A quiet town with old-world colonial charm, Lansdowne is an unspoiled expanse of lush greenery nestled in the Himalayas. The hill station is dotted with pines and oaks and is perched at a height of 1,700 m. Charming churches, flowering thickets, springs, and ponds encompass the entire hill station. Lansdowne was established in 1887 as a cantonment of the British, who were drawn to its salubrious climate, and is named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne. Today, it is the headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army.
Lansdowne is unlike other hill stations, as it is well connected with motorable roads but remote in its own way. It is situated at an altitude of 1780 mts above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests in the Pauri Gharwal District of Uttrakhand State.
Fun fact to know is that the real name of Lansdowne in old days was actually Kaludanda, literally meaning the Black Forest in Garhwali; “Kalu” meaning Black and “Danda” meaning Forest. It then changed to Lansdowne in 1887 and developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles.
Why one should visit Lansdowne?
The entire region is very clean due to the Army presence here and well maintained. You won’t find it dirty anywhere here nor does it get too crowded either. Yes, on weekends it tends to get filled with tourists but not in the manner of Shimla and Manali where it becomes annoying in fact.
It is quiet, less crowded, not overdeveloped, a bit undiscovered, and one of the most tranquil hill stations of India. Away from the hustle-bustle associated with other tourist spots, the calm environment enriched with the natural beauty of Lansdowne will enthrall you for sure.
It still has several old buildings of British Colonial architecture and military history and its close proximity to the Delhi NCR region makes it a perfect weekend getaway.
How to reach Lansdowne?
Due to its location in the Himalayas, the only way to reach Lansdowne of course is by road. You can either drive all the way from your home if you were living somewhere close. If not then you can reach the nearest rail station or airport and drive to Lansdowne from there.
Weather of Lansdowne
Due to its high altitude, the weather of Lansdowne remains pleasantly cold throughout the year. The months of January and February are probably the coldest with a very small chance of snowfall. The months of March and April are among the best times when the weather is more enjoyable.
Things start to get warm in April though and in May and June, you may even sometimes need to switch on the AC.
Monsoon arrives in July and lasts till September during which time the entire region receives a heavy amount of rain. It rains very less in September though which again makes it a good time to be here with the entire lush green valley’s around.
October is the time of autumn and best if you want to catch that golden color in the trees. November and December are again the months of winter when the weather again gets very cold.
What to see in Lansdowne?
Lansdowne itself is in fact a tourist attraction. This entire town is very scenic and the calm of the place is like no other. The natural beauty of the place is truly mesmerizing and you will love every minute you spend in the town.
List of all places of tourist interest in Lansdowne are:
- Bhulla Taal
- Tip in Top
- Mary’s Church
- John’s Church
- Durga Devi Temple
- Bhim Pakora
- Kaleshwar Temple
What and Where to Eat?
There are numerous hotels and restaurants in Lansdowne where you can find quite a comprehensive menu. From North Indian to South, to Chinese, you will find it all here. There is however no such special dish that is particular to Lansdowne; just the usual Indian food. Hotels here are a bit expensive and tend to overcharge.