Dehradun is the capital city of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is also a district, which covers an area of 3088 sq km and lies at an altitude of 2100 ft above sea level. Also known as Doon Valley, it is located at the foothills of the Shivalik ranges in the Garhwal region. Two rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, flow to the east and west of Dehradun, respectively.The city is said to have derived its name from the two words 'dehra' and 'dun'.
Dehra is apparently derived from 'dera' meaning camp and 'dun' means the low lying lands at the foot of the mountain. According to history, Ram Rai, a Sikh Guru was banished by Aurangzeb to the forests of Dun who set up camp in the present day Khurbura and also built a temple near Dhanawala. Modern day Dehra started to develop around the time and since most of the district lies at the foothills of the mountain, it was named Dehradun.References of the city can be found in the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Ram and Laxman are said to have visited the site after their battle with Ravana. Dronacharya, the royal guru in the Mahabharata, is also believed to have resided here. Dehradun attracts tourists for its pleasant weather and beautiful landscape. It is also the gateway to the surrounding Himalayan regions.
Dehradun is made up of two words Dehra and Doon, in which the word Dehra has been considered as the apocalypse of Dera. When Ram Rai, son of Sikh Guru Har Rai came to this area, he established his camp here to stay for himself and his followers. Development of this city started around this camp. Thus, due to the word Dera being associated with the word Doon, this place started to be called Dehradun. According to a very ancient legend, Dehradun was earlier named Dronanagar and it was said that Dronacharya, the Guru of Pandava-Kauravas built his taphobhumi at this place and the city was named after him. According to another legend, the Dronaparte whose medicines Hanuman ji had taken to Lanka when Lakshmana was in power, was located in Dehradun, but in the Valmiki Ramayana this mountain is referred to as Sir.
Looking at the geography of the city of Dehradun, on one side there are small hills, on which snow accumulates in the winter. On these hills lies the famous Mussoorie city known as the Queen of the Hills. In the same mountain range, on the upper hill of Yamuna, it bounces, while on the other side there are famous places like Dhanaulti, Surkanda and Kunjapuri. Surrounded by mountains on all three sides, the city of Dehradun is open towards Ganga and Yamuna on one side. That is why it is also called Doon.
The first year was sold in 1611 for Rs 3005. Then in 1636 AD, there was a war in Dehradun between the Mughal commander Nawazat Khan and Rani Karnavati. Before the year 1674, Dehradun was named Prithvipur. In the year 1676, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb gave the Dehradun region to Garuram Rai. After this, in the year 1757, Najibdoula achieved this city by defeating the King of Tehri. Then Dehradun was captured by the Gorkhas in the year 1803. In the year 1803, the Garhwal King Praduman Shah Birgati was received while fighting the Gorkha army in Khudbuda Dehradun. In 1814, Captain Harsi leased the East India Company to Dehradun at a monthly fee of Rs 100. In the year 1815, the British drove away the Gorkhas and took possession of Dehradun. The platoon market was built in the year 1823, there was a platoon on both sides of it. In the year 1823, the British started settling Dehradun in their own way. In 1825, Dehradun was merged with the Kumaon region and in 1828 Dehradun and Jaunsar Bawar were brought under a separate deputy commissioner. In 1829, Dehradun district was removed from Kumaon division and included in Meerut division. Meanwhile, in 1826–1827, the British settled the cities of Landor and Mussoorie, where they used to go to rest. Then in the year 1840, the litchi plant brought from China was planted here. Basmati was sown from Afghanistan in the year 1842 by the Afghan ruler Amir Dost. In 1842, Dehradun was once again merged into Saharanpur district. In 1871, Dehradun was made a separate district. After independence in 1968 Dehradun was removed from Meerut division and merged with Garhwal division. The tea garden was planted by Dr. Johnson in the year 1857. Dehradun became a municipality in the year 1867. In the year 1867, Dehradun became a district. DAV College was started in the year 1904. In the year 1929, Gandhiji laid the foundation stone of Banita Ashram on Tilak Road. By the year 1939, there were only two cars in Dehradun. From the years 1948 to 1953, Anand Singh built the bells in memory of his father Balbir Singh.
There are many tourist places in Dehradun. Dehradun Devbhoomi, the famous hill tourist destination of India is the capital of Uttarakhand. Dehradun, situated amidst the Shivalik hills, attracts millions of tourists every year. Dehradun, a city which is famous for its beauty, there is no dearth of tourist places to visit here. There are many famous places like 'Asan Barrage', 'Guchupani', 'Buddha Temple' Sahastradhara, Forest Museum. If you want to visit Dehradun, then you can also roam freely in a day. Dehradun has all that is sufficient for any tourist in terms of tourists.
Sahastradhara, located at a distance of around 14 km from the heart of the city, is a popular tourist attraction of Dehradun. Literally meaning 'Thousands fold Spring', Sahastradhara is a beautiful spring, having a depth. Owing to the presence of sulphur in the water of this spring, it is believed to have medicinal value. Besides medicinal merits, the spring is also known for its beautiful views. The beauty of this spring is further enhanced by the surrounding caves and Baldi River.
The water of this spring has lime, which contributes towards the formation of projecting ridge that eventually takes the shape of a cave. Due to its medicinal properties and beautiful views that can be enjoyed at this place, Sahastradhara is popular among a large number of tourists.
Mindrolling or Place of Perfect Emancipation is the largest Buddhist learning center of India is devoted to the research of Buddhist scriptures, Tibetan lunar calendar, astronomy, traditional Tibetan medicine and calligraphy. The 220 feet high Buddhist temple tops the list of most popular places to visit in Dehradun. Key attractions here are – the spectacular holy shrine of Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava and vibrant looking wall paintings, depicting the life and works of Lord Buddha. The monastery complex has a well maintained manicured garden and a buzzing shopping arcade selling artifacts, souvenirs and knick knacks.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 7 pm. The garden and shops are open on all seven days while the monastery is open to tourists only on Sunday.
Guchhu Pani/ Robbers Cave
As one of the most popular picnic spots, Robbers Cave in Dehradun is a natural cave – long and narrow. It is surrounded by lofty hills and has freezing-cold springs inside. Robber’s Cave is one of the interesting places to visit in Dehradun in one day. Tourists flock here for day picnics, excursions, and trekking. You can dip your feet in the ice-cold water of the cave and walk through it. It is always advisable to carry an extra set of clothes as one may get wet while playing with water. Bathroom and locker facility is available at Gucchhu Pani.
Forest Research Institute
Forest Research Institute or FRI is a heritage building and the complex of the university is as huge as 2000 acres. The reason it is among the most popular placesto visit in Dehradun is its Greco-Roman architecture and the six museums that attract kids and adults alike. It is a great place for a family outing in Dehradun, where you can take guided tours inside the museums and stroll around the Botanical Garden.
Six museums inside the FRI Campus are – Pathology Museum, Social Forestry Museum, Silviculture Museum, Timbra Museum, Non-Wood Forest Products Museum, and the Entomology Museum.
If you are looking to spend a day amid breathtaking beauty in Dehradun, head to Lachhiwala. Surrounded by Sal trees, this place is a relaxing and serene picnic spot known for gorgeous sunset views, trekking trails, and bird watching. You will have the time of your life here and will not be disappointed by everything that this place offers. It is one of the most visited Dehradun tourist places.
With a rejuvenating man-made pool to chill out and luxuriant greenery around it, Lachhiwala is one of the ideal places to visit in Dehradun for couples.
Dehradun Zoo, Malsi Deer Park
Formerly known as Malsi Deer Park, the Dehradun Zoo is one of the famous tourist places of Dehradun. It is built on the objectives of ex-situ conservation of wild animals, biodiversity conservation, to develop as an education centre and a Rescue centre for wild animals.
Another one of the best places to visit in Dehradun with family is Malsi Deer Park. This zoological garden of Dehradun spreads over 25 hectares and acts as a habitat for species such as two horned deer, nilgai, leopard, peacock and eagle. Malsi Deer Park is popular picnic spot, which becomes lively during weekends. One can explore the zoological park, feed the rabbits, relish the gardens, and enjoy munchies in the cafeteria.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm. The deer park remain closed on Mondays.
Maldevta is another picnic spot in Dehradun. The environs are pretty peaceful. There is a river flowing by the green meadows here and one can take a half-day trip to this place. There is a famous temple too here by the same name. One can enjoy a picnic by the river here. There are no proper restaurants close by so it is advised to carry one’s own food. One might find a few small shops for chips or tea here.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Shiv Mandir is a famous temple of Dehradun. It is situated on the way to Mussoorie. Located on the beautiful route of Dehradun Mussoorie, the environs around the temple are beautiful. Head here during the evening or stop on your way to Mussoorie from Dehradun or during the way back for half an hour. It is one of those temples which has no donation box present. One can buy gemstones at the shop in the temple premises. There is a snack and tea stall present too.
Tapkeshwar Temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the best places to visit in Dehradun city for religious tourists and your Dehradun sightseeing isn’t complete without it. The temple is built in a natural cave where water continuously drops on the Shiva Lingam. This is one of the key attractions that make Tapkeshwar Temple so popular among tourists. The other is the sulphur water springs near the temple. Located on the bank of Tons river, it is surrounded by majestic mountains that add to the beauty of this holy place. Nature lovers and photographers visiting Dehradun, must take out some time to visit this temple.
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
Situated at a picturesque location in the Raipur area of Dehradun, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that mainly hosts cricket matches. It is synchronously known as Dehradun Cricket Stadium and Raipur Cricket Stadium. The stadium is a fairly new one inaugurated in December 2016. It is the only international standard cricket stadium in Dehradun and the first international stadium in Uttarakhand.
Jhanda Sahib/Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara
At the heart of Dehradun city, Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara is the most famous religious centre in Dehradun. Established in 17th century, Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara is the oldest and holiest pilgrimage for Sikh community in Dehradun.