Lansdowne, the headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles Regiment of the Indian Army is a quiet, unspoiled, immaculately clean Hill station in the Pauri district of Uttarakhand.
British Colonial style mansions sparsely scattered in this town, now serve as homes to high-ranking officers of this Regiment.
The town otherwise is so un-inhabited that it seemed haunting to us. Our first stop was the Garhwal Rifles Regiment Museum. Photography is not permitted in this otherwise neat well-documented museum that narrates tales of bravery of the Regiment.
Then we went to ‘Bhulla Tal’- a man-made lake in the town that was being patrolled by 4 big ducks and 5 little ducklings who chased us away as we approached the lake. Guess these quacking birds too worked pro-bono with the Garhwal Rifles
Scared to the bone after the quacking assault on us by these ducks, we opted to sip a cool drink at the ‘KalonDanda’ Café.
The town of Lansdowne was earlier named ‘KalonDanda’, the name after which this cafe was named; then it got renamed after a British Viceroy to Lansdowne.
This little town has lots of churches and vantage points in the Hills where one can halt and watch the clouds dancing. You are also likely to watch many Army Sahayaks walking their Officer’s dogs on the roadside.
We stayed overnight at the guesthouse belonging to Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. The cottages herein were painted yellow and seemed straight out of a dollhouse. The official name of the guesthouse was ‘Tip-in-Top’ but the signage wrote it as ‘Tif-in-Top’.
The Café at the guesthouse was also named uniquely and amusingly, as the Holy-Day café.
On our way out of Lansdowne, we stopped by at a Shiva Temple named Kaleshwar Temple and then bid this beautiful town, goodbye!