Uncertainty and lack of opportunities are familiar talks in small, unblemished towns tucked in the hills. But, isn’t the mall culture, corporate salaries, and the comfortable lifestyle too big a price for a lazy day under the sun. Ask anyone who has grown up in the mountains – what is the one thing they miss the most? For many, it is the slow pace of life, running through the narrow lanes in the two-wheelers, curling up in the quilt by seven in the evening. Amongst these, there also will be pahadis at heart who miss having an orange under the winter balmy sun. Just that – the citrus and the sun.
A recent trip to Lansdowne brought back all the memories of growing up in Dehradun with cows at “Ija’s” place, unpredictable weather, and a very myopic world view.
Just two days in the sleepy town of Lansdowne at Ivy Green resorts unruffled so many memories.
Embracing nature is the only sustainable option we have and Ivy Green has incorporated that very well in their resorts landscape.
Right from the wooden cottages that have been built around the trees to recycling water, sustainability has been incorporated very well into the economics of the resort.
Idyllic for some reading
To that view
“Ija” had one till her health permitted her to do so.
Making cow dung cakes was a fun part of my early growing up years, I vividly remember pasting the cow dung on the shelter walls just as round to be used as fuel for heating water in winters on the agenthi.
Cold nights, and brighter days.
The charm of small valleys and hilltops, look anywhere and there is an overpowering eminence protecting the land.
A few hours is all you need to explore the town on foot.
Lansdowne is also home to Darwan Singh Sangrahalaya – defense museum open to general public. Established in 1923 the museum boasts a collection of arms, uniforms, rarest photographs of army generals, certificates and details about the origin and achievements of Garhwal Rifles.
The regimental museum of the Garhwal Rifles is named the Darwan Singh Museum in his honor. Darwan Singh Negi was among the earliest Indian recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
A Victorian architecture standing the test of time.
If birdwatching is a hobby of yours, Lansdowne is a good place to spot some visitors.
Blending in with the blues
Our hosts at the Ivy green resort guided us to a trekking trail that winded through the village.
How many days do you think it will take to cross over and scale those peaks?
The throne awaits
Just a walk in the woods.
Warm sun and a gentle breeze
Roots and Bones
Sightseeing strolls at Tip-Top point.
Did they get you to trade
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Air is thicker with the warmth of acceptance, time a bit slower and colors much richer and smiles brighter.
Approximately 280kms from Delhi, Lansdowne is a 6-7 hour drive that makes it an idyllic weekend destination. There are a handful of resorts in the cantonment area. I am not aware if there are any homestays available in the area. This was an official trip and the stay was organized at the Ivy Green resorts. The cottages are a good blend of modernity with nature and traditional craftsmanship. Most of the cottages have a panoramic view of the mountains and have been built around the natural flora of the place. The modern furnishings blend organically with the light-filled spaces in the cottages. The host Col. Trilok and his staff are all very courteous and hospitable. Good food, good music, and a few drinks made our stay full of warmth in the chilly nights of the cantonment area.
Here are a few pictures of Ivy Green Resort
The land lacks the comforts and opportunities of the city, seasonal shortages of food and water has forced most of the youth to move to bigger cities. It may lack a lot many amenities but it makes up for all that in the breathtaking landscapes, the clear skies, and time. Local people running small tourist-friendly ventures may lack the shrewd business sense and organized skills but what they have is generosity – towards complete strangers. It’s been a few years since I moved out of Dehradun, I do miss everything about living in a valley every day but I am also extremely grateful for the independence and the ability to adapt to change that the big cities have given me.
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