A well-kept cantonment area of Pauri Garhwal district, Lansdowne is a relatively virgin hill town of the otherwise thoroughly explored and crowded state of Uttarakhand. Lansdowne is located on the Kotdwar-Pauri road and its civic administration falls under the cantonment board, which explains the immaculate cleanliness and strict law abidance in the hill town.
Image Source: Subhankar Das (Flickr)
Located in the Shivalik hills of Garhwal region, Lansdowne was named after its founder Lord Lansdowne. The town was developed by the Britishers with the purpose of catering the recruits at the training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Thus, Lansdowne was a place of importance for freedom fighters from British Garhwal.
Given its history of being under the British influence, the most significant thing that one notices on entering Lansdowne is the elegant cantonment of Garhwal Rifles. Being under the civic administration of the cantonment board has prevented the hill town from becoming commercialized like its neighboring counterparts in the state.
The Garhwal Rifle board has made sure that there is minimum tampering with nature and that is one of the primary reasons why the flora and fauna of the area have been well-preserved. Several species of mountain animals and heavy vegetation of pine trees can be found in Lansdowne, making it a natural beauty that any nature lover must explore.
Location & How To Reach:
An unexpected turn on the Kotdwar-Pauri road will take you straight to the doors of the virgin hills of Lansdowne. At an elevation of 5,597ft, Lansdowne is located in the lap of Shivalik hills of the Garhwal region.
Nearest Railway Station: Kotdwar (40 km away)
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (145 km away)
Distance From Nearby Cities:
Lansdowne to Delhi: 287 km (7 hrs)
Lansdowne to Dehradun:159 km (5 hrs)
Lansdowne to Rishikesh: 125 km (4 hrs)
Lansdowne to Haridwar: 106 km (3 hrs)
Lansdowne to Srinagar (Uttarakhand): 114 km (4 hrs)
Lansdowne to Devprayag: 75 km (3 hrs)
Going around in the Town
Lansdowne has a local bus transport system. However, the low connectivity and frequency of the buses make private taxis a better mode of transport to go around in the town. Privately owned taxis, SUVs and minibusses are the most preferred mode of commuting by tourists visiting Lansdowne.
Things to See & Do In Lansdowne
Unlike other hill stations in the country that are brimming with fun activities and spots custom-made to attract more and more tourists, Lansdowne allures you with its natural beauty. With not much to do around the town, a trip to Lansdowne is more of a sensory experience that will rejuvenate you and let you feel at one with nature.
The Bhulla lake in Lansdowne is a perfect example of how the good Samaritans of the town are dedicated to keeping their homeland clean and beautify it in every way possible. The lake was developed not only to give tourists an enjoyable experience of the town but also to harvest the rainwater. The lake is located near the Army School and is open for tourists from 9 am till 12 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm. Tourists can enjoy the lake by renting a boat for a nominal fee.
Image Source: Anubhav Kochhar (Flickr)
Tiffin Top and Snow View Point
One thing that Lansdowne has in common with the other hill stations in the state is a breathtaking view of the snow-clad Himalayas. The Himalayan peaks of Chaukhamba and Trishul are visible from Tiffin Top and Snow View Point and it is an experience that can leave you mesmerized. These two are also good places for trekking enthusiasts.
Image Source: Bipender Singh (Flickr)
The most fascinating thing about this place is that it has very interesting folklore associated with it. According to a widely held belief, Bhim—one of the Pandvas—placed a small rock atop another small rock at this spot and since then, no one has been able to move the rocks. It is fascinating to push the top rock and see the huge thing move and yet not fall off the hill.
Image Source: Bariza Holidays
Home to a plethora of artifacts belonging to the Garhwal Rifles, Regimental Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lansdowne. Entry fee is Rs. 50 per person and the museum is open for tourists between 9am-12 pm and 3pm-6pm from Monday to Saturday.
St. John’s Church
St. John’s Church is the only running Church of Lansdowne. Dating back to 1936, the Roman Catholic Church boasts of beautiful interiors. It is located at the Mall Road and lures many tourists with its tranquility and beauty.
Considered to be one of the must-visit places in Lansdowne, the Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple is approximately 35 km from the town and it takes about 1-2 hours to reach there. The 1600-year old temple is located right in the middle of a forest and reaching there can be a bit tricky for some tourists.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Lansdowne is between April and June. The weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy clear skies along with some trekking expeditions.
Monsoons in Lansdowne last from July to September. The sudden rain showers can obstruct the view from hilltops and can limit your excursions around the town.
Summers in Lansdowne start from the month of March and last till June, and it can get hot and humid during this time.
During winter, which lasts from December to February, the temperature can drop to 0 degrees and if you’re lucky, you can also experience snowfall.
The best luxury accommodations that Lansdowne offers are mostly 3-star properties and a night’s stay here can cost anywhere between Rs. 4-6,000.
Budget hotel options are also available in the town which can cost anywhere between Rs. 2-3,000 for a night’s stay.
Homestays are also available for travelers on a budget trip. A twin-sharing room at these homestays will cost somewhere between Rs. 1-2,000 a night with breakfast.
Where to Head Next? (Within 50-300 km)
(91 km, 3 hrs)
Located at an altitude of 1700 meters from sea level, Khisru is a small hill town which is still away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. Khisru offers a breathtaking view of snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. The hill town is surrounded by Oak, Deodar and Apple Orchards that add to its splendid beauty.
(125 km, 4 hrs)
After a tranquil experience in the beautiful hills of Lansdowne, you can head to Rishikesh for some adventure. Private buses and taxis are easily available for Rishikesh from Lansdowne.
(83 km, 3hrs)
One of the most popular hill towns of the Garhwal region, Pauri is known for its natural beauty and rich culture. The town offers a panoramic view of many Himalayan peaks such as Neelkanth, Nandadevi, and Chaukamba.
(75 km, 3 hrs)
To witness the mesmerizing confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, head to Devprayag. This is the place where the two rivers meet and take the name, Ganga. Considered to be an important place of worship for Hindu pilgrims, Devprayag is one of the five sacred confluences of the hills.