Landour – A trip to the paradise of Mussoorie

Landour, located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand state of India, is a great town for trekking. This charming hill town located near Mussoorie has a small cantonment, some residences, some churches, a temple and some shops. Overall, this is Landour. Situated a little above Mussoorie, Landour is in a way situated on the top of Mussoorie.

Mussoorie being a popular and well known hill station is always crowded with tourists. But away from this crowd of tourists, Landour is a quiet hill station. It is so small that the entire Landour can be seen while walking. In fact, this charming hill station can be best enjoyed only by walking.

trees surrounded by clouds
trees surrounded by clouds

All the roads in Landour are paved and can be easily walked on even if it is raining, although this part of Uttarakhand does not receive much rainfall. The tall deodar trees surround you in such a way that you become completely detached from the external life. There only we and our inner self remain.

Landour is a very clean city compared to most cities in India. This feature of Landour also inspires you to walk. I have walked on many routes in Landour. Let me take you again on some of those walks.

Roundabout Walking Tour – Landour Loop

This is the most popular circular walk in Landour. Starting from anywhere on this path, we ultimately go towards Lal Tibba.

Hill roads of Landour Hill roads of Landour
Hill roads of Landour

If you go clockwise, you will first reach St. Paul's Church. This is an ancient church. It has also been renovated recently with rock pylons.

Four shops

At one time there were only four shops at this place in Landour. Hence, it was named Char Dukan. Now there are more than four shops here. Most of these shops sell local delicacies, such as pancakes. During your trek, you must take a break here and enjoy pancakes and coffee. That day, during my morning walk, I met some two-wheeler lovers who were tired after cycling on the roads of Landour and stopped here to calm their fatigue and hunger. I have seen tourists stopping here for the whole day and enjoying the delicacies here.

Four famous shops of Landour Four famous shops of Landour
Four famous shops of Landour

I learned that the structure within which these four shops are located was formerly an army depot. Depot number 31 can still be seen at one of the entrances.

After crossing a small bridge, we reach a road which seems like heaven. The day I was visiting here, there were clouds all around me which made the whole environment more thrilling and mysterious. Occasionally, a few houses were visible from between the clouds which otherwise almost vanished in the deodar trees. There was not a single house among these which was level with the road. They were situated either on the upper slope or on the lower slope on both sides of the road. It was as if nature has arranged for exercise to keep our body healthy.

Lal Tibba

Lal Tibba is the most famous part of this trek. If you start your trek early in the morning, you will see only two sights, people bathing their horses and a closed building of red colour. Otherwise, if the sky is clear and there is no fog, then this place remains busy with various activities because at that time the Himalayan mountain range is clearly visible from here. Binoculars are available at various places through which you can see these peaks closely. Lal Tibba is like the end of the hill from where you can see the valley below and the mountain range in front!

The charming houses of Landour The charming houses of Landour
The charming houses of Landour

There is a well-maintained and well-maintained building on the upper slope of the mountain, where beautiful steps are built to reach it. This building appears to have descended from heaven. How fortunate is the family that lives here in the proximity of the wonderful nature!

On the way, I saw a wall made of stones, the door frame of which was also made of stones. Such entrances always generate curiosity. I also tried to peek inside it. As soon as I peeked inside, I was stunned. It was a cemetery of Christians. There were many carved tombs on which flowers were offered. All the tombs were almost adjacent to the road. It seemed as if they were warning the passersby that at one time they also used to walk on this road and today they are under those tombs.

After this you reach Kellog Church and Language Teaching Institute which is the last leg of this trek.

Language Teaching Institute

Language Education Institute and Kallogh Church Language Education Institute and Kallogh Church
Language Education Institute and Kallogh Church

I went inside this language teaching institute and met the principal Mr. Chitranjan Das ji. I had an interesting and informative conversation with him. He informed me about the history of this teaching institute. He told me how this institute helped British officers learn the local language and how curriculum material was developed here for teaching many Indian languages. It is a matter of pride that this institute is still doing the sacred work of teaching Hindi and other local languages ​​to many curious students from all over the world.

Sisters Bazaar Walk

If you take the detour from Kellogg Church while walking round the corner, you will reach Sisters Bazaar. At one time there used to be a small market for the nurses working in the local military hospital. Today, this place is famous for peanut butter.

Local houses made of wood and stone Local houses made of wood and stone
Local houses made of wood and stone

This trekking route is also uneven but paved from where the valleys' landscapes are continuously visible. If the weather is fog-free, then the campus of Woodstock School and its beautiful hostels are visible from here. Throughout the trek, beautiful ancient buildings are visible amidst the amazing landscapes. Rain shelters have been built at many places. Local stones have been used in their construction, as a result of which they easily blend into the surrounding landscape. These rain shelters are very attractive and modern and do not look ancient.

Do visit the Bake House in Sisters Bazaar where some delicious bakery products are available. You can also buy books written by local authors from here. You know that Landour is home to many great writers like Ruskin Bond, Bill Atkin and Stephen Alter. Incidentally, all these writers have written about this place as well. So this is the best place to buy books of your choice.

Peanut Butter

What to buy as a souvenir of Landour? If this question arises, the answer is peanut butter. Peanut butter is the most popular souvenir of Landour which you can buy from Prakash Grocery Shop. Although it is a normal grocery store, a whole shelf in this shop is reserved for peanut butter and jam. I found it to be a family enterprise.

Prakash Peanut Butter Prakash Peanut Butter
Prakash Peanut Butter

I got the opportunity to talk to the owner of this shop, Mr. Inder Prakash. He was the one who started the peanut butter industry in Landour. He gave information about this industry with great enthusiasm. He told that before 1947, peanut butter was imported from America. After independence, some local entrepreneurs started the production of peanut butter here. Mr. Prakash also started the production of peanut butter at his residence and started selling it from his shop located on the side of the residence.

Mr. Prakash considers himself the first Indian entrepreneur to produce cheddar cheese from buffalo milk. He also told us about the blackberry jam he makes from berries from his garden. When I asked him about the secret ingredient and recipe of his popular and delicious peanut butter, he only replied with a smile. He said that the secret lies in roasting the kernels at the right temperature and for the right time. Otherwise, the ingredients and recipe are the same.

You must buy peanut butter during this walk.

Hiking in Jabrekhet Nature Reserve

Near Landour is Jabarkhet forest which is a nature reserve. It is best suited for hiking in the hilly forest. It is a private property where permission and entry fee is required. So you will not see many tourists here. It is a very favorable situation for tourists interested in forest areas. I first read about it in the book written by Stephen Alter, The Secret Sanctuary I had read it. By the time I finished the book, my desire to visit this forest had become stronger and stronger. It is said that if you desire an opportunity from your heart, then that opportunity presents itself to you. Something similar happened to me.

Jabrekhet Nature CenterJabrekhet Nature Center
Jabrekhet Nature Center

I got the golden opportunity to visit Jabrekht Nature Reserve Forest. There are many walking trails in this forest on which you can walk. I also liked the names of those trails, such as Leopard trail, Mushroom trail, etc. While walking on these trails, one gets the experience of becoming one with the forest environment.

I came here in the month of June. At that time many types of mushrooms had grown here. I could hear the chirping of the birds but the forest is so dense that it was difficult to find them, let alone take their pictures. We had to make an effort to see the butterflies. Even after this, we saw many butterflies. Their colourful wings were pleasing our eyes. Our eyes got tired in the effort to not lose sight of the flying butterflies but the butterflies did not.

On one side there were oak trees whose stems had algae growing on them, creating a ghostly atmosphere. At one place, a sitting room was made by decorating some rocks. Seeing this, I remembered a film where some friends were warming themselves by the fire at night and suddenly ghosts appeared in front of them.

There is a small interpretation centre here which introduces tourists to the flora and fauna of this forest. I was told that the best time to visit Jabrekht is in March and April to enjoy the wild flowers. It is difficult to spot birds in June. Also, the flowering of flowers ends.

Trek to the ancient Shiva temple of Landour

For me, this was the shortest but most difficult trek in Landour. It was written on an information board, 'Ancient Shiva temple at 200 meters'. Just imagine how difficult a 200 meter trek can be! Is the distance written on the information board correct? I started walking. Or should I say I started climbing. Gradually, the steepness of the slope was increasing. This climb was becoming difficult for me. The frequency of rests was also increasing.

Ancient Shiva Temple of Landour Ancient Shiva Temple of Landour
Ancient Shiva Temple of Landour

Fortunately the surrounding scenery was so picturesque that the rest was proving to be very pleasant. After climbing for about 15-20 minutes a temple appeared before us. It is a Shiva temple. I did not see any signs of it being ancient. It is a beautiful temple. I found this temple very clean and well-formed which made me happy.

This trek or climb of mine is a heritage walk. Hence, it deserves a separate edition which will be published soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *