Charmingly poised in the lap of Himalayas, Uttarakhand, also known as Devbhumi, or the land of gods, is dotted with a number of hill stations. The cantonment town of Lansdowne, located in Pauri Garhwal district, is one among them. But what makes Lansdowne unique is its underrated elegance and quiet, disarming beauty though well connected by motorable roads and its proximity to many big cities. Soak in the cool air, amazing vistas of the Himalayas, lose yourself in the thick oak and blue pine forests for an unforgettable experience in Lansdowne this season.
Places to See in Lansdowne
Situated at an elevation of 1,780 m above sea level en route Kotdwar, this hill town is a favourite since the time of the British Raj, when Lord Lansdowne, the Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894, popularised it and developed it as the regimental centre of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne has inherited the legacy of the British Raj through the various buildings and churches built during the time. It has plenty on offer for visitors who have a penchant for thrill and adventure as it serves as the starting point for adventurous activities such as trekking, paddling, bird watching and more.
Here are nine places you must see while in Lansdowne:
The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial
This War Memorial was unveiled by Lord Rawlinson of Trent, the then Commander in Chief of India, on the Armistice Day in 1923. It draws tourists from all over India and the world due to its amazing views of the Western Himalayas and lovely, dark forests. It’s a perfect place for those long and leisurely walks.
Built in 1888, the Garhwali Mess is one of the oldest buildings in Lansdowne and stands testimony to heritage and a superior quality of maintenance.
Considered to be more than 500 years old, Kaleshwar Temple is the oldest temple building of Lansdowne. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and draws civilian devotees as well as the soldiers of the famed Garhwal Regiment. This temple is a special draw on ‘Shivratri’.
St. Mary’s Church
Constructed in 1896 during the British era by Colonel AHB Hume, St. Mary’s Church fell into disuse after 1947. The building is now being restored by Garhwal Rifles Regimental centre with pre-independence photographs and audio visual display of the Regiment’s history. Its beautiful architecture is something to admire and every bit worth holding on to.
St. John’s Church
Situated close to the Forest Bungalow, construction of this church was completed in 1934. It was reopened in 1980 and continues to be the only Church of worship in Lansdowne till date since then.
Tip-in-Top is located on the ridge near St. Mary’s Church. On a bright sunny day, it is ideal for a trek to experience enchanting views of the Himalayas.
Bhula Tal is an artificial lake dedicated to the soldiers of the Garhwali Rifles who were involved in its construction. The cool ambience and serene beauty of this lake present a perfect, idyllic spot for a leisure day out with friends, family or just one’s own self. The place has a children park, bamboo machan (tree house), fountains and boating facilities besides embellished dam areas are sure to give visitors a pleasant and memorable experience.
Kanvashram is another attraction in Lansdowne visited by various pilgrims all through the year. The surrounding forests, hillocks and the Malini river meandering closely by make for an idyllic backdrop to the ashram.
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple is an ancient temple in the midst of thick blue pine forests, deodar and oak trees. According to local belief, the presiding deity Lord Shiva fulfills the wishes of true devotees. The Shivaratri festival is celebrated here with lot of fervour.
So spend some time in Lansdowne and gift yourself a rejuvenating experience to cherish and remember.
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