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Lansdowne Tourism And Travel Guide
5.4° C / 41.7° F
April to September
2 to 4 Days
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (152 kms)
Kotdwar Railway Station (42 kms)
Tranquil and majestic, Lansdowne is a hill-station in the isolated ranges of Uttaranchal. Bordered by striking oak, silver fir, spruce, bamboo and pine forests, it is a midsummer retreat for wildlife fans and dreamers. This mountainous settlement was developed as a British cantonment in 1887 and titled in tribute of the Earl of Lansdowne, the Viceroy of India (1888-1894). Today, it’s the command centre of the illustrious Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Military. A hidden gem, the township has successfully conserved its local magic and sacredness and applied it to create a strong sense of tourism. To learn more about things to do here, how to reach and the ideal time to visit, check out this travel guide to Lansdowne.
How to reach
For International travellers or visitors from other parts of India, it is recommended to fly in to the closest airport, Jolly Grant in Dehradun, situated approximately 150 km (4 hours) away from Lansdowne by road. Taxis, rented cars and buses are all easily available to get you to Lansdowne from the airport.
The quickest journey by rail is via Kotdwar Station, a 41 km (1 hour) drive from Lansdowne’s main city. The Mussoorie and Garhwal Express trains are recommended to Kotdwar from Delhi. From Kotdwar taxi, cabs and busses are easily available to get to Lansdowne at reasonable rates.
Arguably the best and most rewarding way to reach Lansdowne, due to its excellent road connectivity. To travel from Delhi to Lansdowne it’s roughly a 250 km drive (7 to 8 hours). Furthermore, Lansdowne is only 40 km away from Kotdwar and 81 km from Pauri. As Lansdowne is elevated at 1,700 m above sea level, be sure to enjoy the leisurely and mystic drive up to the hill station.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Lansdowne would be from March to November. Tourists throng here almost throughout the year.
Summer (April – June):
Summers are the most favourable to Lansdowne. Blue skies and an average temperature of 15-37°C can be expected. Activities like treks to ‘Tip n Top’ and Hawaghar, birdwatching, nature walks, checking out the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve or even water activities on the Kho River can all be done during these months, making a hotspot for tourists local and international.
Monsoon (July – September):
On occasion, Lansdowne is known to experience heavy monsoons, with the weather averaging 24-29°C. The surrounding flora and fauna tends to be in full bloom, making it a treat for travellers brave enough to venture up to the hill station.
Winter (October – March):
The weather is pleasantly chilly ranging between 0-24°C. Winter is another popular period for tourists who come to experience the delight of the snow-capped Himalayan rangers first-hand. Additionally, the town’s old world charm really shines in these months. Winter camping experiences and the awesome viewpoints make it a popular spot during Christmas.
Things to Do
Famed for its camping spots and hiking trails, most people choose to set up tents and enjoy the outdoors. The rich grasslands are perfect for setting your campground, a cosy fire, and indulging in nature walks. March to June in the summer and September to November in autumn are recommended for camping.
Hike to Tip n Top:
At 1700 m high, Tip N Top is one of the highest viewpoints in Lansdowne. Located at just 1.5 km from main Lansdowne city centre, it offers arguably the best views of the Himalayas and is surrounded by rich pine and oak trees. There is a charming cottage close by provided by GVMN for those who want to stay overnight.
Kalagarh Tiger Reserve:
Covering 300 km, the sanctuary forms a part of the world-renowned Jim Corbett Park. As the name suggests, Kalagarh has a relatively high concentration of tigers, leopards and various big cats. In addition, the park has more than 580 species of birds, 50 species of mammals and 25 different reptiles. It is recommended to visit the reserve from October to March.
Boat ride around Bhulla Tal:
Enjoy a day-long picnic at the famous Bhulla Tal in Lansdowne constructed by the Garhwal Rifles. Quiet and comforting, it is an unspoiled picnic spot in the middle of nature. Boating or just hanging out by the lake are equally fun. Summers (March-June) and autumn (September-November) are recommended times for visitors.
With spectacular views, clean hygienic food at affordable rates, the food scene is growing in Lansdowne. Local delicacies like Kafuli, Kulath ki dal and Aloo ke gutke, are must eats. Additionally, sweet dishes like Gulgula and Arsa are also recommended. Most places offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices in Indian, Mughlai and Chinese cuisines. Tipsy café, Mayur Restaurant and Fairydale Restaurant are 3 of the most highly recommended places to get some grub.
An additional advantage of holidaying in Lansdowne is that it’s a delightful chance for visitors who love to browse for quirky knick-knacks and handiworks. The well-known Lansdowne Farmers market is a 5 month marketplace offering a big variety of harvest, such as fruits, root vegetables, meat, pulses, pickles and curries made by Lansdowne residents. The Market Road in Lansdowne is the busiest and most famous one, swarming with pop-ups and merchants. From ornaments and garments like scarves, jumpers and pashminas, the area is recommended to pick up a local souvenir. Javed Leather Boot Store offers quality leather baggage, straps, holders and shoes by crafters whose kin have been in the leather trade for ages.