Loving Landour

Landour - Cafe Ivy
Landour – Cafe Ivy

Things to do in Landour

Blogging is fun. However, it’s a lot of work. People often feel I don’t have a real job and all I do is eat sponsored meals and write about them. Well, that’s like saying an actor’s job is to only walk on a set looking pretty and mouth some lines written by someone else. A lot goes on behind the scenes and we all have our share of hard work that we ought to do. I constantly read, acquire knowledge, work on my writing, improve my baking skills, study food styling, learn social media tricks, shoot food, chase clients for payments, keep up with time, be interested in blogging and above all, be creative on days I can’t even think straight.

I am sure, I am not the only one living this life. There are more creative giants working on masterpieces that may even have the power to change the world. But, all I am trying to say is, as a blogger, I often find myself standing at junctures, where I don’t know what I want to blog about.

So, I took a break and went off to Landour (Read more about Rokeby Manor Landour) for a real do-nothing holiday. Ever since I have been blogging (for almost 3 years), I saw a potential story in every trip I took. Hence, I would always keep working /thinking about the prospective blog post that I could produce from my trip.

But this time, it was only my gang of friends and me. No emails, no phone calls, no non-stop eating and no taking down notes. But honestly, I was a bit skeptical of going on this trip initially. Mainly, because I was re-visiting a town, where there’s not much to do and that too for 4 seemingly long days. Also, as it often happens while planning group outings, lots of guys bailed out at the last minute.

So to keep boredom at bay, we carried along UNO, a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and Badminton racquets with us.

I even shopped for clothes this time. I decided, on this trip, I would doll-up and ditch my usual ‘Tracks & Tee look’ for a change.

All set and ready to roll (pun intended), we reached Landour. (Read more about Landour Bakehouse). Landour, a small cantonment area near Mussoorie (Read more about Best places to eat in Mussoorie) best known for being home to Ruskin Bond, the celebrated writer. About 35 kms away from Dehradun, this pretty little town with colonial hangover, is untouched by the entire hullabaloo that Mussoorie witnesses.

As there isn’t much ‘to-do’ in Landour (Read more about Café Ivy at Chaar Dukan Lanodur), we often found ourselves walking down the circular road, stopping over at a cemetery to click pictures, visiting the Kellog Church to attend Sunday Mass and even overhearing the lecture at the Landour Language School. We also dropped by at Anil Prakash’s store at Sisters bazaar to buy Peanut Butter and Orange Marmalade.

One day, we also found a short cut to Sisters Bazaar from Doma’s Inn near Ivy Cottage (where Ruskin Bond stays). While climbing up the dirt track, we found ourselves huffing and puffing. The short cut was a flight of stairs, which locals had informed us about. Walking uphill almost feels like climbing a slide upside down – testing time for your knees. And, perhaps you nurse sore calves at night, but would you really mind it if you have deodars for company or the Rhododendron blooms to brighten up your sight or if you meet the happiest, laziest, fluffy, friendly dogs on the streets? They walk with you, as soon as you pet them. They look out for you if you can’t keep up with them. And of course, you feed them with biscuits and they literally belong to you. Gurjas likes to call them ‘escort dogs’ as they disappear as soon as you reach your destination.

Devang loved having chai at Char Dukaan, while Saurabh was busy having Bombay Sapphire in his juice carton. Gurjas for once was NOT shooting just food and I whooped it up by being his ‘chubby’ muse/model. We never took out our racquets or the cards. We just spent time listening to the sounds of nature.

We did go to Mussoorie’s Mall Road one day and the only good thing about the day was the walk and sitting down at The Mudcup Café for coffee, delicious Magic Bar and Fudgy Chocolate Brownie with Caramel & walnuts. The place was huge and had Table Tennis, kids playroom, Audio-Visual Room, Board Games (Jenga, Scrabble, Monopoly etc) and window-side desks where one could look over the mountains and pen down their thoughts. Believe me, one can spend an entire day, chilling here. After few hours, we resumed walking. On our way to the Mall Road, I even found beautiful vintage crockery and other antique artifacts in many stores. Walking up and down, that day like every other day, we had no ‘agenda’ or ‘plan of the day’.

Looking at my confused face, Gurjas asked me if I was bored. I told him, I hadn’t checked my emails. He replied – ‘Neeru, this is how holiday feels like’.

So now when I came back with no ‘food story’ for the blog, I thought I will write about something else I discovered.

There was a time, when I felt all mountains looked the same (except Leh-Ladakh – read more about eateries in Leh & Kashmir Food in Kashmir). But I am afraid, I have to accept that it’s been foolish of me to think like that. Every hill station has its own feel, topography and of course, people. I met so many wonderful people and spent quality time with myself, that not only did I come back with a clean head space but also with recharged batteries. Before this I really liked going to Dharamsala (Read more about Best places to eat in Dharamsala), but I believe I have finally found my favourite hill station, as it’s so easy to love Landour.



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