The Unspoiled Beauty
Located at a short distance away from Kotdwar, is the breathtaking small hill station called Lansdowne. Commonly known amongst the locals as Kaludanda (Black forest), it was founded by Lord Lansdowne in 1857 near Pauri Garhwal District of Uttarakhand and aptly named after him. Currently, Lansdowne is a cantonment area and is the base camp of Garhwal Rifles. Unlike other hill station, this place offers you a very quiet holiday enjoying the cool refreshing air of the pollution free nature, the area is less crowded, much cleaner and well maintained and falls into an ideal destination for relaxation and hiking. Lansdowne has beautiful colonial style architecture with evergreen pine trees adorning its every corner. The hill station houses an artificial lake for boating and viewpoints to watch the snow-clad Blue Mountains of Shivalik Range and forest of the surrounding area. Apart from sightseeing, the hill station can be count, to have the best hiking areas near Delhi NCR Region; it also is a perfect destination for bird watching. Although the hill station with its fabulous climate conditions can be visited throughout the year, but it is much preferred in between the months from January to June and October to December.
During the time of 1888 to 1894, Lord Lansdowne was the Viceroy of India who founded Lansdowne in the year of 1887. In the same year, the Garhwal Rifles migrated from Almora and developed Lansdowne as a Training Centre for Recruits of the Garhwal Rifles, now in present it is their command office. During the British era, Lansdowne was the main hub for British soldiers and one can still admire the architecture of the colonial-styled rustic buildings and churches reminding the time of pre-independence. Lansdowne falls under Garhwal region and the locals here are known as Garhwali. The majority of people here practice Hinduism and it can be seen in their art and culture. The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with much enthusiasm at the Kaleshwar Temple during the month of February. The famous handicraft, known as Dekara is the art of making idols of Gods, can also be found here along with traditional paintings. Leather articles and local sweets can be found in abundance in the market area.
Top things do in Lansdowne
How to reach
Lansdowne has a very well connected transportation facility due to it being a cantonment area. It is easily accessible from Delhi and other neighboring cities.
How to Reach by Flight
The nearest Airport to Lansdowne is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun in a distance of 148 km. the airport is connected with Delhi and other major cities of India.
How to Reach by Train
The closest Railway station to reach Lansdowne is Kotdwar Railway Station located 40 km away. The station gets trains from Delhi and other neighboring cities.
How to Reach by Bus
The major Bus depot near Lansdowne is Kotdwar which receives various buses of the State Government, Deluxe, A/c and ordinary buses from cities like Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jaipur, Gurgaon, and Faridabad etc. Multiple buses ply between Kotdwar and Lansdowne every day, to take the 6 hours journey.
How to Reach by Road
Whereas Lansdowne is well connected by various routes from the nearby cities, the best option is the National Highway 119, which connects from Delhi to Lansdowne at a distance of 270 km, which will take around 6 hours of journey.
How to travel within
The best option to avail for moving within the hill station is your own personal car, but hired cabs are easily found in the area for tours.
Lansdowne can be said to be still connected with its tradition and culture of the Garhwal region. The best example of it can be found in their local cuisine that includes delicacies like Phanu, Baadi, Chainsoo, Bhaang Ki Khatai, Kappa, Rus, Aloo Ke Gutke etc. the local cuisine here is mostly vegetarian which is nutritious and make you energized for mountain terrain. Along with it, you can also relish Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Mughlai as well as other Continental dishes in the hotels and lodges around.
- Zayka Restaurant
- Northern Flavours
- Kaludanda Café
- Oak Town’s Flavor Tadka Restaurant
- Hotel Hill Crest.
Day 1: Hire a cab or drive to Panchgani, which is a journey of 6 hours approx. though it might be long, but the weekend trip will be worth the hassle, sit back and enjoy the picturesque breathtaking landscapes found on either side of the road. The lush green lands and the fresh pollution free air will immediately refresh you and get the feel for you to forget the polluted city clouds. Finally reaching the town get checked in the hotel and get freshen up and start your trip by visiting Bhim Pakora, St John’s Church and DSM Museum. Get back to town for lunch and rest then head out to spend a peaceful evening in Bhulla Lake. Finish your first day by shopping in the local shops and eating cuisines of your choice.
Day 2: Hire a cab that will take you to Tip N Top to watch the sunrise and the skyline of Lansdowne. Later visit the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple and book a jungle safari to explore the magnificent forest and wildlife of the hill station. Enjoy your day capturing every moment of this marvelous journey. Get back before evening to check out and start your trip back home.