In the South of Pauri Garhwal District en-route Kotdwar, the enchanting town of Lansdowne is situated at an elevation of 1,780 meters above sea level. Surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests offering great mountain views, Lansdowne is a charming place for a quiet holiday, being devoid of the usual hustle - bustle of other hill stations in the state. Originally a popular hill station with the British, it attracts visitors by its healthy climate and exotic natural beauty. The beautiful natural trek routes present here offer you the best place for long treks and walks. Image Source
Lansdowne was originally called ‘Kaludanda’. In the local language, ‘Kalun’ means ‘black’ and ‘Danda’ means ‘Hill’. This beauteous town was founded in 1887 A.D. by the then British Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne and then was named after it. It was used by the British as the Training Centre of the Garhwal Rifles. During the British rule, Lansdowne served as a major centre of the activities of freedom fighters from the British Garhwal. Now, we can see the command office of the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army here.
Location: 41 kms from Kotdwar, 81 kms from Pauri.
Climate: Hot and humid summers, heavy rainfall, pleasant in monsoons and snowfall in winters mostly.You will enjoy the Lansdowne weather more, if you wear cottons in winters. You can also carry light woollens as you may need them if the weather is cloudy. Heavy woollens are a must if you visist in winters.
Best time to visit: March-October
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant railway station is Kotdwar
By Train: Nearest Railway station is Kotdwar
By Road: You can go to Lansdowne easily by public or private transport
Places of interest
Location: 23 kms the city centre, 14 kms from Kotdwar
Best time to visit: September-March
Another Lansdowne attraction which fetches various pilgrims round the year is Kanvashram. Serving as a gateway to Puri Temple, this ashram is surrounded by beauteous thick forests and outstanding hillocks. The spectacular view of the river Malini , which meanders by the ashram can also be enjoyed from here. The mythological importance of this ashram is that it is believed that Sage Kanvan’s step daughter Shakuntala gave birth to her son at this place.
Location: Nearly 1.5 kms from the main market.
Timings: Open every day except Wednesday from 8.00 a.m.- 6.00 p.m.
Bhulla Tal, the man-made artificial lake, dedicated to the soldiers of the Garhwali Rifles is basically an army camp. Literally meaning 'Younger Brother' the Tal presents a perfect, idyllic spot for a leisure day-out. For tourists, it flaunts a cool ambience and serene surroundings, keeping them engrossed in its enchanting beauty within and around it. Boating, watching the wading ducks, looking at the playful rabbits or just lying under the trees that engulf the lake are some of the beautiful attractions here. Best savoured in solitude, the place presents a magnificent feeling of its freshness with the cool breeze, with the angelic sound of the chirping birds and by gazing at the endless sky, while lying on the lush-greens around.
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple
Location: About 38 kms from Lansdowne
Timings: Open all days of the week from 4.00 a.m.- 11.30 p.m.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple has a mythological belief which promises to fulfil peoples’ wishes who visit the temple. The exotic temple also hosts Mahashivarathri festival with all the grand celebrations and enthusiasm in Lansdowne. The temple displays the view of the thick blue pine forests, the dense deodars and the gigantic oak trees in the surroundings.
St. Mary’s Church
Location: 2.5 kms from Lansdowne Market
Timings: Open only on Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m.- 5.30 p.m.
Popularly known as the ‘Jewel of Lansdowne’ and famous as a peaceful worship place of Chrishtians, St. Mary’s Church displays an outstanding piece of architecture. This magnificent Church was constructed in Lansdowne in 1895 by Colonel AHB Hume of the Royal Engineers. You will relish this place if you are a history and nature lover.
The history of the Church states that it was devoid of preaching’s after it got deteriorated after 1947. Later, it was renovated by the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre. At present, the Church serves as a museum of enticing pictures of Garhwal before independence and the heroic attempts of Garhwal Regiment. You will love to see the history of Lansdowne in the Church’s audio visual section.
The memorable and one of the most popular Lansdowne Attractions is ‘Jungle Safari’, which flies you with a ride into the thick forests nearby. The happy journey around the jungle attracts adventurous tourists, helping them to explore thick oak trees and blue pine forests in Lansdowne. Moreover, the cool temperature around and the outstanding flora and fauna also make this jungle drive a great fun.
The Darwan Singh Sangrahalaya
Location: Just 1 km from Gandhi Chowk
Timings: Open all days of the week from 9.00 a.m.- 12.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m.- 6.00 p.m.
Also known as the ‘War Museum’ or the ‘Garhwali Museum’, the Sangrahalaya is the only thing the army has opened for the visitors. The place provides a fantastic memorabilia from the wars the Garhwal Rifles has fought, such as the earliest Pakistani currency notes and the flags of the Axis powers from the Great War. The museum has a collection of all types of war weapons, antiques and badges.
The museum was named after Darwan Singh Premi, an army man and was inaugurated in 1983. The most intriguing part of the museum is its vast collection of rare Garhwali guns.