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A photo essay- Landour: A place for hopeless romantics.

Words and images: Avi Arora (@avii.aroraa)




We all have a place we call home and a place we have for our other half. Humans love to feel and share their layers with their other half. I never really believed in soulmates until last year, but that is a story for another day.



This is probably my favourite place to talk about. Landour is a place tucked away in the upper cantonment area of Mussoorie. My father took me to Landour for the first time when I was in 9th grade. The place had something that just got a hold of me. The place has a serene vibe and a satisfying one. The place was famous for its food, the scenery, and the peace. Chocolate pancakes with maple syrup amidst the clouds during the winter are one of the best things you can wish for. It’s the most beautiful during the winter, as you can experience the winter line when the sun is setting.

Sometimes it's foggy, with clouds emerging all around you, or sometimes the sunshine is so bright that you actually want to soak it all in. It’s a British-era cantonment that is named after Llanddowror, a faraway village in South Wales. Fascinating history with beauty everywhere.



Its beauty inspired people in that era to call it the “Hamlet in the Hills''. It’s surrounded by the snowy Himalayan peaks on one side and the dramatic Shivalik Hills on the other.


Wherever your eye goes, it’s either the hills or the beautiful walkways in Landour. The Himalayan oak covers the whole area like a blanket, and the sun filters through its leaves to make it feel like a movie. The other thing that caught my eye while I was walking and photographing in Landour was the Daisy flowers growing at every corner. Daisies are magnificent little plants; they are in abundance in Landour.


Walking around Landour with daisies in your hand would be a perfect day during the winter.



Daisies symbolise innocence and purity. In Norse mythology, the daisy is Freya's sacred flower. Freya is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, and as such, the daisy symbolises childbirth, motherhood, and new beginnings



What is the backstory here?

After my first visit with my father, I knew I belong to this place. You feel that sense of connection, it felt like I was at peace and my soul did not feel the worldly pain anymore. My brother Sanmeet always talked about how perfect life would be if we owned a house there. The place makes you feel more, think more and makes you crave life’s unfelt emotions. From my life’s first dopamine rush to the most painful heartache, the place has seen it all. I have been there in solitude on my bike to click a few pictures, and some excerpts of this article have also been written there. There have been tears joy and tears of pain, but when I reach Landour, it wraps me up in it’s arms and whispers: "it is all going to be okay". Cheers to everything I ever felt, I could embrace it all because I had an environment of extreme beauty and history. It is a calm place, and it has an energy that can heal you when nobody can.


I have an emotional attachment to this place; this is a place that always has space for me. It’s a place for all feelings; whether I am feeling extremely sad or jumping on my feet with happiness, this place will treat me the same. Landour has always given me an outlet for my feelings. I love this place more than anything else in the world. I can walk here every day, breathing in the fresh summer air or experiencing the crisp winter snow. The place is beyond perfection, and I don’t think I will ever stop praising it. It will always be a part of me.

 

This time when I visited this place, it felt like I was healing but at the same time I realised what heartache really is. I guess, it makes you introspect and slice your emotions to the very core.



I wish someday I would be able to give a daisy and walk around with someone I truly love.



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