Posted 17 November 2022

Five Reasons why Lansdowne should be your next holiday in the hills

Lansdowne is an enchanting hill station in Uttarakhand and is known for its scenic beauty and vintage, old buildings and churches from the British era. It is located in the Pauri Garhwal area. It is a quiet hill station located 40 km from the nearest railway station, which is Kotdwar. This hill station is relatively undiscovered and offers great views of the Himalayan ranges. There are several attractive tourist spots in and around Lansdowne. There are mainly five reasons to visit Lansdowne, and they include discovering ancient temples, trekking and enjoying mountain climbing adventures, experiencing the clean and green environment, visiting old, vintage buildings and enjoying a quiet holiday with less tourist rush and crowded places.

Lansdowne is the closest hill station to Delhi NCR and there is opportunity for trekking, bird watching, rock climbing, visiting vintage structures, and museums. There are ancient Shiva temples that are still visited by devotees and are largely unspoiled by excess tourism and urbanisation attempts. Lansdowne is great for a weekend getaway or even an extended vacation.

Historically, the area was known as Kallu Danda, which translates to “the black hills”. The area was discovered and developed by Lord Lansdowne in 1887. He was the Viceroy. The area was further developed after the Garhwal Rifles shifted from Almora to Lansdowne.

Some of the great places to visit in Lansdowne are:

1. Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple

Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple is a remote, serene temple named after a demon named Tarkasur, who managed to get a conditional boon of immortality from Lord Shiva and could only be killed by an offspring of Lord Shiva. The sages approached Lord Shiva for help and protection from the marauding demon. The Lord married Parvati, and they had a son named Kartikeya, who went on to kill the demon. The repenting demon asked the Lord for forgiveness. Lord Shiva allowed his name to be attached to him and the site where the demon had meditated came to be known as Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple. This temple is 38 km from Lansdowne and a taxi can be hired to go to this place. There is a dharamshala at the site where limited visitors can stay and be served meals.

2. Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple

This temple is another old temple near Lansdowne and is revered as a centuries old temple. Lansdowne was earlier known as Kalun in remembrance of a famous sage who meditated in the area more than 5000 years ago. This temple attracts devotees from far and wide during Mahashivratri and there is a popular legend about cows going missing and later found milking themselves near the swayambhu (self formed) shivling that was later installed in this historic temple. The area is known because of many sages who have lived and meditated here and their samadhis can still be found. There is a dharamshala also built here for devotees to stay. The Bhairav Garhi temple is another of these mystifying temples and visits to these temples come with adventurous treks through hill terrain.

3. Hawaghar

This is a picturesque spot near Lansdowne and it offers a breathtaking view of the Himalayas. The place is about 2 km from Lansdowne and is part of a popular trekking route that goes all the way up to the Khyber Pass. The entire area and the trekking route are pristine and do not have much tourist traffic. Visiting tourists can have the entire place to themselves.

4. St. John’s Church and St. Mary’s Church

St. John’s Church and St. Mary’s Church are two old vintage churches, and both have begun to deteriorate. The Garhwal regiment of the Indian army restored both churches with repairs and now St. John’s Church has been restored and prayers are still conducted there. St. Mary’s Church has, however, been converted into a museum and there are many interesting items from the old days, including pictures from the pre-independence days.

5. Bhulla Tal

Every hill station has an idyllic picnic spot for the entire family and Bhulla Tal in Lansdowne is a beautiful artificial lake which is popular for boating and a serene spot to spend most of the day. There is a souvenir shop, a café, a nursery for buying herbal plants and an enclosure for rabbits. The lake has fountains, bamboo machan and a foot overbridge as added attractions. Another beautiful site for getting a majestic view of the mighty Himalayan range, The place has accommodation for one night and can easily be trekked from Lansdowne; the distance is less than 2 km.

Reasons to visit Lansdowne

  • Explore the scenic surroundings: The crisp, cool weather and the lush countryside make excursions wonderful, and every trek is a wonderful adventure. Tourists can never get enough of going on walks around the little hill station. The Bhulla Tal, Hawa Ghar, and the Tip n Top are great sites for getting exquisite views of the mighty Himalayan Ranges hiding behind the Garhwal Hills. These sites can be reached after a short trek from Lansdowne.
  • Visit the ancient temples: Tadkeshwar Mahadev, Kaleshwar Mahadev, and Bhairav Garhi Shiva Temples are some of the best temples in the region to visit. These temples are ancient and have a very soothing environment to sit and relax and even meditate for some time. There are fascinating legends about each temple, and a visit to these timeless spiritual places is a wonderful experience.
  • A foodie’s paradise: A surprising treat about Lansdowne is the delicious gourmet food that is available here. There are just 11 restaurants, and they are mostly resident eateries of the hotels in Lansdowne serving excellent food. Exploring the different restaurants with different types of cuisine can be a great gastronomic adventure. Tourists visiting Lansdowne during the Christmas-New Year period can get to savour excellent food, specially prepared for the festive season.
  • Visit unusual museums: Two unusual museums in Lansdowne that are frequented by tourists are the Darwan Singh Museum and St. Mary’s Church, converted into a museum. The church was restored by the Garhwal Rifles and converted into a museum. Visitors can get an ethnic feel of a small, cosy English church tucked away in a remote, pristine, and undisturbed hill station and also experience that Victorian era preserved in the pictures and murals.

    Tourists looking for history, in addition to the makeshift museum at St. Mary’s Church, can visit the Darwan Singh Museum, which is a part of the Garhwali regiment campus. There is a war memorial in the vicinity which is not open to the public. The two storey Darwan Singh museum showcases the glorious past of this regiment and displays old arms, uniforms, and vintage pictures of officers of the regiment. There is a rose garden close to this museum, which tourists can visit and examine the 12 different types of roses that grow here.

  • Adventure: Lansdowne provides adventure seekers with great trek routes that go as far as the Khyber Pass and provide an opportunity for adventure seekers to get the thrill of a lifetime. There is scope for mountain and rock climbing, though amateurs are advised not to try mountain climbing unless there is an experienced climber or a guide in the group.
  • Quiet and privacy: Lansdowne is one of the best hill stations for people, such as honeymooners, looking for peace and quiet. The comfortable hotels and the mostly-uncrowded areas provide privacy for tourists. Lansdowne is a very good locale for corporate groups who like to take their executives for a refreshing corporate session in an offbeat locale. This hill station is far away from it all, and its chief attraction is its undisturbed remoteness.

Tips for travellers

Lansdowne is a marvellous place for a quiet holiday and tourists need to keep the following things in mind

  • Travel light: As airfares are going down, restrictions on baggage are becoming commonplace. It is thus advised that tourists travel light, though woollens need to be carried for the cold weather in Lansdowne, especially for tourists visiting in winter.
  • Carry essentials: Lansdowne is still not fully developed as a tourist spot, and there may be difficulty in getting emergency household provisions. Tourists are advised to carry medicine, first aid equipment, and essential home items. Trekking and mountain climbing are on the list of must dos for younger people, and it is best to be equipped for unforeseen mishaps or accidents.

How to reach Lansdowne?

  • The hill station of Lansdowne can best be reached by road and the road trip up the hills is a great drive with constant mesmerising scenic views of lush greenery that give way to exquisite pine and oak forests.
  • The nearest airport is Dehradun Airport, which is 145 km away, and the nearest railway station is Kotdwar, which is 40 km away. Tourists can take flights operated by IndiGo, which are available from all major cities within the country.
  • It is best to drive directly to Lansdowne from Delhi, and the total distance is 197 km. A car should ideally be hired to go to Lansdowne, even if one were to travel by air or by rail. The car will also help in going to the exotic places near Lansdowne.
  • A great way to get to Lansdowne from Delhi is by night bus. The buses are luxurious and very comfortable. Air conditioned sleeper coaches ply from Delhi to Lansdowne and the journey is safe and comfortable.

Best time to visit Lansdowne

Lansdowne, being a hill station, has cool and pleasant summers and the best time to visit is in the period from March to June before the monsoon sets in.

For many people who prefer to experience cold weather in hill stations, the best time for such tourists is the period from November to February. The prospect of cuddling up in a warm, cosy hotel room in the chill of winter is an unforgettable experience after all. In addition, hotels and restaurants in Lansdowne have retained the British culture in the area, and the Christmas-New Year season is a wonderful time to spend in Lansdowne with all the celebrations organised in this hill station.

Weather in Lansdowne

At Lansdowne, we experience summer, winter, and monsoon seasons. The city of Lansdowne doesn’t experience snowfall throughout the winter; however, tourists can see some snowfall at the end of December. The highest temperature in this region goes up to 40°C in summer, which makes travelling difficult. During winter, the average temperature falls below 20°C, making it quite pleasant for travellers. The monsoon season is to be avoided as most of the roads get blocked due to mudslides, and this can cause a delay in reaching from one point to another.

Final Note

Planning a Lansdowne holiday is easy as most travel bookings are online. Save money and avail online discounts and cashback. Tourists choosing to visit Lansdowne can have a wonderful holiday.

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