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Travel to Lansdowne
On the way up from Kotdwar to Lansdowne, the mountains look rounded, terraced fields extend high up the slopes and the valleys of the streams are broad. Lansdowne is a beautiful wooded old hill station with Himalayan oak trees of a girth which can seldom be seen in any other town. These are interspersed with tall, feathery, conifers called chir.There is a disciplined traditional feel about this town. A major reason for the delightful old world character of Lansdowne is because it is the centre of the Garhwal Regiment. Founded by Lt Col E P Mainwaring on the 5th of May 1887, the Regiment moved to a forested place called Kalundana in November of that year. In September 1890 Kalundenda was renamed Lansdowne after the Viceroy of India, Lord Henry Lansdowne.
Lansdowne is a walking ambling town. With its woods and little cottages it retains the character of many of the hill stations of India. In fact if you should stroll along these quiet roads at dusk; you might well have a leopard cross your path: sightings of these great cats are fairly common in this peaceful town. A particularly rewarding walk will take you from the Tourist Bungalow with its serene views over distant hills to St Mary's Church. Built in 1896 it lost most of its supporting parishioners when the British left India in 1947. The Garhwal Regiment has restored its former regimental church with great sensitivity.
The army's presence in places like Lansdowne did much to consolidate the hold of the Raj on mountainous Garhwal.When the British reinstalled the Prince of Garhwal on this throne ,they kept part of his former kingdom for themselves.Garhwal was thus divided into British Garhwal and Tehri Garhwal.