Lansdowne Journals

A Dose of Heaven in the Himalayas

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A January 2008 trip to Lansdowne by phileasfogg

At St Marys Church Photo, Lansdowne, India More Photos
Quote: At 1,700 metres above sea level, the cantonment town of Lansdowne is one of northern India’s most delightful – and thankfully unspoilt – places.

A Dose of Heaven in the Himalayas

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Overview

On the road to Lansdowne Photo, Lansdowne, India
Quote:
Originally known as Kallundanda, this small hill town in the Garhwal Himalayas was renamed Lansdowne after Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne (Viceroy of Indian 1888-94). Lansdowne came into its own after 1887, when the Garhwal Rifles regiment of the Indian army was shifted here after being founded by E P Mainwaring. Today, the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre is at Lansdowne, and the town – a deliciously small and quaint one – is dominated by the cantonment.Lansdowne is tiny (less than 10,000 people, which for India is small!), and the number of attractions is fairly small. The sights can be divided into three main categories: natural, historic and military. The natural attract...Read More

Fairydale Resorts

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Hotel

Our bathroom at Fairydale Photo, Lansdowne, India
Quote:
All the travel guides dwelt lovingly on Fairydale, so we decided to go along with public opinion and book ourselves a room at the place. Tarun got their phone number from their Web site, phoned them up and made a reservation – with 100% advance payment for the room – and off we went.With not much of an address to look for, all we could do to reach Fairydale was to stop every now and then and ask passersby for directions. Fairydale, fortunately, seems to be fairly well known (it lies about a kilometre down the road from Gandhi Park – just beyond the GMVN Tourist Complex) and we managed to get there without too much trouble.The resort (an optimistic description of the property) lies spread out...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 11, 2008

Darwan Singh Museum

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Attraction

The Military Band section at the Museum Photo, Lansdowne, India
Quote:
Present day Lansdowne owes much of its character to the 39th Regiment of the Bengal Infantry, which was founded by Edward Phillipson Mainwaring on 5 May 1887 in Almora. In November 1887, the regiment moved to Kallundanda, the town later named Lansdowne. Since then, the regiment’s `valiant bhullas’ (as the NCOs are affectionately known) have distinguished themselves in various battles across the world, including in both World Wars. The history of the regiment is captured in the Darwan Singh Sangrahalaya (Museum), named after Darwan Singh Negi, a hero of the regiment.The entrance to the museum and the War Memorial lies across the Mainwaring Gardens. The War Memorial is off limits for civilians, but t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 11, 2008

St Mary’s Church

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Attraction

At St Mary's Church Photo, Lansdowne, India
Quote:
Lansdowne has two churches within less than a kilometre of each other: St John’s and St Mary’s. Both stand below Tiffin Top, but are very different – St John’s is still in use and is a Roman Catholic church; St Mary’s is now deconsecrated, but was once Anglican. And after having had a glimpse of both churches, I can’t help admitting that St Mary’s is much more picturesque. It sits in a small grassy plot of its own, surrounded by a low fence, on a lip of the mountain. Oak trees stand all around, acorns carpeting the ground and silvery leaves forming a pretty frame for the snowy mountains rising in the far distance.St Mary’s was built on the Upper Mall with private subscriptions and government grants...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 11, 2008

A Trek Down to Bhim Pakora

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Story/Tip

Bhim Pakora Photo, Lansdowne, India
Quote:
Bhim is the name of a prodigiously strong hero from the Hindu epic, the Mahabharat. A pakora is a vegetable fritter, usually a slice of potato or onion (or spinach, aubergine, cauliflower – whatever) dipped in batter and deep fried. Bhim Pakora, interestingly enough, has nothing to do with either Bhim or a pakora. It is a fairly impressive rock formation that consists of a flattish boulder (which looks a bit like a petrified spaceship) balanced precariously atop another boulder. The boulder on top can, according to folklore, be made to rock by simply giving it a push – but it won’t fall off. Where Bhim fits into the picture, I’m not sure – maybe there’s an obscure legend somewhere...Read More