Lansdowne (India)

February 2012

This was my second visit to Lansdowne. My last visit to this small hill town was exactly three years back, in February 2009, and I had not come back with a great opinion of the place back then. This time the experience was much better, largely because we drove down in our car, and stayed at a very good place located a few kilometers before the main town. The town, however, is still as sleepy and laid-back as ever.

My travel group comprised of four people. We started from Gurgaon early morning in my friend’s Ford Fiesta. The regular route is:

Gurgaon –> Delhi –> Modi Nagar –> Meerut –> Mawana –> Bijnor –> Najibabad –> Kotdwar –> Lansdowne

A key bottleneck on this route is driving through Meerut city. We were using Google Maps on our mobile phones and it showed an alternate route by which we could avoid this, by taking a bit of a detour on State Highway 51 through Khatauli and Miranpur. This turned out to be a bad idea, since the road condition was awful. We did not repeat the mistake on the way back and took the regular suggested route!

We reached Lansdowne in the afternoon. We had booked the Kasang Regency Hill Resort. This resort has come up only recently and is located 5 km before the main Lansdowne town, right on the main road leading from Kotdwar to Lansdowne.

We really liked this resort. The rooms were tidy and had great views. The staff was friendly too. The best part was that we could climb down from the resort to the hill slopes and walk around in the wilderness. The mobile signal, though, is patchy. Airtel and Vodafone work right outside the resort’s entrance. Elsewhere there’s no signal, not even in the main town. One has to use pay phones.

After settling down in our rooms, we headed for the town. It was a 15 minute drive. There are a couple of food joints around the main square (Gandhi Chowk), serving good, spicy Indian fast food and chowmein. We also paid a quick visit to the Bhulla Lake, which was relatively dry at this time of the year. Liquor shops are quite limited in Lansdowne and we could not score a good rum or scotch. We bought whatever best we could for our evening at the resort. There was a bonfire at the resort but it was more of a family affair and we did not bother to go downstairs to join the party. The dinner at the resort was good.

We woke up very fresh the next day and after a nice breakfast, we climbed down from the resort onto the hill slopes. It was great fun and not very tiring. We stayed in the wilderness for an hour before climbing back up to the resort.

We checked out from the resort at noon and decided to pay another short visit to the town. We headed back for Gurgaon after lunch and reached home late at night.

If you are looking for a non-adventurous, relaxed weekend getaway from Delhi, Lansdowne is a viable option, although Kasang Regency seems to be the only good thing about this hill station.

Expenses:

Resort stay (Kasang Regency Hill Resort): Rs. 3000 per room per night (2 persons) incl. breakfast and dinner

We drove down to Lansdowne and incurred the usual fuel expenses