Landour created a part of the erstwhile United Provinces and is situated in the Dehradun district. The United Provinces themselves were created from the previous Northwest Province of the huge Bengal Presidency that extended from the Khyber Pass to Burma. As a result, chronicles corroborate that Landour formed a segment of Bengal, which was theoretically right but the account was unfinished.
In the beginning, Landour Cantonment was constructed by and for the British Indian Military. Since 1827, when an infirmary was established in the area, the place was a recovery area for the army members. Therefore, the greater part of Landour was converted into a cantonment. The Institute of Technology Management (ITM) has currently taken over the original infirmary of the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) and it lies at the eastern corner of the Landour fold. In the beginning of the 20th century, a complete British Military Hospital (BMH) was inaugurated and the healthcare employees had specific training on tropical ailments. The healthcare facility was shut down shortly after independence of the country.
In addition, inside the Institute of Technology Managementcompound, there is a Soldiers’ Furlough Home which served as a log cabin for Irish and British warriors and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) in Indian brigades who did not have the funds to get back to Europe frequently. The vacationing warriors who were members of the British troops on replacement basis in the country whose trips of contractual obligation spanned anywhere between 6 months and 48 months also stayed here. By area, Landour Cantonment consists of approximately 66% of Landour. The rest is made up of Landour Bazaar, which extends down the ridge that joins with Mussoorie.
In 1825, the first stable structure in the entire Mussoorie-Landour was constructed in Landour. Captain Young constructed the mansion. He was the man who is regarded as the “founder” of Mussoorie and served as the commanding officer of the first Gorkha (or Gurkha) regiment recruited by the British authorities following the triumph in the Gurkha Battle. The mansion of Captain Young is known as “Mullingar” (indicative of his Irish ancestry). He used it as his family residence at the time of the sultry summers in the flatlands. Young’s regiment, which was stationed in Dehradun, subsequently sent for the Sirmoor (or Sirmour) Rifles, and in the beginning was recruited in a Gurkha Prisoner of War encampment in Paonta Sahib in Sirmour District – that’s why the name. The colossal L-shaped compound, with a huge square within the curve of the “L”, lies significantly on top of the Mullingar Hill in the cantonment.
Among the illustrious visitors at Mullingar in the initial periods was Emily Eden, the famous English novelist and poet. The area of Mullingar was stretched, and it was transferred to other owners on a number of occasions. By the beginning of the 20th century, Mullingar was switched into the Mullingar Estate Hotel. At the time of the Second World War, the military rented out the hotel to put up the flood of recuperating fighters from the infirmary as a result of the substantial rise in battle-related wounds. The Mullingar hotel soon was over capacitated since many British non-military migrants from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Burma, Nagaland and Manipur which were invaded and conquered by the Japanese army, were put up in Mullingar as well prior to being transported somewhere else. Ultimately, Mullingar became abandoned following the independence of the country on August 15, 1947 at which time the British rulers started to move out from India, with the military by now having left the nation following the postwar disbandment in 1945-46. The complex shortly turned into poor shape, taken over mostly if not wholly by unlawful residents.
The official division between Landour and Mussoorie did not take place till the 1860s, once the momentous episodes of the Sepoy mutiny took place in 1857. Following these happenings, the cantonments were appropriately inspected and validated. Specifically, command over the reservoirs of water and the border area was important due to the growing British concerns about their clutch on the territory.
The protectability of barracks turned out to be important, particularly in hill stations which housed a considerable number of people who came from the European countries. In addition, the Cantonments Act of 1924 elucidated the authorities and privileges to be enjoyed by the landlords very clearly. New structure of any type, in particular personal residences, was practically prohibited. Another important objective was upkeep, taking into consideration the tumultuous periods of the 19th century.
The Cantonments Act of 1924 lucidly lays down that the deed of conveyance to all the plants stays with the military. As a result of this, no woodcutting took place in the area for more than one hundred years, and it is substantiated by facts. In terms of explanation, all civilian and non-administrative structures erected since 1924 are ‘unlawful’. For that reason, there are limited numbers of ‘contemporary’ residences in Landour, despite the fact that there is approval for overhauls and modernization of residences that were present before. On account of the Cantonments Act of 1924, the Landour Cantonment is dissimilar to the Landour Bazaar which is mostly unhampered by the unrefined commercialization which to some extent badly affected the most part of the proper Mussoorie, particularly down the ‘principal stretch’ ofMall Road. This is the area where shoestring travelers crowd in the summer. The closeness to cities like Chandigarh,Delhi, and Ambala is both a boon and a bother.
Ethnically, Landour was clearly more European in nature in comparison to Mussoorie. However, it was not a fortuity. Initially, the existence of military (even though non-divisional) made a self-justification for denying entry to the Indians. Secondly, the Maharajas were inspired to create majestic summer residences. However, they were guided in the direction of Mussoorie. The dynastic households of Nabha, Kapurthala, Jind, Alwar, Kasmanda,Baroda, Kuchesar, Katesar, and other princely states were among them as well. In spite of the fact that most of the Maharajas ruled in close cooperation with the British rulers for governing the people of the country, the former, who were ostensibly self-governing, legalized the reign of the latter. Expressively, not one grand mansion was ever constructed in Landour apart from The Castle. However, the British rulers constructed it in the form of a quasi-prison. Even the reigning household of Tehri-Garhwal (from whom the territory was captured by the British rulers) did not have any home in Landour. Nonetheless, the household subsequently purchased some real estate from the British people who sold them.
These ethnic hurdles, though pretty factual, were more unofficial than official. They started to degenerate following the conclusion of the First World War once the struggle for independence in India gathered momentum. Emily Eden, the renowned novelist and Lord Auckland’s sister (the then Governor-General), penned perceptively regarding the racial discrimination by the British rulers for the people of India(other than the Maharajas, whose exaggerated generosity they pined for), when she lived for an extensive period in Shimla, Landour, and Ooty during the end of 1830s.
In the 19th century, a large number of Anglo-Indian households settled down in Landour and Barlowganj just beneath Mussoorie. These citizens were partially drawn by the educational institutes and by the feeling of ‘difference’ in opposition to mundane India. A few people are there and majority of them have arrived from other countries since 1947. However, the handful of them who are residing there (majority of them are in post-retirement life) are respected citizens to the local inhabitants.
Definitely, the incidents of the Sepoy mutiny in 1857 resulted in a surge in the number of people coming from Europe in Mussoorie-Landour Cantonment as numerous families were moving out from the unprotected settlements of the Gangetic basin. The father and mother of Jim Corbett were among the British families who in this way shifted to Landour. Both their spouses died, and would get together and tie the knot once more in Landour. Corbett’s mother shifted from Meerut, where her first husband lost his life in the battle of 1857. Many European people, by and large Britishers, have been laid to rest in Mussoorie-Landour. There are separate burial grounds for the people belonging to either the Catholic or Protestant community. These burial grounds are located in the neighbouring areas of the cantonment. However, because of overcapacity in the Protestant burial ground, the Catholic burial ground has recently become non-sectarian. They are administered by the same board. The number of people living in the area was 1720 in the year 1901, which rose to 3700 in the summer times since the high temperature of the plateaus in India was intolerable.
The first permanent building in all of Mussoorie-Landour was built in Landour in 1825 by Captain Fredrick Young, the “discoverer” of Mussoorie, who was also the Commandant of the first Gurkha (or Gorkha) battalion raised by the British after prevailing in the Gurkha War. Young’s house, “Mullingar” (hinting at his Irish blood), was the family home during the hot summers in the plains.
Landour was initially built by and for the British Indian Army. From 1827 when a sanatorium was built in Landour, the town was a convalescent station for the military, and hence much of Landour is a Cantonment. The original sanatorium is now occupied by the Institute of Technology Management (“ITM”) of the DRDO; it is at the eastern end of the Landour ridge. In the early 20th century, a full British Military Hospital (BMH) was opened, with a medical staff than specialized in tropical diseases; the hospital closed soon after 1947. Also within the ITM premises is the former Soldiers’ Furlough Home, a holiday home for British and Irish soldiers and JCOs in Indian regiments who lacked the means to return to Europe regularly. Or, the holidaying soldiers were serving in British regiments on rotation in India, their tours of duty lasting anywhere from 6 to 48 months.
Racially, Landour was distinctly more European than Mussoorie. The events of 1857 led to a spurt in the European population of Mussoorie-Landour, with many families leaving the ‘exposed’ towns of the Gangetic Plain. Among the Britons who thus moved to Landour were the parents of Jim Corbett who were married at St Paul’s Church in Landour. Aside from the obvious British legacy, Landour has a thick vein of Americana too, with American missionaries having had a strong footing in the town since the 1830s, when the policy changes introduced by the supremacist Lord Macaulay prompted the rapid growth of American missions across India, particularly those of the Presbyterian and Baptist churches. Generations of American missionary children were educated at Woodstock School and/or born in Landour . Of late, their descendants have been deeming a dekko worthwhile. Nowadays, many young Americans on gap years or on exchange programs spend time learning Hindi at the popular Landour Language School, which was founded in the late 19th century to teach newly-arrived missionaries.
It offers seclusion and verdant mountain scenery.
The site is very peaceful and free of irritants.
Dress in whatever you find comfortable.
Taxis and private vehicles as well as commuter jeeps go up to Landour. Dehradun is the nearest rail head. Jolly Grant airport (Dehradun) is also connected with major airports in India.
All Nature Lovers and people looking to getaway from the madness of citylife.
You will hardly be exposed to sunshine on the tree-canopied trail of Upper Chukkar, however La Villa Bethany enjoys excelleant sunshine from dawn to dusk. However as Landour, is much cooler than lower Mussoorie, it is advisable to carry a layer of woolens at least.
Avoidable – None. Best time to experience snowfall – February / March.
Old world homely comforts with modern luxuries. Enjoy the joys of simple living while being one with nature.
Things Not Allowed
No such restriction.
Carry woollens, even if the weather in main Mussoorie is warm. Do not consider Landour a tourist spot, but a place to spend some quiet time and commune with nature.
Type of Site