This lockdown phase due to the COVID – 19 pandemic has made us all stay back home. ‘Staying home and staying safe’ is the mantra each one of us is following. This is the time, we people are using to sort oodles of pictures stored in the hard disk, recall memories of amazing trips and making bucket lists for the times when life will get back on the track and we will get to travel.
If you are feeling the strong desire to take a break and hit someplace in the mountain, make sure you are not going during the tourist season when people hop like anything. But if for any reason you can’t avoid that, choose a place that is less crowded. There are chances that you’ll have to move some kms away from the main town but that will be definitely worth it.
When we plan a trip, we tend to avoid the tourist season for miscellaneous reasons, the main one being – it’s big chaos with a huge number of people travelling. If by any chance we have to travel during the tourist season, we prefer secluded places with the minimum crowd.
With innumerable places to go out, it becomes difficult to pick one. Our last trip before the lockdown was to Landour, Uttarakhand where we stayed at Rockvilla By Baaya. We had been planning to travel to this place for long.
Read our Review of Rockvilla Cottage, Landour : An Artistic Abode With Enchanting Views that we posted a few days back on our blog.
Landour is a lovely small town with a beautiful past and present. As it was quite near to our stay, we couldn’t resist ourselves and planned to spend the entire day exploring the town.
Landour has got its name from a village called Llanddowror in South-West Wales. It’s a small British-styled town that is known as the twin town of Mussoorie. Britishers used to go to Landour to avoid the summer heat of plains and get relief from some kind tropical diseases like tuberculosis.
Landour doesn’t have much to explore but whatever you explore will be too much in the sense that you don’t have to rush here and there with your ‘to-visit places list’ in the hand. There are some really worth-visiting places that we are going to talk about here. Read on!
Places to Explore in Landour
Landour is just 3 km drive from Rockvilla by Baaya. Also, if you are interested in walking, there is a trail that leads to Sister’s Bazaar (we will be talking about this bazaar further in the article). And if you are reaching Landour by your vehicle, here’s one important thing to keep in mind. Make sure to park your vehicle at the parking once you enter the town and explore it on foot.
Once you are on the road, you will see a beautiful amalgamation of past and present. The magnificent landscapes, heritage, and scarlet red coloured rhododendrons and thick deodar trees that encapsulate the place in such a naturally beautiful way that you’re gonna fall in love with it for sure.
There in Landour, you get to witness British-style homes and each and every building is kinda architectural marvel speaking out loud about its amazing past and present. You can spot many buildings that are literally too old but well-maintained. Aah, enough of it, read on to know what you can all do in Landour.
1. Take A Stroll at the Gol Chakkar
Once you have parked your vehicle, you are a free bird, you can either take a stroll at Gol Chakkar where you will realise that you have walked on the road that is in the shape of 8. Yes, Landour is built by Britishers in the shape of 8 and known as Gol Chakkar/Landour Loop.
As you walk along the Gol Chakkar which is a three km circuit around the town, you reach the town and the panoramic view of the surroundings is sure to make you fall in love with the place.
It will take you around 15 minutes to reach the market area which is known by the name Chaar Dukan.
2. Evening Snacks at Chaar Dukan
Take right once you have parked the vehicle and the first thing which you will see a line of small shops also know as Chaar Dukan. Chaar Dukan literally means four shops which were originally planned and till now those four shops are there with just a minor addition that now two more shops have joined in. Also, there is a small post office on the first floor.
Char Dukan is definitely recommended.
Here you get to taste the best Banana Waffles, Banana Nutella Pancakes, Cinnamon Waffles, and the delicious Pan Pizzas, Ginger Lemon Tea, Sandwiches, Hot Maggie, Omelettes and lot more at these shops that are standing proudly in one line since last many years.
3. Visiting St Paul’s Church
If you walk a little further, you will see St. Paul’s Church to your left. The church has stained glass paintings inside. Nestled in the lush green trees, this Church looks awesome. The church is located at a distance of 5 km from the Library Bus Stand near Chaar Dukan.
It is an Anglican Church that was built in 1839 and first consecrated on 1st May 1840 by Bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta.
There you will notice that the benches have big holes. It was during the mutiny of 1857 when the soldiers used to steal the rifles that the British officer left outside before entering the church. To avoid this, the British soldiers made big holes in the benches to ensure that the rifles are held at place. Otherwise guns are not allowed in churches. Interesting fact, right?
4. Learn Something New at Kellogg Memorial Church and Language School
Moving forward, you reach the intersection of Gol Chakkar where you will see Kellogg Memorial Church which is the largest church built in the year 1903 by the American missionary.
This church is situated in the Lal Tibba area and is well known for its marvellous gothic architecture and magnificent stained glass windows.
Landour Language Center is just adjacent to the Church. The language school was set up during the British time so that they could learn Hindi. At the present times, languages like Hindi, English and Urdu are taught.
5. Buy Handmade Products at Sister’s bazaar
If you take a right from the intersection, you will be taking the path to Lal Tibba and going straight, you will reach Sister’s Bazaar. We went straight to Sister’s Bazar. There is the DRDO of Indian army, the Institute of Technology Management.
Know why this market is known as Sister’s Bazar? Well, in the past, there were nurses’ quarters in the sanatorium and the nurses used to visit the market to buy daily need items and other essentials and thus it came to be known as the Sister’s Bazaar.
There are some shops like Prakash Handicrafts, cafes like Landour Bake House, etc. From Anil Prakash store, you can buy Souvenirs, Homemade Jams, Pickles, Peanut butter, Almond Cocoa Butter, etc.
We bought Peanut Butter, Pickles, Orange Marmalades, Chutneys and many more which were all awesome in taste. You should definitely buy some of the products from here and you will not regret spending money buying some awesome goodies.
6. Watch Snow-capped Himalayas and Witness Sunset at Laal Tibba
After buying some products and trying some yummy desserts from Landour Bakehouse, we started walking towards the intersection and this time we took the right turn to go to Lal Tibba crossing old British Cemetery on the left.
On the right side, we were greeted with awesome views and locals say if the weather is clear you could see beautiful snow-capped Himalayan peaks from here. We were lucky to spot them.
Lal Tibba as the name says is a red hill area as the locals call it. During sunset and sunrise, the hills that one can see from this point appears to be reddish in colour and the view is mesmerising.
Somehow, we didn’t like the place much probably because we were at the wrong time and there were too many tourists with more and more continuously hopping in.
One thing that we liked about Lal Tibba was the cafe named Klick Cafe where we had Pizza and Momos that were delicious and fresh.
While Lal Tibba was a little disappointment to us, the best part was that when we were walking towards St. Paul’s Church Parking, we witnessed the best sunset ever. We had to wait for the right time and enjoyed seeing the sunset and beautiful colours in the sky.
7. Watch The Most Talked Winterline of Mussourie
Mussoorie amazes the spectators with the beautiful winter line that’s quite a phenomenon. If you happen to be around Mid October to January, you can witness it during sunsets. It’s genuinely the experience worth drooling over. The western horizon skyline becomes tri-coloured with shades of red, mauve and orange during the sunset time.
The bright line of the yellow and orange mix promises to make you just stand still and you won’t even want to take out the camera and click the picture. That’s what we heard from locals. This time we couldn’t witness this but we plan to be there next time around October. Knowing about its beauty and the experience from local people, we are literally quite tempted to enjoy the visual treat.
8. Hiking and Embracing the Nature
There are multiple hiking trails in Landour including Lal Tibba, Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, and Nag Tibba gives you the opportunity to embrace nature and rejuvenate yourself.
Plan a day trek to Jabarkhet Nature Reserve.
You are not left alone there, instead, a guide will help you throughout the trek and will keep sharing the stories and experiences of people who have already been there.
Wanna read about our experience in detail? We will soon be coming up with a blog post on the same.
9. Cafe Hopping in Landour
Cafe-hopping is one thing you will love besides exploring some naturally beautiful or heritage sites. The cafes like Landour Bake House, Mudcup cafe, Ivy cafe in Landour, I tell you will make you go crazy. Yes, we did cafe-hopping too about which we will write in a separate post.
10. Meet the Legend Book Writer Ruskin Bond
Who doesn’t know the legendary book writer, Ruskin Bond? Did you know that he lives in Landour? And chances are bright that you get to meet him. If not, you can meet him on Saturdays while exploring Mussoorie market. Where? There is a Cambridge book store where Mr Ruskin Bond visits for an hour (3-4 PM). Book lovers out there wouldn’t want to miss this one hour when in Landour.
Best Time to Visit Landour
Landour has a lot to offer in all seasons but planning your trip from September to January will make you enjoy the beauty of the place and have a relaxing stay.
How To Reach Landour
Landour is easily accessible by road and the nearest major town is Dehradun which is around 40 kms from this place. Another famous hill station nearby is Mussoorie which is around 5-7 kms from Landour.
By Flight: Chandigarh is the nearest airport and at a distance of around 210 kms from Landour. From the airport, you can take the buses for Dehradun ISBT.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Dehradun and from there you can take a bus or private taxi to Landour.
By Road: Regular buses and private taxis are available most of the times from Dehradun and Mussoorie (both the places are connected with well-built roads).
Okay, now that we have talked length and breadth about the beauty of the Landour, we would say, you got to plan your visit once and you will not regret the decision. Landour to sum up in one sentence is a small town with a historical background and immense beauty to soak in.
The calmness around and serene environment promise to leave you mesmerised. Add this town to your bucket list and don’t forget to share your experience with us. Also, if you have visited this town before, let us know what you feel about it in the comment section below.