Sunday, 2 June 2013

Wanderlust May 2013 – Lansdowne – Day 2

I had laughed on seeing the rajai in the rooms however; it did get cold by night. The mornings in Lansdowne are a delight – very different from the other places we’ve been to. Having my morning chai below a Pine tree amidst many other trees, the silence (the kids in the nearby cottages had thankfully not woken up yet) interrupted by mating calls of the insects sounded so refreshing to our ears used to the usual traffic noise of Delhi.

The resort although beautiful had its own set of limitations however, I was still happy, for it was the only place we managed to get a reservation in the busy season. For all of you who are planning a trip to Lansdowne, I will be shortly posting a separate review for Jungle Resort here.

The resort kitchen reminded me of my college mess – they only served meals during the specified windows. So, at 6:45am, when Mr. Hubby asked the steward for tea, he flatly said no chance before 7am. Similarly, no breakfast before 8! By 8, the kids had already woken up & were straight into the pool. The troubled infant in the adjacent cottage had also woken up by their shrills & was trying his best to contribute to the noise pollution. We somehow managed the breakfast & rushed to the town.
The Pool

I had searched for top 9 destinations on my TripAdvisor App & Bhim Pakoda was one of them. On the torturous route back to town, I saw a small rock with 2 stones kept on each other. That was Bhim Pakoda! I couldn’t believe myself why someone would keep it as one of the places to visit in Lansdowne. Seems it’s a tourist spot created by the Jungle resort people as nobody would otherwise dare to tread on that horrible route.
Thats 'The' Bhim Pakoda
Just before entering the market, near the cantonment school, I spotted a very cute water tank. You might laugh at me for clicking such a small & stupid thing, but you see in Delhi, all overhead water tanks are boring white/cream in color and are too high. This was the shortest one I had ever seen. 

The market didnt have anything spectacular to offer. If you have been to Kasauli, you woudn't find anything super attractive here. Kasauli mall road atleast had some beautiful chai shops, but Lansdowne market was a normal market. A couple of old hotel buildings though did catch my attention, just like the flowers in shades of red, blue & white – a treat for the eyes. Also grabbed some fresh Litchis from Ramnagar.
Gandhi Chowk

Old shops - notice the red blooms

Next on our itenary was Bhulla Lake. A man made lake, managed by the Cantonment Board, Bhulla lake is a well maintained tourist spot - Clean water with a small bridge connecting the 2 shores, chilly breeze, beautiful blooms, rabbits, the quack quack of ducks & yes, not to miss the numerous coochy cooing Love Birds. 40 bucks per head for boating was rather cheap for Delhi standards so Mr. Hubby & I put on the mandatory life boats & grabbed the next boat. Unlike Delhi where you pay for just one round of boating, this place offered unlimited boating & like a kid, I challenged Mr. Hubby to boat till the time the boating guy summoned us. At last, we were tired. Mr. Hubby tried to take things in his control & jumped to the shore to tie the string. But, just as he jumped, the boat rebounded. With one foot on the shore & the other on the boat, this one was tough. Loud “chhapaakkk” & Mr. Hubby fell down in water near the shore (thankfully shallow). While onlookers & lifeguards panicked & came running, we both were laughing uncontrollably at our little stupid adventure. Thanks to Mr. Hubby’s daredevilry, we had become the center of attraction with his dripping clothes & me laughing non stop!
Bhulla Lake
Thats a cute boat!

A friend had recommended us to book the tree houses in the GMVN property however, being tourist season, we had missed the bus. Nevertheless, the idea of exploring the property sounded attractive & we headed for Tip Top Point. On the way, I spotted 2 beautiful churches – St. John’s Church & St. Mary’s Church. Unfortunately, they were closed then else I would’ve got some spectacular clicks.
St John's Church

St. Mary's Church

Every hillstation claims of spots that give you a view of some well known mountain ranges or peaks. Well, call it destiny or some ego issue with clouds, our luck with such spots isn’t that great. Tip Top point claimed to give a breath taking view of snow capped mountains & Tibet but frankly speaking, this is all I saw!
View from Tip Top Point

But our trip didn’t go waste. GMVN has one of its best properties in Lansdowne. Old building for those who adore vintage, wooden huts for the stylish, tree houses for the adventurous – the place is just perfect. But one has to book in advance as the place is the 1st to be fully booked in season.
Beautiful Tree Huts

GMVN Main structure

Didi had praised the Garhwal Rifles mess. But, that was a no civilian zone, so we just roamed around the cantt area, which boasts of old houses with very English architecture, frequent signboards about the valour of Garhwal Rifles, & beautiful flowers on the way.

By now it had become really hot & we had no place in the town in our must visit list so after a quick meal in the market, we rushed to the comfort of our jungle resort, taking the same uncomfortable way.

Read about the final day of the trip here
Lovely Blue Flowers

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