Jaiharikhal (and Lansdowne)

Described by some as the gates to the heavenly abode that is the Himalayas, Lansdowne (in Uttaranchal) is also one of the most unusual hill stations in India.

Far from the crowded, overdeveloped and noisy places that most of the popular hill stations of the north have become, Lansdowne has retained its quiet and serenity thanks to the presence of the local Army Cantonment Board which manages and regulates the development in the town.

Located just 6 Kms from Lansdowne is Jaiharikhal – a small hamlet set amidst tall oaks and blue pines – a snapshot of unspoilt serenity. Enjoying amazing views of the majestic Himalayas it’s the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate for those who love nature.

What others say:

Outlook Traveller magazine – “Glorious as heaven itself must be, I have always thought the gates of heaven must be its crowning glory. That at least is true of Lansdowne, as you reach Kotdwar and find the sky measured out in grey and blue.”

Business Standard Motoring magazine – “Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations in India, quiet and so well hidden that you only realize you’re there when you turn past the gates of the elegant Gadhwal Rifles Cantonment.”

HolidayIQ.com – “You won’t find much of popular tourism here and it is as if the town intends to preserve its local charm and sanctity.”

2 thoughts on “Jaiharikhal (and Lansdowne)

  1. Dear Reader

    If you are browsing for a quiet retreat to go to, far from the bustle of Delhi, then your luck just got better today. Landesdonwe is a very picturesque hill station tucked away in the Garhwal hills forming part of Uttarkhand (which to my amusement the locals fondly call the “UK”).

    As readers on this page will soon find out from other blogs, the Oak Grove Inn (OGI) is owned by retired Col. Rawat and his wonderful wife. They are both unique! The Colonel, is a charming gentleman, kind, measured and very hospitable while the lady of the house is efficient, amusing, incredibly helpful and eager to make your stay memorable.

    I went to the OGI with my parents over my birthday. As I am getting increasingly less enthusiastic about celebrating my birthday I tried keeping this a very low key affair. Unfortunately for me my parents mentioned to Mrs Rawat that I was a year older and she wasted no time in making my birthday a memorable day and baked a cake for me! We spent the evening together including with all her other guests and it was lovely! It also turned out that I share my birthday with our hosts’ son!! That is fate in the hills is it not?

    The Rawats are a truly warm and special couple. Being from a military background, you are conscious of their respect for nature, punctuality, discipline, principles, patriotism and cant help but admire their world view. It reaffirms that we Indians are truly lucky to have been served and protected by people such as the Colonel who have sacrificed so much for our nation. The Rawats are truly hospitable people and made our visit all the more memorable by going out of their way for us.

    If you are looking for a five star resort and holiday, with plush hotels at your doorstep then please don’t bother to visit OGI. You will be disappointed and my guess is that the dear Colonel and his wife would be all too polite to ask you to look elsewhere!

    If on the other hand you are looking for true SOUL within the hills of North India and are longing for genuine interaction between fellow human beings AND against the backdrop of natures spectacular views and creation then the OGI is a place you will cherish and return to.

    When I returned home I couldn’t help but think that the Colonel and his wife have cracked the meaning of life – a love for nature, for peace, for harmony, for fellow travellers, and for each other!

    I hope to return there one day.

    Sunando Mukerjee
    UK (the original one!)

  2. The stay with the Rawats was one of the most memorable vacations I’ve had in a very long time. Colonet Rawat and Neelam mam were warm and hospitable, as were the staff. The highlight for me were the meals(a couple of them with the Rawats) that we had in the ‘Hang-Out’. The rooms are comfortable and clean. The food simple and tasty. But above all, it is the behaviour of the hosts that will make you want to come back again.

    A few photographs of Lansdowne and the experience in general can be found here-


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