Another sunny day, yet another destination, 3 friends and one short trip to the twin town of Mussorie called Landour. The distance from Haridwar to Landour is around 90 kilometres and from Delhi, it is about 290 kilometres. We started off at around 8 in the morning from Haridwar. Whenever I am on a trip, irrespective of whether it is long or short, I am at my best. We drove past Raiwala, Doiwala, Dehradun and took the turn towards Mussorie for our destination. Some 5 kilometres before reaching Mussorie, there is a diversion which leads to Landour. One can also go via Mussorie but we avoided that route due to traffic. Lots of research was done on the internet for a perfect weekend getaway and we finally were in Landour, a serene location to drain out our frustration courtesy the weekdays.
When travelling in the hills, never rely too much on your smartphone’s navigation. After asking some locals, we finally managed to reach the famous St. Paul' s Church of Landour. It was a rather narrow road- very steep, with vehicles coming from both sides. So, I advise only expert drivers to take their own vehicles. Otherwise you can hire a taxi for around 700 INR from Mussorie. A bit of fear coupled with excitement gave a good start to our trip and when we reached the top of Char Dukaan, the famous landmark of Landour, we were all smiles. The first look of the valley makes you forget all your worries. There is greenery all over, unlike Mussorie which is more of a commercial hub. Not may tourists frequent this place as the most famous hill station in Uttarakhand is mainly Mussorie. But, Landour has its own charm which manifests itself in its soothing atmosphere, far from the maddening crowd.
The most famous landmark is the Char Dukaan, a group of 4-5 tea stalls, which sell different varieties of pancakes, omelettes and cheese maggi. It is a bit overpriced, but everything honestly is worth the peace. We parked our vehicle ahead of Char Dukaan and went back towards the tea shops to taste some of their specialities. The cool breeze, a cup of coffee and maggi- real refreshment when you are in a hill station. There were also other tourists who visited the place that day. I witnessed a group of middle-aged men (they looked like old friends) who came on 6 to 7 Harley Davidsons to visit Landour. It really feels good to see elderly people travelling all the way and enjoying their rides to explore this little jewel in the hills of Uttarakhand.
After having our small meal, we went towards St. Paul's Church which is close to Char Dukaan. The cute little church is yellow in colour with long windows at the sides. The church compound has a beautiful lawn with 4 to 5 benches where you can sit and admire the beauty of the place. We entered the church and offered our prayers. After relaxing for half an hour near Char Dukaan, we proceeded towards Lal Tibba, which is 1.5 kilometres uphill from Char Dukaan. It is the highest point in Mussorie-Landour; about 7700 feet above sea level, so you can very well ascertain the weather. It has cool weather all the year around. Do carry light woollens, even when you are travelling in the summers. There is a three storey observatory with telescopes from where you can have a full view of the mountains across the valley. Unfortunately, the telescopes were not operational when we visited. Nevertheless, we stretched our heads as much as we could from the 1st floor to have an optimum view of the surrounding landscape and I must say that it was mesmerizing. I wished I could have gazed through the lens of the telescope as the view would have been all the more beautiful. You cannot always have everything. A series of photos with poses, and we were happy again.
Many might not know that Landour is home to many great personalities- the great writer Ruskin Bond, actors Tom Alter and Victor Banerjee. Landour has also many famous residential schools like the Woodstock School and the Wynberg-Allen School. I could only see the second school and it had a very large campus with tall walls and a big boundary. After a short yet amazing jaunt, we headed back home. I visited Landour more than a year ago, but memories are still fresh in my mind to jot it down for you. I can still feel the serenity it provided to all its visitors. A truly divine place for a weekend and you will long to visit it again sometime in the future.
Place : Landour, Uttarakand, India
Distance : Approximately 290 kilometres from Delhi. 90 kilometres from Dehradun.
Mode of Transport : Buses are available from Delhi to Dehradun (Approximately INR 700 and then you can hire a taxi for approximately INR 1000).
Weather : Cold winters and moderate summers. Visit in the month of January to witness snowfall.