What we love
- When the British, in the 19th century, discovered the pleasant climes of the Shivalik Hills, several settlements bleeding nostalgia for the life left behind in Britain cropped up. Landour was one such hamlet that served as a depot for injured and ill soldiers. The historic charm of Landour, with its natural beauty and tranquility, has survived the march of time even as Mussoorie succumbed to excessive commercialization.
- The latest avatar of the mansion that has been, over the centuries, passed down from soldiers to adventurers to missionaries, successfully blends the old world charm with modern amenities. Its stone walls, wooden floors, blackened fireplaces, niches and arches transport one to the yester years. This unique ambience is complimented with cozy rooms, a snug lounge area and sit-outs with exciting views.
- The experience is incomplete without soaking in nature’s bounty. A circular cemented path, on which the mansion lies, threads a dense jungle of deodar, pine, oak and rhododendron and is kept company by a refreshing cool wind and the distant snow capped mountains. Chilly winter, green monsoon, pleasant summer and cheery spring – each season has its own allure and is equally enjoyable. Pick up a book by Ruskin Bond - the local hero– and find a secluded corner under a tree to relish tales from the hills.
- Owing to the altitude and forest cover, Landour is perceptibly chillier than Mussoorie. Carry warm clothes.
What to know
- We’d recommend renting a car from the hills to get here as the road leading up to the mansion from Mussoorie is very steep in certain sections, has sharp turns and is usually crowded from late morning until the evening.
- A walk around the mansion is like sifting through annals of history. The Kellogg Memorial church, Landour Language School, St. Paul’s Church, Sisters’ Bazaar and Landour Cantonment Post Office narrate stories of the days gone by. Mull over colourful characters from the past over sumptuous pancakes and waffles in Anil’s Café, near the post office.
- This getaway is a stiff 4 kms climb from Mussoorie’s mall road and though the walk is refreshing, it can be testing on the lungs. If you’re not comfortable walking, Vespa scooters and mountain bikes are available to explore the surrounding areas.
- Most of the rooms do not have a view but the common sit out area has a splendid panorama of the rolling hills and the plains.
- There are delightful cottages, hidden in the woods, with multiple bedrooms, kitchen, living area and sit outs which are perfect for small groups. Its homely milieu promises a whiff of the slow life commonly associated with the mountains - read a book, cook, play board games/ cards, grab a chair and sip tea while listening to the birds or take a walk and watch the sunset paint the Himalayas golden.