Landour is to Mussorie what Kalimpong is to Darjeeling. A quaint hamlet two kilometres from the tourist-filled Musoorie that is perfect for a quiet getaway. Landour got its name from a Welsh town and was a hotspot for retired British nationals in the colonial era. Today, it retains that old-world charm along with its natural beauty.
The local peaks (tibba) have stories of their own and, Pari Tibba or Fairy Hill is home to closely-packed pine and rhododendron trees. Zero motorable roads keep it free of large crowds. Serpent’s Peak towers over the other hills and the old forests of deodar, fir and oak trees make it the perfect hiking destination. If long treks are not your thing, Landour has much more to offer with its historical architecture and old-fashioned bazaars.
Opened to public in 1840, St. Paul’s Church is surrounded by pines and its stained glass-windows allow sunlight to illuminate plaques that are over hundred years old. The serenity of this building is synonymous with Landour and it is also the church where Jim Corbett’s parents were married. From there, you can walk to Char Dukan. Named after the four shops that have been around since the 1800’s, Landour’s town hub is where you can unwind and get to know the locals. Stop at the Tip Top Tea Shop for bun omelettes and pancakes with maple syrup.
Once you’ve eaten to your heart’s content, take the steep walk up to Sister’s Bazaar. Here you can shop for apricot preserves, gooseberry and strawberry jam all locally produced and sold at Prakash Stores that has been around since 1928. Yak wool garments can also be picked up at Sister’s Bazaar along with other Landour novelty items.
Last but not the least; Landour is home to Ruskin Bond. India’s most celebrated children’s author who enjoys the quietude of this hidden hill-station. If you’re thinking of a vacation far from the hustle and bustle of regular tourist spots, Landour is the way to go.