Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Originally known as Kaludanda, after Kalun (Black) and Danda (Hill) in local language, Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887, and by 1901 it had a population of 3943. Lansdowne was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here. Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is popular since Britishers came to India. The Garhwali Inn is an amazing hotel located in Lansdowne for visitors to stay comfortably (www.thegarhwaliinn.com). Lansdowne is unlike other hill stations as it is well connected with motorable roads but remote in its own way. It is situated at an altitude of 1,700mts above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state. Lansdowne got its name from Lord Lansdowne, who was the then Viceroy of India during the period of 1888 – 1894.
On 5 November 1887, the first battalion of Garhwal Rifles migrated from Almora to Lansdowne. Lansdowne was the only city after Almora in the late ’70s. People of different culture and states came to do business in Lansdowne after it became popular. Today, you will see people of all religions at Lansdowne. The buildings and church of Lansdowne built during British India, which date back to the pre-independence period. Lansdowne is an ideal location for eco-tourism as it is well preserved by the government and the Garhwal Rifles.
The salubrious weather and pristine environment of Lansdowne leaves an immortal impact on the tourists. It is the perfect place to meditate and rejuvenate your soul. Adventure activities like, trekking, bird watching, boating, paddling etc. can be done while a visit to Lansdowne. Lansdowne is one of the most popular hill stations of Garhwal region when it comes to weekend destination.
The War Memorial, at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center is an attraction for the visitors. Places of interest around the city are Tip n Top Viewing (offers excellent views of surrounding shivaliks) Santoshi Mata Temple, Regimental Museum (also called the Darwan Singh Sanghralaya), Bhulla Taal, St. Mary’s Church, Lover’s lane. The excursions from the city are Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple, Bhairav Garhi temple,Bhim pakora(a stone which vibrates if touched).The Annual ‘Sharadotsav’ (Festival of Autumn) is also organized at this hill station during autumn season.
Surrounded by thick oak and blue pine forests, Lansdowne has scenic beauty and good surroundings. The climate of the city is pleasant in summer, very cold in winter. It used to snow heavily in last and past years. Lansdowne can be visited any time of the year In the month of Jan- feb there is snow fall.
The Garhwal Rifles regimental museum, also called Darwan Singh Sanghralaya, houses artefacts from the beginning of the Regiment. The Garhwal Rifles participated in the two world wars among countless other battles throughout its more than 100 years of history. All artifacts, including photographs, arms used by regimental commanders, captured weapons, campaign history and other information is displayed in this museum. There are many items, such as medals won by erstwhile Garhwal Rifle soldiers, that have been put on display, this includes the Victoria Cross awarded to Darwan Singh Negi and Gabar Singh Negi.
How to reach Lansdowne
By Train Two trains run from Delhi to Kotdwara (Mussorie express and Garhwal express). From Kotdwara, a private cab costs approx Rs.1000 (MAY 2014 ) Start from anywhere in India and reach Haridwar. From Haridwar, take a bus to Kotdwara. This will take approximately an hour. From Kotdwara petrol pump near the bus stand, take a private/shared cab to Lansdowne. Shared cab take Rs. 70/person( May 2014 ). Shared cabs are also good and are not too crowded contrary to popular beliefs .