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Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Lansdowne Holiday

Lansdowne is a beautiful hill station in the state of Uttaranchal, about 230 km from Delhi. The distance was just perfect , for in the 3 days and 3 nights we had  at our disposal we definitely didn't want to spend a whole lot of time traveling. The base town is Kotdwar and Lansdowne is a 45 minutes drive on a winding hilly road lined with pine trees.

Thanks to the restrictions placed by the army the town does not have many hotels and even the ones that are there are very non pretentious, basic ones. The place we had booked ourselves in , The Garhwali Inn, is a small sweet spartan place jutting out from the edge of the road. Most of the  13 rooms in  the inn face the green mountains making the experience of staying there worth every penny.
                                                             The town
                                                 The hotel terrace outside the room

                                                      A  view from the terrace

                                                               Another view
After a calorie laden breakfast we walked to town . One hour later we realised that we had 'done' Lansdowne. Yes, it is certainly not a place for the typical tourist . There is no Mall Road, no bakery, no place to strut around, no place to loiter, none at all to sit( the jawan on duty rounds one up with an over energetic use of his whistle) no lover's point - no honking of cars,no nothing. What it does have is plenty of beauty, cleanliness, silence and an overwhelming presence of the army in the form of the Garhwali regiment.
And it also has the sweetest of  ducks and the most  playful rabbits one has seen.

 The town has two churches, St John's Church and St Mary's Church, located on the same road. The former was open and we went in to an absolute haven of calm, silence and memories of the school chapel.
                                             Don't miss the yellow flowers and the hanging pots!
                                            The graveled path leading to the church

The best thing to do while in Lansdowne is to walk on any of the roads leading from and to town. My daughter's smart phone kept us in the loop about the number of steps we were taking each day- on one day we clocked in 12 kms. Look at the cactus we spotted while on a walk- have you ever seen such a big cactus  plant?

The food  highlight of the trip was the Garhwali dinner we had at our hotel on the last night of our stay.
The thali menu was :
                                      rotis made from  mandwe ka atta (and dipped in desi ghee- sinful!)
                                      Gahat ( a special local dal)
                                       a spicy green chutney ( made from bhang leaves)
                                       Jakhiya veg
                                       and a potato bhaji

The food was finger licking good and the chef had to be called from the kitchen and congratulated for the repast.

Lansdowne is a lovely clean town- ironically the only time we spotted empty chips packets, frooti tetra packs etc was at the government( Garhwal Vikas Mandal Nigam) run Tip and Top. However, it is not meant for those who go to a hill station to do the touristy spots. Go if you like spending time in the lap of nature with zilch distractions.

Some more of Lansdowne:


  1. Went there a long time ago. It still looks the same, beautiful serene place!

    1. Mridula, I think it will look the same a 100 years hence too. Hopefully!!

  2. Seems a wonderful place to spend a few days in solitude. :)

  3. Looks like a serene place. Must be a respite from the summer heat.

    1. Yes, Somali. A respite from the heat ,dust and crowds of Delhi.

  4. Beautiful place, Thanks for sharing

  5. What I most love about this place is that there is nothing to do:):)
    The typical tourist is generally put off by this very charm...thankfully it saves Lansdowne terrible crowds:):) Lovely captures, Anju! Thank you for a trip down memory lane and a prompt to visit again:):)

    1. You have got it bang on, Amit. It is just as it was when you went.

  6. Pictures are very beautiful. Away from the usual tourist traffic and crowded markets, this quaint and offbeat little hill-station in the Pauri Garhwal region is a legacy of the British, particularly the viceroy Lord Lansdowne, after whom it takes its name. With lush green surroundings, dense pine and oak forests and refreshingly clean air, Lansdowne is best suited for those looking for peace and tranquility. Check out best hotels in Lansdowne also.

  7. The pictures and your post describes the experience of travelling to Lansdowne very well.Thanks for sharing it. Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is popular since Britishers came to India. Founded and named after then Viceroy of India, there are many places to visit in Lansdowne and the salubrious weather and pristine environment of Lansdowne leaves an immortal impact on the tourists. Its a perfect vacation spot.