Dehradun serves as the gateway to some of the country’s most popular hill stations such as Musssorie and Nainital. Located 235 km from Delhi, Dehradun serves as the capital of Uttarakhand.
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalyan mountain ranges, Dehradun sits cozily between the two most prominent rivers of the country – Ganga and Yamuna. The landscape of Dehradun is bright and colourful, giving the city a majestic charm to complement its beautiful temples and structures.
Dehradun is also very near to some of India’s most popular pilgrimage sites such as Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Apart from the innumerable fairs, temples and museums that attracts lakhs of tourists to Dehradun, the city also houses some of the most well regarded Military schools in the country.
The pleasant weather that the city enjoys, apart from good connectivity, has only added reasons for tourists to bring Dehradun up on their list of places to visit.
The Doon School, one of India’s leading boarding schools, is located in Dehradun. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Olympic medallist Abhinav Bindra, eminent writer Amitav Ghosh, media tycoon Aroon Purie are some of the alumni of Doon School.
The region of Dehradun has its earliest reference in the Ramayan and Mahabharat. It is believed that Lord Ram and Lakshman had visited the region on their way back from Lanka. Guru Dronacharya was born and resided in Dehradun.
Ruins and artifacts dating back to more than 2000 years found near the banks of Yamuna point to the fact that Emperor Ashok ruled the region of Dehradun. The region was named as Sudhnagar during the seventh century.
Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Dehradun in the 14th century. In the late 17th century control of Dehradun fell into the hands of the Sikhs who ruled for 24 years. In 1803, Gurkhas took over Dehradun making it a part of Nepal province. After the treaty of Sugowli, British got control of the city in 1816.
In the year 2000, the state of Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh. Dehradun was declared as its capital.
Hindi and Garhwali are the main languages spoken in Dehradun. Apart from that, Gorkhali, Kumaoni, Punjabi and English are also spoken in the city.
There are two museums in Dehradun that explain the origin and customs of the people living in the foothills of the Himalyan ranges. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology educates people about Himalayan geology and general geology using various mediums like books, videos, charts, etc.
Dehradun is extremely famous for its fairs that attract a lot of people to the city. Amongst the famous one’s are Jhanda fair, Tapkeshwar Mela, Lakhawar fair, etc.
There are a lot of shopping outlets in Dehradun from where exquisite locally made woodcrafts and paintings can be bought. Paltan Bazaar, Rajpur Road and Astley Hall are the major shopping centres of Dehradun.
Beautiful carpets weaved by the Tibetan refugees in Dehradun are available in the Tibetan market.
WHERE TO STAY
Dehradun offers a lot in terms of accommodation options ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury hotels. Most of the hotels are located on Rajpur Road, close to the railway station. Almost all the luxury and mid-range hotels provide pick-up services from the airport along with other modern amenities.
WHERE TO EAT
There are a lot of eating options available in Dehradun ranging from street side joints to international fast food outlets. Most of the restaurants serving Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines are located on Rajpur Road. North Indian delicacies are extremely popular in these restaurants.
Tibetean delicacies are extremely famous in Dehradun and can be found in the Tibetan Market. Small stalls that serve noodles in a unique way are thronged by tourists.
Tourits also prefer going to international fast food joints like McDonalds and Pizza Hut that are located on Rajpur Road.
Apart from that, in-house restaurants are present in hotels that serve a wide variety of cuisines.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Dehradun is an all weather destination. Summers are not too hot. However, during winter the temperature can fall as low as three degree Celsius. Dehradun experiences frequent snowfalls. Depending on one’s love for cold or warm climate, one can choose to visit Dehradun anytime of the year.
WHAT TO SEE
Robber’s Cave: One of the most popular places to visit in Dehradun, Robber’s Cave offers an experience that no adventure junkie would want to miss. Also famously known as ‘Guchpuni’, the cave is 600 metres long, a part of which has to be trekked before reaching the waterfall.
Tapkeshwar temple: One of the busiest pilgrim centres in Dehradun, the cave temple has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. The temple also hosts the annual Tapkeshwar Mela. The special feature of the temple is the water dropping from the ceiling of the cave over the Shiva ling.
The Museum: Established in 1971, The Museum is dedicated to explaining the origin and customs of the people living on the foothills of Himalayan ranges. The Museum is one of the most visited places in Dehradun.
Clock Tower: Situated on Rajput Road, the six faced tower is known for its architectural beauty. The clock is currently not working, yet it is one of the most impressive sights in the city. Earlier the chime of the clock was audible even in far of regions
Tiger View Jungle Camp: Famous as a conservation site for tigers, Tiger View Jungle camp offer camping options apart from tiger safari. It is amongst the oft visited places by wildlife lovers coming to Dehradun.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology: A research centre of Himalayan geology, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology also houses a massive library boasting of a collection of over 20,000 books apart from research journals. A museum within the institute holds video films apart from charts, maps and models to educate people about Himalayan and general geology
Apart from these, Ram Rai Gurudwara, Lacchiwalla, Sai Darbar temple, Malsi Deer Park and Mindrolling Monastry are the other famous tourist places worth seeing in Dehradun.
NEAR TO DEHRADUN
Mussoorie: Known as the ‘Queen of Hill stations’, Mussoorie is located 27 km from Dehradun at an altitude of more than 2000 metres.
Rishikesh: At a distance of 43 km from Dehradun, Rishikesh is considered important as it serves as the gateway to the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage.
Haridwar: Located at the foothills of the Shivalik range on the banks of River Ganga, Haridwar is one of the seven holiest cities of India. At a distance of 52 km from Dehradun, Haridwar hosts the famous Kumbha Mela.
Rajaji National Park: About 21 km from Dehradun, Ranjaji National park is an ideal destination for wildlife and adventure lovers.
Chamba: Amidst the beautiful hills and snow clad mountains, Chamba is an excellent place to relax. At a distance of 103 km from Dehradun, Chamba offers several scenic vistas of the snow clad ranges of the Himalayas and the beautiful view of Bhagirathi River.
Apart from these, Kalsi, Chakrata, Panota Sahib, Parwanoo and Kasauli are the other attractive places worth seeing around Dehradun.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Dehradun is as given below. The best time to visit Dehradun is also specified.