Cool off at Lansdowne!

It has been some time since I traveled to a place for the sole purpose of relaxing. Finally the wait was over and I had a great weekend at an unheard (just came to know about it 2-3 days before I decided to explore it) place called Lansdowne. Precisely it’s a hill station in Uttarakhand which not many of us would have heard of. I am putting this down for a couple of reasons:

  • Share my experience
  • Serve as a guide to anyone planning to give it a shot

Some history and geography of Lansdowne before we move ahead (collated from the web):

Lansdowne is the one of the closest hill station from Delhi, just 260 kms away.

Unspoilt nature, bracing air and a magnificent view of the snow-covered peaks inspire peace and tranquility. If you dream of the romance of the mountains then Lansdowne is the perfect place.

Surrounded with the world’s highest and most beautiful mountain ranges – the Himalayas, naturally Uttaranchal Hills are endowed with extraordinary beauty and most of it is unseen in the outside world. This makes Lansdowne an ideal location for eco-tourism. A clean fresh and invigorating environment makes Lansdowne a preferred destination to relax and unwind and it is a truly rejuvenating experience.

Lansdowne was originally a popular hill station with the Britishers. Attracted by its salubrious climate and natural beauty, they established a cantonment here. It was founded by Lord Lansdowne in 1887 A.D., thus the place has been named after him. The famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army also has its command office here.

Lansdowne is situated at an altitude of 1,706 m enroute Kotdwar-Pauri road, 45 km from Kotdwar, engulfed by thick oak and blue pine forests. It is a very charming place for a quiet holiday as it is devoid of the usual hustle and bustle of hill stations.”

Getting there:

The route is very simple. Delhi-Meerut-Bijnor-Najibabad-Kotdwar-Dugadda-Lansdowne. After reaching Begum pul in Meerut, take a right turn to Bijnor, state highway starts from here. From Kotdwar, the hilly drive starts for around 45 km. After 30 km uphill once you reach Dugadda, the journey becomes more beautiful and views more breathtaking and memorable. You will be literally driving in Pine forests.

Nearest railway station is Kotdwar. Trains are easily available from Delhi. The best option is to take Mussoorie exp. from Delhi at around 2300 hrs, it will drop you to Kotdwar at around 0600 hrs in morning. From there, you can hire a cab for 400-500 rupees to Lansdowne, just a two-hour journey.

Lansdowne on the map.

Activities

There are amazing mountain views of the Western Himalayas from a number of vantage points in Lansdowne like Snow View and Tiffin Top. Like other hill stations in north India, Lansdowne too has its fair share of temples and shrines, most of them devoted to the various forms of the Mother Goddess. While you are in Lansdowne, make a wish at Jwalpa Devi, 47 km from Lansdowne on the Pauri-Kotdwar Road, or visit the Durga Devi temple (24 km from Lansdowne) and the Tarkeshwar Mahadev (30 km) with its special Shivlinga. This temple is one of the oldest Sidhpeeths in India.

Things to pack:

Light woolen clothing for summer and heavy woolen garments for winter. Carry rain protection gear in all seasons.

Accomodation:

Some of the places to stay:

  • Retreat Anand
  • Fairydale Resort
  • GMVN Tourist Bungalow

I stayed at Fairydale resort. The location and ambiance is superb. Rooms are decent, however, a bit damp. Food was nice. Hospitality was great. It was not very expensive. The overall experience was good and I would recommend it.

Personal Experience:

While the above should serve as a guide to plan a trip, I would highly recommend one to consider Lansdowne for a cool and relaxing break. What I loved was the drive from Kotdwar to Lansdowne. I witnessed all types of weather in a couple of hours! Sunshine, rains, fog, clouds, mist…you name it and it is highly likely that you will encounter all of this during the visit. Most importantly Lansdowne is not yet commercialized. There is a very relaxing aura about the place. It feels untouched, unexplored. You are bound to forget the everyday work hassles. I didn’t go for any activities like trekking etc. Still I could appreciate the place.

Interestingly my mobile connection (Vodafone) didn’t seem to work there! It was a pleasant change not to receive any calls and SMSes for a couple of days! I realized how intruding mobiles have become to us. Airtel works intermittently. Not sure if anything else works over there. So be prepared for this.

Also, there is no fuel station at Lansdowne! So if you are driving down, ensure that you get your vehicle refueled at Kotdwar. In case you run out of fuel, ask for ‘Chakki ki dukan’ in the ‘market’ at Landowne. You can buy petrol/diesel at a premium (not sure about the purity). However, try to avoid this at all costs.

Once again, apart from the stay at Lansdowne, what was so refreshing was the drive to and around the place. It was just out of the world. The only thing which was a bit irritating was a landslide which held us back for about 4 hours while returning. On the positive side, that gave me an opportunity to capture some breathtaking surroundings through my new camera.

Seeing is believing:

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Lansdowne is a photographer’s delight. Look for some of the ones I captured over here.

Comments

comments

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22 thoughts on “Cool off at Lansdowne!

  1. Gaurav

    Wonderful information posted …thanks a lot Amit…and guess what this place is in my top 100 places to visit in the near future

  2. Deepesh

    Visited a place near Bangalore for trekking this weekend. Inspired by your post, planning to write a guide for it. don’t think it will be as detailed, but will try nevertheless.

  3. Jitendra Singh

    I am too fond of touring & traveling but never went to this place. I think its amazing and we have visit this place. Thanks for a wonderful information.

  4. Manisha Sharma

    Amit,
    I have been to this place and I completely agree with you. You have done a wonderful job by doing this detailed article which makes me want to go to this place once more.
    THANKS
    mANISHA

  5. Ben

    It’s quite fascinating. Your thinks are really interesting. To have a good site you should not only to post something, but do it from the heart. You cope with it.

  6. Ankit Rustogi

    Hi Amit,

    I have been to Lansdowne and your article virtually took me back to this awesome little unknown place. The only thing i would like to add – if i may that is – is this interesting resort. The jungle resort – practically in the middle of a jungle has been aptly named. Its one of the better places I found in Lans to stay, with its quiet and the breattaking view overlookign the hill. You can also take (un)guided tours during the day with the resort’s help. I am not here to publicize the resort, but the set-up is simple superb!!

    All in all, as I said earlier, your article did full justice to the place.

  7. Amit Post author

    @Ankit: Thanks. I did hear about Jungle Resort from a couple of people and everyone loves the place. Now with your inputs as well, I am surely going to try in on my next visit :-) . Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Kapur

    Hi,

    Its seems to be beautiful. Is there any security issue? safe with family? Hows road ? can v travel in small car? Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience …

  9. Amit Post author

    Hey Kapur, No security issues. In fact there’s Lansdowne is an Army Base. You can travel in a small car. The road is good (however from Kotdwar to Lansdowne is a typical hilly drive with narrow roads, so be prepared.) And yes don’t forget to get your tank full at Kotdwar!!! Wish you a happy trip!

  10. Kirty

    Hey Amit!
    Thank you for this detailed review.
    I am planning a trip in the third week of june and your reviews really made me go for it. But what I am concerned is at 1700 mtrs, I won’t get a cool holiday.

    Need some suggestions……it seems you are the right person to be the Ambassador of Lansdowne!

  11. Amit Post author

    @Kirty: I am late to respond. May be you’ve made the trip. I must mention it is decently cool at 1700 mtrs! However you must avoid the rainy weather!

    @Ankit: I am looking for some myself. Will definitely share if I come across. I’ve hard of some, but unless I try myself, can’t recommend.

  12. PRIYANKA

    Hii Amit
    GREAT JOB!
    REALLY U GAVE VALUABLE INFORMATION N I WAS DERE BEFORE 4DAYS . I WAS STAY DERE ABT 22 DAYS WID MY COUSIN SIS N I M MISSING THOSE DAYS BT UR FANTASTIC JOB ( PICS N INFORMATION ) MAKE ME HAPPY.
    N MEMORISE ME THOSE PLEASNT MOMENTS.I M HAPPY WID UR HELPFUL N NEEDFUL INFORMATION FOR THOSE HAV NOT TRAVELLED YET. REALLY ,IT IS VERY GREAT PLACE LIKE HEAVN.
    THNX A LOT
    plz add more pics if u hav.

  13. yamini

    hey amit, i am planning a trip with my friends there by the end of september.. n just wanted to know how the weather will be … also we too shall be staying at the Fairydale resort. i am not reaaly sure of the resort .. could u just provide me with some more details so that i can finalise the accomodation…!!

    Thanks and regards

  14. Amit Post author

    @Priyanka: Thanks.
    @Yamini: September might not be the best of times to travel to Lansdowne because of rains. However if your trip spans over a week or something, you can definitely go. If you are planning a short trip, better wait for the rains to go off. Fairydale is good. But Jungle Resort is best. However, do contact them beforehand and book as a lot of people seem to visit Lansdowne now!!

  15. PK Sahoo

    Hi,
    Tks for your valuable information, because I am being posted there in Army,so I was interested to know more about the place.

    PK Sahoo

  16. keshav

    Hi Amit ,

    I will be going lansdowne this friday by train .
    just wanted to know , what is the mode of transport in within lansdowne , mean to say going from and within city or some resort outer to city .
    apart from this going to some worth seeing places ?

    Actually i have booked 2 hotels for 3 days stay there .
    So just wanted to know how to roam around within and outer city ?

    thanks
    keshav
    9311093295

    1. Amit Srivastava Post author

      Hi Keshav,

      Lansdowne is a very small place in itself. So most likely once you reach your hotel you can walk around the nearby places (depending on which hotels you book). For some of the sights, I think best would be to book a cab for a day which can take you to all places (Tarkeshwar temple and all).

      Rest best would be to just chill and relax. There are not too many places to visit within Lansdowne.

      Thanks,

      Amit

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