Day 2: We kept the 2nd day for sight seen. Lansdowne is a small town with not much option for sight seen. The places which are famous are Bhulla Tal (man-made lake), Tarakeshwar Mahadev Temple, St. Marry Church, St. Johns Church, Tip –in- Top and Regimental Museum. Apart from these you have Santoshi Mata Temple, Durga Devi Temple, Jwalpa Devi Temple and Bhim Pakora.
After enjoying a good breakfast we started for Bhulla Tal. It is a picturesque lake on top of a hill with some amusement options like paddle boating, play ground for children, rabbit's cage etc. We paid Rs 10 as entry fee and Rs 50. for boating Also there is a souvenir shop (high priced) for tourists.
From there we went to Tip-in-Top. It’s a place on top of a hill from where one can get un-interrupted view of the snow covered Shivalik range. The GMVN resort is located near this spot. If the weather is good and sunny, from here, one can click some really good pictures of the range. There is a small café but it’s quite costly.
Since it was 2nd October, unfortunately most of the shops in the mall were closed. Even the museum was closed that day. But there was an army gathering in the mall for the celebration.
In Lansdowne there are very little options for dining out. The better option is to carry packed lunch or return to the hotel for lunch. We had lunch from Mayur hotel which is at a prime location in the mall. In a rating scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, for food quality and cleanliness I will rate it as 4. But when you are hungry and have not much option you can go for it.
In Lansdowne you will get very few decent hotels to choose from. Among those, based on the reviews, following are the few:
1. Kasang Regency Hill Resort- On Kotdwar-Lansdowne Road,1.5 kms before Lansdowe - room rates from Rs 4000 to Rs 5500 + tax *
2. Lans Castle -Dehriyakhal, Lansdowne (4 kms from market) - room rates ranges from Rs 3500 to Rs 5500 + tax *
3. GMVN Resorts - Tip in Top - room rates from Rs 1800 to Rs 2800 + tax *
4. Blue Pine Resort - Dehriyakhal, Lansdowne (4 kms from market) - room rates from Rs 3050 to Rs 5800 + tax *
In most of the cases the hotels provide packages and discounts.
In our busy life a small trip always acts as a breather. It gives us the much awaited personal time which is required to keep us going. The pleasure multiplies when we visit some not-so-popular places where you can experience the natural beauty in abundance.
After a busy audit season, my husband and I was planning for a short and relaxing weekend trip far away from the hustle bustle of the tech-city Gurgaon. Initially, we were planning for Kasauli but one of my friend suggested for Lansdowne, a cantonment town in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. In 1887, it was named after Lord Lansdowne, the then viceroy of India. Since it is among not-so-popular destinations, we were a bit skeptical. However, after reaching there we realized it is worth visiting.
We had our bookings in Lans Castle. They offered us 25% discount. The rate for the rooms we opted for was INR 4500/- p/n, but for a 4 day package the total charge with discount was INR 13,500/- along with buffet breakfast and dinner. It is a boutique hotel with un-interrupted valley view. The hotel gave us parking facility as well as accommodation for the drivers. The room was decent with all the basis amenities.
I feel, for travelers in Delhi / NCR, travel by road is a more popular option, but one can always have own preference based on the time availability and budget. We booked a cab from savari.com. Since it was an outstation trip and was for 3N/4D the base fare was INR 11,500 *. Apart from this we paid around INR 2,500 * for road permits and toll.
Lansdowne" Land of clouds; A weekend gateway from Delhi
We planned for a small 3N/4D trip from 1st to 4th October. The weather was pretty pleasant (10-15 C). Though we didn't put the woolens on, it is always better to carry some warmers. During winter the temperature may fall to zero degree. So to me the best time to travel is from Feb to Nov. But if you want to enjoy the chilled weather, try to take that chance in Dec-Jan.
Apart from the regular things which we pack in our travel bags, do carry some dry foods, liquor (if interested, as there are only 1-2 options and that to in the market place which is a bit far from most of the hotels). Also if you plan to travel by car its better to get the fuel tank full before Meerut as there is no filling station in Lansdowne. There are two petrol pumps in Kotdwar, however, when we visited they were running short of fuel.
All these points are within 5 kms from Lansdowne mall. From mall we returned to our hotel. In the evening our hotel authority organized a bonfire and DJ. It was really nice to close a day with some good food and music.
It was already late afternoon so we planned for lunch. For this we came to the mall. It’s a small mall, better to call a local market place with more local shops rather than proper souvenir shops
So guys ,if you have already visited Lansdowne please share your experience. If you are planning to go there let us know if our experience is of any help. Those who are looking for a small weekend gateway from Delhi/NCR just check if you can manage to go to Lansdowne. It’s a nice place where you will hear your mobile beeps occasionally.
From Tip-in-Top we went to Santoshi Mata Temple which is within 2-3kms motorable road. It’s a small temple on top of a hill. To reach the temple you have to climb a good number of steps/slope, after parking the car. There is only one stall for the devotees to buy the puja items.
View from Hotel Room
Day 3: Next day we planned for Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple. It’s around 37 KM from Lansdowne. There was one more option to us, the Durga Devi temple. But it was in the opposite direction. So that way we could plan only the Shiva temple.
It is an old temple in the midst of deodar & pine forest. As per the Hindu mythology is it told that demon Tarkasur meditated and worshipped Lord Shiva for boon at this place.
Here in place of traditional Shivling, Lord Shiva idol performing tandava is worshipped. The sound of thousands of bells offered by the devotees adds a different charm to the serenity of this place. This experience is truly incomparable. There is a natural water pool, and it’s a notion that one needs to take bath in that pool before offering puja in the temple. But I doubt whether any tourist follows that. Also there is an Ashram and a Dharamshala where with prior booking one can avail room and food. Here don’t miss to locate the trees surrounding the temple which have branched in perfect “Trishul”. If you are interested to take pictures of wild and colorful mushrooms, you can find those on the way to the temple. To me this place was the best part of our tour.
Day1: Due to some personal commitments we started late. It's always advisable to start early to avoid traffic congestion. We took the route mentioned in the map. As per google and our driver it is the shortest distance. After Ghaziabad till Meerut there was no proper food joint. In Meerut we got few good options to choose on the highway itself (there were McD, CCD but we preferred a decent dhaba). The food was ok and was also reasonable. After lunch our next stop was Lansdowne.
St. John's Church
On the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Road (main road) there is a hotel “Tiger Resort”. It is the only decent restaurant serving the tourists in that area. People place orders on the way to the temple so that they can avail the food on the way back as they serve only on the basis of number of orders. Unfortunately we were not aware of it so we got nothing but a bottle of coke. Anyway, it was a good learning for us.
That night also there was a bonfire, however we were not in mood to enjoy. Finally our vacation was over as next day we have to return to Gurgaon. Due to lack of time we were not able to cover all the points. I hope we would have planned for 4 days in that way we could have covered at least the famous shaktipeeth of Garhwal 'Jwalpa Devi Temple' and the museum.
From the temple we went to the churches. Unfortunately the St. Marry Church was closed that time so directly we went to the St. Johns Church. Both the churches are from British period. The ambience made us feel the British era and its legacy standing in present.
If you want to take flight, the nearest airport will be Jolly Grant which is in Dehradun,148 KMs away from Lansdowne. For train the nearest station is Kotdwar, 38 Kms from Lansdowne.
There are many routes which drivers prefer to take, depending on the traffic and also their wish. We followed the route as mentioned in the picture.
*subject to change
After lunch we planned for Bhim Pakora. As per the details available in the web there are two big rocks placed one above the other in a perfect balance. The above rock can easily be made to wobble on its axis but never slides down the slope. But unfortunately it seemed that it’s not much popular among the local people. No one was able to guide us the way. Finally we got to know from one person the way to the spot. But the road was too bad to travel. It was completely broken. So, unwillingly we have to back out.
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple
Santoshi Mata Temple
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After getting fresh when we decided to call back home, we realized that there is no mobile connectivity. When we asked the hotel authority regarding this they suggested us to walk 100 meters away from hotel. They also offered us the landline, however, STD charges were applicable. In hotel the mobile signals were getting restricted due to the hill which is at the backside of hotel. So this hotel can be a very good place of rest for those who want to get detached from the world for 2-3 days.
On the 1st day we only managed to reach Lansdowne, to take a walk around the hotel and to plan our next 2 days.