Originally known as, Kaludanda, after Kalun (Black) and Danda (Hill) in the local language, Lansdowne was founded and named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Henry Lansdowne in 1887.
Today, Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and houses the command office of the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army.
At an elevation of 4600 ft, Lansdowne presents a unique choice of a hill station still in its pristine glory. However this may deter those who would want all the amenities of a comfortable holiday.
It was a three day getaway to this place with family and the sights of this place that relaxed my mind.
This is one of the signs you cannot afford to miss if you are driving on your own (or like us you might end up a little lost).
The first thing that meets the eye are unending blue pine forests and thick oak trees.
After a refreshing time in the resort we headed out for the touristy places. First there was the War Memorial, at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center. The Regimental Museum (also called the Darwan Singh Sanghralaya), houses artefacts from the beginning of the Regiment. No photos were allowed of course :( only this one of the entrance.
We then headed to the two churches that Lansdowne is known for:
St. Mary’s Church was was built by Colonel AHB Hume in 1896 and has been restored now by Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre.
Pre-independence photographs and an audio-visual display of the Regiment’s history can be viewed at this place.
St. John’s Church is a Roman Catholic Church situated on the mall road. St. John’s Church is the only Church of worship in Lansdowne.
Experimented with a bit of HDR to get the feel of the church interiors
The guest book there appeared like a divine list in the light of the window … :)
The only place that offers a bit of the usual refreshment is the Garhwal Mandal Rest house.
For me this place, was a set straight out of a horror flick!
Fortunately, the GMVN is constructing new wooden cottages which I plan to visit if I make this trip again.
Tip n Top (aka Tiffin Top) is a vantage point that promises both views of the sunrise and sunset, but which also has too many people vying for space.
Because of a technical malfunction in my car I could not wait till sunset and had to head to the local market to get a puncture removed from the tyre.
The evening was spent at Bhulla Taal (Little Brother Lake) which is maintained by the Garhwal Rifles.
The serene waters and the colourful paddle boats were invitation enough for me to exercise my legs and spend the time with the ducks.
Bhulla Taal has its fair share of wildlife, and these guinea pigs kept my little son in splits.
But the best part of the holiday for me was spending time in the balcony of the resort letting in the panoramic view around.
The tea they made there was unmatched to any I tasted before!
Got a few stills of the birds too…
The evening walk too were fantastic photo ops…
…. and there was enough time to fool around with the camera settings to get a bit artsy
And these are a few miscellaneous shots that bear a mention…
Three days and a lung full of fresh air later, it was time to get back to the grind!