Dehradun | Best Places to visit in dehradun | Things to do in dehradun | Top most Places to look around in dehradun |
Dehradun – One Of The Most Popular Hill-Stations In India
Dehradun is the capital and largest city of Uttarakhand. Dehradun is situated at an altitude of 1400 ft above sea level and the weather here is pleasant throughout the year. Dehradun is known as the gateway to Mussoorie and Rishikesh and Haridwar. Dehradun is also known as the “Educational Hub of Uttarakhand” with some of the country’s most prestigious universities and boarding schools.
As you would expect from a city situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun is full of caves, waterfalls, and natural springs. One such popular spot is Robber’s Cave, which is a natural cave surrounded by hills. Dip your feet in the ice-cold water or walk through it – travelers are free to take their pick, making Robber’s Cave one of the city’s most popular picnic spots. Another popular spot for nature lovers is Lachhiwala, where you can enjoy a relaxing sunset around the man-made lake and the lush greenery that surrounds it.
History About Dehradun
Dehradun serves as the capital city of Uttarakhand (formerly known as Uttaranchal), Dehradun is known as one of the oldest cities in India. The city, situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, has an excellent capacity for historical knowledge and information. Dehradun has been a part of the famous Garhwal region since pre-historic times.
Dehradun derives its name from the combination of two words ‘Dera’ and ‘dun’ which means a camp in the valley. Being one of the oldest cities in the country, Dehradun owes much of its history to the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The place is said to have got its name from ‘Guru Dronacharya’ of the Mahabharata, as the town is also known as the ‘Adobe of Drona’. This is due to the fact that this great guru of the Kauravas and Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata was born and brought up in this city. Furthermore, it is also said that Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana visited this city after the war with Ravana was over.
During the 7th century, Dehradun was initially known as ‘Sudhanagar’, as described by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Chang. However later its name was changed to Kalsi. Many believe that the city was founded and ruled by Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty during the 1st century BCE.
However, others believe that Guru Ram Rai, the eldest son of the seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai, founded Dehradun in the eighteenth century. It is said that he came to the region in 1675 and settled in a small village called ‘Dhamawala’, around which Dehradun gradually developed.
Early Rulers and Settlement in Dehradun
Mahmud of Ghazni ruled Dehradun until Taimoor Lang overthrew him in 1368. Dehradun has always been a part of the Garhwal Region, which was earlier also known as ‘Kedarkhand’. During the 1400s, Ajai Pal founded this region by conquering the entire area under the Garhwal Region along with the neighboring state of Tehri-Garhwal, which he and his successors ruled till 1803 until the Gurkhas raided Garhwal and Kumaon.
When the Gorkhas finally took control of the city in 1803, Dehradun was under the rule of a very strict general named Bal Bhadra Thapar. However, later that year, the king of Garhwal, Pradyumna Shah (who had fled his hometown, Saharanpur, when the Gurkhas took over) attacked the city with his army of 12,000 soldiers and fought a battle with the Gurkhas at Khurbure. , where the king was killed.
When the British captured Saharanpur in 1803, it led to a lot of conflict between the two (the British and the Gurkhas), which eventually turned into the Gurkha War (also known as the Anglo-Nepalese War), which lasted for 2 years. lasted for a period From 1814 to 1816. The Gurkhas were eventually routed at the blockade at the fort of Nalapani.
Parts of Himachal Pradesh up to Dehradun and Punjab were under Nepal for a short time until the British came to power after the Anglo-Nepalese War. On 2 December 1815 (ratified on 4 March 1816), the Sugauli Treaty was signed between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Nepal, which meant that parts of Nepal (including Dehradun) would be handed over to the British and given military control.
The treaty gave the British the right to occupy Dehradun and the eastern Garhwal state, later known as the Garhwal district. Dehradun was initially added to the Saharanpur district in 1815, but later in 1825, it became part of the Kumaon division of the United Provinces.
After joining the British Empire, Dehradun slowly started regaining its lost grandeur. On the other hand, West Garhwal was again made a part of the Garhwal Kingdom where Sudarshan Shah (son of Pradyuman Shah) was made the king of Tehri Garhwal.
Establishment of Modern Dehradun
The municipality of Dehradun was established in 1867, with its first railway station built in 1900 via Haridwar, which was first connected in 1886. And in 1901 Dehradun had a population of about 24,039 and was a major part of India during the British period. A section of the Meerut Division of the United Provinces.
After independence, Dehradun and other parts of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions were merged into the United Provinces, which was renamed Uttar Pradesh. However, in 2000, a new state called Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, was created through the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Act 2000, comprising all the north-western districts of Uttar Pradesh. Dehradun was made its capital and since then the city has been continuously developing.
Places To Visit In Dehradun
Forest Research Institute(FRI):-
The grand building of the Forest Research Institute is the identity of Dehradun. And even if you’re visiting it for the first time, the colonial-era setting might look familiar, having been the location of several Bollywood films, including the Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan film ‘Student Of The Year’. The prestigious institute involved in the field of forestry also houses a museum on forestry which remains open from 9.30 am to 5 pm.
A pristine lake located about 43 km from Dehradun, Assan Barrage is a hub for nature lovers and bird watchers. The man-made lake, developed in 1967 during the construction of the Dhalipur Power Station, is home to more than 50 species of water birds. During winters (October–November and February–March), the lake is filled with migratory birds. Asan Barrage also provides boating facilities.
Gucchupani or Robbers’ Cave:-
Just 9 km from the center of Dehradun is Robber’s Cave or Guchchupani, which is one of the most popular picnic spots in the region. A natural cave with an underground river running through it, it gives the feeling of being in a mystical land in the woods. You can trek and walk down to the river till the end of the cave, where there is a small waterfall. If you wish, you can rent slippers from the entrance of the cave.
Malsi Deer Park:-
Located at a distance of just 10 km from Dehradun this mini-zoological park is situated at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Spot deer and enjoy its beautiful settings.
Keep a few hours on hand to visit the impressive Mindrolling Monastery, one of the most important centers of Buddhist learning in India. About 10 km from Dehradun, you can come here for some peace. Meditate in the large prayer hall and admire the impressive 35-meter-high gold-plated statue of Lord Buddha. The many stupas in the complex offer a panoramic view of the landscape.
Filled with affordable local products ranging from clothes, shoes, artworks, souvenirs, and other knick-knacks, this market area is a must for some retail therapy. Head to Paltan Bazaar, located in the heart of the city near Ghanta Ghar or Clock Tower, to shop or absorb its vibrant atmosphere.
Guru Ram Rai Darbar:-
When Sikh Guru Ram Rai reached the Sunder Doon valley, he established a Dehra (camp) equidistant from the river Ganges in the east and the Yamuna in the west. The Guru’s followers turned the camp into a bustling settlement which later evolved into the city of Dehradun.
Guru Ram Rai Darbar, or the tomb of the Guru, built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, still stands in the heart of Dehradun, with the nearly 100-foot-tall sacred flag pillar at its center. Devotees of all religions come to the court for blessings. The vibrant murals painted by artist Tulsi Ram in 1900 add to the mausoleum’s interest.
Sahastradhara, which means ‘A thousand springs’ is one of the best picnic spots on the outskirts of the city. Falling from a height of 9 meters, this waterfall attracts tourists and locals alike. Nearby are sulfur springs, where people take a dip because it is said that the water can cure skin ailments. You can swim in the cool water or simply explore the natural surroundings.
With a combination of purity and natural beauty, Tapovan is an ideal place to find peace. Also known as ‘Rudreshwar Temple’, About 5 km from the city center on the Dehradun-Rajpur road, this beautiful forest area is situated on the banks of the river Ganga, and it is believed that Guru Dronacharya (of the epic Mahabharata) did his penance here.
This temple’s name has been combined using two terms, ‘Tapo’ means ‘penance’ and ‘van’ means ‘forest’ suggesting a place where someone has had penance. At any point in time, you will find people meditating or doing yoga here.
Khalanga War Memorial:-
A symbol of valor and a rare example of the supreme tribute paid to the adversary, the Khalanga War Memorial tells the legendary story of the brave Gurkhas. Located just 5 km from the Dehradun city center, the monument was built by the British to honor Gurkha soldiers, especially a young chief, Balabhadra, who led an army of 600 against a 10,000-men-strong British contingent in 1814. Khalanga Fort in Nalpani, Dehradun. Although the British won the battle, they recognized the bravery of the Gurkhas and built a memorial.
Activities One Can Do In The Dehradun
Camp in Peace and Tranquil Atmosphere of Dehradun:-
Rejuvenate your inner self by camping in the lush green valleys of Dehradun. Since the city is one of the gateways to adventure, a short stopover with delicious food and camping with a bonfire would be perfect for all. These camps are usually isolated from the main city center and provide a beautiful view of the surrounding hills. One can smell the fresh air, sit in comfortable tents, walk in the woods, and fall in love with the amazingness!
Feel the adrenaline rush; go flying into that infinite sky. Soar high and witness a heavenly panorama of Mother Nature. One of the most exhilarating things to do in Dehradun is Paragliding. Get an aerial view of the immaculate beauty of Mussoorie, Chakrata, Tehri Lake, Purola, Pauri, and Rishikesh. Be the daredevil and explore. One can be fearless as Paragliding here is a two-seat ride, where your pilot is properly trained and qualified.
Witness the Beautiful Clock Tower:-
Clock Towers are specific buildings made to house a turret clock inside it. A turret clock is a clock that is a public amenity and larger than a domestic clock. It can have more than one face exceeding four and even have a bell for the whole town to listen to the time. The construction of this clock tower in Dehradun started in 1948 and was completed in 1953.
It doesn’t work anymore but it is said that at the time when it was working, the strike was that high that a person on the other end of the place could also hear it. Moreover, it was inaugurated by our respected Lal Bahadur Shashtri Ji and the monument is worth watching once as it depicts the architectural style of that era.
Visit the Distinct Location of Tapkeshwar Temple:-
The temple is situated on the banks of river Tons and is one of the very ancient places to offer prayers. The fair organized on every Shivratri attracts hundreds of devotees and lets them enjoy the peace. The main shrine is lying inside the cave where water drips on the Shivling, which is named Tapkeshwar Mahadev. The cool sulfur water springs are an added feature of the temple where devotees prefer to take a bath before entering the temple.
Prakasheshwar Mahadev Temple:-
Prakasheshwar Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple, located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand state of India. this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the famous temples of Dehradun. The idols of all the deities are enshrined in this temple.
Prakasheshwar Mahadev Temple falls on the way from Dehradun to Mussoorie. Due to this temple being on the mountain, a beautiful view of Dehradun can be seen. One specialty of this temple is that no devotee can offer money in this temple, because according to the arrangement of the temple, what we can give to Lord Shiva, we get from Lord Shiva only.
Therefore, please do not give any kind of donation to the temple on the note board at any place on the temple premises. Due to this specialty of the temple, this temple is very famous because it is the only temple in India where no donation is taken.
The temple building is very beautiful. This temple is red color. The temple is blessed with spiritual experiences for the devotees to experience peace of mind. This temple is decorated with flowers during the Shivratri festival.
Trekking and camping have always been among those activities that help you revive. Situated at the base of the Shivalik peaks, Dehradun is a hub for all adventurers. Being situated at an altitude of 640 meters above sea level amidst lush green hills; Dehradun is a base camp for many trekking trails.
These trekking trails will take you to an altitude of 1800-2000 meters. Treks to Chaskhet, Bhadraraj Hill, Nag Tibba are some of the challenging and popular trekking routes in Dehradun. So zip up your sweater, lace up your shoes, and hit the road.
Visit Tiger View Jungle Camp:-
It is the fantasy of many to see a tiger or two. Located in Gular Khalla, this camp gives you an opportunity to see tigers in their normal habitat. This camp will be one of the unique things for you to do in Dehradun as you will be witnessing tigers in their natural habitat. You can spot tigers in the jungle and you will also be safe as you will be provided with safe camping sites.
Fun-Filled Day out at Lachhiwala Nature Park:-
Situated near the banks of a tributary of Song River, Lachhiwala Nature Park is the best option to relax with your kids and spend some quality time with your family on a fun-filled picnic. This park offers you a man-made pool amidst luscious greenery and a breeze of oak trees.
Swinging in this environment will be one of the most memorable things to do in Dehradun for your kids. Also, you can visit one of the most popular homestays in the jungle area which is an administrative and tourist center.
Visit Chetwode Hall:-
Set up in 1932, Chetwoode Hall is an important landmark of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun. The significance of the building is such that it is depicted on the mementos of the IMA and serves as a backdrop for the Passing Out Parade. Apart from housing the administrative headquarters of IMA, the hall has a museum, computer labs, lecture halls, and a café.
Visit Shikhar Falls:-
Shikhar Falls, frequented by nature lovers and adventure seekers, is one of the most beautiful attractions in Dehradun. The waterfall is surrounded by hilly terrains, so to reach the waterfall, you have to do a strenuous trek of about 1 km.
And during this short hike, you will spot many wildflowers, shallow pools, beautiful birds, and butterflies that add to the beauty of the area. If you are a shutterbug, don’t forget to click some amazing pictures here. And if you are a nature lover, then you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the surroundings.
Whether you are looking to buy something or soak in local sights and sounds, a trip to Paltan Bazaar is a must when you are in Dehradun. This vibrant market stretches for more than 1.5 km near Dehradun Clock Tower and is popular as the main bazaar or shopping area in the city. Apart from apparel, appliances, handicrafts, and artwork, you can find the best local spices and confectionery items here. If you are looking for souvenirs, handwoven woolen garments and authentic Himalayan spices are some popular options.
The main object of pilgrimage to Haridwar is the Har-ki-Pauri – the bathing ghat, or riverside steps – which believers believe to have Vishnu’s footprint imprinted in a stone. A large number of pilgrims assemble there every year at the beginning of the Hindu solar year in April; The Kumbh Mela (a Hindu religious festival) is held in Haridwar every 12th year. The Daksha Mahadev Temple, another important pilgrimage site, is located 2 miles (3 km) downstream at Kankhal.
Haridwar, the gateway of the gods, is situated on the right bank of the holy Ganges and is considered one of the seven holy cities of India. Haridwar is also the gateway to the four major pilgrimages – the Char Dham – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one of the four places where drops of nectar, the elixir of immortality, accidentally fell from the pitcher or Kumbh, in which it was being carried by Garuda, the celestial bird, and vehicle of God. Vishnu.
Hence, it is one of the four places where the Kumbh Mela, said to be ‘the largest gathering of humanity anywhere in the world’, is held once every 12 years. Haridwar is also the place where the Ganges River enters the Indo-Gangetic plains for the first time. Haridwar is also home to several ashrams that specialize in teaching meditation and yoga.
Mussoorie The Queen of Hills:-
Mussoorie, also known as the Queen of Hills, is one of the most popular hill stations in the country. A British, Captain Frederick Young, accompanied by an officer named F.J. Shore, climbed the hill from the Doon Valley in 1827 and found the ridge offered spectacular views and a healthy climate. This journey laid the foundation of this grand hill station. Dehradun to Mussoorie distance is 34 km, and it can take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach there.
A captivating paradise for leisure travelers and honeymooners, it is an ideal summer resort. Perched on a 15-km-long Horseshoe Ridge with the majestic Himalayas as its backdrop, Mussoorie is perched at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. From this vantage point, it offers beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks in western Garhwal.
Many famous personalities have made Mussoorie their home – most notable being authors Ruskin Bond and Bill Aitken. Filmstar Victor Banerjee lives in Mussoorie while late film star Tom Alter was born and brought up here. Filmstar Prem Nath had a home here in the 1960s while Dev Anand’s sons attended Woodstock School. Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni frequent this hill resort.
Nestled amidst lush green conifers, blazing red rhododendrons, towering oaks, and the mighty snowy Himalayan ranges, Chakrata is one of the real treasures of Uttarakhand. Located at a distance of about 88 kilometers from Dehradun and at an altitude of about 7,000 meters above sea level, Chakrata served as a summer retreat for high-ranking officials of the East India Company during the British Raj.
Chakrata, with its cozy yet pleasant ambiance, offers a panoramic view of the Yamuna Valley below. There are some unique tree-lined avenues that visitors can explore. For those looking for a snowy adventure, Kharamba Peak awaits. At almost 10,000 meters above sea level, it is the highest of its kind in the region. Visitors can also partake in skiing on the northern slopes of Chakrata.
HOW TO REACH DEHRADUN
Dehradun is connected to other parts of India with a wide network of road routes.
It is connected among other places, to Amritsar, Howrah, Bombay, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, and other major cities.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant which is situated at a distance of 24 kilometers from Dehradun city.
NOTE:- If you have any other queries you can visit the gov official website of Uttarakhand Tourism.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dehradun:
How to move around Dehradun?
City buses, auto rickshaws, and shared autos are all available for traveling within Dehradun. For convenience, you can also choose to rent a car for local travel.
Where to shop in Dehradun?
The most popular shopping centers in Dehradun are Paltan Bazaar, Indira Market, Tibetan Market, and Rajpur Road.
Which places are popular for a weekend getaway from Dehradun?
Mussoorie, Haridwar, and Rishikesh are among the most popular places near Dehradun on weekend trips.