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Top 10 cantonment towns
 
Ranikhet, UttarakhandTop 10 cantonment towns

Considered to be the most beautiful of cantonment towns in India, Ranikhet is a hill station in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is the home for the Kumaon Regiment (KRC) & Naga Regiment and core of the town is maintained by the Indian Army. Ranikhet is within sight of the western peaks of the Himalayas. At an altitude of 1869 MT this beautiful hill resort is about 63 km from Nainital. The cantonment is spread across two ridges, first called the Ranikhet ridge is situated at an elevation of 5,983 ft and the second, the Chaubatia ridge, is at an elevation of 6,942 ft. one beautiful village Thakulari is located in Ranikhet-Ramnagar road. Its beauty lies in its simplicity- beautiful pine trees create a nostalgic feeling. The orchards, the temples, the joy grounds will back on you again and again to its fold. Ranikhet meaning (Queen's Field) was named after a legendary Queen who camped in the area and fell in love with it, the town provides a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges especially Trishul peak to Nanda Devi. Surrounded by picturesque views, Ranikhet offers the panorama of the great Himalayas, ancient temples, picnic spots, and exciting trekking options. Passing through beautiful terrain, tourists can also trek upto Kausani, Dunagiri and Sitalakhet. In 1869, the British established the headquarters of the Kumaon Regiment here and used the station as a retreat from the heat of the Indian summer. At one time during British Raj, it was also proposed as the summer headquarters of Government of India, in lieu of Shimla. There are a number of tourist attractions in Ranikhet that tourists can visit including a couple of temples and apple orchards at Chaubatia. Ranikhet Golf Course is one of the highest golf courses of Asia. Ranikhet Golf Course is a 9-hole course making it one of the prime attractions of Ranikhet. The reserve forests of Pine, Oak and Deodar in Ranikhet, host a vast bio-diversity of flora and fauna, its array of wildlife include, Leopard, Leopard Cat, Mountain Goat, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Pine Mertin, Wild Bear, Indian Hare, Red Faced Monkey, Jackal, Langur, Red Fox, and Porcupine.
How to reach: Nearest Railway Station is at Kathgodam. Kathgodam Railway Station is about 80 kms away from Ranikhet city. The distance from the railway station to Ranikhet can be covered in nearly 3-4 hours. The next nearest Railway Station is at Ramnagar at a distance of 96 km.

Kasauli, Himachal PradeshTop 10 cantonment towns


Kasauli is another cantonment beauty. This small hill station seems to live in time warp that belongs to the 19th century. Located in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh Kasauli cantonment was established by the British Raj in 1842 as a Colonial hill station. The first Army Regiment to be stationed there was the 13th light infantry. It still maintains a brigade headquarters. The narrow roads of Kasauli (1951m) slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni also called the Choordhar powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible. The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli's length and one can enjoy longs walks. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. The remnants of the British past can be found in the Victorian architecture and the quaint old churches. Christ Church and Baptist Church are amazing examples of classical Gothic style of architecture. Christ Church has beautiful stained glass windows, a common feature of churches built by the British during colonial area. Surrounded by dense forests, Kasuali is home to several species of Himalayan flora and fauna including endangered ones. Babblers, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Striated Prinias and Jungle Owlet can be spotted in Kasauli. Summer is the best time to visit Kasauli to watch the birds in the natural habitat.Just six km from Kasauli, Sanawar houses one of the best boarding schools in the country. The Lawrence school is almost one hundred-years-old and a major attraction of the town. Most of Kasauli can be negotiated by foot as it's all situated between the market at Mall Road and Monkey Point, a peak with a Hanuman shrine. Monkey Point opens to a huge vista of the distant plains of Chandigarh region and the river Sutlej, which threads a silvery ribbon through the hills. This place is being looked after by the personnel of Air Force, stationed here. The area being restricted from security point of view, no belongings like Camera etc are allowed. Kasauli boasts of summer homes of several Indian notables including Indian writer and eminent journalist Late Khushwant Singh. Eminent English author Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli.
How to reach: Kasauli is connected by road. The closest broad gauge railhead is at Kalka, 37 km away. The closest airports are at Chandigarh, (65 km) and Shimla (73km). Taxis and buses for Kasauli are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka and Shimla. Dharampur station on Kalka-Shimla narrow guage train is just 12 kms from Kasauli.

Chakrata, UttarakhandTop 10 cantonment towns


Situated between Yamuna and Tons Rivers, Chakrata in Uttarakhand is a small cantonment town 92 km from Dehradun. Apart from being the permanent garrison for the Special Frontier Forces, the cantonment is also the training ground for Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s intelligence agency. Located in the Jaunsar Bawar region of Garwhal, Chakrata is a quiet hill-station famous for its luscious greenery, dense forests and salubrious climate. Forests around Chakrata boast of a wide range of flora and fauna. Panther, wild fowls, spotted deer, etc. can be found in these forests. The northern slopes of Chakrata are popular for trekking and skiing. The trek to Kharamba Peak is a popular trekking trail. The tiny hamlet has several ancient caves and temples waiting to be explored. Chakrata offers a refreshing contrast from Mussoorie which is popular and crowded. Mussoorie is 73 km from Chakrata. Among places to see here Devban is most popular tourist destination in Chakrata. It is located at a height of above 2200 metres. Chakrata is a famous place for spotting birds like Himalayan woodpecker, white collared blackbirds, green backed tit, etc. Devban also provides amazing views of snow-clad mountains. Tiger falls: One of the biggest waterfalls in the country, Tiger Falls drop from a height of 312 feet. Ram Tal Horticulture Garden: The garden is famous for the variety of flora and fauna. Bird species like black headed jay, grey treepie, oriental turtle dove, etc. can be spotted in the garden. The garden also houses an apple orchard and a pond. Chilmiri Neck: Chilmiri Neck provides a scenic view of the snow-clad mountains. It is a popular place for bird spotting.
How to reach: Nearest railhead is Dehradun-92 kms. It is well-connected by a motorable road with Dehradun 92 kms; Mussoorie 73 kms; and Saharanpur 122 kms. Most suitable road is from Dehradun via Vikas Nagar. Tourists coming from Delhi can come directly to Chakrata via Yamuna Nagar-Vikas Nagar. Chakata is restricted for Foreign Tourists (except nationals of Bhutan and Nepal). Prior permission of competent authority (Inspector General, Special Frontier Force) is essential.

Dalhousie, Himachal PradeshTop 10 cantonment towns


Dalhousie (2036 m) is a hill station full of colonial charm that holds lingering echoes of the Raj. Spread out over the five hills (Kathlog, Potreys, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun) the town was stablished in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats, the town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British Viceroy in India at that time. It was popular with the British Army personnel in 1860's. Dalhousie cantonment was established in 1867. It has been classified as a category IV Cantonment. The Cantonment area in Dalhousie is called Baloon, also spelt as Balun. The town’s varying altitude shades it with a variety of vegetation that includes stately grooves of pines, deodars, oaks and flowering rhododendrons. Rich in colonial architecture, the town preserves some beautiful churches. St. John church is the oldest one built in 1863, St. Francis was built in 1894, St. Andrew in 1903 and St. Patric in 1909. There are also magnificent views of Chamba valley and the mighty Dhauladhar range with its awe-inspiring snow covered peaks filling an entire horizon. There are many places around Dalhousie: Subash Baoli is where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose spent a large portion of 1937 contemplating. It is a nice secluded place. Panjpulla means five bridges. It is a picturesque spot with water flowing under the five small bridges. A samadhi of Sardar Ajit Singh, uncle of Bhagat Singh, adds to its importance. A small fresh water spring Satdhara is close by. Bakrota hills can be visited for a brisk walk round the hills and have a view of snow clad peaks. It is 5 km from Dalhousie. Kalatope is a picnic spot and a wild life sanctury, 10 km from Dalhousie and offers a fine view of the countryside. Bara Pathar is 4 km from Dalhousie enroute Kalatope. In village Ahla here, there is a temple of Bhulwani Mata. Dainkund is 10 km from Dalhousie. On a clear day this tall peak (2745 m) affords a birds eye-view of the hills, verdant valleys and the Beas, Ravi and Chenab rivers threading their silvery passage down to the plains.
How to reach: By road Dalhousie is about 555 km from Delhi, 52 km from Chamba via Banikhet and 46 km via Khajjiar and the nearest railhead at Pathankot is 85 km away.

Pachmarhi, Madhya PradeshTop 10 cantonment towns

Pachmarhi hill station in Madhya Pradesh is also known for the Pachmarhi Cantonment. It is widely known as Satpura ki Rani ("Queen of Satpura"), situated at a height of 1100 m in a valley of the Satpura Range in Hoshangabad district. Dhupgarh, the highest point (1,350 m) in the central India region and the Vindhya and Satpura range, is located here. Captain James Forsyth of the British Army along with Subhedar Major Nathoo Ramji Powar who was later made the Kotwal (Incharge of the armoury (Koth) of Pachmarhi, spotted the plateau in the Pachmarhi region in 1857, while leading his troops on the way to Jhansi. It quickly developed into hill station and sanatorium for British troops in the Central Provinces of India. Pachmarhi is still a category II Cantonment, established in 1872. Pachmarhi is considered to be Madhya Pradesh's most verdant gem. A lovely hill resort girdled by the Satpura ranges, it offers absolute tranquility. Bridle paths lead into placid forest groves of wild bamboo, jamun, dense sal forests and delicate bamboo thickets. Complementing the magnificence of nature are the works of man; Pachmarhi is also an archaeological treasure- house. In cave shelters in the Mahadeo Hills is an astonishing richness in rock paintings. Most of these have been placed in the period 500-800 AD, but the earliest paintings are an estimated 10,000 years old. In Pachmarhi, Bagpipes skirled in a flower-bright valley while ancient dancers cavorted on a rock. The pipes and the dancers were separated by thousands of years: typical of this little town in the Saptura Mountains. Contrasting cultures and ages exist in harmony as if time and trends mean little in this serene, wooded place. Pachmarhi is for unwinding, effortlessly. Roads meander gently groves of trees, open spaces and heritage cottages sitting contentedly in their old gardens. Having a rich and rare flora as well as fauna, Pachmarhi has some exciting waterfalls, historical temples, churches and lot more. The town has a quiet gentility about it as if Victorian traditions and high collars still governed most people's lives. Much of this ambience has been set, and is still being maintained, by the strong presence of the Army whose Education Corps is headquartered here. The old cottages, meticulously maintained by the Military Engineering Serivces, have changed little since the days of Kipling.
How to reach: Pachmarhi is well connected from Bhopal and Chhindwara. Buses start from Habibganj, Bhopal and generally take close to 5–6 hours to reach Pachmarhi. The buses move through different towns like Chhindwara, Babai, Sohagpur and Pipariya. Pachmarhi is 54 km from Pipariya Railway station. 150 km from Itarsi Railway station. Nearest Airport is Bhopal 210 Km, Indore 390 km, Jabalpur 250 Km and Nagpur 270 Km.

Shillong, MeghalayaTop 10 cantonment towns


The Shillong Cantonment was established in the year 1885. Shillong is a Capital city of Meghalaya. It is a beautiful Hill station at an average altitude of 1520 meters (4990 ft.) above sea level. It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the European settlers of Scotland. Hence, Shillong is known as "Scotland of the East". Shillong town was established during the year 1864 by the British Government. An earthquake destroyed the city in 1897 and was rebuilt again. The romantic city of Shillong has been one of the important tourist place of North East of India and often referred to as the Scotland of the East, due to striking similarity with the Scottish highlands. Shillong still retains some its colonial-era charm in certain pockets. Physical geography of Shillong is known as its ever green panorama and cold to moderate climate. Shillong is the only hill station in the country that is accessible from all sides. Shillong is reached after a picturesque drive of 104 Kms. by road from Gauhati & 128 kms from Gauhati airport. Shillong Cantonment is surrounded by Municipal area and lands & markets belonging to Syiem of Mylliem. National Highway-40 passes through the Cantonment. There is a direct exit from Shillong to Cherrapunji which is located at a distance of about 65 Kms. Areas of Khasi hills and Jayantia Hills in Meghalaya are very rich in nature and natural diversity. Beautiful waterfall, parks, caves are highpoint for tourists. Shillong is also very rich in culture, sports, fashion and academics.
How to reach: Although well connected by road, Shillong has no rail connection and a proper air connection. This beautiful city is 103 kms from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link.Umroi Airport has only limited flights. Shillong is well connected by roads with all major northeastern states. Two major National Highways pass through Shillong.

Harsil, UttarakhandTop 10 cantonment towns


Situated at a height of 7,860 ft (2,620 metres) from sea level Harsil is a beautiful village and a cantonment area, on the banks of Bhagirathi River, on the way to Gangotri in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Harsil is famous for its unspoiled beauty. It is considered to be a hidden jewel in the lap of Himalayas. In recent years, it has become immensely popular among nature lovers and adventurers. It’s a trekker’s paradise, known to offer spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain peaks. Harsil is a cantonment area, perhaps because of its proximity to the Chinese border and the army is very cautious to whom it opens its doors to. Entry is denied to foreign nationals. There are numerous trekking routes in and around Harsil like Brahmi Tal, Nachiketa Tal, Kush Kalyan, etc. Approximately 4 kms from the Harsil , one can do a trek to Sat-tal. Best time to visit Harsil is between April to October. Town gets busy during annual Chardham pilgrimage, when there is huge influx of travelers. Very close is Mukhba village from where every year goddess Ganga travels to Gangotri before the Char Dham yatra starts. Harsil is also famous for its Apples and orchards. It has also distinction of being a major apple-growing zone in the entire state. Sighting here includes the Wilson Cottage, constructed by Frederic E Wilson who was supposedly a sepoy in East India Company. After mutiny of 1857 he deserted Company and settled in Harsil. He cashed on abundance of apples and deodar trees here (which he sold to Britishers to be turned into sleepers for expansion of railways in India). He even married a local girl from Mukhba. His cottage is now in ruins, burnt in a fire sometime back. A detachment of the Defence Agricultural Research Laboratory run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was established here in May 1973. Harsil is also a base for army unit.
How to Reach: Harsil is just about 28 km before Gangotri, 15 km from Bhaironghati, 30 km from Gangnani and 73 km from Uttarkashi. 30 km away from Harsil, lies the Gangotri National Park, spread over 1,553 square km. For Harsil, nearest railhead is Rishikesh which is 218 kilometres away. On Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway from Uttarkashi is a diversion towards Gangotri. Harsil is 73 kms ahead on that route.

Lansdowne, UttarakhandTop 10 cantonment towns


Lansdowne is a cantonment town in Pauri Garhwal district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne in 1887. Lansdowne was developed by the British for catering for the Recruits Training center of the Garhwal Rifles. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here. Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India and is popular since Britishers came to India. Lansdowne is unlike other hill stations as it is well connected with motorable roads but remote in its own way. It is situated at an altitude of 1,700mts above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests. Among the places to see here the War Memorial at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center is a main attraction for the visitors. Places of interest around the city are Tip n Top Viewing (offers excellent views of surrounding shivalik ranges) Santoshi Mata Temple, Regimental Museum (also called the Darwan Singh Sanghralaya), Bhulla Taal, St. Mary's Church, Lover's lane. The excursions from the city include Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple, Bhairav Garhi temple, Bhim pakora (a stone which vibrates if touched).The Annual ‘Sharadotsav’ (Festival of Autumn) is also organized at this hill station during autumn season. Lansdowne can be visited any time of the year. In the month of Jan- Feb it also experiences some snow fall.
How to reach: Two trains run from Delhi to Kotdwara (Mussorie express and Garhwal express). From Kotdwara, private taxis, shared cabs or regular buses will take you to Lansdowne. Alternatively, one can reach Haridwar and take a bus to Kotdwara. This will take approximately an hour. The drive from Kotdwara to Lansdowne is quite steep and scenic. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, near Dehradun at a distance of 152 km via Kotdwara-Haridwar road. The other and better route to reach Lansdowne is from Delhi via Meerut, Bijnore, Najibabad, Kotdwar and on to Lansdowne.

Landour, UttarakhandTop 10 cantonment towns


Landour, a small cantonment town contiguous with Mussoorie, is about 35 km from the city of Dehradun in Uttarakhand. The twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour, together, are a well-known British Raj-era hill station in northern India. Mussoorie-Landour was widely known as the "Queen of the Hills". The name Landour is drawn from Llanddowror, a village in Carmarthenshire in southwest Wales. During the Raj, it was common to give nostalgic English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish names to one's home (or even to British-founded towns), reflecting one's ethnicity. Landour is about 984 ft (300 m) above Mussoorie, which itself is mostly at an altitude of 6,800 to 7,798 ft (2,250 to 2,377m). East of Landour lie the small hamlet of Dhanaulti and the Surkhanda Devi temple; further east are Kanatal, Tehri (now submerged by the Tehri dam) and Chamba. And to the West lie the tourist trap of Kempty Falls, the military town of Chakrata and the region of Jaunsar bordering Himachal Pradesh. Landour Cantonment comprises about two-thirds of Landour; the remainder includes Landour Bazaar, which stretches along the spur that connects to Mussoorie. 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. Landour is for the most part (unlike largely deforested Mussoorie) carpeted by old-growth forests of Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Oak, Chir Pine, Blue Pine, West Himalayan Fir, Himalayan Maple, Rhododendron, Himalayan Manna Ash and other tree species. Landour offers striking views of the Garhwal Himalaya, with a wide vista of up to 200 km visible on a clear day. The visible massifs and peaks include (West to East) Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, Yamnotri, Jaonli, Gangotri, Srikanta, Kedarnath, Satopanth, Chaukhamba (Badrinath) and even Nanda Devi. Landour gives you the view, which Mussoorie can’t.
How to reach: Since Landour is just like a twin town to Mussoorie, it can be reached easily from Dehradun and Mussoorie. Landour might not be having best of accommodation as Mussoorie has got all the commercialization in form of entertainment, hotels and restaurants.

Bakloh, Himachal PradeshTop 10 cantonment towns

Last of the top 10 list of cantonment hill stations in India. Bakloh is a cantonment town. It is a hill station, 4584 feet above sea level in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. Bakloh and Balun, Dalhousie Cantonment, along with a sliver of territory to connect the two cantonments, was acquired in 1866 from the Raja of Chamba for a sum of rupees 5000. Bakloh was meant for a 'Goorkha Cantonment' for the 4th Gorkha Regiment, raised at Pithoragarh. Bakloh Cantonment was established in 1866. It is category IV Cantonment. Bakloh has year round temperate weather, excellent trekking tracks, heritage buildings, charming old bazaars, and temples. Yet it gets few visitors. Its considerable tourism potential remains unexploited, underappreciated, and unrecognized. There are few temples and memorials that can be visited at Bakloh. Baba Lakh Data temple is situated at Chalama. Every year on the first Sunday of July a fair is being organised since 1886 (very popular in Dalhousie sub division). A football tournament is also organised in the name of Baba Lakh Data before one week of the fair (popular among the local folks). Chalama ground is located on a very beautiful ridge from where you can enjoy the view of the damsite, clear view of Pir Panjal Ranges of J&k , Keru mountain ranges and exclusive view of Dalhousie. This ground also has a military heliport. There are few other temples and church in Bakloh. There is a Himachal Pradesh forest department also at Bakloh.
How to reach: Bakloh can be reached from Pathankot while going towards Dalhousie-Chamba. Bakloh is located on state highway no 28. One can reach Bakloh from Mandi via Kangra-Gaggal as well.

 
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