The sweltering heat of summers often gets people to look for those quick and cool getaways around their cities. Along with an escape from the heat, if the place gives a respite from the maddening crowds, a small weekend is all you need to refresh. Discover Landour – amid the hills of Mussoorie, but away from the crowded hill station.
While Mussoorie was the summer favourite for a lot of Indian royalties, its smaller neighbour – Landour, became a favourite for the British – so much that they named it after a Welsh town. Even today, the town exudes a certain British charm with its old English homes, set against the lovely Himalayan ranges. Though a small town, there is plenty that you can do in and around Landour.
Eat a small snack at the Char Dukkan
The Char Dukkan is an unavoidable stop for anyone who visits Landour, even celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar. A set of 4 small shops which have been around since the British time, this is like the Café Corner of Landour. Order some steaming hot Maggi and a nice cup of tea, while you take in the sights around you. Don’t forget to miss the St. Paul’s church next to it – one that was built in 1834 and is still in use.
Stroll around the lovely Gol Chakkar
The layout of the cantonment area is like the figure of 8. The area is called as Gol Chakkar and is beautiful to just walk around and take in the sights of this quaint hill station. One side faces the fairy tale Mussoorie valley while the other side allows you a glimpse of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Perfect for a stroll any time of the day; keep a look out for the old Language Centre and the Kellogg’s Church.
Spot the snow-clad Himalayan peaks at Lal Tibba
The Red Hill or the Lal Tibba is so called owing to its colour at sunrise and sunset. This is a perfect vantage point for one to spot the 4 epic peaks of Himalayas – Gangotri, Yamnotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Check into one of those cafes for a quick cup of coffee and they will allow you to their terrace to have a closer look through binoculars. Remember to also take a stroll down the same road to spot a beautiful cemetery facing the same peaks.
Discover Sisters’ Bazaar
Sisters’ Bazaar was a small marketplace that got its name owing to it being frequented by the nurses stationed here. Today, it is famous for the Landour Bakehouse and the epic peanut butter store – Prakash Stores. The peanut butter here has been made since the British times and continues to be popular – so much that people around Mussoorie and Dehradun often drive up here to grab a bite or two at the Landour Bakehouse and stock up their larder. You can also check out some handicrafts and local arts here.
Hike along Jabarkhet Reserve
A small distance away, the Jabharkhet Reserve offers great hiking trails with a hope of seeing some unique flora and fauna. You may get lucky in spotting some leopards or stunning woodpeckers pecking those preserved Pine trees. The rhododendron lined paths also, allow you glimpses of the Himalayan peaks.
Visit Happy Valley in Mussoorie
Before Dalai Lama moved his base to Dharmshala, he set up base in Mussoorie in a place now called Happy Valley. A few kilometres from Landour, you will be able to visit the old monastery in this place. The old Polo grounds used by the British too can be visited near the Buddhist school.
Climb to George Everest’s home
While George Everest measured the Everest, he set up his abode in the Mussoorie Valley. His house, though in ruins, still exists atop a hill and you can well visit it to imagine how it was back then. Experience beautiful sights along the ride to his home.
Hike to the mysterious Pari Tibba
Pari Tibba is a mysterious hill that used to be a hunting ground of the royal families of Mussoorie. Folklore has it that it was the home of the witches, which is why it is frequently struck by lightning. A beautiful place nonetheless, this still continues to be a trekker’s delight.
Drive to the Corn Village of Sainji
A unique village where every home is decorated with corn definitely, makes a great day outing from Landour. Quite away from the main town, past Mussoorie, this little village of Sainji will charm you with its natural and unique décor as well its friendly and warm residents. Spend some time here playing with the kids before you head back home. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the famous Kempty falls along the way.