August 2008
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Lansdowne in Pauri Garwhal in Uttarakhand

Altitude: 1700 meters
Coordinates: 29.83° N 78.68° E
Area: 6.09 sq. km
Climate: Pleasant in summer, very cold in winter
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Lansdowne is from March to October.
Founded in and by: Then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887

Lansdowne is a charming hill station surrounded by thick oak and pine forest. It is seen as a perfect place for a peaceful holiday in the lap of mother nature. Surrounded by thick Oak and blue Pine forests, Lansdowne is a very charming place for a quiet holiday as it does not have the usual crowd, the hustle and bustle of other hill stations (and the crowds, many shops, etc). Lansdowne has tremendous scenic beauty and some great looking surroundings. This exotic hill station is situated 45 km from Kotdwar en route Kotdwar Pauri road in the district of Pauri Garhwal. Here you will find some amazing mountain views of the Western Himalayas from a number of vantage pints like Snow View and Tiffin Top.

Map to here:

Lansdowne is primaily a Military station developed by the Britishers, which is catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. The war memorial at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center is an attraction for the visitors. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.

One of the advantages of having the army here is that the Cantt Board keeps the towns fresh as a daisy. As mentioned above, the proud Garhwal rifles which has the major presence in the town, and is where some of the bravest sons of India are trained on the huge parade ground right in the middle of the town. The Garhwal Rifles also takes pride in the second best kept Regimental Mess in Asia, complete with old armoury, weapons, hundreds of animal trophies and the regimental ghost.

The best adventure activity that the tourists can enjoy here is trekking. The trekking trials are through the lovely surroundings passing through the forests full of dense vegetation. The nature treks range from simple hiking trails of a few hours or one day’s duration, to tougher climbs lasting a couple of days.

Places to see:

Situated 45 km from Lansdowne, Kotdwar is a gateway to the hills and one of the last rail terminals for Garhwal.

Karnva Ashram: The ancient ashram is located 14 km from Lansdowne. Legend has it that Shankuntala gave birth to prince Bharat here, after whose name the country is called Bharat Varsh.

The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial: The War memorial at Lansdowne was unveiled on a suitable vantage point on the Armistic Day 11 Nov 1923 by Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander in Chief of Armed Forces India. Located at the Parade Ground is a major attraction which attracts tourists from all over the India and the world.

Garhwali Mess: This Mess was built in Jan 1888 which subsequently became the present mess in 1892. It is one of the oldest building in Lansdowne and highlights the heritage.

St. Mary’s Church: Construction of St. Marry’s Church began in 1895 by Colone AHB Hume of Royal Engineers and was completed in 1896. St Marry’s Church fell into disuse after 1947 and gradually began to deteriorate. The building has now been restored by Garhal Rifles Regimental Centre with additional facilities of relevant pre independence photographs and audio visual display of the proud Regimental history.

St. John’s Church: On the Mall, the Roman Catholic Church (now St. John’s Church) situated just above the road on the spur below the Forest bungalow was completed in 1934. It re-opened on Nov 29, 1980. From then, St. John’s Church became the only Church of worship in Lansdowne and continues till date.

Tip-In-Top: Tip-in-Top is a popular vantage point amongst the tourists visiting Lansdowne. It is on the ridge close to St. Mary’s Church. Once can plan a trek on the bring surnny day to feel the glorious view of the Himalayas which is unforgettably enchanting.

Hawaghar: Trek to Hawagarh passes through Khyber Pass along the road to Jaiharikhal. The walk is very refreshing with the view of snow covered peaks of the Himalayas.

Kalagarh Wildlife Sanctuary: Famous for the species of the Asian elephants. It is simply an ideal place for the nature lovers.

Jwalpadevi: (52 km) Is one of the better-known religious areas of the entire division on the main Pauri-Kotdwar road. A large number of devotees come here during Ashtami (April and October) for pilgrimage.

Tarkeshwar Mahadev: (30 km) Is a temple of Lord Shiva situated at an altitude of 2092 m, on top of a hillock surrounded by a thick forest of deodar, blue pine, and oak. The temple is among one of the oldest in the world. The highlight of this place is that even at an altitude of 2092 mtr.

How to Reach

Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant (Dehradun) 145 kms.

By Rail : The nearest railhead for Lansdowne is Kotdwar (2 hours), which is well connected by buses.

By Road: Lansdowne is linked by a motorable road to almost all the important cities in Uttaranchal. Lansdowne is 295 km from Delhi, 95 km from Haridwar and 150 km from Dehradun. Buses and tourist taxis are available from Delhi, Dehradun and Kotdwar.

Places to stay:

Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam’s tourist bungalow
PWD inspection bungalow
Army Welfare Board Rest House
Uttaranchal Forest Department base camp
Retreat Anand Jungle Resort
Fairy Dale
Blue Pine Resort

Other related stuff:

Photos (link)
Flickr (link)

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