If you’re looking for a ‘Mountain soup for the soul’ kind of experience with walking amidst lush green forests, chasing spectacular sunsets, soaking in the charm of a quaint untouched hill station, while not having to drive too far to get there, then Lansdowne is an option to consider! I give you 5 reasons why you should make this hamlet your next weekend getaway!
1. A quiet and serene stay in the mountains
With no 5-star hotels and luxury stays, Lansdowne has managed to keep its tranquility intact and huge crowds at bay. Nestled amidst pine and oak trees at a height of 1700 meters above sea level, Lansdowne is a quaint town in Uttarakhand and relatively unexplored compared to other popular hill stations. It is managed by the cantonment board of the Garhwal Rifles and hence is clean, well-maintained and not over-developed making it a great option for a peaceful weekend getaway.
2. It won’t create a dent in your pocket
Hotels in Lansdowne are not very expensive. We stayed in a charming homestay, Ulaar, which is in a small town, Jaiharikhal, 5kms from Lansdowne. Situated amidst oak and fruit trees, the house uses local queried stone and wood, and offers stunning views from the rooms. The rooms are named after popular folk dances of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and the price per night is approx. INR 6000 (USD 80). Other hotels like Blue Pine Resort and Alpine Resort will set you back by INR 4000 (USD 55) per night.
3. An easily accessible hill station
If you wish to travel by train, the closest railway station is Kotdwar which is 40 kms from Lansdowne. Alternatively, you can fly into Delhi or Dehradun from where Lansdowne is approx. 250 kms and 160 kms respectively. Lansdowne is one of the closest hill stations to Delhi when compared to other popular hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Mussoorie and the like which are easily a 7 hour+ drive. The drive to Lansdowne from Delhi is not too tiring and is a scenic one, especially from Kotdwar where you see the river Khoh flowing with water so clear that you can see the river bed. The gushing river against the majestic mountains looks right out of a postcard and marks the perfect welcome to Lansdowne.
4. A vintage old-world charm
As you revel in the simple pleasure of a walk in the mountains, you will realize that Lansdowne still retains a charming colonial vibe with narrow winding roads leading to bougainvillea covered bungalows and quaint churches. These structures were all built pre-independence and immediately transport you to a bygone era where you can visualize British officers going to church in their horse-drawn carriages.
5. There’s not much to do in Lansdowne
Yes! You read it right. There isn’t much to do in Lansdowne and that’s precisely why you should go there. Some holidays are all about exploring and seeing something new, but we also need some holidays where we rediscover the simple joys of life like sipping on tea and reading your favorite book while gazing at the Himalayas, enjoying the quintessential Maggi in the mountains, or taking endless nature walks and getting rewarded with breathtaking views. It might sound absurd, but try it! It’s quite therapeutic and just what you need to return rejuvenated to work.
If you do end up visiting Lansdowne, or have visited Lansdowne before, share your thoughts in the comments below.