Tag Archives: Photo trips

Down in Lansdowne

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.

IMG_1164Today, 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).

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The first thing that meets the eye are unending blue pine forests and thick oak trees.

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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.

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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.

st marys church hdr pano2-2 Pre-independence photographs and an audio-visual display of the Regiment’s history can be viewed at this place.

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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.

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Experimented with a bit of HDR to get the feel of the church interiors

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The guest book there appeared like a divine list in the light of the window … 🙂

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The only place that offers a bit of the usual refreshment is the Garhwal Mandal Rest house.

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For me this place, was a set straight out of a horror flick!

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Fortunately, the GMVN is constructing new wooden cottages which I plan to visit if I make this trip again.

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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.

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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.

IMG_1075The serene waters and the colourful paddle boats were invitation enough for me to exercise my legs and spend the time with the ducks.

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Bhulla Taal has its fair share of wildlife, and these guinea pigs kept my little son in splits.

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But the best part of the holiday for me was spending time in the balcony of the resort letting in the panoramic view around.

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The tea they made there was unmatched to any I tasted before!

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Got a few stills of the birds too…

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The evening walk too were fantastic photo ops…

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…. and there was enough time to fool around with the camera settings to get a bit artsy

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And these are a few miscellaneous shots that bear a mention… 


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Three days and a lung full of fresh air later, it was time to get back to the grind!

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It’s called ‘Building’

Inamulla Building… a landmark structure in Dehradun or better known as ‘Building‘”, this is what I was told by a friend.

 

I was awestruck by the ancient facade, which looks like a set straight out of Arabian Nights, complete with the crescent moon looming above the minarets.

But it was not just the sight but the smell which kept me grounded. All around the place there were carts making some of the juiciest kebabs I have tasted!

Dehradun does not cease to fascinate me!

Virasat 2012 – Handicrafts and Heritage

Virasat is a fortnight long arts and crafts heritage festival in Dehradun. It brings together artists and crafts people from the length and breadth of the country. This year, for the first time, there were performances by groups from countries across the globe. I was lucky to be at the performance of the troupe from Morocco.

Some of the instruments there were playing were works of art in themselves. If anyone knows the names I would be glad to add them out here.

The stuff that is for sale is amazing from tie and dye fabrics, lac churi, terracotta pottery, dry flower arrangements, woolens from Bhuj, Lakhnavi Chikankari, leaf painting, fine Chamba embroidery on handkerchiefs.

(Picture courtesy above goes to a friend, Aldred Gomes)

It was here that craftsman would give you a live demonstration of their work…

Other than the handicrafts there were also some marvellous culinary delights… for the first time I savoured ‘makke ki roti aur sarson da saag’!

With a range of digestives to choose from too…

Compared to similar handicraft festivals in Goa the prices were very reasonable and I have done most of my Christmas shopping 😉

Wither weather?

I was always made aware of the strange dichotomy in the weather of this place. While Dehradun can be bright and sunny, a few kilometres uphill in Mussoorie it will be pouring cats and dogs! And while the hills may be thrilling in the warm glow of the sun there are cloudbursts in the plains! Well, all this theory just transformed into a real life practical for me yesterday!

A surprise visit from a few friends flowed into an evening drive up to Mussoorie. The skies were clear after two days of heavy rainfall and we were confident Mussoorie would offer us the same weather! Hardly had we crossed the huge signboard “Welcome the Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills” that we were engulfed in a downpour so heavy that I imagined our car sliding backwards to base! The evening was a total washout, but that was not all. The way back offered us a driving test beyond anything I had imagined.

The picture may not do justice to the eerie experience that we had trying to figure out the edge of the road through that ghastly fog!

Tons River Trek

Kasiga School is lucky to have a river (or more of a roaring stream) running around the campus. Sunday saw us take a day trek to this ‘Tons river’

The Tons is the largest tributary of the Yamuna and flows through Garhwal region in Uttarakhand, touching Himachal Pradesh. The Tons valley is a remote area and has a culture unlike any other in the region. The villagers in the Tons valley are believed to be descendents of the Pandavas and Kauravas from the epic Mahabharata.

This river boasts of adventure sports in river rafting… however, we had a different kind of adrenaline rush when we explored some of the undiscovered parts of this river

Evening in Mussoorie

The last day of my little holiday in Mussoorie. It was time to hit Mall Road, with the famous Kalsang Restaurant (famous for its delicious momos).

Managed to snap a few shots on the way back.

Wild flowers

6000 ft! Wow!

Winding roads of Mussoorie

Goa… here I come…

Monkeying around in Mussoorie

Well, with nothing much to do when at home, I thought of shooting monkeys from the balcony… with the camera of course 😉

The reason for the sign on the gate 🙂

Watching them even for 5 minutes can yield some fun pictures indeed. Here is a tiny sampling…

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Hitching a ‘monkey-back’ ride

Monkey Siesta

What doth the future holdeth?