan Singh Museum, stand the walls of the War Memorial. The place is dedicated to the heroes of the Garhwal Regiment. It is a must-visit place for all those nomads who want to know the detailed history of the Garhwal Regiment and their landmarks of success.
- Tarakeswar Mahadev Temple
Set amidst the lofty Deodar trees, this temple is yet another not-to-miss attraction in this hill station. The shrine is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It is said a demon named Tarakasur meditated here in order to achieve boons from Shiva. There is also a Dharmashala nearby where travelers can have meals owing to prior notice.
- Gandhi Chowk market
Leather belts, bags, wallets and shoes are some of the best buys at the Lansdowne market of Gandhi Chowk. You can buy local handicraft items, jewelry, shawls, sweaters, and scarves for a cheaper price at these markets.
Some other places to visit in and around Lansdowne include Hawa Ghar, Bhim Pakora, St. John’s Church, Durga Devi temple, Santoshi Mata temple, and Kaleswar temple. Trekking, camping and bonfire are also organized at Lansdowne by several groups and organizations.
- How to reach
The nearest railway station and airport are Kotdwar (40 km) and Jolly Grant, Dehradun (150 km) respectively. Being an army cantonment, the place is very well connected by roads as well. Buses for Kotdwar are also available from places like Lucknow, Ghaziabad and New Delhi.
From Kotdwar, both buses and taxis are available to take you to Lansdowne.
- Best time to visit
Summers are the best season to visit Lansdowne. But if you want to enjoy a little snowfall, winter is the time for you.
- Few points before visiting Lansdowne
Please maintain the decorum of the city, it’s not a regular visiting place, it’s an Army Cantonment.
There are ample hotels and eateries at Lansdowne. So, availing food won’t be a big deal. But make sure you have an advance booking of your accommodation.
Being a very small city, the best way to roam across Lansdowne is by car. You can both drive all along or hire one at your convenience.
Though at an altitude of 1700 m, there are several ATMs in Lansdowne. Mobile networks also work fairly smooth here.