Lansdowne is one of the most tranquil quaint hill stations in Uttarakhand, India. Serene yet speaking numerous tales of bravery and courage it is a sweet spot where beauty, culture, and history confluence beautifully. It is set amidst the dense forests of Pine and Oak. Named after the then Viceroy of British India, Lord Lansdowne, the place was then a cantonment which is still well maintained. After that, it was a major base for the fight for freedom and today it serves as the command office of Garhwal Rifles of Indian Army.
This place may be the best place to sip your coffee at a rooftop and admire the sunset or indulge in various things to do in Lansdowne. Various things to do near Lansdowne include visiting the Garhwal Museum, birdwatching, camping or you can even take a religious tour of the nearby temples and churches. Also, read our article on Narkanda the Offbeat Shimla and Kasol and Manikaran Hot Springs and Treks.
|1.||How to Reach Lansdowne?||2.||Best Time to Visit Lansdowne?|
|3.||Festivals in the town?||4.||Food in the town?|
|5.||Things To Do In Lansdowne?|
Table of Contents
How to Reach Lansdowne?
The town is situated in Uttaranchal, India in the Pauri-Garhwal District. The town has its own Bus Stop but not a railway station or an airport. So, you can ply to Kotdwar Railway Station (nearest railway station to the town) which is about 2 hours from the city and Taxi or Buses can be availed from there. The nearest airport to the town is Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun.
For detailed information read below:
Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun is the nearest airport to the town and lies at 148 km from the city. Jolly Grant is a major airport with direct flights from all the major cities. The airport is well connected via good roads to the town. Both cabs and buses are easily available.
There is no Delhi to Lansdowne flight but you can fly to Delhi International Airport which is 228 km off the city, which is a four-hour Delhi to Lansdowne drive. Book flights on MakeMyTrip.
Kotdwar Railway Station is the nearest Railway Station which sits at about 40 km away from the city. Kotdwar is very well connected with majority cities of India and you can take a bus or a cab from here for the uphill drive up to the town. Book your train on IRCTC Portal.
By Cabs and Buses: The town has its own Bus Stop but not all the cities are directly connected to the hill station. For example, you cannot go directly from Delhi to Lansdowne by Bus. So, you can take a bus from Kotdwar to Lansdowne. Plenty of cab services are available plying to and fro from the destination. The town is connected with the National Highway 119. You can book a bus from Lansdowne bus booking online.
The local commute is best done with cabs. They are the most comfortable. Local buses are also an option but the condition is not so good so, we would not recommend using it. Another way to explore the city is by walking through the town. The town is small and walking gives a sneak peek in the daily lives of the people and also you can enjoy the surrounding nature thriving all around. This way you can explore the markets more closely, and who knows you might find something special.
Truelinkz Advice on How to Reach the town:
We advice commuting to Kotdwar in train and then take a bus or a taxi whichever suits your needs the best. If you are traveling from a foreign country you can also take a flight to Delhi International Airport and then taking a 4-hour drive in a cab from Delhi to Lansdowne.
Best Time to Visit Lansdowne?
The town is situated at a height of 1706 meters from the sea level. At such an altitude, winters are very cold and summers are pleasant. Lansdowne weather is usually pleasant. The monsoon witnesses heavy rainfalls and winters here are quite chilly and often Lansdowne temperature drops down to 0 Degree Celsius. Sharadotsav in October and Mahashivratri in March are prominent festivals here and thus they are good times to visit the town. Check live weather on Accuweather.
Summers in the town range from April to June and this is the best time to indulge in various things to do in Lansdowne. It is the busiest season here in the town. The temperature in summers ranges from 18 to 30 Degree Celsius. Thus the temperature is warm enough and very comfortable for indulging in various activities like hiking and trekking and boating. Just immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and experience all that this small yet beautiful niche in the Great Himalayas has to offer.
Mahashivratri is celebrated in March at the Tarkeshwar Temple of Lord Shiva, the master of Universe. A visit here is mandatory if you happen to be in the area at that time. Devotees in large number flock to this temple on Shivratri to pay their homage and offer prayers. Jwalpa Devi Temple is another epicenter of devotion for the residents nearby and Ashtami is celebrated here with much pomp and show.
The town receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon seasons of July to September. There is constant danger of landslides and bad road conditions. Also, rains make the view foggy and add to the challenge of driving in these situations. But if you can just brave the odds you are in for the most beautiful version of the town. The town flaunts lush green forests all around.
Winters range from October to March. They witness sub-zero temperatures but the cold is outmatched by the warm celebrations of Sharadotsav and Christmas. A great thing about winters here is that many times it snows on Christmas, and thus it makes it the picture-perfect destination for a white snowy Christmas.
Also, if you want to experience rains in the town, early winter seasons give you just the right advantage of less risk without compromising much on the beauty.
Keeping in mind the snowfall in Lansdowne and sub-zero temperatures, do remember to bring warm clothes for an enjoyable and comfortable stay.
Truelinkz Opinion on Best Time to Visit Lansdowne:
We recommend visiting the town in summers as it has the best weather, though if you are a snow fan, just lookup for the weather prediction and come in for a snowy treat here in the town. To experience rains, you can choose the early winter months and trade a bit of monsoon beauty to a lot more safety.
Festivals in the town?
Amongst all the various things to do in Lansdowne, witnessing the celebrations of Sharadotsav is a must. Other festivals like Shivratri and Christmas are also celebrated with many colorful festivities.
Sharadotsav is a ten-day fair, put up by the locals of the town, to honor Goddess Durga and her victory over the demon Mahishasur. Though it is a ten-day fair, it is the last 4-5 days that see the most pomp and show.
This festival celebrates courage and feminism as the legend goes that Goddess Durga once liberated masses from the atrocities of Mahishasur by killing him. This festival marks her valor and power.
The fair becomes a hub for cultural performances during the festival. So, it is a great place for tourists to study and absorb the local culture of the town.
Mahashivratri at Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple:
Date: Sometime in early March
The Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is a famous and revered temple of Lord Shiva. The temple is a major center of devotion as devotees from all around come and offer their prayers in the temple especially on Shivratri.
Date: 25th December
This quaint beautiful town is a perfect Christmas getaway and attracts a lot of tourists for this very reason. It usually snows during Christmas week, and you can happily celebrate Christmas with your own snowman and beloved family members. This picture-perfect setting amidst the snow-capped mountains, the town is perfect for celebrating Christmas and New Year. The Mussoorie Winter Carnival is also worth a visit if you are here for the week as it is near as well as popular.
Food in the town?
- Kaludanda Café:
Kaludanda Café is by far the best café in Lansdowne. It is situated near Bhulla Tal and gives a good view of the lake so it is a very good option to consider to quiet your hunger pangs while on the round trip from Bhulla Tal. The food is delicious. Whether it be North Indian main course dishes or Maggi or Coffee everything is worth giving it a try and the prices here are reasonable. The place also has a Gol Gappa corner and a working Tandoor.
- Zayka Restaurant:
Zayka Restaurant is situated in Gandhi Chowk and a good option if you are out in the market and want to have lunch or evening snacks. The food is tasty, service is fast and waiters are gentle. It is better for North Indian Dishes than other cuisines. It serves great non-veg as well. You must try the lemon chicken and chilly chicken here.
- Oaktown’s Flavour:
Oaktown’s Flavour is another restaurant situated in Gandhi Chowk. This restaurant is famous for it’s Lemon Chicken, Chicken Korma, and other North Indian dishes and Asian food is also available. It is a good regular restaurant with decent food taste and good service.
- Mayur Restaurant:
Mayur Restaurant is a pure vegetarian restaurant in the local markets of Gandhi Chowk. So, if you are a pure vegetarian do eat here, it will be a nice experience. The food is good and the specialty is that it has a Chaat Corner, so if you are searching for some lip-smacking Chaat from back home, just head over to this restaurant. Service is good but gets delayed sometimes due to the large footfall here.
Tipsy is a Sadar Bazaar restaurant, another restaurant known for its food and quality service. Like other restaurants of the town, it gives regular vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, no fancy dishes. It is one of the best places to eat when out in Sadar Bazaar for shopping. Do try it out if you find the time.
Things To Do In Lansdowne?
This small paradise in the lap of nature has a number of options to keep you entertained and amazed. Amongst the various things to do in Lansdowne are boating in Bhulla Tal, Birdwatching, Trekking, Jungle Safari, and Nature Walk till it touches your soul. The various things to do near Lansdowne are given as below:
|1.||Boating in Bhulla Tal||2.||Immerse in holiness at churches and temples|
|5.||Hiking||6.||Marvel at Darwan Singh Sanghralaya|
|9.||Jungle Safari in Jim Corbett||10.||Shopping|
|11.||Dining||12.||Visit Bhim Pakora|
- Boating at Bhulla Tal:
Distance (From Bus Stand): 2 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1-2 Hours
Transportation Options: Cab
Timings: All days of the week 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: 35 per person (boating) for 30 minutes
Boating at Bhulla Lake is one of the simplest of pleasures especially a ride taken at the sunset is an absolutely lovable experience. Bhulla Tal is one of the best things to do in Lansdowne. This lake is dedicated to the Garhwal Rifles as they helped in digging out of this artificial lake. The lake is very aptly named ‘Bhulla’ which is Garhwali for the word ‘Brother’.
You can enjoy the thriving nature all around and there is also a children’s park which is very much liked by children. There are also Bamboo Machans and Fountains to make the place attractive to tourists.
Best Time: Sunset and you can enjoy food or snacks at Kaludanda Café which is very near to Bhulla Tal.
2. Immerse in holiness at churches and temples:
There are many churches and temples here:
- Tarkeshwar Temple
- Santoshi Maa Temple
- Durga Devi Temple
- St. John’s Catholic Church
- St. Mary’s Church
- Tarkeshwar Temple:
Location: 36 Km from the town.
Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Price: Entry is free.
Tarkeshwar Temple is 1500 old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the master of all universe. Set amidst thriving nature, it is built at a height of 1800 meters and set between Pine and Deodar forests. The architecture is also appreciable.
- Santoshi Maa Temple:
Santoshi Maa Temple is another point of interest and is situated at a walking distance from Tip-n-Top Viewpoint.
- Durga Devi Temple:
Location: 28 km from the town
Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Entry Fee: Free
Durga Devi Temple is one of the oldest Siddha Piths. The temple is located in a small cave and a shiv linga is also located near the temple. A seasonal river runs nearby and small waterfalls nearby make the location even more serene.
- St. John’s Catholic Church:
Location: Near Mall Road
Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: FreeSt. John’s Catholic Church is the town’s only Roman Catholic Church. It is situated near Lansdowne Mall Road and has beautiful interiors as well as exteriors. The church was established in 1936 but was abandoned in 1947. The church was finally re-erected on 28th April 1983.
- St. Mary’s Church:
Location: It is 2.5 km from the town’s Market
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 per person.
Timings of Audio-Visual Presentation: 8 AM
Timings: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday St. Mary’s Church was established in 1895 but was closed in 1947. After a few years, it was converted into a museum by Garhwali Rifles Regimental Centre. The church has beautiful Victorian Architecture and has stained glass windows. It also has a 10-minute documentary and the church opens only on weekends.
3. Enjoy Camping in Lansdowne:
Camping is one of the best ways to explore nature amongst all the things to do in Lansdowne. Sleeping in the lap of nature is a much needed unwind from the exhausting life of cities. Breaking free from the jungles of concrete to these tents and bonfire is sure to make you nostalgic whenever you would remember it. Do try these tents out. They are complete with all the facilities and still give you a touch of the raw nature. Many of them are set up near river banks and you can take a dip in the chilly waters in the morning, though it can be dangerous.
Best time to enjoy camping:
Summers: March to June Autumn: September to November. Although these camps are functional round the year.
4. Do Trekking in Lansdowne:
Trekking is a tiring yet very enjoyable activity, So, collect your gear and pack your bags as this town is base for treks of all kind. It has treks of few hours to few days. The challenging treks to casual treks all are available, just choose one! The many easy treks available are:
- Snow Viewpoint and Hawaghar Trek:
Snow Viewpoint and Hawaghar are the best way to indulge in the lush green surroundings and forget about all your worries. They are short treks and give breathtaking views of the snow-clad Himalayas. The Hawaghar Trek is just a couple of kilometers.
- Lover’s Lane:
Lover’s Lane is another trek available at your disposal and one side you will find an overcast valley with snowclad mountains and on the other side are oak and pine forests. It’s a short trek, just explore the lane, but it is very beautiful.
Best time to enjoy trekking here: Anytime except for winters and monsoon, is a good time to trek in and near the town.
5. Go Hiking to Tip-n-Top Point:
Tickets: No entry fee.
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the winding hilly roads. These short trails leave you more refreshed than exhausted. A hike to the tip-n-top point is worth a try as it gives you a peek into nature. The trees and plants growing locally and the local and migratory birds of the area. The views on the way are very photogenic and you just can’t stop clicking on the Tip-n-Top Point.
Best Time to visit the Tip-n-Top point is round the year. You can enjoy different views from the viewpoint, depending upon the time you are visiting the point. The view consists of peaks of Shivalik Range and snow-covered Himalayas.
6. Marvel at Darwan Singh Sanghralaya:
Location: 500 meters from the Parade ground
Timings: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM; 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Price: INR 50 per person
Darwan Singh Snaghralaya or the Regimental Museum is the museum of Garhwali Rifle’s history and present. This is named after Darwan Singh Negi who was the brave Victoria Cross holder. The museum houses photographs, portraits, uniforms, weapons, artifacts and citations from the pre-Independence era. It is one of the best things to do in Lansdowne.
The garden in front of the museum is beautiful and well maintained and boasts of housing a wide variety of roses in it.
7. Admire Birds in Sona Nadi Sanctuary:
The town is a paradise for bird watchers! Sona Nadi division of Corbett National Park is home to about 600 species of birds both native to the place and migratory. Do remember to carry your binoculars with you to spot them and appreciate their ravishing colors. It is always a sight to see them flock through the skies as they color the sky with their so vibrant colors and fill the environment with their songs. Also, do not forget your camera if you love photography because this simply is a paradise.
8. Revel in Nature Walk in Lansdowne:
Reveling in Nature Walks is just one of the offbeat things to do in Lansdowne. Walkthrough the oak and blue pine forests to absorb the nature in its rawest form. Admire God’s creation right at its heart. Nature Walks give away the most beautiful sceneries a place has to offer. The forest floor, mist, fog somewhere and sun rays penetrating the dense trees all combine to give you an ethereal feeling. The town has numerous options for nature walks.
Best time to do a nature walk here is anytime in summers and autumn when the temperature is favorable.
9. Jungle Safari in Lansdowne:
Location: 36 km from the town
Timings: Remains open from 15th November to 15th June
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fees: INR 100 for Indian Nationalist
INR 500 for Foreign Nationalist
Kalagarh Tiger Reserve forms the northern end of the Jim Corbett National Park and sprawls over 300 sq km. Kalagarh Tiger Reserve is about 36 km from the town and is rich in flora and fauna. It is one of the best Tiger Reserves in India and has a wide variety of other exotic animals to spot. Apart from Tigers that are abundant in the region, you can also spot Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Goral, Porcupines, and many other animals.
Best time to visit Kalagarh Tiger Reserve: The best time to visit Kalagarh Tiger Reserve is between the months of November and June as the tiger reserve is closed during summers.
No trip is complete without souvenir shopping. You can find many at Alaknanda Market and Lansdowne market. If you like Seude then do visit Javed’s Shop opposite Garhwal Regimental Museum. You can pick up awesome leather pieces at a cheap bargain from here. The local markets are also great for buying silks, porcelain, and brass metal items. Do try out the markets and get something for yourself and your loved ones back home.
Once here the best thing to do in Lansdowne is to gorge on some Garhwali cuisines. Food is an integral part of a place’s culture and thus trying some of the Garhwali dishes is a must. The local delicacies include Kafuli, Thechwani, Phaanu, Kulath ki Dal, Baadi, and Aloo ke Gutke. Just walk in any local restaurant and treat your tastebuds to these local delicacies and add beautiful memories to your journey here.
12. Visit Bhim Pakora:
Distance: 2 km from Gandhi Chowk
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days during the daytime.
Duration: 20 mins.
Bhim Pakora has situated in Bhura about 2 km from Gandhi Chowk. It has an interesting feature, the place has a rock placed over another, and no matter how much you push the rock above, it never falls down, just comes back to its old position. The rock is easy to move and thus tourists try to push the rock but it just comes back, never falling. It has a mythological legend attached that, once Pandavas when in exile stopped here to cook food and Bhim put a rock over another and thus this place started being called Bhim Pakora.
13. Explore Kanavashram:
Location: 55 Km from the town.
Timings: Open 24 hours.
Price: Entry is free
Kanavashram is a serene place amidst the thick forests and by the side of Malini river. It is one of the best things to do in Lansdowne as it has a mythological legend attached to it, plus the scenic beauty makes it a treat to the eyes to explore the nooks and corners of the Ashram. According to the legend, Shakuntala the stepdaughter of the Sage Kanvan gave birth to her son, Bharath here. You can also trek till here from Kalal Ghati.
So, this was all about various things to do in Lansdowne. Hope you found it useful. You must travel to Lansdowne if you are looking for an offbeat, less crowded destination and it is a good alternative for Rishikesh. All those who are interested in more sightseeing and want a quiet place in the Garhwal region are in for a treat. You can check reviews of everything in this guide on Tripadvisor. Also, read our article on Narkanda the Offbeat Shimla and Kasol and Manikaran Hot Springs and Treks.