Tranquil Lansdowne!! My Travel diary with my KID

Travel Brief :

  • Location –Lansdowne (Pauri district of Uttarakhand ,45 Kms of Kotdwar)
  • Best Duration – Feb end –May ,September –November ,rains set in during July
  • How to go about – About 250 Kms from Delhi ,one can opt for private car/Train (Delhi –Kotdwar)
  • Major Attractions : Tip n Top ,Bhulla Tal ,Garhwal museum ,St. Mary’s Church ,Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple

It had been approx. 6 months of going through the preeminent & simultaneously the most rigorous phase in life of any woman…Yes, I’m talking about Motherhood..A fascinating beginning, a significant optimism, a sparkling smile, is what this word ushers our lives with!

First time experience had to be adventurous, with bounty of new surprises day by day ,some snatching the leisure time ,compelling us to work more hard ,& some bringing a sense of joy & contentment within! But ,amongst all this ,I had waited that as soon as my kid turns 6m ,Me ,a “traveloholic” person would begin my travel diary again(after a break of approx.a year) & yes I had been frantically googling for a leisure trip nearby to Delhi.

Many places in Uttarakhand shortlisted, few rejected keeping in mind sudden changes of temperature for the 6m old, some rejected for long distances..A frenzied me…24 hours of hunt zeroed out the little pristine hill station of “Lansdowne”, a weekend Garhwali destination to rejuvenate & chill out!

Gusto set in me!!Well it was a well deserved break!! Bags packed & we (along with our travel friends) boarded our train direct to the Kotdwar, a perfect ride with kids enjoying their first train journey with ample eagerness! Gush of winds blowing past our faces , Little drizzling ,fragrance of wet trees @Kotdwar while climbing own the train itself enthralled me & I dreamt of a perfect 3 day weekend!

So easy to reach Lansdowne from Kotdwar, frequent 8-10 seaters available which drop to the destined hotel..Well, we had intentionally got a resort booked which was some 20 Kms before Lansdowne main city..S.B. Mount Resort —A perfect resort –

    • Giving a sense of Freshness & tranquillity
    • A sense of adventure by trekking on the hills opposite to it
    • A sense of closeness to nature ,with the rivulet flowing across it
    • An opportunity for Bird watching & might be lucky if some deer’s say Hi in the mornings due to its vicinity to Jim Corbett!!

We reached our resort by 4pm, with hunger pangs reckoning our body systems…Within 5 minutes, we requested resort manager to arrange lunch tables for us..Wow, that seemed absolutely pleasant, table in lawn, stream flowing across, & we pouncing on nearly home-made food..Paneer lababdaar ,mix veg.,daal makhani ,raita ,kheer ,salad…& hot fulka’s..In just 5 minutes I felt myself so vivid, so overwhelmed being in vicinity to the nature. A stomach full lunch demands some rest …but don’t forget our 6 months old kids were with us..So had to make them take a nap for at least & hour which gave us also the chance to relax..

Weather was pleasant, drizzling had stopped, stomach was tight, all this called for a trek right ahead on the hillock opposite to the resort..But the question…KIDS?? C’mmon, for adventure loving parents, kids might have got those genes right at the birth.So, we decided to take them along with us..Harsh , narrow ,insignificant path throughout the trek..Didn’t knew where it would lead to…few steps & then anxiety of kids gripping us…but yes we did it…we reached the top ,which was a big plane ,with a spectacular scene of the surroundings !!Wow, it gave us a great sense of accomplishment! With sun-setting in the scene cannot be described..We just stayed & captured the beauty in our lenses for next 30-35 minutes..As the night was beginning to fall, we decided to climb down & reach back for a tempting Dinner .Day 1 passed chatting across the tables, mostly around these naughty boys, their tantrums & plan for next 2 days 🙂

Day2:

It had to be special, very special, with clouds engulfing all night & experiencing good rains .Morning was stunning…Little sunshine peeking from the huge trees & drizzling simultaneously made a merry morning! Soon drizzling stopped & we decided to welcome dawn by having coffee besides the river stream, puling our chairs across it..So serene, so calm, it had been ages I had experienced this serenity (before this my last trip was to China, which didn’t got me into calm mode ;))

A rejuvenating hour …shook…wake up…my kid was wailing in search of me 😉 Yes, it was his breakfast time too & my coffee time was over !So an hour of cajoling & pampering, we all got ready to head towards Lansdowne..Well the manager had suggested..Book a cab for an easy ride…but we don’t understand easiness ;)Well, we planned to opt for local bus & have its ride..God, such an entertaining ride was it…Kids almost slept & we enjoying local music, with those sharp & steep twists & turns reached main town of Lansdowne..Well, it’s a pretty small town & requires just a day to enjoy the tourist places & rest dedicate all time to admire the beauty it entails within itself.

We covered 5 places in a span of 8-9 hours, although a bit hectic yet delightful…

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2

3 Lansdowne

4Lansdowne

5Lansdowne

With a day full of bliss, calmness, we returned back to our hotel by 8 in the night only to find an amazing night hosted with DJ & dance floor ready for us to rock with the nature!
A break of 30 minutes to stretch out & then we rocked the dance floor with other groups as well..That was absolutely astonishing & a memorable experience to make our lil kido dance in our arms .With no mood to stop ,rather bon fire in the midst of windy night elevated our moods & for next 2 hours there was no looking back from the dance floor (yes ,we took breaks to pacify ,feed kids ) ,but that was the perfect ending of the day ..Seeing hot gulab jamuns at the other end of the table, mouth watered us & finally we planned to break from the dance floor & grab the sumptuous hot dinner & yummy delicacies of halwa & Jamun’s
What a sparkling day it was!
Day 3:
Well Lansdowne has nothing more than this, but we had our train in after noon, so had a great chance to experience another captivating morning!
This morning gave me a chance to watch beautiful birds, although drizzling post 8 narrowed down my search, but still I was pleasantly surprised & glad to follow those colourful birds to capture them .

A relaxed breakfast made our start ecstatic & we decided to climb down into the stream to have some delightfully brilliant pic before returning back to the hustle bustle city of Delhi!
Very short but a blissful trip, a must visit place to experience serenity!!!

Do’s & don’t with kids as small as 6 months –
1. Plan a short trip of 2-3 days only as it does not hamper your kid’s routine
2. Try to make journey as comfortable as it can be ;Train is one of the most comfortable mode & kids too enjoy it
3. Check out the weather on Hill stations & do take along an extra inner wear for kids
4. Don’t plan travel/sightseeing at a stretch, take tours of some 4-5 hours & then break for relaxation with kids.
5. Prefer not to take kids on twisty routes as we took from Lansdowne to Tarkeshwar as kids are prone to motion sickness on those routes & vomit out frequently, also they become cranky on those routes.
6. Do take Gripe Water/Bonisan to avoid constipation to kids

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Escapade to Rishikesh!!

To find solace amidst our professional lives drove us to picturesque spiritual place in the Himalayas “Rishikesh”.Although Haridwar- Rishikesh are more synonymous to Devotion & yogic sentiment, but we categorically chose it to sense our passion for Adventure & find solace amidst.
To chill out ,our 2 friends drove from Jaipur & we started our Journey from delhi ,early morning @5am. Initial feelings viewing lush green paddies ,beautiful sunrise aroused a sense of pleasantness & a lively trip ahead.
Our stay was per-determined @the Natural habitat of”tents” besides the bed of River Ganges.
Post drive of 4 hrs ,chants of Mantras ,Bhajanas ,ringing Bells embarked the onset of Haridwar & all of a sudden religious feelings surrounded me. Crossing Haridwar& reaching our tents on the suburbs of Rishikesh took another 1hr but that route drove us crazy.
Arrival @ “A-Star” tent was signaled by the hoarding aside the hill ,but we could no where find it.It wore a deserted look ,but as luck would have it ,we saw a Nepali man(our attendant) approaching us & sooner we realized that our Tents were deep down the hill & it took us 40-50 steps climbing down into a deep gorge sort to reach our place for hibernation for next 1 day.Out tents besides River bed!
Wow! What an affectionate welcome! Our journey to adventure had already begun as soon as we entered the “green house shed as our Lunch & Dinner room” ; a huge sandy beach pertaining s our playground ;& Tents as our sole shelter (& not to forget natural rocky loos but yes with water facilities).
Just a panoramic view sparkled my eyes & I exclaimed! Just 20 ft from our tent ,was river Ganges flowing gracefully. Fresh Sweet lemon water & a simple “home-made” lunch with wide variety was the next surprise awaiting us!
We quickly immersed ourselves to get pampered by the compassionate management @the tents.
Next adventure in line was tier 4 River Rafting, which took an hour for us to drive to the spot “Sangam” where our co-rafters hanged around. Post getting coached for the rafting ,with all preparation to avoid any untoward any incident ,we were all set to begin our 2nd Raft experience (post River Teesta@ gangtok).We dressed as Rafters & got ready full of energy for a bumpy ride lasting for 3.5 hrs .DSC02888
Initial 5-6 kms were simple sailing & more of a preparatory sessions for the forthcoming “tier 3-4 Rapids named as –Seven sisters,3 Blind Mice & bla bla). But within next 15 minutes, we encountered our first rapid ,2 huge tides roaring & moving hastily towards us, with all our strength ,we rowed in sync & got thru’ ,but soon realized that it got us completely wet through .It aroused a sense of exhilaration & more preparedness for the upcoming biggest “Seven sisters rapid”.

As we saw the raft ahead us approaching the Rapid ,& it vanished the very next moment  ,left us with our hearts thumping hard ,but soon we saw the edges of raft getting pushed out of the tide post 30 sec , gave us a sigh of relief & encouraged us all the more.

Hard rowing begun moving against the huge huge seven sisters (7 tides together)& OMG!! This was splendid,simply superb  as the tide threw us harshly inside the tide & river ,then pushing us on the top ,then again deep inside & finally on emerged out of the tide ,took our breaths away .But that was not the stop to it ,as we saw the very next rapid (3 Blind mice) moving in agony towards us. With all our might to counter the mighty tide ,we somehow managed to prevent overturning of our raft (as the earlier raft had over turned ),nothing could have been more magnificent than this . Gosh! Our hearts pounding loud enough ,we screamed , yelled ,tears flowing down the eyes with a smile on the faces thanking “Ma Ganga” for giving us such a scintillating memories of all our lives.
But this was not the end of our adventure ,as we soon saw an opportunity for Cliff Jumping
I was the first one to announce to have this part of adventure (being non-swimmer) & it was confirmed by our guide who informed that this hillock was some 25-30 ft high & higher one was some 35-40 ft high, giving us an adrenaline rush.
Tying our Raft to a rock ,we disembarked & started climbing the hill (pre-ordering Hot delicious Maggie on the side stall) & reached the lower cliff (30 ft)& my hubby on the higher one .But standing at this height for the first timer ,blew away all confidence out of me in nano seconds & gave me a realization –God! I cannot! Fight between my mind & heart started as usual , unnerving me ,sensation less feeling ,sudden shivering of my hands & legs, face turning pale & driving me Numb all  through, standing at the edge of the hillock .But ,I had to encounter this ,& my Hubby’s (good swimmer)jump from higher cliff alarmed me & aroused 5% confidence ,which I felt was enough at that spurt of moment .
Thinking & praying all the Gods & pardoning for all misdeeds ,I just wished GOD to be my savior  & yes I did it .I plunged myself in the hands of Ma Ganga.

No words of Oxford could have ever described those flash of moments ,as soon as I bumped deep in the river & came out with loud thump & a sense of satisfaction aroused ,but none later I realized that i was all alone in the midst of the river (my hubby was far away taken by the water current) & a tide slowing moving towards me .Crying for help ,I realized that my guide had taken a dive post me ,ensuring that someone was close to me for my safety. With his initial help I crossed the tide & had a miraculous feeling on seeing my hubby moving swiftly towards me . His touch & sense gave me a sense of bliss & I relished inside the river for some more time & pounced on the hot Maggie coming out of my Brave Act;)

Post Cliff jump!

Post Cliff jump!

We did encounter ,2 more huge rapids but those were noting in front of my Brave & Mighty jump.

Out ,post 3.5 hr Rafting ,pledging happiness ,we drifted slowly towards our “Natural habitat” .What  a warm welcome to our delight, Bonfire ,light melodies of Kishore Kumar ,next to free flowing Ganges ,we savored to hot Kebabs, Paneer pakora’s & Adrak Tea ! It had a big big relaxing effect .

As the moonlight spreadened, stars coming out from their shelters sparkling, provoked a sensation of tranquility & we soon decided that our sleep Bed’s would be on River bed & not inside the tents .
So my next round of Jungle adventure started ,with deep silence , no noise ,all in deep sleep.
Suddenly ,I woke up with trees whistling loudly ,river gushing with high tides (tides get on peak during nights) ,God that was unnerving ,finding all deep asleep & me alone was pondering with fear that night of horror. With a feeling of deep conjuring amidst the black night, hovered by huge trees ,I had actually lost my sleep for the next 4 hrs. I indulged in the thoughts of all spirit stories ( had spelt on me by our Nepali attendant last evening ) assuming & self deciding their factual. I just kept praying & really God must’v had pity on me,as soon as I heard Birds chirping ,bidding bye to black nMorning Yoga:)ight & welcoming the beautiful “rays of life”.

One of the most scenic morning saluted us & we        sipped our hot tea sitting on our beds, admiring the  Nature & all discussing of the sound & gracious sleep they had last night (except me ,who just accepted their views of sound sleep ,with a panicky smile;)) .
At 6am ,we were ready from our beds & aroused a  sportsman with us , equipped to start with  Badminton on the beach ,followed by Beach Volley ball”.

In the need of relaxation ,we practiced yoga & meditation (with sun bath) aside the river ,which did cast a spell of freshness in me.
Post breakfast ,it was packing back to re-enter the busy hustle bustle life of Delhi ,but that could not get complete without taking a feel of River Ganga again! For an hour we played inside the river ,did lots & pots of “Chai chap chai” to bid final adieu to the amazing nature & realization of all over in Love again!
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                                                              Tit-Bits –
Distance from Delhi -Approx. 240 km to Haridwar & further 40 Km to Camp site.
Mode of Travel – We went by car ,frequent Trains & Buses available from Delhi.
Best time to visit- Anytime during the year except May-Aug (Summers(spl for Tent stay) & rainy season)
Best place to stay– Rule out luxury resorts & opt for some Jungle tents available at 
1.5- 2k/night 
What not to miss– Rafting ,Cliff jump ,Trekking,Evening Aarti at Ghat .