Described as one of the most peaceful and quaint hill stations in India, Lansdowne is a wondrous destination for tourists. A cantonment town, popularly known as ‘Home of the Garhwal Rifles’, Lansdowne is situated in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
Nestled in the lap of lush greenery, dotted with blue pine and oak trees, along with a scenic exposure to the Himalayas, this town provides a unique experience of calmness and serenity to its visitors.
The most rejuvenating aspect of Lansdowne tourism is the lesser number of people who visit here as compared to other places. Thereby maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of this hill station. The town of Lansdowne is a splendid amalgamation of famous temples, churches, comfortable resorts, colonial architecture, military history, and much more.
If you are someone who is looking for a vacation in a sound place away from the crowded streets and busy markets, then you must visit Lansdowne hill station in Uttarakhand.
History of Lansdowne:
Situated at a height of 1,780 mts in Uttarakhand, Lansdowne town was founded in 1887 by the British. The town was established as a British cantonment and was named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Henry Lansdowne (1888-1894).
The town was specifically chosen by the British for its pleasant weather and suitable climate for recruits’ training. The soldiers of the Garhwal Rifles regiment were trained here. This hill station also became a center point of the freedom fight against the British in Uttarakhand.
The town is also famous for some of the major colonial architecture including churches, libraries, museums, war memorials, etc. Prominent Hindu temples are also located here such as Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Santoshi Mata temple, etc. Presently, the headquarters of Garhwal Rifles Regimental Center is also located here.
Here is a list of the top places you can visit in Lansdowne:
- Kalagarh Tiger Reserve: The tiger reserve is a famous destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Situated in the Jim Corbett National Park, the place is known for the variety of wildlife that inhabits this region. Tourists can explore the tiger reserve through jungle safari and trekking with the help of local guides and experts. You can spot a wide range of animals from goral, barking deer, sambar, elephants, hog deer, and porcupine here and if lucky, tigers as well.
- Bhulla Tal: Bhulla Tal or Bhulla Lake is a must-visit destination in Lansdowne. It is a small and serene lake situated in the cantonment area of the town and is a common picnic spot for locals and tourists. It is an artificial man-made lake dedicated to the young boys of the Garhwal Rifles regiment who contributed to its construction.
Bhulla means younger brother in the local Garhwali language. Tourists can enjoy boating in the lake and spend some time in nature. The spot is adorned with beautiful oak and pine trees. You can also visit a small amusement park built for children, a souvenir shop, cafes, and an herbal plant nursery as well near the lake.
- Tip-n-Top viewpoint: Certainly, the destination with the majority of footfall in Lansdowne, Tip-n-Top is a mesmerizing hilltop viewpoint of the Garhwal hills with the majestic backdrop of the Himalayas. The place offers the best sunrise and sunset views and provides a panoramic view of the entire region. You can trek all the way to the hilltop amid the pine forests and can also stay in the GMVN guest houses. You can also take a taxi to reach the hilltop and relish the breeze of Himalayan air.
- Garhwal Rifles War Memorial: The most popular place in the cantonment area of Lansdowne is the Garhwal Rifles War Memorial. It was established in 1923 by Lord Rawlinson of Trent (Commander in Chief, India). Situated on the parade ground, the war memorial is now a mark of respect toward the Garhwal Regiment. Tourists and history buffs can visit the museum in order to learn about the achievements and contributions of the regiment in the Indian freedom struggle.
- Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this famous Hindu temple is surrounded by Deodar trees and its tranquil atmosphere attracts several people for meditation and spiritual awakeness. According to mythology, Tadkasur was a demon who was granted a boon of being prayed in the Kalyug as well. It is believed that Lord Shiva resides in deep sleep in this holy place. The temple is situated around 38 km away from Lansdowne and can be visited throughout the year.
How to reach Lansdowne:
By Flight: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (around 150 km) from Lansdowne. You can take either local buses or taxis to reach Lansdowne and neighboring areas.
By Train: Kotdwar is the nearest railway station to Lansdowne approx (40 km). Kotdwar is well-connected to other major cities of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Haridwar, and Rishikesh. You can book taxis or buses from these stations. Taxis or buses are readily available outside the railway stations.
By Road: You can reach Lansdowne by road from Kotdwar. The roads and highways are well-connected from Delhi also. The distance from Delhi to Lansdowne is around 260 km and around 150 km from Dehradun.
Accommodation and Best Time to Visit:
Though Lansdowne is not much of a commercialized hill station, tourists can find decent resorts, hotels, and guest houses to make their stay comfortable and memorable. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly inns, tourists can explore their options easily. The guests are served with local cuisine of Garhwal which includes delicious Chainsu, Baadi, Phansu, Arse, etc.
The best time to visit this hill station in Uttarakhand is from April to September.
Lansdowne is a place most visited for its pleasant weather during the summer. The ideal time for tourists and trek lovers to enjoy the beauty of Lansdowne is during the months of summer and pre-monsoon. You can visit Lansdowne for the old-world charm of the British era and explore this beautiful town surrounded by nature.
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