There was something about the place that kept us rejuvenated inspite of the long drive from Gurgaon. Was it the chill in the air, the neat & clean roads or the mesmerizing hills?
What to see-
You can enjoy boating in the lake for 30 minutes at Rs. 80 per seat. Entry in the premises is charged at Rs 20 per person. Hubby enjoyed taking pictures of the lovely ducks while I soaked in some sun. A small souvenir shop run by the army wives welfare association in the premises gave me some time for shopping too. Gift items were a little over-priced there, yet I bought a sling bag for the sake of a small contribution to the army wives who lost their husbands in the line of duty.
After spending an hour and a half, we headed to Darwan Singh Museum, barely less than a kilometre from Gandhi Chowk and we chose to walk to it. Named after the Victoria Cross holder Naik Darwan Singh Negi, this museum was founded in 1983 with the rarest collection of Garhwal Rifles. It showcases artilleries, coins, swords, pictures and much more from pre-independence era to recent wars. The tour of the museum was a treat to eyes! One can spend a good one and half hours to re-visit the rich History. Hubby’s joys knew no bounds on seeing the rifles and heavy duty war weapons. The brave one who laid their lives for the country also have their names on the wall of fame. Taking pictures inside the museum is prohibited, so we settled with pictures outside in the flower garden and war memorial.
|Oaktown Flavor Restaurant|
With deep thoughts of war and the fallen heroes, we left from the museum to Gandhi Chowk for lunch. Out of the few eating joints, this time we had lunch at Oaktown’s Flavour Restaurant. Lemonade followed by “Veg Handi” (Mixed vegetables) and hot tandoori roti made a fab lunch. Post walking quite a distance, we retired to our room and relaxed till evening.
Gandhi Chowk market peps up during evening with tourists and beautiful lights. You cannot indulge in handicrafts or clothes shopping since Lansdowne is not a commercialized place yet. However, the place has its own charm. Small tea stalls, regular grocery stores, little vegetable shops or bakery shops, every little store compels you to stop as you pass by. A walk after dinner around the Gandhi Chowk round-about is a must do for all. Shops start to close after 9pm. The streets are safe even during the wee hours. As we walked hand in hand, soaking in the stunning full moon light and pleasant air, the romantic night grew deeper, quieter and more beautiful.
Tip in Top-
Also known as Tiffin Top by the localites, is a vantage point (literally) from where you see the Lansdowne town. It is a picnic spot fringed by cottages and thick pine forest. There is nothing much to do here apart from taking selfies or pictures of sunrise/sunset. I befriended a lab there, so my visit was worth it. hehe.
Tarakeshwar Temple- About 40 kilometers away from Lansdowne, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is much talked about and visited. The curvy roads are very sharp and bumpy in many places. Advisable not to drive on your own. We hired a taxi. Local shopkeepers offer taxi services at Rs 1200 for a round trip. Since we pooled in with two more passengers, we were charged Rs.600 only. It took us a little more than an hour to reach Tarakeshwar Temple. A long ride on the curvy roads made us giddy. Call it motion sickness or inertia of motion, we could not stand still for some time after de-boarding the cab.
|The downhill trek|
|Trishul shaped Tree Top|
Among the tall pine and oak trees with the backdrop of lush green ground, you will spot a tree top in the shape of a trishul. This tree is said to be God’s own tree and is worshiped in the temple.
Post the temple visit we spent time in the woods wrapping ourselves with Nature's beauty. Such greenery is a rare luxury in cities.
Do’s and Don’ts in Lansdowne-
-Since Lansdowne is maintained by the Cantt board, it is not a commercialized place, hence leaving you with fewer activities to indulge in. Visit the place only if you want some peaceful time and if you love nature. Two nights are more than enough to spend in Lansdowne.