Originally known as Kaludanda (Hindi: कालूडाण्डा) after Kalu (Black) and Danda (Hill) in Garhwali, Lansdowne was founded and named after then Viceroy of India (1888-1894), Lord Lansdowne in 1887, and by 1901 it had a population of 3943. 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 1,706 mts above sea level surrounded with thick oak and blue pine forests in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state.
On 5 November 1887, the first battalion of Garhwal Rifles migrated from Almora to Lansdowne. Lansdowne was the only city after Almora in the late 1870s. People of different culture and states came to do business in Lansdowne after it became popular. The buildings and church of Lansdowne built during British period, which dates back to the pre-independence period. Lansdowne is an ideal location for eco-tourism as it is well preserved by the Government of Uttarakhand and the Garhwal Rifles. There is a road situated between jaiharikhal and Lansdowne which is called cool road( ठन्डी सड़क) where Indians were not allowed during the British times, it was only meant for Britishers. For the movement of Indians, a parallel road situated below this road was used.