#Previous. Nestled up in the Garhwal hills is Lansdowne, the picturesque cantonment town is the home of Garhwal Rifles. It is one of the best places for a quiet retreat. It is even away from the hum drum of holiday makers and tour operators.

Getting down to Lansdowne

Located 5500 feet above sea level, Lansdowne is just 40 kilometers from Kotdwar and 240 kilometers away from Delhi. You have to drive past  Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Bijnor. It has several crowded UP small towns and you will find that it is a good 8 hours trip by road. However it is also connected by overnight rail (  Mussoorie Express ) which stops at Kotdwar and air, the nearest airport being Dehradoon.

Lansdowne

Lansdowne the Cantonment Town

A pretty cantonment town

The small cantonment town is located on the slopes of the  Pauri hills covered by pine, fir, birch and spruce trees. It is a hikers paradise as it is unspoiled by too many cars, taxis, and rickshaws. Large walking distances make it great for backpackers. Remember the monsoon is unduly heavy in these parts and do take precaution before going there. The headquarters of the Garhwal Rifles is here. But the town has not grown populous and crowded. It is still very quiet, scenic and well maintained.

The Mahadev and Durga temples

A Durga temple inside a 10 feet deep cave is there near the Khoh River is worth a visit. If you are driving then the do go to the  Jwalpadevi temple. It lies around 50 kilometers away on the banks of the Nwalika River.

Tarekeshwar Mahadev Temple

Tarekeshwar Mahadev Temple at Lansdowne; Photo credits : Travel.in

The Tarekeshwar Mahadev temple is located amongst the deodar and pine forests. It is called the God of Kedar Khand whose mention is there in the Puranas. Both the Durga and the Mahadev temple find thousands of devotees flocking during the Shiv Ratri

Overlooking the Malini River is Kanvashram

You can also visit the lush green virgin forests that have thousands of  Himalayan wild flowers. Kanvashram lies in the deep Pauri valley 14 kilometers from  Kotdwar in the direction of Haridwar. It is the ashram of Vishwamitra in the verdant hills that overlook the Malini river. It is said to be the place where sage Vishwamitra meditated and was seduced by  Meneka at the behest of Lord Indra.

It is here that King Bharat was born

Legend says that the resulting union gave birth to the ethereal beauty Shakuntala. Later Menka returned to Indra’s sabha in Heaven. Sakuntala who remained at the forest grew up to be an enchanting beauty. Years later she charmed the prince of Hastinapur Dyshyanta who had come to hunt in the forest. There love lock, in turn, gave birth to the young prince Bharat.

King Bharat the ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas ascended the throne and won many wars. He created the kingdom of Bharata our nation. Kalidasa inspired by the unfulfilled love story of Shakuntala and Dushyanta wrote epic plays and poems of love. The most famous among them are the Abhijnan Shakuntalam and  Meghdootam. #MoreToCome