May 172012

Unexplored, unspoiled, amazing greeneries and a deep silence in the nature..These words describe Lansdowne very well. This city is a beautiful and popular hill station at a height of 1706 mtrs on a hillock near Kotdwara in Uttarakhand. Lansdowne got its name from Lord Lansdowne, who was the then Viceroy of India during the period of 1888 – 1894. Presently, Lansdowne has the command office of the Garhwal Rifles division of the Indian Army.

Lansdowne has very limited number of tourist attractions i.e. a small lake, a view point, two churches, a temple and a museum. We reached Lansdowne around 4 PM.Β  Major attractions like Bhulla Lake, Tip-n-Top(a.k.a.Tiffin Top), St.Mary’s Church and Mata Santoshi Devi Temple, all are on a single route of 4 kms. So, we went to trek this route in the evening and decided to visit the museum in the next morning.

We reached at Bhulla Lake, which is about 1.5 kms away from the city center Gandhi Chowk, and it turned out a big disappointment for us. This much hyped attraction of Lansdowne is not so good, even worse than the boat ride offered at old Fort in Delhi.There is also a park for kids adjoining the lake with some rides and a restaurant. Although Bhulla Tal is not anything near to our idea of a lake, still it is a good sight surrounded by pine trees.

Bhulla Lake, Lansdowne

Kids Park near Bhulla Lake

From there, we trekked about 2 kms to reach Tip-n-Top. The trek route is surrounded by lushing greeneries of thick oak woods and blue Pine forests and since very few people were there, it was a pleasant experience of walking in the midst of silence. We passed through the St.Mary’s Church, which is now turned in toΒ a library. Every Morning at 8.00 AM, there is an Audio-Visual Presentation on the history of Lansdowne. Entry Fee: INR 10/- per person.

Trekking Path to Tip-n-Top

Tip-n-Top offers some great views of surrounding hills near Lansdowne. There are two tree-houses made by GMVN to enjoy the views.

View from Tip-n-Top

On the way to Santoshi Mata Temple

After that, with a group of local kids, we reached to the Santoshi Mata Temple, which is further 1 km away. You have to climb some 100 steps to reach there. The temple is very small, but has great place in the heart of a local people. The surrounding view of mountains from the temple was amazing.Very strong wind was blowing there. We saw some jungle fire also from the temple, my first experience of seeing a big jungle fire.

View from the Santoshi Mata Temple

View from the Santoshi Mata Temple

Jungle Fire

It was a complete dark by then and we started our descent to the hotel. The whole path is cemented upto the temple, so it was not a problem. We enjoyed that lonely moment of walking at Lansdowne and I realized the beauty of Lansdowne. It is not so popular on tourist circuit, so untouched by the weird tourists, hence less crowded. On the narrow path in the pine forests of Lansdowne, you can spend number of days even weeks without being disturbed by outside world and that is the beauty offered by Lansdowne.Just do nothing in Lansdowne, expect nothing from Lansdowne and you will be the happiest soul holidaying there.

St. Mary's Church @ Lansdowne

Next morning, we took heavy lunch before exploring rest of the Lansdowne. Paranthas were very tasty and the size was also very big compare to the price. We started at 9.30 AM and this time decided to explore on the bike. So Shailendra took his Bullet and we both went to the St.John’s Church. The Church door was closed, but the caretaker opened it on the request.

St. John's Church @ Lansdowne

From there, we moved towards the museum. Just before the museum gate, there is a branch of State Bank of India. Adjacent to the bank, there is a viewpoint maintained by SBI. This viewpoint offered the great view of the mountains and valley from the Lansdowne town.We took some photos there and reached to the museum.

Shaheed Dwar (Martyr's Gate): Entry towards Museum

Darwan Singh Museum is the only thing the army has open for the tourists. This Museum is inaugurated at Lansdowne in 1983 to display the rare collection of Garhwal Rifles. This museum is named after Darwan Singh Negi, who was among the earliest Indian recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.The Museum has a fine collection of Armour on display and this may be the reason for children below 10 years of age are not allowed to enter. Photography is also not allowed inside the museum. Outside the museum, there is a very beautiful flower garden. You can find at least 10-12 number of Rose varieties there.Entry fee to the museum is Rs 35 per person and timings are between 9.00 AM till noon and 3.00 PM to 6 PM.

Darwan Singh Museum @ Lansdowne

From the garden in front of the museum

In front of the museum

Adjacent to the museum, there is a memorial, where general public is not allowed to go. In front of the museum, there is a big ground, Known as Parade Ground of Garhwal Regiment. Nobody is allowed to go there.The parade ground and war memorial are impressive.

Parade Ground

Memorial adjacent to the museum

This ends our exploration of Lansdowne and we retuned back to out hotel. After taking a glass of Lassi with Masala Dosa, we started our returned journey to Delhi at 11.30 AM. Till Kotdwara, we stopped many times to take a lot of pictures. From there , we headed back to Delhi and without any significant events, we reached Delhi by 10.00 PM.

How to Reach Lansdowne:

By Air: The nearest Airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is 140 kms away. The nearest International Airport is New Delhi, which is 260 kms away. Lansdowne is well connected to Dehradun and Delhi by a good motorable road. Taxis are easily available from both the places, but it is advoisable to get the taxi from Delhi itself, because there is no point to go to Dehradun by a 30 minutes flight and catch a taxi for 140 kms journey. It will be the wastage of your time as well as money. Road from Delhi to Lansdowne is in excellent condition and you can easily cover this distance in 5 hours by a taxi.

By Train: The nearest train station is Kotdwara, which is 45 kms away from Lansdowne.Two Express trains run between Delhi and Kotdwara. The details of the train are:
1. Mussoorrie Express (Departure: Delhi Sarai Rohilla 21:30 PM, Arrival: Kotdwara 05:55 AM)
2. Garhwal Express ((Departure: Delhi 7:20 AM, Arrival: Kotdwara 14:20 PM)
You can book your ticket upto 90 days in advance at
Kotdwara railway station is just adjacent to the main road going to Lansdowne. From there you can easily get a hired taxi (INR 400/-) or shared jeep (Fare INR 40/- per person) to Lansdowne.

By Road: The road condition from Delhi to Lansdowne is excellent. Last 35 kms of the road from Kotdwara to Landowne passes through a hilly terrain and required skilled driving on the hills. State Transport Buses to Kotdwara are easily available at frequent intervals from Maharana Pratap ISBT in Delhi. This is the most convenient method to reach Kotdwara in a cheap way. From there, you can easily get a shared jeep to Lansdowne,but avoid reaching Kotdwara late in the night. You may not be able to get a transport between Kotdwara and Lansdowne after 8.00 PM, so in this case,it is better to stay in Kotdwara.

Where to Stay:

There are some nice hotels and resorts available in Lansdowne.The most preferred one is the state-run Tourist Rest House of GMVN, which is reasonably priced and location is also good. The other state run hotel, GMVN Tip N Top, is also a good option. Both can be booked online. You can also find other budget as well as high-end overpriced resorts in the immediate vicinity of Lansdowne.

  65 Responses to “Doing Nothing in Lansdowne”

  1. Can we do solo camping in lansdowne? i mean is it safe place for own camping?

  2. Hey! When you said about skilled driving required in from Kotdwar to Lansdowne, is it really that steep?

  3. hii, awsm blog. can there be any bike rental services available in kotdwar?

  4. Hey!! I am planning to go to Lansdowne tonight. The last bus from ISBT Kashmere Gate is at 10:30 PM which will drop me at Kotdwar by 3 AM. So, if I don’t want to stay there, will I be able to find bus or any other local transport? If not, which is the cheapest hotel nearby to spend few hours?

  5. Hey.. ur blog is detailed and worth a read.. I am planning to be there on New Years eve.. is it worth going there on New Year.. also I have no hilly road driving experience but good city driving experience.. so will the 40km stretch of hilly roads be fine..? Thanks..

  6. thanks for ur helped us a lot…

  7. Please let me know a nice hotel in lansdowne, which is having the facility of Bonfire ???

    • There are two nice properties maintained by GMVN at Lansdowne: GMVN Tourist Rest House and Tip n Top. Both can be booked online. They can also arrange the bonfire on request. Some high-end resorts are also there.

  8. Hey m a girl new to Delhi n the surrounding area, can I go to Lansdowne alone?

  9. Hey i am planning to visit lansdowne in this upcoming weekend with my friend.Please suggest me, can we rent a bike over there?
    Reply ASAP as i have to plan it accordingly.

  10. We had a peaceful vacation in Lansdowne during the holi weekend. I loved the museum and the bhulla lake area. Its indeed a place to do nothing. Read my post on this place-

  11. Hey I want to ask that where I should take hotels I mean kotdwar or Lansdowne. Which would be better and safe for couples.

  12. Hi,
    Just wanted to know whether there is any camping activities organized in lansdowne like in rishikesh.
    Also i am planning to go there with my girlfriend, so is that an issue in finding hotela for the stay as many online hotel booking sites strictly prohibit unmarried couples?

  13. Hey just wanted to know that we 3 friends (all girls) are planning to go there for 2days in july. Is it a safe place to visit as it seems like a more secluded place.

  14. Thanks for such nice info.

  15. Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India.Your blog perfectly describes the place.Thanks for sharing it. Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is popular since Britishers came to India. There are many places to visit in Lansdowne and the salubrious weather and pristine environment of Lansdowne leaves an immortal impact on the tourists. Its a perfect vacation spot.

  16. Thanks for the info. It was really helpful to us. Me and my friends have recently visited that place, and I am already missing the mental peace. From my experience, Lansdowne is very safe place for couples, Ladies etc. I found the people respecting their tourists. Looking forward to visit that place again and alone πŸ™‚

  17. Excellent review buddy !!!

  18. Heyy.. Thanks for the info. It is indeed helpful for first timers like me.

    Pls suggest whether December last week is good to go?

  19. Excellent information. I got all the information which I was trying to find.

  20. Hi, read ur lines. Its so in4mativ ,me wth my hubby n a naughty kid r planing 4 a trip by road in september from delhi, is dis d correct time? N please guide me about d resort which will b d best 4 kid?

  21. Hi, a really wonderful review with all the relevant info needed by a traveller. I have gone through quite a lot of sites for info about this place; wish I had found your review earlier. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

  22. hey,

    thnks fr such a descriptive detail.

    want to knw will it be ok to self drive a car(hatchback) while trip to landsdowne by delhi??

  23. Hi..we are going to Landsdowne by road (driving) on 10th July. Is it the right time to go there?? also what is the best route we should take??

    Thanks for your help!!

    • Hi, Its good time to go there. You can expect beautiful greenery after the rain. From Delhi, go via Ghaziabad-Partapur Bypass-Meerut Cantt-Kotdwar to Lansdowne. Have a safe ride.

    • Hi Amit, Gaziabad-meerut-khatauli-bijnaur-najibabad-kotdwar-Lansdowne,(I was there last week I went by Train though) Kotdwar to Lansdowne is hilly. Drive safe. You can walk with clouds .
      If comfortable, You can drive to tarkeshwar Mahadev temple which is further 40Km. hilly drive.

  24. Thanks Avinash for the lovely /detailed post. Visiting Lansdowne 04-05 July 2015 with two of my friends.

    All you blogs, write ups a detailed. Thanks again.

  25. We are 4 frnds planning to go landsdownde .. Can u please suggest one night is enough or shud we stay for 2 nights … Arrival date will be 1july … Plz help ..

  26. Hi

    we, I and my husband are planning to visit Landsdown on this weekend and your article is a great help !!


  27. bus/jeep service kotdwar to lansdown?

  28. As on April 2015, the taxi fare on sharing basis Rs 70 and full taxi Rs 800/= one way from Kotdwara to Lansdowne.
    G P Dixit

  29. Thanks for such a beautiful narration. Could you also throw some light on from where to take taxi to lansdowne from Kotdwara

  30. Will it be possible to have one day round trip dat too by road…like we will leave early in the mrng around 6..?
    Plz suggest asap

    • It will take at least 5 hours one way from Delhi to Lansdowne. You can visit the attractions of Lansdowne till the evening and come back to Delhi by late night. But, the entire journey will be very hectic. Better to stay for a night and plan to come back by the second day evening.

  31. hi,

    I am confused, train will be reach 5.55 AM or PM.

  32. Well presented and detailed review. Thanx buddy πŸ™‚

  33. Excellent review. Very helpful. Thanks a ton.

  34. Lansdowne is a great place escpecially for ones who come from busy cities in search of some peace. I have been there once a few years ago and we’re going there again this year.

  35. yes, the lake may not be that great but overall this place looks awesome!!! loved all the pictures. and your narration made it an excellent read. would love to visit this place one day and for that i might have to come back to check the details.

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