The colonial town of Landour is often found in the books of Ruskin Bond. The long French windows, the colloidal style gardens, and the little shops, are all musings from his books about his days in Landour.
Landour is the twin town of Mussoorie and is the epitome of natural beauty. Located away from skyscrapers and malls, Landour has its charms. From just taking idle walks and following Ruskin Bonds’ writings, to visiting historic churches, Landour has a lot of things for you.
When you reach Landour, you will realize how it is still connected to the Colonial era. The houses, the gardens, and even the shops still look like they are stuck in an era long gone by. The old English ways still prevail in this hamlet.
Landour is also blessed with nature’s bounty, and the intimidating Himalayas are omnipresent in the background.
Landour is a kind of place where this is a lot to do and explore, yet all of these activities are done in a laid back and surreal manner, making the experience more about relaxing.
To reach Landour you can walk from Mussoorie Bazaar. It will take you 40 min to reach the Char Dukan area in Landour.
If you wish then you can also take a cab from the Mussoorie market. It will cost you about INR 200-300, however, it is highly recommended that you walk. The walk itself is wondrous and you will enjoy it thoroughly.
Another colonial-era structure, the Gol Chakkar is a cantonment area that was set up by the British. The area is shaped like the number 8. This place is not only known for its history but also its gorgeous views. It is located on a hill, and you can get a full 360 panoramic view of Landour from here. The beauty doesn’t stop here. This place is surrounded by exceptional views- one side is the small hamlet of Landour, and on the other side, you will be greeted by the white blanketed peaks of the Himalayas.
While you are at Gol Chakkar, you will come across a place called Lal Tibba, which means red hills. It is quite easy to identify the place, this is marked by lateral reddish colour hills especially during sunset and sunrise.
This is the highest point of Landour, and you can unwind here with a lovely cup of coffee while watching the breathtaking sunset. The cafe also has a wonderful terrace, and for a mere charge of INR 20, you can eat up there and enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Himalayas.
If you want, you can also carry a set of binoculars with you to look at the peaks. From here, you should be able to see the peaks of Chota Char Dham Yatra: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath.
A narrow little road passes through Gol Chakkar. Few little shops dot the road. This place is called Sister’s Bazaar.
This place is mainly known for the Landour Bakehouse, which is a popular cafe/bakery. This bakery is so popular that tourists from Mussoorie drive up here to taste their peanut butter and toast!
The Landour bakehouse is quite a serene and cute little cafe. It is a kind of cafe where poetry comes naturally to you. From the moment you enter you will be floored by the whiff of freshly baked goods and delightful little cakes that adorn the display. This cafe is marked by an iconic antique-looking van, which is now become a photo stop for tourists.
One of the most famous places in Landour is the Char Dukan area. It is essentially a row of iconic shops that have been here since the colonial era. It is away from the maddening crowd and looks quite cute when you walk past it. The shops are filled with anecdotes, and you should sit with the shopkeepers and hear all the many stories that they have. It is a great way to not only bond with the locals but also know more about this hilly town.
These shops were also frequented by celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, and you will often hear the vendors boasting about it in their stories.
Another lovely thing that you might see in Char Dukan, are foreigners sitting and learning Hindi attentively from the Indian guides. It is quite an irrelevant sighting, yet it is quite endearing to see.
While in Char Dukan, you must tuck into some lip-smackingly delicious Banana Nutella pancakes and yummy pan pizzas.
Located right next to the iconic Char Dukan, St.Paul church is a remnant of the colonial era. This church was built way back in 1839, and you will find all the symbols of Catholicism here. It is quite an ancient and historic building in Landour, and visitors often come here to know more about a time that has long gone by. This church was once so famous, that Jim Corbett’s parents had gotten married here.
If the St. Paul Church is a reminder of the past, the Kellogg’s Church is an ode to Gothic architecture. Situated beyond the trees, and away from civilisation, this isolated church has some of the most beautiful stained windows. This is also a colonial-era church and is named after Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg. He used to teach Hindi to the British!
This Church is quite magnificent, especially due to its location. Surrounded by overbearing trees, and narrow pathways, the Church looks even more alluring. Be sure to not give this one a miss when in Landour.
If you are in Landour, then not shopping from the Prakash Store is blasphemous. This shop has was founded in 1928 and has the most delicious jams and marmalades. The products are all organically made from locally sourced fruits. Be sure to buy some, peanut butter, apple chutney, and orange jam.
If long surreal and rejuvenating walks are something that you are looking forward to, then Landour is exactly the place for you. Landour is blessed with stunning views and gorgeous rivulets that makes everything look so dreamy. Just choose and path and keep walking, and experience the real beauty of Landour.
While on your walking trails, pass through the foggy Deodar forest, and let the aroma of the trees take control of you. Follow it up by a serene walk through the mountain, and stare at the hills that adorn the skyline. It is so enchanting to just walk for hours and hours here, and you will surely fall in love with Landour even more.
Located about a stone throw away from the Landour Cantonment, the Jabarkhet Reserve is perfect for visitors looking to spend the day with some flora and fauna. This national park has a plethora of animals like bears, porcupines, and leopards. Just trek through the lush green trees and give all your senses alert.
Please note, you need to book the trek inside the Jabarkhet Reserve in advance. The entry fees are about INR 450. You should also take a guide to make your experience all the more insightful and wholesome. If you do require a guide then let them know while booking the trek.
If you are looking to go out for trekking at Landour, then the Witch’s Hill is perfect for you. This trail is not only marled by unparalleled unnatural beauty but also has a few mysteries. It was once a popular hunting area for the royal family of Mussoorie, however, it soon became a no man’s land after many forest fires and lightning strikes. Yet, it remains a famous hiking trail. You will also find the iconic Woodstock school of Landour on this trail.
When in Landour, you will find everything to be idyllic and serene. Everything moves in its own time, there is no rush, and time just seems to flow. It is a blissful place for people looking for a break from city life. Landour is the kind of place that inspires writers and poets, and there is no doubt that you will fall in love with this place from the moment you come here.