It was during the hot summers of May when my heart urged for a quick escape to mountains for fresh breeze. The idea was to relax and enjoy amidst soothing beauty of nature but I didn’t want the crowd besides me as well. I was searching for the nearest hill stations from Delhi and that’s when I read about Lansdowne. Believe me nothing could have suited the serenity of Lansdowne, which is apparently 6 hours drive from Delhi.
Thick pine trees, lush green forests, flora and fauna at its best – Lansdowne is all this and more! After being in awe with Himachal, I wasn’t sure whether Uttarakhand could impress me, but upon reaching Lansdowne, I was left in awe. This cantonment town has a timeless charm what impressed me even more is its cleanliness and discipline. Little bungalows belonging mostly to army officials dot the slope at intervals.
A walk through the slopes or drive on the well maintained meandering roads will surely grant anyone the elusive peace of mind. In the middle of the town stands the market place with a grand little white-washed post-office of British architecture and an old time stand-alone movie theatre staying in sync with the nostalgic charm of the town.
Originally known as Kaludanda after Kalu (Black) and Danda (Hill) in Garhwali, Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India Lord Lansdowne in 1887. Lansdowne was developed by the Britishers for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles.
Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period.
Though the ambience of this place in itself merits being a good enough travel destination there are a few must-visit tourist spots:
- The Tip and Topviewing point affords a breath-taking view of the snow-covered Garhwal Himalayas. Spend some magical moments lost in the majesty of the range during sunrise and sunset. You can make a quick trip to the Santashi Maa temple which is a bit beyond the viewing point.
- The Garhwal Rifles regimental Darwan Singh museumand their parade ground radiate the hard-earned glory of this famous regiment. The history of the illustrious regiment, the never ending honour-rolls and medals earned by the soldiers and their valiant stories are all very over-whelming.
- Situated amidst the thick oaks and pine trees are the St John and St Mary churcheswhere you are transported to the British era with their serene and untouched beauty. Inside, the monochrome wedding pictures held in the church from that era gives you a certain hit of nostalgia.
- The artificial dam erected by the Army to create the Bhulla Talis a perfect spot to sit and soak in the sun and the simple charm of this town with ducks, birds and rabbits vying for your attention. It is the perfect spot to spend some time with a book or your loved ones.
- You can go for a short trek in the forest towards the caves as well to enjoy the sunrise. If lucky you shall be greeted by a leopard
- Don’t forget to visit Tankeshwar Temple which is 20 Kms from Lansdowne. The scenic beauty along the way will blow your mind
If you want to escape from your everyday life and travel back in time for the weekend, Lansdowne is the perfect place – just laze around, soak up the ambience and feel invigorated to face your everyday challenges again.
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