It was in 2014 and in the month of October when the inner traveler in me was looking for an option to explore rigorously and after searching over internet and consulting some friends, we zeroed in on LANSDOWNE. I asked my cousin and his wife to come along with us and they also agreed. We decided to go by road in our new Wagon R.
First let me share some basic information about LANSDOWNE with you. Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Originally known as Kaludanda after Kalu (Black) and Danda (Hill) in Garhwali, Lansdowne was founded and named after then viceroy of India (1888-1894), Lord Lansdowne in 1887.
We picked our route from Ghaziabad to Lansdowne via NH58 and NH119 i.e. Ghaziabad-Meerut-Mawana-Najibabad-Kotdwara-Lansdowne.
So on 4th Oct 2014, we started our journey early morning somewhere around 6am. As soon as we were out of Ghaziabad, the weather changed and the God rain started showering his blessings on us. As soon as we reached Modinagar, it started raining heavily. It was becoming difficult to drive but somehow I continued driving slowly and watchfully. After a while, the rain slowed down and converted into slow drizzling. We were to take NH58 till Meerut and then we have to enter Meerut City for taking Mawana road.
Somewhere on Meerut-Mawana road taking a break
This is a single road but in a good condition. As it was early morning, the traffic was very less and it was a smooth drive. The weather became pleasant and we were also not in a hurry, we were taking frequent halts in the way enjoying the mother nature. There is also a Dam on the way to Kotdwara which was very beautiful. We stopped there and took some pictures there. We had a good time there admiring the beautiful nature and spending the quality time with each other.
Bhaiya, Bhabhi and their beautiful daughter enjoying at dam
At this point the clock ticked 8:45 AM and we left from there. As soon as you approach Kotdwara, the feeling of majestic hills and clean air will leave you in awe. Now the hilly terrain gets started and you need to be watchful while driving. It was my first experience driving in hills and it was awesome. By the grace of God Almighty, I didn’t face any difficulty. The road is in good condition but There are some turns where two vehicles can pass only by a pin point margin. So you need to be careful and please avoid rash driving here.
Along the way, there was a river flowing which was looking extremely beautiful. It was captivating us, so we found a perfect spot and stopped there to click pictures. Low density clouds and the sound of river were making the mood fresh and happy. We resumed our journey at 10:40am.
Photo taken from inside the car: Clouds were surrounding us making us feel like heaven
We found some interesting fields on our way. It looked like some kind of beautiful structure. We stopped and clicked some photographs there too.
As it was a hilly drive, it takes some time to cover a small distance too. We reached LANSDOWNE by 1:00 PM. As it was an unplanned trip, we have not booked any hotel in advance and thought of booking the rooms as we reach there. But to our misfortune, when we reached, most of the hotels were fully booked. It took us some good half an hour to find a decent hotel with good rooms and we booked two double bed rooms at a cost of 1200/room per day. We relaxed a bit and refreshed ourselves before leaving to explore the places around LANSDOWNE. The first place which came in my mind to visit was “Tadkeshwar Temple”. We hired a driver from the local market as I was aware that the road to Tadkeshwar Temple is not in a good condition and also the climb was very steep.
Below I am sharing some beautiful pics which we have clicked:
By 04:30PM, we reached our destination. Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is surrounded by Deodar Trees and Tranquil atmosphere which also favours it as a best meditation place for sages since a long time. Located at some 1800 meters and 38Km from LANSDOWNE, it is one of the best places to visit near LANSDOWNE.
Entry to Shree Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple
We left around 05:00PM from Tarkeshwar Mahadev to our hotel and decided to visit other places the next day. We took some rest in our rooms and went to the local market for roaming around and had our dinner. I am not able to recall the name, but there is a small establishment in the main market near the chowk which serves delicious food and good variety. After a little chit chat over dinner, we called the day off and returned back to our hotel and fell asleep.
Next morning we got ready and decided to visit one of the famous place to visit in LANSDOWNE, “Tip N Top/Tiffin Top”. It is a beautiful place from where you can see gigantic Himalayan range. The view from this place was mesmerizing. As it was very foggy, the visibility was very less. we were not able to see the clear view of Mighty Himalayas but still it was worth visiting the place.
The next stop was “St. Mary’s Church”, A catholic church of historical importance, St. Mary’s Church is located near Tip N Top in LANSDOWNE. This museum also houses audio visual displays of the history of lansdowne and Garhwal Regiment. The entry fees was 10 Rs per person.
Around 11:12AM we left from this place and moved on to our next destination which was on our list i.e. “Bhulla Lake”. Bulla Lake or Bhulla Tal is a well maintained serene lake just 1Km from Lansdowne. It is a perfect picnic spot and very popular amongst children as it also offers boating. Boating facilities at Bhulla lake are good with few ducks swimming around as well in the lake water. One can also find a small souvenir shop, an eating joint, herbal plant nursery and enclosure for rabbits near Bhulla lake. A small Over Bridge on the lake attracts tourists for a best lake view.
Now it was time to go to our hotel and pack our bags as we have to leave back to our city. We left LANSDOWNE around 12:30PM. On our way back, we stopped at the river which we saw at the beginning of our journey. We enjoyed playing in the water and clicked some pictures. The water was very cold, as we stepped in the river, our feet froze but as soon as we spent some time in the water it really didn’t matter anymore.
After playing in the water around half an hour we resumed our journey. Our next destination was “Sidhbali Hanuman Temple” in Kotdwara. Entangled at foot by Khoh river, Sidhbali temple is historic temple of Lord Hanuman. As we reached the famous temple, it was time when the doors of the main premises were closed due to some maintenance activity and we were told by local priests to wait for 2 hours. But as we were already running late, it was not possible for us to wait for 2 hours. But we enjoyed the Bhandara there and started our journey back to home. After leaving from Kotdwara, we didn’t stop anywhere as we wanted to reach our home as early as possible but couldn’t get there easily, thanks to lots of jam near Modinagar and Muradnagar. Finally around 9 PM we reached back to Ghaziabad safely. But this was not the end, It is just a starting. The Journey Continues………..