Lansdowne is a hill station in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. It was founded as a military garrison under the British Raj, and the Garhwali Museum traces the history of the Garhwal Rifles regiment, which still trains in the town. The hill station is dotted with pines and oaks and is perched at a height of 1,700 m. Charming churches, flowering thickets, springs, and ponds encompass the entire hill station. Lansdowne was established in 1887 as a cantonment of the British, who were drawn to its salubrious climate, and is named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne. Today, it is the headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army. Explore the small town on foot, with a lake at its centre, enjoy nature walks and discover hidden temples and churches or just laze around and enjoy the pristine mountain views.
Best Time to Visit
April, May, June, and September are the the most apt months to visit Lansdowne.
How To Reach
- By Flight: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, about 148 km away.
- By Train: The nearest railhead is Kotdwar, about 40 km away.
- By Road: Lansdowne is connected by motorable roads to all the major towns and cities. It is around 260 from Delhi and around 150 km from Dehradun.
Things To See & Do
- Bhulla Tal: It is a man-made lake that is a popular picnic spot featuring walking paths, a play area for children, boating facilities, fountains and a café. Take a boat tour of this picturesque lake and be ready with your cameras as you are going to spot lazy swimming ducks in the lake and the agile rabbits hopping around the banks. Also, there is an amusement park which is a great place to have fun.
- Darwan Singh Museum: Named after the first Indian soldier to receive the Victoria Cross, the Darwan Singh Museum spans across two floors. It houses historical archives along with a beautiful rose garden. You can find some lesser known details about Garhwal Rifles of Indian Army in this museum. This 33-year old museum, which is also a prominent Lansdowne attraction, has a collection of old uniforms, photographs, certificates, arms and ammunition that promises to awaken the child in you.
- St. Mary’s Church: Built in 1895 by Lieutenant A. H. B. Hume of the Royal Engineers, St. Mary’s Church is a restored church and museum made of stones.
- Durga Devi Temple: Located on the banks of River Khoh at Dugadda, Durga Devi Temple is dedicated to goddess Durga. The main shrine houses a shivling inside a cave.
- Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial: Dating back to 1923, the Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial was set up by Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander in Chief of India.
- Santoshi Maa Temple: The small temple is dedicated to Santoshi Maa. There are no priests here and to reach the shrine, one has to climb 100-odd steps.
- Camping: Camping is the best among many things to do in Lansdowne. Shun the hotel rooms and break free of the stereotypical way of holidaying as you go for overnight camping and adventure activities in Lansdowne. Lansdowne has the lush green open lands which are best-suited for setting up your tent for a night or two, sitting around the bonfire, and dining out in the open.
- Nature Walk: “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”- a saying by Friedrich Nietzsche that seems even more realistic as you venture out into the forests of pine and oak trees on the hills of Lansdowne. Enjoy the fresh air, singing birds, sounds of animals, humming of insects on the forest floor and every bit of nature in its purest form as you ramble through the lonely paths in Lansdowne.
- Kalagarh Tiger Reserve: Catch a glimpse of the big cats in action at Kalagarh Tiger Reserve, which is one of the most significant tiger reserves in India and also gives a chance to experience jungle safari in Lansdowne. Spread over about 300 sq km, Kalagarh Tiger Reserve actually covers the northern part of the famous Jim Corbett National Park. You can feel the close proximity of the raw nature while exploring this tiger reserve.
- Shopping: If you were wondering what to do in Lansdowne then shopping is the answer. This quaint. little town is not really popular as a shopper’s stop but as they say big things come in small packages, there are some great things you can shop at Lansdowne. You can buy some cutesy souvenirs at Alaknanda Market or Lansdowne Market.