Lansdowne….let the lands down, come up in hills.

On April 29, my wife, who was at her mom’s home, called me up in the evening and expressed her wish to see Lansdowne. As Lansdowne is not so far, so it was easy to plan this trip, also I disparately wanted to be there. But while hiding my eagerness, I showed that I was going there only for her.

Next day, I woke up at 2:55 AM and wait for my mobile to sing the alarm tone, which was set for 3:00 AM. After discontinuing that I took a shower, packed my bag and left home for Lansdowne at 4 AM in Ritz. It’s always pleasant to drive on roads with no traffic and red lights. I crossed Delhi with in few minutes, but one mistake I made was, I couldn’t fill the fuel tank in Delhi, which I did in Ghaziabad, and got petrol Rs 3 costlier. Well no regret, at speed of 70 Km/h with loud music in car, it took 4 hours to reach Nazibabad. I had some work to do, so stayed for some time there, had breakfast. On my way, I already had picked my wife along with her brother, Ashwani.

Hills in Kotdwar welcomed us with warm and nurturing love. We bought some fruits and moved on. We crossed Sidhbali Mandir and Durga devi Mandir on our way, about these two temples I have written in my previous post. Url is :- Kotdwar’s temples

While driving up, we saw the sign board, indicating that the Lansdowne was 22 Km ahead. I didn’t know that the driving in hills could be so adventure. We stopped for a moment, had some photographs, admired the beauty of hills, and drove on.

 

Facts about Lansdowne: Lansdowne is the less known, small and beautiful hill station. It is situated 45 km from Kotdwar on the route Kotdwar-Pauri road in the Pauri Garhwal district, Uttaranchal. Lansdowne was Originally known as, Kaludanda, after Kalun (Black) and Danda (Hill) in local language and is surrounded by oak and blue pine forests, the hill station of Lansdowne is a place devoid of the hustle and bustle of other hill stations. Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887, and by 1901 it had a population of 3943. Lansdowne was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its head-quarter here. They have maintained the hill station very well and the place is still an ideal place to be with near and dear ones.

Coming back on my travel story…The temperature was very pleasant that day. Ashwani told me that he was there last winter with friends and it was severe cold then with snowfall and temperature below zero, they enjoyed a lot as everywhere was covered with snow. After a one and half hour pleasant drive, we finally reached Lansdowne. We found army people everywhere; they were very much openhearted and guided us well. An army man showed us the way to Bhulla lake and other places to see.

Bhulla lake was our first visited place in Lansdowne . It is a small man-made lake and is maintained by the Indian Army. Bhulla in Gharwali means younger brother. The lake has boating facilities, a small amusement park making it an ideal place for picnics. It also has a pair of duck, who always swim together. Garden in the area was maintained so well, that you would love to come again & again.

For an even more spectacular view, we went ahead towards a point called Tiffin Top. Tip-in- top or Tiffin top is at the summit of Lansdowne and that was established by Britishers. Air was completely peaceful and mountains were looking divinely and we were sitting on the Tiffin top looking milky white far shining peaks. There were 2 Huts near to Tip-in-top arranged by GMVN.

Then we drove ahead to Santoshi Mata temple, which is also the highest point in Lansdowne. It had a few steps to climb and some bells were tied on its way. We spent some time in temple and sang Santoshi maa arti. There were all the main music instruments used in bhajans, for visitors.

 

St John’s Catholic Church was our next destination, which was closed that time. It’s an old church established in 1936. I could wait till it opened, but none of others wished so, so we moved on.

Then came Darban Singh Sangrahalaya, also known as Garwhal Regiment museum. The time to visit is 8 AM to 12 AM and 4 PM to 6 PM in summer, and 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM in winter. Entry fee was Rs 35 only, and photography was restricted. Area around the museum was very well decorated with the different varieties of flowers. Nearby was an old cemetery of the British Raj era. We spent some time reading tombstones over there.  Few meters ahead there were Sadar bazaar, a nearby gurudwara, and a mosque, where we couldn’t go.

The whole Lansdowne was clean and well maintained by army there. Parking was everywhere and for free. We found all the people having welcoming nature. There are some good hotels for accommodation like Blue Pine Resort, Fairydale Resort, Hotel Mayur, Jadali Guest House, Kasnag Regency, Shanti Raj Hill Cave Resort, and I heard The Anand Retreat is the best there and Hotel Mayur is the great choice for food. We had to come back on same day so we decided to leave Landsdowne, then here I made a promise to come back again but this time at the presence of snow.

While coming back from Lansdowne, we made a video. Watch it, its a real fun to drive in the hills of Lansdown on its zig-zag roads. The url for video is below:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXgsSFddX5E

Summary:- People from Delhi NCR can make to Lansdowne in week-ends. I drove Maruti Suzuki Ritz, spent Rs 2,200 for petrol, left Faridabad at 4 AM and could reach Lansdowne by 10 AM, if didn’t stay at Najibabad for 2 hours. Lansdowne is 295 km from Delhi, 95 km from Haridwar and 150 km from Dehradun. The Road route from Delhi to Lansdowne:-   
Delhi -> Ghaziabad -> Modi Nagar -> Meerut -> Mawana -> Meerapur -> Bijnaur -> Kiratpur -> Nazibabad -> Kotdwar -> Lansdowne
The nearest railhead for Lansdowne is Kotdwar, which is well connected by buses. Lansdowne is also linked by a motorable road to almost all the important cities in Uttaranchal. There are two main trains from Old Delhi to Kotdwar :-  Missouri Express, Garhwal Express.

61 Comments

  • Wake up Rascals says:

    By any chance wondering if Ashwani was a “HADDE ME KEBAB ” in that trip

  • Deven says:

    Very good photos, reading you blog was like a virtual visit.

  • JUHI says:

    D best is a home stay at ‘Prem sadan’. U may Google for details n contact.

  • Alka jain says:

    very good description good job (Y)

    what about hotels overthere hows facility plz tell something about :)

  • Priya says:

    Great blog and photos. Thanks to your travelogue, I decided I don’t want to go there. Nothing much there that I fancy. Keep posting new places. Very helpful. Thanks.

  • nk says:

    hello vinay ji.
    seems your first visit was during may as the pics are showing dry environment..can u tell what was approx. temperature..also can u give idea about the most probable time when i can get snowfall there..thinking about buying a small holiday home type of cottage in lansdowne..do u have any idea how much it can cost?

  • Alka Verma says:

    Lovely Post…..i am planning to visit lansdowne this weekend ……really liked your post….helped me a lot to be thr……hope i too enjoy with my family

  • What a lovely piece you have written.

    I am strongly motivated to see Lansdowne and feel that I ought to have done that during my long service of 33 yrs in the Army.

    Nevertheless,better late than never.

  • Nitish Kumar says:

    Good to see that you are responding individual comments, so leaving my query.

    Are the hilly roads safe enough? Been to Nainital with someone else and roads were narrow at place and unsafe too. Is this place any better or similar? How much of Hilly roads one will be needed to get through? Rather than SUV, I would be using Tata Vista Qudrajet which should do fine considering we used i10 for Nainital though someone experienced was driving.

    You can contact me via mail id given or can give yours for a quick chat

  • Karan Singh says:

    Suggest don’t take any chances n book right away as getting room during extended weekends is always a problem. It wud not be a bad idea to visit blogsite http://www.karantraveller.blogspot.com and check out about the best place in Lansdowne called ‘Prem Sadan’. Contact No. available on the net. Have a nice trip.

  • Praveen says:

    Hi , I am planning to visit Lansdowne next week ..around 25th january 2013.

    Please let me know if i can find hotel rooms available during this time ?

    Praveen

  • Neera says:

    Road conditions r not bad before entering Lansdowne, unless there is a landslide. Within Lansdowne, there r no issues.From Meerut, u may take the Mawana-Meerapur-Bijnaur-Najibabad-Kothdwar-Lansdowne route. If u have any problem, get in touch with Rajiv on mob# 9458376714, who cud help u out, including for homestay.

  • Kamal Nigam says:

    Dear All,

    I am tentatively thinking of visiting Lansdowne in mid August (Car-Self driving). Would start early morning say 5AM.

    Can experienced Ghumakkars give some insights on –
    (a) road conditions to lansdowne and in & around Lansdowne in rainy times,
    (b) How to go past Meerut ?
    (c) Any other valuable tip.

    Thanks.

    Kamal

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Mid August may be rainy, but I loving hills espesially during rain. Rain makes them more green and fresh.
      Roads till Lansdowne should be well conditioned then.

      The route is Meerut – Mawana bye-pass – Meerapur – Bijnour – Najibabad – Kotdwaar – Lasdowne.

      Its always better to start journey at early morning to avoid traffic.
      Hotels can be easily found, but if you can, book in advance.
      Landowne is best for 2 days trip.
      Sidhbali Temple at Kotdwar is a must go.

  • Biswajit Ganguly says:

    Dear Vinay,
    very well written and complimented with great snaps. I have heard a lot about this British colony, I think in spite of their aggressive and obsessive attitude they have helped us to see our own country in a better way. I wonder how they manage to reach these spots which were absolutely out of bound for most of our countryman. Most of the Hills of India perhaps were found by Britishers and the kind of preservative n protective laws they had enacted in those days shows their culture and value they have for mother nature. Today I really feel sorry for the neo rich generation of our country who never bothers to keep up with nature and are major contributor of spoiling these invaluable treasures of our great country. Request all Ghumakkar’s to help preserving these heavens for our next generation to take pride in their great country….. Jai Hind..Jai Bharat Ganguly

  • DJ MADDY says:

    ANOTHER BEST OPTION TO STAY IN LANSDOWNE IS THE RETREAT RESORT….AT ANAND DHURA…LANSDOWNE…. VERY WELL WRITTEN….I LIKED IT ALOT BRO. KEEP IT UP….

  • Neera Negi Anand says:

    WE ARE LIVING IN OUR CENTURY OLD HERITAGE BUNGLOW AT A PRIME LOCATION IN LANSDOWNE SINCE 2 YEARS FOR IT IS PARADISE ON EARTH. ALL ARE WELCOME TO OUR PLACE.
    NEERA/RAJIV

    • kuldeep aggarwal says:

      i want to visit lansdowne with my family so will u please suggest me for accommodation i want to come in 20 or 21st june 2014 what will be the charges , available or not etc

  • Sharmee says:

    Thanks for the info…However, I had to change my plans , as I did not get accommodation anywhere…. Now, I am planning my trip to Lansdowne some time in September.

  • Sharmee says:

    Hi Vinay, I plan to visit Lansdowne over the weekend. Could please suggest where I can stay there?

  • abhinav says:

    Thanks Maheh and Nandan , I will definitively tell you my experience.

  • srijan says:

    I am planning to visit lansdowne next week. I would leave a little late at around 9 am and would therefore like to avoid the traffic at Meerut. Is there any other route I could take?

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Great plan Srijan,
      You wouldn’t get jam in meerut, except a little bit near bus stand. There is a meerut by-pass route but that is longer one. So meerut can be crossed without getting stuck. But Ghaziabad may be with congestion.
      After crossing Meerut, don’t take right turn to Mawana town, go straight to Meera pur by using by-pass.

      Lansdowne is really beautiful place. If have time must visit Tarkehwar Mahadev Temple.

      Have a happy & safe Journey.

  • Nandan says:

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2009/05/09/oak-grove-inn-lansdowne-review/

    I do not remember any other hotel review but the stories on Lansdowne like this one should mention few hotels. Oak has worked for at least 3 ghumakkars so far. Can try it. It is a little away from main town though.

    Other stories where you can leave a comment and expect some guidance are below.

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2007/12/04/lansdowne-walk-and-simply-walk
    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2007/10/31/five-roadies-and-an-incredible-journey-landsdowne-the-virgin-hills

    Happy Journey Abhinav and once you are back, tell us on how it was.

  • abhinav says:

    Hi Can any one tell me what are the possible places to stay in lansdowne with their phone numbers. I’m planning to visit there in the end of june. Is it crowded place ??

    • maheh semwal says:

      Dear Abhinav,

      There are few good options to stay in Lansdowne. Blue pine resort is approx 3 km from the market so GMVN & Fairydales could be the better option.

      Its not too crowded.

  • Nandan says:

    Vinay – Very well written post. Would be extremely useful for anyone planning a trip. Its very close to Delhi and makes a wonderful choice if someone is looking for a quite and calm hill-place. I visited this place in 2001 or so and we stayed at GMVN. I still remember the long walk we took to Cemetry and then to tiffin-top.

    I have embedded the video right in the story and I think its not Kishore’s voice in the song. :-)

  • Vinay says:

    balle balle kya baat hai dil khusss kar diya…………..
    i went lansdown many times but first time i really fell it awsome with u…………thanks buddy

  • Pankaj Jain says:

    Mr. Vinay, please correct the date in the first line. I think it should have been April 29 instead of May 29.

    Any way you have covered lansdowne from top to bottom. The lansdowne is very rich in bird life and I found a variety of birds when I went there a few years back. The best area where I liked to roam was around St John church which was full of peace and greenery.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Thanks Pankaj for correcting me.
      Yes, Lansdowne is very rich in plants and birds life, and area around St John church and Santoshi Mata Mandir is very peaceful and well-greened.
      You must visit there at snow time.

  • Rohit Sagar says:

    Hi,

    Nice post and pics

    i good to found you here on this website

  • Deepaks says:

    Beautiful images. Especially loved the colour of water in the river seen behind the temple.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Thanks Deepak sir,
      Its the best picnic spot I have ever been. Its a small stream with cristal clear water full of hilly minerals and small fishes. Some tiny waterfalls are also there. The river here is rocky, so the sound of water hitting on rocks adds the life to it. I can spend hours there.

  • Sunil says:

    Hi Vinay,

    I am also planing to go to Pauri. Will my Sweaty pie (800 STD) can make it with an average of approx 20 km/ltr . How is the weather over their. I would be taking my kids alongwith me.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Sunil, you can visit Pauri at any time during the year but the best time is summer as the climate of the region is pleasant nowadays. While being there you may cover places like Kandoliya, Ransi, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Khirsu, Kyunkaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Jwalpa Devi Temple, Adwani. And must go with family.
      Happy Ghumakkari!

  • Very nice place… also loved the images !!

  • ashok sharma says:

    its beautiful place inviting with all its charms ..Great photographs.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Thanks Ashok. Its an complete place in itself, as it offers you religious locations also. You may find some famous temples, museum, Churches, Picnic spots like tiffin top, Lake…and many more.

  • Jerry Jaleel says:

    Very Informative Text, covering all details for such a trip from Delhi, fortified with wonderful photographs which brings out the hidden beauty of our hill stations. Well done!

    Jerry Jaleel
    Jim Corbett Foundation of Canada.

  • Jaycee says:

    Wonderful post with amazing photos. Would love to visit this place soon.

  • amitk227 says:

    Great Post Vinay with beautiful pictures. I stayed two night in Lansdowne during my trip and found it equally calm and beautiful like Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. Next time make sure to stay there specially at Tip n Top, and walk in the early morning in the midst of forest and fog, its such a divine experience. Lansdowne is always less crowded and that adds charm to its beauty.
    Thanks for a great post. Mukesh Ji truly said 10/10.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Thanks Amit.
      You are absolutely right. I felt same. I had only one day, and wanted to drive in hills in my new car, so Lansdowne was the nearest. It was my first visit there, but there I felt that I should go there again.
      And next I would go there for atleast two days after rains and stay in one of those two huts.

      Hey you are planning to buy DSLR…..just go for that. I am going over-budget so will buy some later.

      • amitk227 says:

        I have Nikon D75 SLR with 22-80 wide angle and 70-300 telephoto nikor lens. So with DSLR I can use the same lens without availing AF feature. Now I am confused in between Nikon D3100 (27000 for body only) and D5100(34000 for body only). Off course D5100 is feature rich but I am not sure whether I am gonna to use features like selective color where you can pick colors from your choice and the rest environment will come black and white. Anybody suggest me which one to choose.

        • vinaymusafir says:

          Nikon D75 SLR is a great camera.
          One of my friend own D3100. I loved that one, a complete camera in itself. Some of people I know and having great knowledge of photography, also recommend this.
          D5100 has some extra features, like:-
          – 16.2 mega pixels (D3100 is 14.2)
          – Shooting Modes – Continuous: 4fps (D3100 is 3fps)
          – has new 10-pin remote terminal Connector for external microphone
          – having special effects modes Night vision, color sketch, miniature effect, selective color, silhouette, high key, low key.
          – Exposure bracketing: 3 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV.

          I may compromise on this, and would love to buy D3100, with a saving of 7000. :-)

          Note: But the main point going against the Nikon D3100 is it has removed the focus motor from the D3100, so the lens has to have a focus motor in order to auto focus. It also doesn’t have the bracketing feature, which is considered very basic and very useful for HDR imaging.

          • vinaymusafir says:

            Amit, do you know about Pentax K-x camera. Though it is not available easily in India, I found it better than Canon 500D & Nikon D3100 in some ways.
            1. Pentax offers in-body image stabilisation that both Canon and Nikon don’t. Pentax has implemented image stabilisation in the camera body by using sensor shift mechanism. Main advantage of in-body image stabilisation is — it is in body. So, ANY lens you mount on the camera becomes stabilised by default. In contrast, Canon and Nikon prefer image stabilisation in lenses, which makes the lenses bigger and of course expensive.
            2. The K-x can shoot at 4.7 frames per second. This is the fastest burst shooting rate among the three cameras.
            3. Pentax has maintained backward compatibility with all old lenses they have ever made. So you can use ANY Pentax lens EVER made with K-x.
            4. Pentax doesn’t spend much on marketing. They are a very small company focused on R&D behind their products. This enables them to price their products much lower compared to Canon and Nikon.

  • maheh semwal says:

    Very well written post equally supported by beautiful picture. I have been there around two years back.

    My first write up in Ghumakkar :-

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2009/06/21/dehradun-lansdowne-gurgaon/

    I think you missed to visit Tarkeshwar Mandir which is surrounded by pine trees.

    • vinaymusafir says:

      Thanks. I have gone through your post 2 or 3 times, and liked that.
      I had not much time so couldn’t go Tarkeshwar Mandir.
      My hometown is Nazibabad, so will plan this mandir definitely on my next visit.
      Presently I am looking forward to my journey to Vikas Nagar & Degradun in the first week of June.
      Kindly suggest on that also.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Vinay,
    Once again a beautiful post from “Vinay Ka Pitara”. I personally like your posts very much, you have a very good sense of photography and also you are a good writer. From me 10/10.

    Thanks.

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