It was the start of April 2019, the summer was just near the corner of entire North India, so we decided to plan a trip to Landour Cantonment to enjoy some freshness and bliss of Shivalik Himalayas during the retreating Spring.
Why Landour over Mussoorie?
Mussoorie is also known as the “Queen of Hills” is one hot destination amongst traveller, but over the years Mussoorie has lost its pride because of traffic jams, over-commercialization, so we preferred a less crowdy place and quiet place.
Landour, just 6km away from Mussoorie proved to be one such destination where one can enjoy the peace while staying away from the crowd and can enjoy the essence of Himalayas.
As we went in a group of 10 so we booked a traveller from the capital. However one can take a flight or train to Dehradun which is well connected with Delhi by road, rail and air and then by bus to Landour which is nearly 38kms away.
Before my personal experience about this place, let me provide you with a brief history of this place:-
History of Landour:-
Landour is located in the western Himalayas in Mussoorie range at an altitude of 6,800 to 7500 ft.
A British-Era Cantonment in the town of Mussoorie, the name Landour comes from Llanddowror a village in Carmarthenshire in Wales. During the British Era, Britishers were used to give some nostalgic name which represented their ethnicity to their settlements.
This Town was set up as military station after a sanatorium as set up over here in 1827 where wounded soldiers were attended hence called cantonment.
This town has also been the centre for secondary education and orphanage like Mussoorie since mid-19th-century where European and Anglo -Indian children studied together. Woodstock school was one of them, which was founded in 1854 for the children of American missionaries.
There is only 200 home in the Landour because buying or construction of property in Landour cantonment is totally banned because of the Cantonment act of 1924. Out of 200 non-residential buildings half them belongs to military or AIR, Doordarshan.
Due to the cantonment act, no deforestation has occurred in Landour since a century. It still looks the same as it was 100 yrs ago, thanks to cantonment act modernization hasn’t touched Landour, the only repair of existing structures are allowed.
Someone well said that “Choubis Makaan aur Char Dukaan – Itna hi h Landour” which means (24 houses and 4 shops it’s all that Landour has).
Experience and Places to visit:-
We reached Landour around 8.30 and checked into Ivy Bank cottage. This cottage provides a clear view of the scenic mountains around Landour and the Landour Bazaar. This Cottage has a nice open area to sit and enjoy the freshness around there, you can even play gully cricket too.
Ivy Cottage has its own dining area and the food is available at affordable prices, in breakfast parathas along with bread -jam or bread omelette is served chai and coffee is always there. We had a full-fledged dinner over here they served both non-veg and veg
After a short power nap and getting fresh we packed our bags and headed for the tour of Landour cantonment.
This pathway leads straight to Char Dukaan point. Char Dukaan area is just adjacent to St. Paul’s Church. This place is famous for 4 shops which run from colonials era, most famous of them is the 60-year-old Anil’s Cafe famous for their Ginger Lemon Honey Tea, Bun- Maska and Pancake. Even the greats like Sachin Tendulkar visited this cafe.
We tried Chocolate Pancake, Bun Maska and Tea at the Char Dukaan cafe all of them were amazing in taste but Bun -Maska with Tea was truly amazing.
This place is a perfect spot to chill out with and enjoy the bliss of scenic view of mountains around, during rain and chilly winters this is the place where you can just enjoy the moment.
Just adjacent to Chaar Dukaan you can find the St. Paul Church which was built in 1840 and was consecrated by Bishop Daniel Wilson from Kolkata. This was mostly used by the British Military during the British era. For a surprise, this is the first church where rifles were allowed inside.
During 1857 revolt, British soldiers rifles used to get stolen outside from the church when they offered prayers, due to this they were allowed with rifles inside the Church.
The yellow colour of the church makes a perfect match with the high Deodars tree and blue skies in back.
The Shape of 8:
A unique place about Landour is that it makes a shape of 8 and the ‘upper chakkar‘ is about 3.5 km where all the important places are there on the sides of the road.
If you love trekking, this is heaven for walking with high deodar trees on both sides of the pathway & the shredded leaves and red flowers which all beautify this pathway.
The pathway so well built and the cleanliness is awesome !! You could find quotes and poem written on trees and dustbins along the pathway.
One thing the pathway is so windy that it sents shivers down your spine when you are there.
Rokeby Manor is a premier hotel and a landmark in Landour which was built-in 1840 by G. N Cauthy. It is just near to St. Paul Church. Rokeby Manor was often used by the methodic missionaries as a guest house during the 18th century. The stone brick arches, intricate carvings wooden finish, library all give Rokeby Manor a complete countryside look.
Emily an exotic restaurant in Rokeby Manor which serves Indian and continental cuisines.
Lal Tibba Point:-
The highest point of Landour (around 8400 ft from sea level) named because of the brown-reddish soil of the hill on which is located. One can spot numerous high peaks from the point, during clear visibility one can even spot snow-capped mountains.
There are 2 cafes over here and have binoculars on their roof for which they charge around Rs 50 one can spot Badrinath, Kedarnath peaks through these.
At both these cafes, one can enjoy Maggi along with Tea and some chilly breeze from the Himalayas with beautiful eyesight.
Kellogg Memorial Church
Named after Dr Samuel Kellogg (American Missionary who was active in the development of Landour) built-in 1903 is one of the oldest buildings of landour , built in the Gothic style of architecture. It is a type of presbyterian church.
At the node of “8” Kellogg Memorial Church is one of the landmark places. It looks old rustic but quite ethnic with elegant glass stained windows.
Kellogg Church is home to Landour Language school where Britishers used to learn Hindi. Dr Samuel Kellogg wrote a book on Hindi Grammar in English for better understanding of Hindi Language for Britishers. It is just behind the Kellogg Memorial Church with red-rooftop.
The Landour Language School is still running and preaches Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu Punjabi Garhwali to the students studying over here.
Located at one endpoint of “8”.This market has 2 famous shops.
Built-in nostalgic style architecture of the 19th century with wooden decor, the Landour bakehouse serve bakery, cookies, buns, desserts & puddings from tried and tested recipes of “Landour Cookbooks“.
Every year since the 1900s the residents of Landour form community and used to publish “Landour Cookbook” in which they documented their old tried and tested recipes. Peanut butter crepe and Strawberry crepe are the must-try delicacies over here.
When you go inside this cafe cum bakery, a sense of nostalgic feeling arises of the old wooden style interiors. Inside there are several quotes written on the wall like “ Do not squander for time, for that is the stuff life is made of ” and the best one is “We do not have wifi; pretend its 1980s and talk to each other“.
There is abandoned van outside the bakehouse on which a funny quote is written “We’ll start deliveries as soon as our vehicle is fixed‘.
Anil Prakash Store
Just adjacent to Landour Bakehouse one could find Anil Prakash Store. This store is famous hand made peanut butter, chutneys and jam. This place is one of the must-visit places in the bucket list of visitors because of the history of this shop.
During the 19th century, American missionaries living over here used to make their own peanut butter for commercial purposes but after Independence, they abandoned this place and sold all their machinery & equipment.
Anil Prakash ancestors brought this equipment from them and started this business in 1955-56 with their name. Anil Prakash states that his ancestors learnt the recipe of peanut butter and jam from the Britishers.
From outside of the store one can see Jams and peanut butter in their shelves which makes you crave for them.
Winter Line of Landour and the golden sunset.
It’s a natural phenomenon which occurs at only 2 places in the world one Switzerland and other at Mussoorie. This happens when the warm air gets trapped beneath cold air, and the golden sunset which occurs here makes you spellbound.
Ruskin Bond house
Ruskin bond – a famous author of children’s literature in India his house is there at the upper chakkar of Landour.Initially, I didn’t know about this one, I came to know after reading other travel bloggers like a fairytale studio. Will miss this place for sure.
On the second day of our trip, we went to Cafe Ivy in the Char Dukan area, one thing I notice in Landour that most of the buildings the interiors are built in 19th-century style, this was one too.
Best place over here to sit near the balcony where you can enjoy the scenic view of mountains.
I tried Oreo shake with chilly potatoes and chocolate pancakes. Oreo shakes were one of the best I have ever had.
After a full one day trip, we set towards the capital. Please do watch the video of our return journey below.
Why Landour is so Less Known?
Just 5 km away of Mussoorie, but not many of us not know about Landour. It’s because of the Cantonment act of 1924. Landour is just the same what was used to be 100 years ago, no new construction had been done, only modification of existing one is there.
Since there are not so many building in Landour, there are only a few options available over here to stay. Visitors prefer just 1-day option to stay and because of Mussoorie, this place has been overshadowed.
Some more Clicks from Landour
Best time to reach to Landour
This is a place that can be visited anytime during the year. In April-Jun one can visit to escape away from the extreme heat of the summers. In winters one can also come over here to enjoy the snow.
Nearest Airport:-64 km from Dehra Dun Airport
Nearest Railway Station – 38 km from Dehradun Railway station
Landour is well connected by road transport
Also, read about experiences of Mysore Tour
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