Travelogue: Lansdowne

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Nestled in the hilly arms of Uttarakhand is the quaint little town of Lansdowne. Being one of the few non commercialized hill stations of the country, it provides a perfect retreat from the traffic heavy life of the metros. Located in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, Lansdowne is one of the most tranquil places in India. William Wordsworth would’ve been happy to feast upon the beauty of this little town.

PLACES TO VISIT/ THINGS TO DO

The Bhulla Lake, with its pristine waters, provides boating facilities and has an amusement park in its vicinity. Being approximately 1 kilometer away from the main market, the route makes for a pleasant walk. Trekking, camping and river crossing are also popular activities in the area. Tourism Garhwal needs to be contacted for setting up a trek.
If you’re not inclined towards physical exertion, you could always stroll down the traffic-less roads of the hills. For God lovers, Lansdowne offers an array of temples and churches like the St. John’s church and the Tarakeshwar temple (Lord Shiva). The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Museum unfolds many historical stories and showcases impressive weapons and artifacts.

LOCAL ATMOSPHERE

The tranquility of this place is deafening. Even though it is well-connected through roads and rail, it’s isolated in its own special way. Since it’s a cantonment area, it’s quite disciplined. There aren’t a lot of miscreants around to disturb the tourists. The speciality of Lansdowne is that it’s not commercialized. Left relatively untouched by capitalists, it retains its natural character and beauty.

The town is known for its low-level of pollution and eco tourism. The annual ‘Sharadotsav’ festival during autumn is a crowd puller. The climate remains consistent throughout the year except for the months from December to February (when it’s freezing cold). There are a lot of small kiosks and stalls which cater to the needs of the locals. There are a number of hotels ranging from budget hotels to luxury hotels. Air conditioned rooms are not required except for maybe the months of summer. The rates in these hotels start from anywhere near Rs. 1000 and go on till Rs. 2500 per day. Certain luxury hotels even boast of in-built bars and spas.

Lansdowne gives you a chance to be literally cut off from the world as certain phones don’t catch signals here. BSNL connections are a safe bet. Going to Lansdowne during the monsoon season could be tricky because the roads tend to be blocked due to landslide threats.

It is the ideal place to loosen up and have a cozy date with nature. It’s the ideal place to go and recharge your metabolic batteries.

FOOD

For a small hilly town, it offers a decent variety of food and nourishment. All the hotels provide good homely food. If you’re not obsessed with Michelin stars, you could try any of the small restaurants in the area. You could choose from steaming momos, hot aloo paranthas or delicious dosas from these small eateries.

GETTING THERE

By bus: Lansdowne is connected to many cities through bus service. Deluxe buses are available from Delhi. It is also connected to Haridwar and Rishikesh.

By train: Kotdwara is the nearest railway station, which is 41km away from Lansdowne. Kotdwara is connected to many cities.

By air: Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport, which is about 100 km away from Lansdowne. Taxi service from the airport costs about Rs.2000. Delhi is the nearest international airport.
One of the many timeless little towns present in India, Lansdowne promises you a cheap yet awesome escape from daily monotony.

Anirudh Madhavan

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