It was 4 in the morning, some of us were still drowsy and rest were awake whole night planning to sleep after boarding (stupidest thing on any road trip). So with packed bags and dopey eyes, we were all set to go.
Our route was -
Delhi -> Bijnor -> Kotdwar -> Lansdowne
Lansdowne is about 250 km from Delhi. Lansdowne is more like a leisure getaway than an activity packed tourist spot.
We started our road trip and it was 5 in the morning so frosty air was piercing through the half open window of the car. When you are living in Delhi you don't realize the pollution in the air its all same, but when you get out of the town and gulp some of actual fresh air its actually rejuvenating and with your eyes closed you try to take as many deep breaths as you can.
At Bijnor, on our way to Lansdowne, we drove over the massive dam on the River Ganga. We stopped there for the expansive view and to go to the ghat and pay homage to river Ganga. So it took us around 5 hrs to reach Kotdwar including a stoppage at a Dam and a Dhaba for breakfast. Till that point road was good, for some time it was canal at one side and lush green fields on other. But after Kotdwar it was not the tarmac which got better but the view, the road took us through as mountains were calling. At Kotdwar you feel like standing at a threshold where you see plains on your back and the hills ahead of you.
From Kotdwar to Lansdowne it was all about sheer pine trees. Driving through these woods was exhilarating. We started ascending, uphill clouds, mist, waterfall, pine trees and steep slopes welcomed us. Driving through roads with pine woods on one side and gigantic mountains on other was an experience in itself.
When you start seeing bungalows, you feel you have almost reached your destination. Since it is an cantonment area and home to Garhwal Rifles regiment, these bungalows mostly belongs to Army Officials.
The civilian area is very small and almost limited around the only market (Gandhi Chowk ) this town has, since it doesn't have many hotels so I recommend you all to pre-book any resort or reach early in the morning so that you can easily find yourself a place to crash. Although, on the outskirts there any many resorts which you can easily pre-book on any booking site but hotels in the main market are very cheap as compared to these resorts.
We checked into a hotel near Gandhi Chowk itself, by that time it was already noon and we were all tired and hungry. The food there is cheap and tasty also taste same in almost every restaurant.
After filling us up we decided to take a short break in the hotel. By the time we got up it was already evening and it was looking like its going to rain so instead of going to places we decided to take a long walk near the outskirts. Since this town has population even lesser than some of the private engineering colleges of our country, so as you guessed we didn't find anyone during our stroll. At points you can find bungalows which looks like nobody has taken up residence in them also the echoes of small mountain streams (according to me there is nothing more soothing than this). It was getting darker and when you are walking on such deserted roads it gives you mix feeling of satisfying and frightening. While we were roaming, in my head all I can think of was "Yahan pe sab shanti shanti hai" song from Raaz, same setup. After some time drizzling started and when it stopped, all of a sudden we found ourselves engulfed by clouds and visibility was hardly 5 meters, so we decided to go back to our hotel. It is precisely said that "Pahado ke mausam ka koi bharosa nhi" . So pack jackets or sweaters in case weather swings, during night it started raining and suddenly the place became even more beautiful , Just Nature things!!!
As the night unfolded there was absolute silence in the vicinity and the city completely shuts down before 9.