Landour is a quaint little cantonment town at an altitude of 7500 feet located 6 kms from Mussoorie.It is named after Llanddowror, a village in southwest Wales. The tiny hamlet of Landour was built by the British for the recovery of their wounded soldiers. Landour is the place for you if you are visiting Mussoorie and want to stay somewhere far from the madding crowd. A fun fact about this place, you can rebuild but you cannot build new houses here. The reason why you won’t find many hotels in Landour. The walk or drive from Mussoorie to Landour is absolutely beautiful.
RUSKIN BOND : The world renowned author is the most famous resident of Landour. It was a coincidence that I was reading “The Room on the Roof” while I was visiting Mussoorie. I have loved his books since I was a child. I did not get an opportunity to meet him as he was out of town but I got to see his house which is at the mouth of Landour. He stays in the building attached to Dolma’s Inn, which is a pretty sight. after visiting Landour it makes sense why he chose to live in the solitude of Landour.
CHAAR DUKAN : is one of the most famous attractions in Landour. The name literally means “Four Shops”. if you are hiring a taxi from Mussoorie to Landour they will take you straight to Char Dukan. You can just sit here, order all the delicious food that they have and contemplate about life. You’ll lose track of time but wouldn’t want to leave from there. There was a tiny cat which gave us company and sat with us till the end. There’s a wall on which the shop owner proudly displays his pictures with all the famous people of the world who visited his shop.
St. PAUL’S CHURCH : This Anglican Church constructed in 1839 is of great historic importance. According to Ganesh Saili, a famous Mussoorie based author, St Paul’s Church was the premier church for the British Cantonment during the British Raj. It is beautiful and photogenic church located right next to Char Dukaan. The architecture is colonial like most structures built by the British.
NATURE : Landour is a picturesque little town lined with thick oak woods and old Deodars. Do not forget to carry your walking shoes because you cannot miss the long walks and tiny treks around this lush green town. While you walk around the town you can’t miss spotting the houses of famous Indians like Victor Bannerjee, Pranoy Roy, Sachin Tendulkar, Tom Alter, Vishal Bhardwaj and of course Ruskin Bond. Check out the tiny shops at Sisters Bazaar for sweet snacks. Trek to Lal Tibba which is the highest point in this area from where you can spot Nanda devi, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Baidrinath to name a few. You must drop in at Prakash’s store when you are in Landour because you cannot miss the home made jams and peanut butter.
HOW TO REACH LANDOUR : The nearest airport is located in Dehradun which is around 30kms from Landour. If you are planning a trip from Delhi, you can drive down or take the Shatabdi to Dehradun. From Dehradun you will easily find taxis or buses to reach Mussoorie and Landour. Also, there are lots of buses which go up to Dehradun and Mussoorie everyday from Delhi.
As the Italians say “La Dolce Far Niente” which literally means “the sweetness of doing nothing”. I learned this from my Italian friend but I was too young then to know the philosophical meaning of it but now I know. La Dolce Far Niente – this is what Landour is all about. Go there and soak in the silence.