Landour, a small cantonment town contiguous with Mussoorie, is about 35 km (22 mi) from the city of Dehradun in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. 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. Names drawn from literary works were also common, as from those by Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others.
Landour is located in the Lower Western Himalaya, in the Mussoorie Range, the second of the five parallel folds of the Himalaya. On average, 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). The town lies largely on an east-west ridge, with a prominent southerly spur connecting its western end to Mussoorie. The altitude differential, aided by Landour being partly Tibet-facing, has a marked effect on the temperature, which can be 2−3 °C lower than in Mussoorie. During the monsoon, Landour receives almost daily rainfall, often heavy. Additionally, pre- and post-monsoon showers mean a rainy season that can run from May to September, though it can be shorter. Before the rains arrive, April–May is the warmest period, with the temperatures rising to over 30 °C. (~85 °F) on hotter days. December to February is downright cold, especially if one does not receive enough direct sunlight, as on the northern slopes. It can snow anywhere between 3 and 15 times in the winter, at times heavily. In a given year Landour receives perhaps twice the snow that Mussoorie does; it also takes longer to melt especially on the north-facing slopes.