The beautiful town of Lansdowne is situated at an elevation of 1780 m above sea level. It is in the south of Pauri en route Kotdwar and is surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests offering great mountain views. It is a charming place for a quiet holiday as it is devoid of the usual hustle – bustle of other hill stations in Uttarakhand. Lansdowne was originally a popular hill station with the British.
Attracted by its healthy climate and natural beauty, they established a cantonment here. It was founded by the, then Viceroy Lord Lansdowne in 188a7 AD. Thus the place has been named after him. The famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.
Best Season / Best time to visit
The climate of Lansdowne is characterized by cold winters and pleasant summers. Summers during March to June are pretty enjoyable in Lansdowne with pleasant climate. Winters during December to February are extremely cold with minimum temperature falls subzero level. Snowfalls throughout winters are a spectacular characteristic of Lansdowne.
Celebrations associated with Maha Shivaratri during February – March are very attractive and are conducted with much devotion and enthusiasm.
Best season to visit Lansdowne is from March to November avoiding freezing winters.
The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial
The War Memorial at Lansdowne was unveiled on a suitable vantage point on the Armistice Day (11 November 1923) by his Excellency Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander in Chief of India. Located at the Parade Ground it is a major attraction which brings tourists from all over India and the world. The forests here are lovely, dark and deep, just ideal for those long walks and picnics. You can enjoy amazing views of the Western Himalayas from a number of vantage points like Snow View and Tip-in-Top.
PLACES TO VISIT
This Mess was built in January 1888 which subsequently became the present Mess in 1892. It is one of the oldest buildings in Lansdowne and speaks volumes of heritage and a very high quality of maintenance.
A motivational hall was inaugurated at Lansdowne in 1983 to display the rare collections of Garhwal Rifles over the period of 119 years.
The Regimental Temple: To suitably honour and match the deep religious feelings of wondrous Garhwali troops and also as tribute to the wonderful Dev-Bhoomi, the work to renovate and beautify the old Regimental Temple was undertaken on 01 April 1993.
It is the oldest temple building of Lansdowne and is believed to be 500 years old. When the Garhwal Rifles reached Lansdowne on 4 November 1887, the site only had the idol of Lord Shiva. The temple now draws lots of civilian devotees and is deeply worshipped by locals and villagers who flock it frequently specially on ‘Shivratri’.
St. Marry’s Church
Construction of St. Marry’s Church began in 1895 by Colonel (then Lieutenant) A. H. B. Hume of Royal Engineers and was completed in 1896. St. Marry’s Church fell into disuse after 1947 and gradually began to deteriorate. The building has now been restored by Garhwal Rifles Regimental centre with additional facilities of relevant pre independence photographs and audio visual display of Regimental history.
St. John’s Church: On the Mall, the Roman Catholic Church (now St. John’s Church), situated just above the road on the spur below the Forest bungalow was completed in 1934. It reopened on November 29th 1980. From then, St. John’s Church became the only Church of worship in Lansdowne and continues till date.
Name Bhulla means younger brother in Garhwali language and is dedicated to the young Garhwali youth of the Garhwal Rifles who contributed their services day and night in its construction without any Government funds. The boating facilities are also available and the areas around the lakes formed by teh dams have been beautified. A children park, bamboo machan (tree house) and fountains have been erected as part of entertainment and beautification of pristine surroundings.
Tip-in-Top is a popular point amongst the tourists visiting Lansdowne. It is on the ridge close to St. Marry’s Church. One can plan a trek on a bright sunny day to feel the glorious view of the Himalayas, which is unforgettably enchanting.
HOW TO VISIT
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Lansdowne situated at a distance of 148kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Lansdowne is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Lansdowne.
The nearest railhead to Lansdowne is Kotdwar situated at a distance 40 kms. Kotdwar is well connected by railway networks with major cities of India. There are regular trains running to Lansdowne from major destinations of north India. Taxis and buses are easily available from Kotdwar to Lansdowne.
Lansdowne is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses to Kotdwar and Dugadda are easily available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Lansdowne are available from Kotdwar, Dugadda, Pauri and other major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Lansdowne is connected with National highway 119.