There are many hill stations around Delhi within 250 to 350 Km range. During summer month everyone from North of India heads towards hill stations to get some respite from the heat and most of the hill stations are too crowded. I don’t like crowded places until there is something special happening at there. I was looking for some good option for hills and came across an interesting all women tour to Lansdowne from Delhi. I decided to travel with them to Lansdowne. It was a short weekend trip of 2 nights 3 days.
We started from Delhi in the morning by our Tampo traveler van for Lansdowne from Delhi. The road from Delhi to Lansdowne passes through Ghaziabad, Modinagar, Meerut, Bijnor, Najibabad, Kotdwara and from Kotdwara it is 40 km. We took approximately 7 hours to reach Lansdowne.
By the time we reached it was late afternoon and we were feeling hungry. We ordered lunch in hotel’s restaurant before checking in. The food was not fancy but fresh and tasty. The weather was cold and cloudy, the temperature was 10-11 degree lesser than Delhi. Our hotel was outside of town and we decided to go for the nature walk in the evening. When we went for the walk it was pleasant, there was no traffic on road and during one hour we saw only 4-5 vehicles on that road.
I had noticed that there was a scarcity of water in hills. There was no water supply to most of the houses. They were filling the big buckets from hand pump and carrying to their homes. Life is tough in hills.
It was getting very cloudy so we returned back to our hotel. It rained in the evening and temperature dropped further. It was quite cold in the month of May. This kind of weather is a blessing for people like us who live in plains.
Next day morning we woke up early to watch the sunrise. There were hills at the backside of our room and we were able to enjoy a beautiful sunrise from our balcony. It was a clear day, which was good for us because we had plans to visit many places in Lansdowne.
After breakfast, we started our sightseeing. Lansdowne is situated at an elevation of 1780 m above sea level. It is surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests offering great mountain views. Britishers established a cantonment here in 1887 and it was named after then Viceroy Lord Lansdowne. Now it is command office of famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army. They maintain the most parts of city and forest area of Lansdowne.
The most popular places to visit in Lansdowne –
The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial
It is located at the Parade ground and one of the major attraction in the area. The War Memorial at Lansdowne was unveiled on the Armistice Day (11 November 1923) by Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander in Chief of India. We could not go beyond a point due to security reasons.
In the museum, they have showcased the glorious past of regiment before independence and after independence of India. There was an entry ticket for the museum, the amount collected from it is used for the maintainess.
It is the oldest temple in Lansdowne and is believed to be 500 years old. The temple draws lots of devotees and is deeply worshiped by locals who flock it frequently especially on ‘Shivratri’.
St. Marry’s Church
Construction of Church began in 1895 by Colonel A. H. B. Hume of Royal Engineers and it was completed in 1896. St. Marry’s Church fell into disuse after independence of India and began to deteriorate. Now its been restored by Garhwal Rifles Regimental division and display the relevant pre-independence photographs and audio visual history of Regiment.
It is one of the most visited place and name Bhulla means younger brother in Garhwali language. It is dedicated to the the garhwali youth of the Garhwal Rifles who contributed their services day and night in the construction of lake without any Government funds. There is an entry ticket and the boating facilities are also available on paid basis. The areas around the lakes have been beautified. There is a children park, tree house, bridge and garden developed around the lake for entertainment. The lake itself is small in size and there is nothing spectacular about it but still a peaceful place to spend some time in the proximity of nature. We did paddle boating in the lake and then spent some time in the sitting area of gardens.
It is a popular view point and close to St. Marry’s Church. It is one of the many view points, I had seen in different parts of India. We went there to see the sunrise.
There is a Hanuman Temple on outskirts of Kotdwara, known as Sidhbali Baba Temple. This temple situated on the bank of the river Khoh. According to legends, Guru Gorakhnath and their pupil meditated here for a long time. It is very popular and if it is a special day then there is slow traffic or jams on the road towards Lansdowne.
There is nothing much to to talk about shopping, most of the stuff is sourced from outside. We went to a market in the cantonment area and some people bought few things from there. While we were retuning we stopped at a shop, which sells antiques collected from different parts. I like to see antiques but not a fan when it comes to buying.
Lansdowne is a small town and all places are close to each other. We finished the sightseeing pretty fast and got a lot of time to spend on our own. I had spent some time walking around and saw beautiful sunrise & sunsets.
Why visit Lansdowne from Delhi –
It is 260 Km from Delhi and easily accessible by road.
It is quite, less crowded and not over developed like other popular hill stations.
It is cleaner and greener, well maintained by Garhwal regiment.
It is not very commercial and a nice place to relax without doing much.
There are some popular walking trails in and around to go for picnic or bird watching.
What to eat –
On the way:
We had famous Jain Shikanji (a lemon drink) in Modinagar.
Breakfast at Bikanerwala after Meerut.
While returning we didn’t find anything nice on the way so we stopped at a mall in Meerut.
Tipsy in Sadar Bazaar for Indian vegetarian food
Mayur in Gandhi Chowk for Indian vegetarian food
Oaktown’s Flavour for Nonvegetarian food
Fairydale resorts open restaurant for vegetarian food