The recently-concluded Navratri and Durga Puja festivities call for a much-needed quietude and leisure. And what better way than to head to the hills? Here’s your destination of the week: Lansdowne in Uttarakhand. And if you are looking to plan a quick weekend getaway, here’s what you need to know.
About the place
Founded and named after erstwhile Viceroy of India Lord Lansdowne in 1887, the cantonment town was originally known as Kaludanda, meaning ‘black hills’. It is one of the quietest hill stations in India, situated in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand.
How to reach
Lansdowne is roughly 236 km from Delhi, which can be reached via Meerut, Mawana, Bijnor, Najibabad and Dugadda, in approximately five hours. If you wish to take a train, the nearest railway station would be Kotdwar, from where you can hire local transport. For those flying, Dehradun is the nearest airport. You can book private cabs and taxis here.
Best time to visit
The months of January, February and March, and then October to December are ideal for a visit.
Things to do
Lansdowne is a beautiful town that is likely to charm you. As such, here are some must-visit places that you absolutely cannot chuck out from your itinerary.
1. Bhulla Lake: A favourite picnic spot for locals and tourists alike, the lake is maintained by the Indian Army. A serene boat ride is what you can experience here.
2. Tip N Top: Also known as Tiffin Top, it is a hilltop viewpoint that is located some 1700 metres above sea level. Just like other places in the town, this one too offers tranquility, and a beautiful view of the splendid Garhwal hills and the majestic Himalayan range. It is the highest point in all of Lansdowne.
3. St John’s Church: Located at the Mall Road, this beautiful Catholic church was built in the year 1936. Surrounded by greenery, this place is a tourist favourite.
4. Bhim Pakora: If you are fond of trekking, then this place will give you much joy. A 2 km downhill trek will take you to this place. The attraction factor are two well-balanced rocks — one sitting atop another — never having fallen down.
5. Jungle Safari: If you are interested in wildlife, you can have your tour operator organise a jungle safari for you.
6. Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple: Believed to be one of the ancient holy sites dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is located atop a hill, and is roughly 10 km away from the city centre. It draws a huge crowd from around the country during Maha Shivratri celebrations every year.
What to eat
If you are in town, you must visit the Lansdowne Trip Travel Café, because, as the name suggests, your trip will be incomplete without it. It boasts of vibrant interiors and is one of the best cafes in town. It is located 5 km away from the city centre.
Watch this space, as we bring you another less-explored travel destination next week — a part of a series titled ‘Express Wanderlust’.