A holiday in the hills: Lovely Landour

Landour has to be, without doubt, one of the most beautiful and charming places I have been to.

With a picture postcard setting, fresh and invigorating mountain air, small and intimate size, Landour was just what I needed for a short holiday in the hills in June this year. Add to a this mix, two churches and a graveyard to explore, a scenic walking trail, friendly locals of the human, canine and feline varieties, cafes with some delicious food to get stuffed on, and Rokeby Manor as the place to stay in… Landour was just about perfect for me.

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Landour is also very different from Mussoorie, which is just 5 km away, in the best possible way — very few tourists visit it and I often felt that I had Landour to myself. The only thing the two places have in common is the mist/clouds that cover everything. [PS: If you haven’t read my previous post on Mussoorie, then this is the time to do so before getting on with this one.]

Like most places, Landour is best explored on foot and that’s the way I’m going to take you around. Put on your walking shoes and lets set off on the Landour Loop or the Gol Chakkar, a walking trail that covers most of ‘sights’ 🙂

Let’s assume that you’re staying at Rokeby Manor and once you come out of the hotel gates, turn right and just start walking.

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie

We will pass a sign that says “Pracheen (or ancient) Shiv Mandir” and points towards a steep ascending path. However tempting it is, we will not climb up as the temple is not ancient, but a new construction. Instead, we will continue walking till we come to St. Paul’s Church on the right. We’ll take a little break to see the church, which was built in 1839 to serve the British residents living at Landour. It is a small, typically Anglican, church with some beautiful stained glass windows, including one of Santa Maria.

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie

The church visit done, we’ll come out and turn right. This will bring us to Char Dukaan, a row of cafes and shops selling odds and ends. Anil’s Cafe is something of a legend here and we can stop here for bun omelette, chocolate pancake and some tea or coffee. 🙂

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie

After the snack break, we get back on the Gol Chakkar. It will be a leisurely walk from now on, and if we do stop it will be do admire the view or listen to birdsong or smell the flowers. If you’re interested in rocks and stones like I am, then we will stop to see some of the more interesting formations. We’ll gawk at the beautiful house of a famous actor and also stop at the Landour cemetery to see some very interesting gravestones. The photographs below is a small selection of what you will see on this portion of the Landour Loop. Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

As we near the end of the Landour Loop, we’ll come across the world-famous Landour Language School and the Kellogg’s Church. The Language School offers courses in Hindi and one can often come across international students conversing fluently in Hindi amongst themselves. It’s quite surreal to hear that ! The church was built in 1903 as an American Presbyterian church, but is a non-denominational church today.

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie

The Landour Loop is almost done for if we turn right at Kellogg’s Church we’ll reach Rokeby Manor. May I suggest that we walk a little more? Let’s turn left instead and head towards Sisters Bazaar, which gets its name from a dormitory for nurses that was located here.

We can stop at the Landour Bakehouse for some refreshing honey lemon tea and coffee walnut cake, after which we can say hello to the canines and felines usually lounging around. Before heading back to Rokeby, we’ll pop into Prakash Handicrafts to say hello to its owner, Parul. You can be sure to get a lot of stories behind the stuff that Parul sells as well as hear inspirational stories of people that she has met.

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie
Inside Landour Bakehouse !
Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie
Never seen such a mournful and soulful looking dog. You can find her outside Prakash Stores waiting for treats from passersby or snoozing away
Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie
This handsome fellow is a bhutia or the local Himalayan mountain dog.
Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie
The entrance to Prakash Handicrafts

There’s one last thing to see before we head back to Rokeby — a dargah of a sufi saint. It is located opposite Kellogg’s Church. When we peep through the gates of the dargah, we will see that it is built around the trunk of an old oak tree.

Landour, Travel, Rokeby Manor, Landour Loop, Walking Trail, Holiday In The Hills, Uttarakhand, Mussoorie

The Gol Chakkar takes a little over two hours and depending on one’s interests, number of stops and speed, it can take more or less time to complete. It can be done any time of the day, but is best done in the morning or evenings.

Once back at Rokeby, its time for the next meal. Yes, yes, I know that we had a meal at Anil’s Cafe and then some cake at the Landour Bakehouse. But what to do, the mountain air and the walk does leave one hungry. 🙂

PS: What did you think of the walk through Landour? Do tell.


Disclaimer: I was invited by Rokeby Manor at Landour to visit and stay with them and explore the area. This blogpost is a result of that and needless to say, the views and words are all mine. 🙂


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21 thoughts on “A holiday in the hills: Lovely Landour

    1. I haven’t noticed this about Labs. According to this Lab’s owner she adopted this expression with passersby and tourists to get treats and extra tummy rubs and pats ! 🙂

      And as for Landour, yes, not that you mention it it has certain gothic feel. I’m surprised I din’t hear any stories of resident ghosts or spooks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to see you here, Rutavi. 🙂 A formal welcome to “My Favourite Things” and thanks for stopping by and commenting your appreciation.

      I travelled to Landour in June end at the invitation of Rokeby Manor. I doubt if we would have met as these were individual FAMs and not group FAMs – either big or small. That doesn’t mean we can’t meet here in Mumbai/Navi Mumbai 🙂

      Those fluffies are the best 🙂

      Like

  1. The image of the graveyard gave me quite a jolt. It could be Wales, or even Northern Spain. Seeing this makes me realise how much the (my) ‘idea’ of places can be governed by meaningless geographical stereotypes. Here in Spain, for example, so many people are surprised to find it is cold in winter – their ideas being entirely grounded in media images of the Costa del Sol – which is nothing like the rest of Spain – thank goodness. Thank you for taking me with you on your visit to the hills. Now I know why my uncle never wanted to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have raised such a pertinent point, Jane. During my travels, I’m always comparing and contrasting, almost unconsciously, with other places. For example, while travelling through the London Docklands, I couldn’t help but think about the Harbour area in Mumbai. Or the similarity in architecture between the two cities, at least in some parts.

      I think that what travel does, it connects and networks you to similar places and people and you grow along with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a serene walking trail – some of the pictures also remind me of Ooty and Coonoor, that is, before all the present development had taken place.
    The products in Landour Bakehouse can make anyone’s mouth water – do they bake eggless stuff?

    Liked by 1 person

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