It’s freezing three degrees in Delhi. But I am loving it. I love the cold, I love the nostalgia and I love Delhi. And I love the early morning flights, because those are the only days I get to see an early morning.

Delhi. My home for seven long years. And add to that the numerous stop overs during my college days and my umpteen business trips. Delhi is Delhi, many love. And many, who love to hate. For reasons that could never touch my mind. And I prefer to ignore them.

My today was for Delhi. For some little work, to catch up with friends, meet old neighbors and once again see my old home in C.R.Park. The number M 40 and the door with still the same nice polished look, probably. A home which I loved and which still at times brings tears to my eyes. And then I tell myself. Come on. You are a man. You are not supposed to cry.

Come on man, I am not crying. I am happy. I have just landed. I still got to have my favorite Chicken Kassa from Ma Tara restaurant in number two market, the Aloo and Paneer Parathas from Moolchand, a visit to Kali Mandir in the evening and my peaceful one night stay in Atithi Guest House facing the Mela Grounds, C.R.Park. Little things of life which still make a big difference. At least for me.

Tomorrow and the next few days though would be different. It would be nostalgia of a different kind. My journey to a new destination. New for some of my readers probably, but for me a little old. Because this was going to be my second trip to this hill destination, Lansdowne.

A view of Lansdowne roads and forests, Uttarakhand, India
Lansdowne, Source-Wikimedia

Got up early. The Uber guy came in time. The roads were empty, it was all foggy and before I realized we were at the Old Delhi station. The window seat meant that no one would disturb me till I was ready to get up and have my breakfast. It seemed wonderful. No newspaper, no television and soon there would be no network and hence no mobile. And with my planned nap as soon as the train departed, I thought I was blessed. Life is truly wonderful.

We reached on time. It was 2.30 in the afternoon. I was now at Kotdwar Railway Station. Kotdwar is a tehsil (sub-district) in Pauri Garhwal district. It’s old name was Khohdwar, which means the gateway of the river Khoh. The name was later changed to Kotdwar. It is one of the main entrance points in the state of Uttarakhand. Kotdwar station established in 1890 by the Britishers is one of the oldest railway stations of the country. Being the gateway of Himalayan Region, Kotdwar rail route was used for timber transportation. The first passenger train ran from here in the year 1901.

I checked, and yes the mobile connection was back. It made me feel secure. A call, a reciprocation from the other end and it brought a smile on my face. I was going to meet him after six long years.

Kotdwar railway station,Uttarkhand,India. The train station connecting Lansdowne

There waiting for me outside was Balam. The same taxi owner cum driver who had transported me to my destination and back the last time. He was still the same, the same smile and the same old mannerisms to make you feel at home. We hugged each other and I felt so good.

I have always had a very special corner for the people from the hills. They are so natural, have a big heart and are truly genuine. It is the same Balam whom I had called up couple of days back after ages, when I could not reach the owners of the place I was going to stay in, and was pleasantly surprised that he had retained the same number all these years. He took all the pains to get me connected to the owners and then even called up to confirm whether I had been able to speak to them. Good people still exist in this world.

We chatted. He talked. I listened. And I inquired. And soon the forty odd kilometers seemed such a short distance. We were almost there.

Lansdowne ,Uttarkhand,India.A hill station in Northern India

Lansdowne, is a cantonment town and a hill station situated on the Kotdwar – Pauri road at a height of 1,706 m in Uttarakhand, India. Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887 when the first battalion of Garhwal Rifles migrated from Almora to Lansdowne. The town was developed by the British to handle the recruitment for the training center of the Garhwal Rifles since Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters during British period.

Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here. Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is well connected but remote and peaceful in its own way. It is situated at an altitude of 1,706 m above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests.

The journey up was awesome and I soon checked into my room at the Oak Grove Inn Resort. And I was lucky to get the same corner room as last time with a great view, on the top floor. These trivial things which still excites me, although you may find it so childish. Let the child remain in you, I keep telling myself ๐Ÿ˜ Ordered my first round of tea. Then the next one. Soon it was approaching dusk. And it was time to just relax marveling at the beauty of nature and this place.

View of lansdowne at dusk. Uttarakhand,India

And it was not long before I asked myself this question. Why was I here? All of a sudden. Almost an impulsive decision. And soon I found the answers. One was to take you, all my readers, around this beautiful Indian destination. And the second a very selfish reason. To laze around one full day in the sun reading a book and staring at the beauty of nature, just like I had done last time.


And third, to once again meet this wonderful couple, Col Bikram & Neelam Rawat who own this place, Oak Grove Inn. To spend some time in the evenings with them. Two people whom we admired, learnt from and learnt what hospitality should be all about. They are someone, me and my wife always wanted to visit again. I am here. She is not. But I know she is equally excited, as I am.

Have a look around the place which combines the comfort and privacy of a good hotel and the care, the homely touch and the option of wonderful home cooked food. The room options are double bed, family room and a two room honeymoon cottage which you can choose from depending on your need, family size and budget. You are bound to fall in love with this awesome place which still retains a British era charm.

Oak grove inn, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand,India
Oak Grove Inn

Oak Grove Inn, Lansdowne,Uttarakhand,India

Oak Grove Inn, Lansdowne,Uttarakhand,India

Oak Grove Inn, Lansdowne,Uttarakhand,India

After a completely laid back and relaxing day yesterday, I got up very early today to experience the sunrise from my room.


After a wonderful breakfast, we are now all set to explore. Lansdowne is a small town and most places of interest can even be covered by foot once you reach the main market. But it is advisable to hire a car if you also wish to visit the other places nearby.

Bus and taxi stand, Lansdowne,Uttarakhand,India
Bus and taxi stand, Lansdowne
Darwan Singh Museum, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Darwan Singh Museum
War Memorial, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
War Memorial.To visit you would require prior permission from Army Authorities
Shatabdi Dwar, Lansdown, Uttarakhand, India
Shatabdi Dwar (Gate), Lansdowne
Bhullar Tal (Lake) Wikimedia, Lansdowne,India
Bhulla Tal (Lake), Source- Wikimedia

Bhulla Tal, dedicated to the Garhwali youth of the Garhwal Rifles who helped in the construction of this lake, this artificial man-made lake is a must visit destination in Lansdowne. Located at a distance of 1 km from Lansdowne City Centre, the lake allows you to enjoy boating and picnic facilities.

Bhulla Tal (Lake), Source-Wikemedia,Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Bhulla Tal (Lake), Source-Wikemedia
St. Johns Church, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
St. Johns Church, the only working Church in Lansdowne
St Mary's church, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
St Mary’s church
St Mary's church, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
St Mary’s church
Lovers Lane, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Lovers Lane
Tip-n-Top, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India

Located approximately at an altitude of 1700 m above the sea level, this Tip-n-Top view point gives breathtaking views and panoramic sights of the snow-capped Shivalik range. If you visit early in the morning you can get an amazing view of sunrise amidst the mighty mountains and hence is also known as โ€˜Sunrise Pointโ€™.

Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple, is the most visited Hindu Temple in Lansdowne and is flocked by thousands of devotees during the month of Sawan (Indian Monsoon). It is believed that this temple has the Shivlinga which is Swayambhu (self-formed).

Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple

Even after visiting so many places, I still had time left to venture out to the other places nearby including a trip back to Kotdwar. You could also do it the next day by moving out early from the resort if you are taking the afternoon train or checking out in the afternoon before taking the night train to Delhi. And if your visit is by car from Delhi, you could do it at your own pace. So let’s get going again. And our first stop, Tarkeshwar Temple.

This is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva surrounded by thick Cedar trees. It is located 38 km from Lansdowne at an altitude of 1800 m to the north east of Lansdowne on Lansdowne-Deriyakhal road.


Tarkeshwar Temple, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Tarkeshwar Temple
Durga Devi Temple, Near Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, India
Durga Devi Temple

Durga Devi Temple is located near Kotdwar, 11 km from Kotdwar bus stand and on the road to Dugadda. The other famous temple located in Kotdwar is Sidhhabali Temple at a distance of 5 km from Kotdwar’s main market. The Siddhabali temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is located on the bank of river Khoh around 50 meters above the river bank. A large number of devotees visit the place round the year. Not only Hindus but people from other communities also visit this temple.

This place is also very popular as a picnic spot. There are several small water falls and hill forest which makes this place very spectacular.

Siddhabali Temple, Kotdwar, Uttarakhand, India
Siddhabali Temple
Kanvashram, Kotdwar, Uttarakhand, India
Kanvashram Kotdwar

Kanvashram is an important place both historically, culturally and archaeologically in the history of India. It is located on the bank of river Malini about 14 km from Kotdwar. It is believed that Indra, the king of Gods, was scared by Sage Vishwamitra’s meditation, sent a beautiful heavenly damsel named Menaka to the earth to disrupt his meditation. She succeeded in disturbing Vishwamitra’s meditation. With their union she gave birth to a girl child. Menaka having succeeded in her purpose left the child on the bank of river Malini and went back to her heavenly abode. This child was found by sage Kanva and brought up in his ashram called Kanvashram. She was named Shakuntala by the sage. She later married the King of this region named Dushyanta and gave birth to a boy who was called Bharata, the prince after whom India was named as Bharatavarsha. About 10,000 pupils used to get education in the ashram of Kanva Rishi in the ancient times and since then the valley or ghati is known as Kanvaghati.

St. Joseph's Cathedral Church, Kotdwar, Uttarakhand, India
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Church, Kotdwar

At a distance of 1.3 km from Kotdwar bus stand, St. Joseph’s Church is Asia’s second largest church at this altitude. It is open everyday for people from all communities.

Back to the resort after a wonderful day of sightseeing, it was time in the evening to have a heart to heart chat with the Rawats over a couple of drinks. Their recent trip to Egypt and about their son Zorawar, whom we had met during our last trip and who now stays and works in New Zealand.

Tomorrow is going to be my journey back after an eventful three days. But this would surely not be my last trip. I will keep coming back, again and again. You too should visit this wonderful hill destination. And you bet, you too will fall in love.

Come to Lansdowne. Meet the Rawats. Experience India Beautiful ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ



  1. aalokbhattacharya says:

    Lovely reading.

  2. GANESH VS says:

    Read it fully .Well written . Knowing more about India thru your blogs .keep it up

  3. Guy Pitman. says:

    So lovely to folllow your movements into the hills. Although I just scratched the surface in the years I was there I found wonderful joy during my monthly paragliding excursions up north.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Guy.You were awesome when you were here. And you are still awesome in whatever you do. Let’s spend some time together when you are here next ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. dipudatta says:

    Wonderful narration. Some day I am going to pick this up and plan a visit. Keep it up Subhasish!

  5. gary says:

    Lovely read

  6. NILANJAN BASU says:

    It’s a great experience to read your creations. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hossain says:

    Delhi has history writ large on it.
    And the lovely place Lansdowne..a must visit

  8. I was brought up in Delhi. Old Delhi to be specific.Now I am in Kolkata. I miss it there.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Then you must be really missing Delhi always.And I loved the fact that the hills were so close.

  9. Mary C Wolfe says:

    Love all your background and history! What a great place to visit! Love your photography too!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Mary.

  10. Such beautiful scenery and luscious trees! It doesn’t look nearly as cold as you described!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Lucky to have sunny days.It was cold though in the air.

  11. Oak Grove Inn Resort looks beautiful and Lansdowne sounds like an incredible place with a rich history. Beautiful blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I enjoyed reading this! I would love to stay at the Oak Grove Inn. I also loved all the picture of the churches and the temple. Amazing!!

  13. Delhi looks amazing but I’m not a big fan of the cold…

  14. I love cold and someday I do hope of visiting Lansdowne

    1. travelwisesr says:

      You’ll love it. It’s such a peaceful calm place.

  15. Lex says:

    Rich history of the world in one place. India has alot of culture and so vast in natures goodness. Delhi a plac3 i will wabt to visit someday.

  16. Delhi, India sounds amazing. Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  17. Lisa Rios says:

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Delhi. It looks gorgeous.

  18. luciwest says:

    Lansdowne looks beautiful. Clearly, you can find happiness there. Delhi must also be incredible – and very, very different. What an adventurous life!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes is beautiful with so much variety. And yes, for me life is pretty exciting now.

  19. Amber Dickison says:

    So many lovely photos! It looks like such a great time there!

  20. Danielle says:

    Such a wonderful adventure back to this place for you! Your photos look amazing! I would love to visit here one day.

  21. chandrima roy says:

    Very detailed and helpful. Now Lansdowne is on my bucket list, for sure.

  22. Loving this place sounds like you have a great fun experience ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Sounds like a great experience! Love the pictures!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes it was wonderful.Thanks you enjoyed.

  24. Bindu Thomas says:

    Lovely reading. I likes to read travel stories and experiences very much. It sounds like you enjoyed it very much.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes just loved it & lived it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  25. Elizabeth O says:

    Awesomw! It was a great travel especially with our beloved family. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. ryan says:

    wow! its splendid blog, i’m really see and happy to read this blog…Keep ti rockz!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much Ryan ๐Ÿ˜Š

  27. Your words make m want to book a trip to this region and your photos back up everything you said. Excellent article.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much Vincent ๐Ÿ˜Š

  28. Ben Butler says:

    I love your posts so much. Your travels and photos really get my travel bug bugging out.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much Ben.It all looks worthwhile after seeing encouraging comments like yours.

  29. Johnny Quid says:

    The more I see and learn about India, the more I really want to visit it. It looks and sounds like an amazing place. We have a Landsdowne here in Maryland, USA as well, but I think the one in India might be a bit more beautiful looking!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Johnny it is a place worth visiting.Come to India.Experience variety ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  30. I never really gave much though to how lush India is, very green. The temples look so nice and worht a visit on their own.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It’s a beautiful place Scott.Come over to India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  31. J.L.Misener says:

    Seems like a beautiful place to visit, and a wonderful trip for you. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It’s my pleasure Misener.Come over ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  32. Despite Pain says:

    What a beautiful area. I love to see the photos and hear about the people and cultures in other countries. Thank you for sharing your

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜Š

  33. Despite Pain says:

    Such a beautiful area. I love seeing your photos and hearing about the people and cultures in other parts of the world. Thank you for sharing

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thanks again ๐Ÿ˜Š

  34. Audrey says:

    India is right at the top of my bucket list. The more photos I see, the more I want to go. Such a beautiful country!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Audrey.You will love India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  35. Theresa says:

    It’s so picturesque there! I have always wanted to go to India, so it’s nice to get a little taste beforehand through your blog posts.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Come over Theresa.Just sound me off & if I can be if any help,it would be my pleasure ๐Ÿ˜Š

  36. lforsythe7040 says:

    I didn’t realize it got cold in delhi! Also, your pictures are gorgeous.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Iforsythe ๐Ÿ˜Š

  37. Megan McC says:

    Home sweet home! We call home to different places but I had such a warm feeling about your return to Delhi.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Delhi is very close to my heart ๐Ÿ˜Š

  38. Marcie W. says:

    How wonderful that you were able to visit a beautiful destination that is also special to you. Relaxing and immersing myself in my current surroundings are my favorite things to do while traveling.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It’s the same with me Marcie ๐Ÿ˜Š

  39. Sara Welch says:

    India countryside is absolutely stunning! I would love to visit there someday and see it in person.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Please come over & you’ll love the experience ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  40. Paula Schuck says:

    Wow it looks gorgeous. I am thinking it sounds like a great trip. Maybe one day I will do this.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Please do come over Paula.You would love it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  41. Your pictures brought this trip to life! I had never really considered India to be somewhere I wanted to travel, until I read your post about it. Iโ€™m so glad it is a place you want to continue visiting again and again.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Erica & do come over ๐Ÿ˜Š

  42. Lindsay Rae says:

    What a beautifully rich history you write about here! I love the photography and feel like I’ve learned so much from reading this. India looks and sounds beautiful, thank you for sharing your travels with us!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Lindsay so much.Am so proud of my country India & through my blog trying to take it to the world ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

  43. Delhi looks beautiful! It’s always wonderful returning to a place that you love. It also sounds great to be off the grid for a while (even if it’s only for a train ride).

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Andrea.Delhi has a rich history & being the Capital of the country very well maintained & beautiful.

  44. terristeffes says:

    Your post brought back many memories of me when I was in college. I haven’t been to Dehli but your experience reminds me of one that I had. Going back and eating at my favorite restaurants, coffee shops and libraries!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Terristeffes.It’s a thrill of a different kind ๐Ÿ˜Š

  45. Lansdowne seems like a great place to visit! It is very serene or peaceful. Hope I can visit soon!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Emmanuel it’s a very peaceful place to relax & enjoy your holiday.

  46. I had the opportunity to visit Mumbai but did not get to Delhi. This place looks good and inviting. If i ever go back to India, I will try to visit.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Do visit Delhi a historical city & from there you can cover a whole lot of hill stations, some of them I have covered on my blog.

  47. Swagata Sen says:

    Hill stations in Northern India have always remained my favourites – specially Uttarakhand and Himachal..a lovely reading and beautiful photographs!

  48. Luna S says:

    I love the landscape it is so beautiful there! And I agree that is cold but I like the cold too.

    1. travelwisesr says:

      I too love the cold very much ๐Ÿ˜Š

  49. who would say its so cold there!! thanks for sharing , i love your pictures and !

    1. travelwisesr says:

      It was very cold.One pic without any winter clothes were from my earlier trip during the summer.

  50. I love to travel, but hadn’t heard of this place before. Sounds like a great place!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes it is a comparatively less frequented hill station.But beautiful & little different.

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