Finally, the Friday night(30th October 2015) had arrived to take us away from the daily hassles and busy life of Delhi. we(Tushar, Onkesh, Pralabh and me) managed to get free from our offices by 8 PM and boarded the metro at around 8:30 PM to reach Old Delhi railway station. When everyone was chattering, I was imagining the sight of catching a train in Geet style (from Jab we met). Somehow, we did reach there on time, I mean literally on time, like just 4 minutes before the train departure(10:10 PM). Finally, we boarded the MUSSOORIE EXP, then it was time for dinner which I had prepared for all of us.That’s the benefit of having friends who can cook too (wink* wink*).
We played, chattered, planned out an itinerary and then slept during our train ride to Kotdwar. It was 5:40 AM and I woke up to mountain views all around. I tried waking up my travel partners and to my surprise, Pralabh was already up and standing at the exit door, enjoying the scenic beauty. We deboarded the train at 6: 15 AM and after getting fresh in the waiting room, we hired Taxi (Rs 70/head) at 7:10 AM to the lansdowne. Due to the whirling roads, I was getting mild altitude sickness. But, the surrounding views were still giving the refreshing feel.
We reached Gandhi Chowk at 8: 15 AM and booked Mayur Hotel, right in the middle of Lansdowne, this hotel is located near Gandhi chowk in Sadar bazar. All buses and jeeps for Kotdwar and other destinations start from here. This hotel doesn’t provide luxury but ensures a comfortable stay.Although, initially we were undecided about the place, but due to its central location and our timing constraint, we end up booking it for our stay.
We took bath, a power nap, and a heavy breakfast to start off an uninterrupted mission “Explore Lansdowne”. The main attractions were not very far from our hotel. So, we preferred exploring them on foot Or in Onkesh’s word, it’s due to the unavailability of our own vehicle, we were left with no choice other than walking the place.
St Mary Church
We started off our trek to tip-in-top point and had planned on stopping at St Mary church, we kept walking until we saw this sight – it was serene, old and beautiful.
Though it is no longer a functional Church,but it is very well maintained by the Garhwal Rifles.They have converted it into a mini museum sort of thing. They also show a short film on the projector telling you about the history of the Garhwal Rifles in a brief, concise and entertaining manner.
OMG !! what an awe-inspiring view, I uttered after reaching the edge. One can watch complete skyline, Shivalik range, Panoramic Garhwal hills with enchanting Himalayan range.
Santoshi Mata temple
The road beyond the tip-in-top point goes to this peaceful and divine place. There was no priest in the temple, but it was clean and revered. One can reach there by climbing a steep pathway for like 40-50 stair steps.This is also considered as a sunset view point.
While descending, we took quite a shortcut but, it is not recommended as few trees are poisonous here on the trek. After walking for a while (2.5 km), we reached Bhulla Taal, it was a picturesque view, a lake surrounded by mountains and a crossing pathway in the middle.
There was a rabbit house in the lawn side which was the main attraction for the kid inside me. I tried catching them up, either they were quite fast or I was little scared, so it ended up without a single catch. Meanwhile, Onkesh managed to get a sight of a bunch of swans near the edge of the lake.
There is one coffee shop near the lake which serves snacks and lunch as well. We ordered lunch with lemonade for each one of us , which was lip smacking and at the end, on my appeal, we tried gol gappein as well!
We headed back to our Hotel and reached there at around 7:00 PM and took a nap, as we were literally tired after walking for around ~7 km in total.We ordered momos and dinner at the hotel itself and here is a picture of what we got. It felt like, we were having homemade food with a lot of variety. Lansdowne took my heart away for serving delicious food at such a reasonable price.
we spent time playing ludo(Yes, you heard it right !!) and then fell asleep in no time under the comfort of cozy blankets while watching “Andaaz Apna Apna”, one of our favorite movies.
we woke up to the shrill sound of my normal alarm and Tushar was about to kill me for it. So, the morning started on a funny note. We ordered breakfast from the hotel itself as, by the time, we were convinced by the quality of food they serve. It arrived on time and we headed for our final and last destination – Bhim Pakora.
We started from our hotel at around 9:30 AM, it was supposed to be 2.5 km trek downhill from our hotel.As there were no tags on the terrain, we asked local people for the way to Bhim Pokora. It was a sunny day and we were feeling quite bored by the time.So, I came up with an idea, I persuaded my travel partner to climb mountains and follow the path from there on. Although, initially they were not convinced, but we end up loving the view of deodar and pine trees all around.
Hence, we just got distracted by the view on the way that we forgot, we are here for Bhim Pakora. It is believed that during the period of exile, the Pandavas stopped here and Bhim who was considered the most powerful man, placed one rock on top of the other and is so well balanced that it never topples. This rock can be moved with just one finger, but it never falls down.
Saying bye bye to lansdowne, the unspoiled town in the Uttarakhand, we packed our bags. We hired a taxi for kotdwar to catch the train (Garhwal Express) at 3:15 PM and we were set back to our mundane life.
Points to remember –
The Distance of famous sightseeing places from Gandhi chowk.
- St. Mary’s Church: 3 km
- St. John’s Church: 3 km
- Santoshi Mata Temple: 3.5 km
- Tip-n-Top: 3.5 km
- Bhulla Taal: 1 km
- Regimental Museum: .5 km
- Javed Boot shop – Famous for leather goods.
- For travel options, please look into this answer of mine on Quora – Lansdowne’s Travel Options
I would describe this lansdowne trip in one word as “Revitalizing“. It is a place where you can actually do nothing and still enjoy the surrounding views. This place is perfect for a weekend getaway from Delhi. So, have you started packing up for Lansdowne ? Still, in confusion, leave a comment for any query or Info about the place.
#Lansdowne #LoveforMountains #Cantonment #Walktheplace #DeodarandPineTrees #Lake #Trek #DeliciousFood #Chocolateburfi #Ludo #AndaazApnaApna