A Brief Introduction
History of Dehradun
Dehradun is one of the oldest cities in India. In the Vedic times, the Garhwal Mandal, of which Dehradun is a part, was known as the Kedar Khand. Legend has it that Guru Dronacharaya, a Brahmin teacher of warfare, considered Dehradun a place fit for meditation & worship and therefore, the valley of Doon was christened Drona Ashram, which means "The Abode of Drona".
The written history of Dehradun dates back to 250 BC and King Ashoka’s inscription at Kalsi, on the outskirts of the city, is proof of this. There are 14 edicts carved on a rock and nearby is the site of three horse sacrifices by Raja Shilvarma of the Vrisheri dynasty. Large bricks with writing on them are laid out in the shape of a huge bird with a fire altar in the middle.
The Sikh saint Guru Ram Rai also camped here at the place where the present Guru Ram Rai Durbar is located.
Facts and Figures
Area 30 sq km
Altitude 640 meters above sea level
Languages Hindi & English
Best time to visit Around the year
STD Code 0135
Dehradun is situated in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand (formerly Uttar Pradesh) around 235 km from Delhi. Dehradun extends from the latitude 30° 19’ in the North to longitude 78° 04’ in the East. The city of Dehradun is well connected to other cities of north India by rail, road, and air.
Due to its location in the hilly part of the state, the climate of Dehradun is salubrious. During the summer months, the temperature ranges between 36°C and 16.7° C. The winter months are colder with the maximum and minimum temperatures touching 23.4°C and 5.2° C respectively.
Sites to Visit
Tapkeshwar is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on the banks of a seasonal river. Here, water falls on a shivling drop by drop from a rock and hence the name Tapkeshwar. It is 5.5 k.m. from the city bus stand and is situated in the Garhi Cantonment area.
Robbers’ Cave is 8 k.m. away from the city bus stand and is an ideal picnic spot. Local bus service is available upto Anarwala village, from where the caves are only a kilometer away.
Tapovan is about 5 k.m. from the city bus stand on the Dehradun-Rajpur Road. The place is situated amidst beautiful surroundings and legend has it that Guru Dronacharaya undertook his penance here.
The Malsi Deer Park is a newly developed tourist spot at the foothills of the Shivalik range. The place is situated about 10 km from Dehradun on the road leading to Mussorie. A mini-zoo with a children’s park and lovely natural surroundings make it an ideal sightseeing cum picnic spot.
The Forest Research Institute here is the biggest forest based product-training institute in India. All Forest Officers in India are trained here.
Kalsi is a historical place with an Ashokan Pillar, which has inscriptions in Devanagari. An Ashokan rock edict built in AD 450 is also situated here.
There are a number of important institutions located in Dehradun that provide different academic and research facilities. Some of them are the Anthropological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Survey of India, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Institute of India, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, and Indian Military Academy.
Situated at a distance of 93 k.m. from Dehradun, at an elevation of about 7000 feet above sea level, Chakrata is known for its serene environs and sylvan charm. However, Chakrata is restricted for foreigners.
The Yamuna Hydel Scheme, Dakpathar, 45 k.m. from Dehradun, has emerged as a lovely tourist spot in the Western Doon valley. It encompasses lush green lawns and blooming gardens.
Rajaji National Park, a home place of numerous wild animals is situated very near Dehradun. It is specially famous for elephants, deer, and tigers.
Sahastradhara is a cold sulphur water spring having high medicinal value. The dripping caves and a refreshing bath in the Baldi River rejuvenate the body and soul. The place is located 14 k.m. from the Dehradun city bus stand.
Lakshman Siddh is 12 k.m. away from Dehradun en route to Rishikesh. The road is motorable up to the temple. A large number of people visit this temple especially on Sundays. Legend has is that a saint underwent penance at this place.
Dehradun is a good place to shop for woollen garments. The main places selling woollens are Sahakari Bazaar, Rajpur Road, Astley Hall, Paltan Bazaar and Connaught Place.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is not a problem in Dehradun. There are many standard hotels, which provide good services to their guests. As Dehradun is quite popular with Indian tourists, it is better to get reservation before reaching there.
How to Reach
By Air :
The nearest airport from Dehradun is the Jolly Grant around 25 k.m. away, on the outskirts of the town. There is a daily flight from here to Delhi, which is the nearest international airport.
By Rail :
Dehradun is a major railway station on the Northern Railway line with direct trains to almost all the metropolitan cities of India and some important tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. The Shatabdi Express is the best option for tourists coming from Delhi and the other good option is the Mussorie Express. The Dehradun-Mumbai Express connects the city to Mumbai. There are also trains to Varanasi, Calcutta and Lucknow.
By Road :
Dehradun is well connected to other cities of Uttarakhand and Delhi with regular bus services. Distances of some major cities from Dehradun are Agra 381 k.m., Calcutta 1562 k.m., Chennai 2365 k.m., Delhi 235 k.m., Jaipur 493 k.m., Lucknow 582 k.m., and Mumbai 1578 k.m.