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Chaar Dukaan in Landour

Discover the Magic of Landour : A Guide to the 11 Best Things to Do (2024)

Landour is a small hill station located in Uttarakhand in India, which takes its name from the British village-town of Llanddowror in Southwest Wales. At one time, a British cantonment area, this hill town is situated at an altitude of 7500 feet above sea level and was the birthplace of the surveyor who mapped the area.

Mussorie is termed the Queen of Hills, and Landour is the tiara! The town is known for its serene beauty and natural surroundings. It is a popular destination for tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a peaceful retreat in the mountains.

Discover the Magic of Landour : A Guide to the 11 Best Things to Do

There are plenty of things to do in Landour, such as:

1. The Winterline:

The unique Winterline phenomenon occurs in Landour, which stands tall on a ridge overlooking the gorgeous Mussoorie and its surrounding mountains and valleys.

During the winter months, the unexplored and off-beat Landour experiences a stunning weather phenomenon called the Winterline, where a thick cloud layer settles over the valley below. This creates a distinct sharp, horizontal boundary line between the cloud cover and the clear sky above, which appears to run along the horizon. The Winterline is unique to Landour and is noticeable in clear skies from October to January.

The Winterline is a famous, beautiful scenic sight contrasting the cloud-laden valley and the crystal-clear blue sky above. The phenomenon dazzles dramatically at sunrise and sunset, and the sunlight reflects off the clouds creating fabulous hues and colors.

The colorful Winterline is visible from various vantage points around the town, including hiking trails. In addition, local hotels and resorts offer guided tours for visitors to experience this fascinating phenomenon.

It’s a magical experience to be in Landour in the Winters. The snow-capped mountains and crisp chill transform the landscape into a winter wonderland and a breathtakingly beautiful sight. The temperature drops significantly, often below freezing point, and it is challenging for people unfamiliar with the cold weather.

The sight of the firewood crackling in the fireplaces and the wood stocked up in the wood-burning stoves add charm to the atmosphere. Snuggling up with a good book and sipping a hot cup of cocoa near the fireplace is therapeutic beyond words.

2. Gol Chakkar:

Landour is a quiet place, and a peaceful walk on the eight-shaped road refreshes the traveler from within. The “8 shape road” or “Gol Chakkar” is a famous circular route that got the name because of its unique number 8 shape. The Gol Chakkar, surrounded by beautiful trees and scenic views of the Himalayas, connects two main roads of the hilltown – the Sister’s Bazaar Road and Char Dukan Road.

As you walk down this exciting road of 3. 5 kms, enjoy the poetry and quotations scribbled on the signboards. The road is home to famous landmarks and ranks high on the priority list of many travelers. Halt a while to see popular spots and savor hot beverages, snacks, and souvenirs from here.

Apart from these landmarks, the vibrant atmosphere, tranquillity, and perfume of floral blooms make Gol Chakkar a rejuvenating spot for people. Visitors can stroll around the unique and iconic circular road, enjoy the scenic views, and soak in the peaceful ambiance of the town. This well-built road represents the charm and beauty of this small town and offers a vibrant atmosphere and picturesque view with its glorious deodar trees.

3. Ruskin Bond’s Cottage:

Have you heard about the writer “Ruskin Bond”? One of the most famous landmarks in Landour is the Ivy Cottage, home of this renowned author. Bond has written extensively about the beauty of Landour and has contributed to making the town a popular destination for tourists. In addition to its natural beauty, Landour is home to several churches and temples worth visiting.

4. Kellogg’s Memorial Church:

Kellogg Memorial Church is located on the “8” shaped road and is considered a famous historical landmark in Landour. It is a beautiful colonial-era church worth visiting for its architecture and history. Built in 1903 in memory of a missionary Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg, the rustic and ethnic-looking Kellogg Memorial Church stands proudly on a hilltop. The church features a unique colonial Gothic architecture, complete with stained glass windows, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

5. Landour Language School:

The Church was named after the missionary Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg, who built the Landour Language School just behind the Church. The school was established in the early 20th century to promote and teach Hindi and other Indian languages to foreign missionaries and civil servants.

This iconic school, founded by British linguist George Abraham Grierson, known for his pioneering work in linguistics, is housed in a charming colonial-style building and attracts students worldwide because of its historical significance. The building has been converted into a hotel and retains its old-world charm.

Overall, Kellogg Memorial Church and Landour Language School are both important landmarks in the history of Landour and serve as reminders of the town’s colonial past.

6. Sisters Bazaar:

Sisters Bazaar is a small, charming marketplace in Landour, once a military sanatorium. The Bazaar got its name from a group of sisters who were the area’s first residents and visited the markets often. They stayed in the barracks near the sanatorium and shopped at the shops, hence the name “Sister’s Bazaar.”

With a fabulous and exciting handful of shops and cafes, the Bazaar features everything from handicrafts and clothing to homemade jams and cakes. If you want a homely but bustling feel, head to this quaint marketplace with its rustic feel, narrow lanes, and old-fashioned buildings. The Sister’s Bazaar has a peaceful atmosphere and glorious scenic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Some famous family-run shops in Sisters Bazaar have been in business for over 100 years. Delicious alcohol-based dark chocolates, homemade peanut butter, and jam preserves made on-site and sold in small glass jars are best sellers here. Choose attractive baubles, locally made handicrafts, hand-woven shawls, scarves, and silken clothing from here. Sisters Bazaar is also home to several quaint cafes and restaurants where visitors enjoy steaming beverages, mouth-watering homemade cakes, and pastries.

7. Chaar Dukaan:

Chaar Dukaan, or “four shops,” is a cluster of four historical shops in the beautiful town of Landour. The shops established in the early 20th century are well-liked and much-visited tourist destinations.

These shops are famous landmarks and include a sweet shop called “Prakash Brothers,” a bookstore called “Oxford Bookstore,” a cafe called “Chalet’s Kitchen,” and a general store with essentials “Mulligan’s.”

Oxford Bookstore is famous for its wide selection of various books. The shop has rare, out-of-print titles, local literature, and guidebooks for different reading tastes. On the other hand, the cozy Chalet’s Kitchen serves snacks, sandwiches, and drinks, including the popular “bun omelet.” People from far come to dig their teeth into this local delicacy.

Prakash Brothers is a sweet shop that makes traditional Indian sweets, snacks, and Western-style desserts. This is where you need to be if you have a sweet tooth. Another integral part of the “Chaar dukaan” is Mulligan’s, with different items, groceries, toiletries, and souvenirs.

Landour showcases colonial architecture, natural beauty, and literary history and has been home to several famous writers, including Ruskin Bond and Stephen Alter. Tourists come here to escape the busy city life and explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage. While in the area, don’t miss savoring the tasty Nutella pancakes, bread omelette, waffles, Bun Maska, and Lemon Ginger tea at the Café Ivy, the age-old Anil’s Café, and Tip Top tea shop.

8. Lal Tibba:

The name Lal Tibba translates to “Red Hill” in Hindi, and the hill is so named because of the reddish-colored soil, and “Tibba” means the highest peak at an altitude of around 2,275 meters (7,463 feet) above sea level. At the best vantage point stands a brightly colored red building with an enthralling view of the opulently majestic Himalayan mountain range.

Lal Tibba is a popular tourist hang-out with panoramic views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and scenic sights. On clear days, the gorgeous view extends to the Dehradun valley below. It’s a sight beyond imagination!

Visitors to Lal Tibba can enjoy stunning views of the Himalayas, including peaks like Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Nanda Devi. Lal Tibba hosts a small market area selling handicrafts, woolen clothes, and souvenirs. A few restaurants and cafes offer local cuisine, enthralling vistas, and a stunning landscape.

9. Jabarkhet Nature Reserve:

Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is a beautiful nature reserve in Landour, covering an area of approximately 100 acres with a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is around 2100 meters above sea level with a fabulous view of valleys, mountains, and enthralling hiking trails, suavely winding through the forest-covered hillsides.

The thick forest cover is home to Leopards, barking deer, Himalayan black bears, and a wide variety of bird species, other wildlife species, and rare endangered plants, including the rare and unique Himalayan blue poppy and bellflower.

Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is a private forest committed to “green belt” conservation and environment-sustainable tourism with a wide range of eco-friendly activities, including guided nature walks, bird-watching tours, and sustainable farming practices. Visitors often enjoy a picnic in the reserve’s beautiful meadows and soak up the area’s natural beauty. The tall pines, extensive range of beautiful flowers, Rhododendron trees, oak tree forests, and the different walking trails are just what a tired traveler needs to rejuvenate.

10. Landour Bakehouse:

The cozy and quaint Landour Bakehouse is a famous bakery of Landour where loads of tourists and locals stop to taste baked goodies such as cookies, bread, pizzas, cakes, sandwiches, pastries, buns, desserts, crepes, scones, croissants, cookies, and puddings, etc. Fresh and high-quality ingredients ensure lip-smackingly fresh, delicious, and healthy goodies. The peanut butter and strawberry crepes served here are mouth-watering delicacies, Don’t miss them!

The bakery is popular among locals and tourists for its welcoming and warm environment. The service and food are excellent. The tourists felt intrigued by the rustic interior of the bakery. The scattered display of vintage photographs, old kitchen utensils, and other antiques gives the charming bakery a unique appeal.

If you are here, make sure to take advantage of the sourdough bread specialty of the bakery. The traditional sourdough starter is ingeniously baked in a wood-fired oven and is delicious and yummy. The bakery also serves multigrain bread, whole wheat bread, and baguettes. In addition to delicious food, the Bakehouse has a small shop selling an assortment of gourmet products, including jams, chutneys, sauces, and spices. Try to get the historical “Landour cookbook” from here. It includes thousands of delicious recipes handed down through generations and speaks of culinary expertise.

11. St Paul’s Church:

In 1839, the Britishers built St. Paul’s Church in Landour. This historic Anglican Church is one of the oldest churches in the region, built for the Britishers during the colonial era. The Neo Gothic architecture of the Church and the local stone and wood used in its construction leaves the onlooker spellbound. The Church has attractive stained glass windows and interiors decorated with traditional Victorian-style wooden furniture.

St. Paul’s Church’s unique history says it was a gathering place for British society. Furthermore, the church grounds were used for social events like cricket matches and picnics. Today, the Church continues to hold regular services, events, and concerts for its congregation and the visitors come here. People still attend the Sunday mass or morning service here. The admirable architecture, historical significance, and stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys from the church grounds make it a popular tourist destination.

Winter also brings a variety of winter sports and activities, such as snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and ice skating. The surrounding forests and mountains offer excellent snowshoeing and winter hiking opportunities. Shop at the local markets and enjoy a bite and warm beverages at the interesting cafes for a warm respite from the cold.

Overall, Landour is an excellent destination for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and experience a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scarlet shade of the bright red rhododendrons swaying proudly amongst the tall deodars, take a walk and enjoy the plush view. Refresh and rejuvenate your soul in the peaceful environment and cool breeze of this hill station of Uttarakhand.

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