A town in a snow globe with sprinkles of fairy dust and glitter is how I would describe Lansdowne. Being an army cantonment base, Lansdowne is quaint, clean and peaceful.
A dense fog descends over the hills as we arrive in Lansdowne. While we check into the Fairydale resort, the fog filled evening gives me an eerie feel of the place being haunted.
Fairydale is a vintage property converted into a resort. It is run by a local family. who lovingly take care of it. Surrounded by winding paths and blue pines, the resort is a perfect getaway.
As we settle down for the night, I can’t help teasing my friends of possible ghostly visits that we could encounter 🙂
The morning dew gives a refreshing scent, as we head for breakfast. We are ready to explore Lansdowne.
The place can be explored on foot and the important places of interest can be covered in a day. We head out to visit St. John’s Church.
Built in 1936 by the British, this Catholic place of worship was used by the soldiers. Today the Church is still in use by the locals and the army families.
The small stone structure is well kept and surrounded by a garden. The church inside has a main altar and statues of saints.
Moving on further we discover Tip n Top point. We are supposed to see sweeping views of the valley and mountains from here. However we had cloudy weather and could see nothing.
So we turned around and opposite of Tip and Top is…surprise, a Church.
St. Mary’s Church is another British legacy; however it is not in use. The Church has been converted into a museum of history and is maintained by the army.
Now we take a short cut by following the locals and walk towards Bhulla Lake. Thanks to the Army, Lansdowne is well marked with signs and footpaths.
Well, Bhulla Lake was a disappointment for us. It is a small water body enclosed by a garden. The locals and tourists loved the place though 🙂
Later we also explored the army cantonment areas.
As Independence Day was around the corner, the officers were rehearsing their march and music. Young cadets were assigned jobs of cleaning the walls and sidewalks. Most areas are off limits for us civilians so we could only see them from outside. What a life!
Lansdowne winds down by sunset, so there is nothing much to do but maybe sit by a fire, relax and catch up with friends and family. Also have rum and coke to beat the cold 🙂
A perfect weekend destination!
Travel Fact file
How to get there
Lansdowne is accessible by road. Either hire a car or take a bus to get here. The nearest cities are Haridwar and Dehradhun. The drive takes you through the sugarcane fields of Najibabad and Kotdwara to the hilly town of Srinagar.
The mountain terrain is prone to landslides so plan for buffer time in your travels.
Places to see
St John’s Church
St Mary’s Church
Tip and Top Point
The Fairydale Resort is one of the best places to stay. The rooms and cottages are cosy and comfortable. The owner and staff are friendly and approachable. The main areas of interest are withing walking distance.
The cantonment area has s a few shopping options. The famous one is Jawed Boot Shop for leather goods and customized shoes. Now we went beserk here, so it is recommended to carry some extra vitamin M 🙂
The chef at Fairydale is one of the best cooks in the area. We were hooked and ate only here 🙂
The main market area has a few shops selling samosas and other savory items which are delicious.
Go to Lansdowne if you want to unwind, slow down, relax, take it easy and just be. Long walks, good weather, a good book and a glass of wine can be your companions here.
A fairly offbeat destination and an excellent place for slow travelers, Lansdowne checks all these boxes.
And if you’re curious about the ghostly sightings, well, we did have a close encounter, but that will be another post another day 🙂