Lansdowne – An experience with serenity.

    Garhwali
    By Garhwali

    5/5 stars (1 votes)

    Lansdowne is one of the quietest, serene and relatively unexplored & undiscovered hill stations of Uttrakhand. This place is a great example of natural beauty enveloped in tranquility. Saying this place is for nature lovers is quiet redundant but if you want to experience serenity,unending hills, valley & Himalayan views, numerous colourful & beautiful birds, a little trekking and boating then this place is surely for you.

    This is not a typical hill station or tourist place and you will be disappointed if you visit Lansdowne expecting it to be a happening place like Mussoorie and Nainital. But being quiet, less crowded and not overly developed is actually a blessing in disguise for this fascinating place which offers cleanliness and freshness at their best.

    HISTORY

    Lansdowne was originally known as Kaludanda after Kalu (Black) and Danda (Hill) in Garhwali. The reason it named kaludanda was that it gives an impression of a “black hill” when viewed from a distance in a foggy and cloudy weather.

    In 1886 on the recommendation of the Field Marshal Sir F S Roberts, Commander -in- Chief of the then British India, it was decided to raise a separate Regiment of the Garhwal. Situated at the altitude of 1700 meters (5600 feet), Kaludanda was approved for the location of the Cantonment & the Regiment by Brig. Gen J. Murray, GOC Rohilkhand Distt. The Ist Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles, under the Lt. Col. E.P. Mainwaring moved into Kalundanda on 4th Nov. 1887 from Almora. Lansdowne Cantonment came in existence and presently, Lansdowne has the command office and Training Centre of Garhwal Rifles Regiment.

    On 21 September 1890 Kalundanda was renamed as Lansdowne after the then viceroy of India, Lord Henry Lansdowne.

    PLACES TO SEE AT LANSDOWNE

    Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple

    The temple is at a distance of 40 kms from the main town centre. The entire area is surrounded by tall and dense deodar trees right behind the main temple, you can see a giant trishul made by tree branches. Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is the most visited Hindu Temple in Lansdowne and is flocked by thousands of devotees especially on Mahashivratri. There is an Ashram and Dharamshala at the temple where one can stay and have food.

    Tarkeshwar Mahadev  - Img Source - Google Images

    Tarkeshwar Mahadev – Img Source – Google Images

    Darwan Singh Museum

    Maintained by Garhwal Regiment, it has a memorable collection consisting photographs of army generals, war veterans, old uniforms, arms used by regimental commanders, captured weapons, and some original citations signed by the British royalty. The Garhwal Rifles regimental museum, also called Darwan Singh Sanghralaya , houses artifacts from the beginning of the Regiment.

    The Garhwal Rifles has more than 100 years of history. Two world wars and countless other battles throughout this period are the witness of Garhwal Rifles bravery and valour.

    Darwan Singh Mueseum

    Darwan Singh Mueseum – Img Source – Google Images

     

    Bhulla Taal Lake

    This is a small and very well maintained artificial lake created by the Garhwal Rifles. You can do boating, see ducks or just sit around to explore its serenity. Beautiful flower gardens add charm to this relaxing ambience. An amusement and children park, a café, handicraft showroom, herbal plants nursery are established near the lake.

     

    Bhulla Taal - Image Src- Google Images

    Bhulla Taal – Image Src- Google Images

     

    St. John’s Church

    Located at the Mall Road, it is a Roman Catholic Church which was established in 1936. Visit it to see the history wrapped up with beautiful interiors in this small but remarkable building. It is the only working church in Lansdowne.

    church

     

    Tip-in-Top Point

    Tip in Top view point offers excellent views of surrounding Shivalik range of mountains and valleys. It also has a few hut houses that are managed by GMVN (the tourist department) and can be a good place to spend one or two nights.

    Tip n Top Point

    Tip n Top Point

     

    Santoshi Mata Temple

    The temple is small and built at the top of a hill. Though you won’t find much activity to spend time here but the peace and quietness will make you forget all worldly things. Here you can experience a beautiful Sunrise and sunset view.

    Way to Temple - Pic Src - Google Images

    Way to Temple – Pic Src – Google Images

     

    St. Mary’s Church

    St. Mary’s Church, a catholic church, was constructed by A H B Hume in 1895. After its deterioration, The Garhwal Rifles converted the church into a small museum which showcases old pictures and stories. There is also an audio-visual presentation held every morning which displays history of Lansdowne and Garhwal Regiment.

    The church is located almost at the edge of the mountain top and one can experience magnificent views of Himalayan mountain ranges and valleys from here.

    St Marys Church - Pic - Google Images

    St Marys Church – Pic – Google Images

     

    Bhim Pakoda

    There are two large stones one above the other in perfect balance. Above rock can be moved by a single finger but never falls even after you push it by both hands. As per the legend Pandavas stayed here for a night during their exile period and Bhim placed these rocks here.

    Bhim Pakoda - Pic _ google Images

    Bhim Pakoda – Pic _ google Images

     

    HOW TO REACH LANSDOWNE

    Though taking your own vehicle is the best option to visit Lansdowne but for those interested in taking a train/ Bus, the nearest railway/ Bus station is Kotdwar. Plenty of shared taxis are available from the railway/ Bus station.

    By Train: Two trains run from Delhi to Kotdwar (Mussorie Express and Garhwal Express).

    By Road: From Kotdwar it’s about 40 km away. From Haridwar , a bus to Kotdwar. This will take approximately an hour.

    The other and better route to reach Lansdowne is from Delhi via Meerut, Bijnore, Najibabad, Kotdwar and on to Lansdowne. Lansdowne is 81 km from Pauri and about 250 km from Delhi.        The drive through Blue Pine trees on hills near Lansdowne is a wonderful experience.

    Since Lansdowne is more than 1,300 m higher than Kotdwar, the drive from Kotdwara to Lansdowne is quite steep and scenic. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, near Dehradun at a distance of 152 km via Kotdwar -Haridwar road.

    BEST TIME TO VISIT LANSDOWNE.

    Lansdowne can be visited anytime throughout the year but it’s a ideal place in summer. If you want to experience the old kalundanda (black hill) you can visit this place in monsoon. In winter it gets very cold and if you are lucky you can experience the snowfall here. Lansdowne is a very charming place for a quiet holiday as it is devoid of the usual hustles and bustle of other tourists’ spots. If you want to feel the peacefulness while relaxing and rejuvenate your soul then this is the ideal destination for your next weekend.

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