Lansdowne

Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand

History

Originally known as, Kaludanda, after Kalun (Black) and Danda (Hill) in local language, Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887, and by 1901 it had a population of 3943. Lansdowne was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.[2] Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is popular since Britishers came to India. Lansdowne is unlike other hill stations as it is well connected with motorable roads but remote in its own way. It is situated at an altitude of 1,700mts above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state. Lansdowne got its name from Lord Lansdowne, who was the then Viceroy of India during the period of 1888 – 1894. Presently, Lansdowne has the command office of the Garhwal Rifles division of the Indian Army.

On 5 November 1887, the first battalion of Garhwal Rifles migrated from Almora to Lansdowne. Lansdowne was the only city after Almora in the late 70’s. People of different culture and states came to do business in Lansdowne after it become popular. Today, you will see people of all religions at Lansdowne. The buildings and church of Lansdowne built during British India dates you back to pre independence period. Lansdowne is an ideal location for eco-tourism as it is well preserved by the government and the Garhwal rifles.

The salubrious weather and pristine environment of Lansdowne leaves an immortal impact on the tourists. It is the perfect place to meditate and rejuvenate your soul. Adventure activities like, trekking, bird watching, boating, paddling etc. can be done while a visit to Lansdowne. Lansdowne is one of the most popular hill station of Garhwal region when it comes to weekend destination.

Local attractions

The War Memorial, at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center is an attraction for the visitors. Places of interest around the city are Tip n Top Viewing (offers excellent views of surrounding shivaliks) Santoshi Mata Temple, Regimental Museum (also called the Darwan Singh Sanghralaya), Bhulla Taal, St. Mary’s Church, Lover’s lane. The excursions from the city are Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple, Bhairav Garhi temple,Bhim pakora(a stone which vibrates if touched).The Annual ‘Sharadotsav’ (Festival of Autumn) is also organized at this hill station during autumn season. Surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests, Lansdowne has scenic beauty and good surroundings. The climate of the city is pleasant in summer, very cold in winter. Lansdowne can be visited any time of the year In the month of Jan- feb there is snow fall.

The Garhwal Rifles regimental museum, also called Darwan Singh Sanghralaya, houses artefacts from the beginning of the Regiment. The Garhwal Rifles participated in the two world wars among countless other battles throughout its more than 100 years history. All artifacts, including photographs, arms used by regimental commanders, captured weapons, campaign history and other information is displayed in this museum. There are many items, such as medals won by erstwhile Garhwal Rifle soldiers, that have been put on display, this includes the Victoria Cross awarded to Darwan Singh Negi and Gabar Singh Negi.

How to reach Lansdowne
By Train Two trains run from Delhi to Kotdwara (Mussorie express and Garhwal express). From Kotdwara, a private cab to Landsdown.

Start from anywhere in India and reach Haridwar. From Haridwar, take a bus to Kotdwara. This will take approximately an hour. From Kotdwara petrol pump near the bus stand, take a private/shared cab to Lansdowne.

Geography

Lansdowne is located at 29.83°N 78.68°E. It has an average elevation of 1,706 metres (5,686 feet). It is situated en route Kotdwara-Pauri road, NH 119. One has to take a right turn from NH 119 at a place where Garhwal Rifles has put a huge signboard by paining the directions on rock. Lansdowne is 81 km from Pauri and about 250 km from Delhi.
It is the nearest hill station from Delhi and can be reached from Delhi by either road or train. The nearest railway station is Kotdwara at a distance of 41 km situated an elevation of only 370 m. Since Lansdowne is more than 1,500 m higher than Kotdwara, the drive from Kotdwara to Lansdowne is quite steep and scenic. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, near Dehradun at a distance of 152 km via Kotdwara-Haridwar road.. The other and better route to reach Lansdowne is from Delhi via Meerut , Bijnore, Najibabad, Kotdwar and on to Lansdowne. It saves about 50KM and the road quality is also good all the way to Kotdwar baring a few patches.

Nearby Places

Famous Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple with its special Shivlanga and a kund (a small pond) known as Gauri Kund is situated 39 km away from Lansdowne. People take bath in Gauri Kund before entering the temple. Two other famous temples, Durga Devi Temple and Jwalpa Devi, which are on the Pauri-Kotdwar road are 24 km and 47 km away respectively. Durga Devi Temple is one of the oldest Sidh peeths in India.

Kanva Ashram, a well-known landmark is situated 14 km from Kotdwar railway station. Shakuntala, wife of King Dushantya and deserted by him, is said to have given birth to Bharat in the ashram of Rishi Kanva in ancient India. India got its name ‘Bharat’ in Sanskrit after Bharat became king following the death of his father.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Lansdowne had a population of 7902. Males constitute 64% of the population and females 36%. Lansdowne has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy is 91%, and female literacy is 79%. In Lansdowne, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Sightseeing in Lansdowne

you can head to the War Memorial that was unveiled on 11 Nov 1923 by his Excellency Lord Rawlinson of Trent, who was at the time Commander in Chief of India. Located at the Parade Ground the memorial is a major attraction for tourists.

The Garhwali Mess, built in Jan 1888 is one of the oldest buildings in Lansdowne and gives a great peek into the heritage of the time. It has been very well maintained and a must to visit.

Tip-in-Top is on the ridge close to St. Mary’s Church. The glorious view of the Himalayas from this point is amazing. An ideal place to trek to and be rewarded by the unforgettable view.

Days TOUR ITINERARY
Day 01 : Delhi – Lansdowne(295 Kms. 6-7 Hours)
After morning breakfast drive to Lansdowne on arrival check into hotel and evening free for leisure, Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 02 : Lansdowne
After morning breakfast discover to Lansdowne including local market, church, cant area, Sun rise and sun set point at suicide point, over night at Hotel.
Day 03 : Delhi (295 Kms. 6-7 hours) After morning drive to Delhi or Visit to Haridwar.

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