When we speak the word Dehradun, there are several things that strikes our mind- picturesque landscape, the cold climate, the calm yet louder clear water spring, the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, the hills, and the tranquility.
Well, Dehradun lies in the lap of the doon valley at the foothill of the mighty Himalayas and so it is the nature itself. Dehra means dera means home and doon means a valley, especially the one that lies between the Shivaliks and the Himalayas.
Here are stories associated with the etymology and the most accepted and the famous ones is –
“when Ram Rai ji came with his followers at this particular place to camp was the same time when the modern Dehradoon was in making and so the word Dehra was linked with doon.”
In Skanda Purana, this place was called as Kedar Khand meaning the home of lord Shiva.
With the purity in air and the magnetism in its atmosphere, it has attracted tourists from all over the world. No doubt it’s is the doorway to various hill stations like Mussourie, Auli and Nanital; Dehradun is one such charming place that you never want to bid good bye. The beauty of the “Valley of flowers”, as it is truly called as, has so much stored for you to get amazed.
Let’s check out few of the wonderful places that you must visit while in the city.
Sahastradhara: Shahast meaning thousand and dhara means water fall so the literal meaning is “thousand fold spring”.
(Image source: tripadvisor)
The stunning sulphur waterfall is located just 10 km from the Dehradun and finds its place in every visitor’s itinerary. The waterfall is said to have the miraculous medicinal properties that can cure skin ailments. Bordered by Baldi river and caves on the either side, the waterfall is stunningly beautiful where you feel truly blissed.
There are kunds (small tanks) made with shallow depth and so everyone including children can enjoy having a dip in it. Believe us it’s a thing to look forward in summer. It also has a shiv mandir and Dronacharya cave.
You can also enjoy the food atop the hill and go for the rope ride.
Tiger Waterfall: This unexplored heavenly beauty is located around 80 km from Dehradun. The water fall down from a height of 50 meters and this is the most bewildering thing you would see here. The place is secluded and thus, it offers a peace of mind. This is the perfect picnic spot for the family or friends.
Wherever your eyes can see, all you witness is the pure greenery and dense forest. With oak, deodar and rhododendron tress, the place is a pure bliss. The water that falls down collects in a small pond. Stand near to the pond and you can feel how relieving the sound of the falling water can be. A perfect place for trekking, bird watching and nature lovers.
Gucchupani: Adorably called by the locals as Gucchupani, it is also known as Robber’s cave ( the robbers used this very caves to hide after robbery in the British era). The wondrous cave has a river that runs amidst the cave like natural formation and has a stream that appears from nowhere and then disappear in no time only to appear again!
The cave has two significant division- the central has a fort like structure and the fall which is about 10 meters high.
If you are brave hearted then you can go inside the cave walking down the chilling water. Don’t forget to get your flip flop. Children shouldn’t be taken after a certain distance as the water level rises and they might get scared.
Enjoy maggi and momo with the table and chair right in the middle of the stream!
Lacchiwala: It is a picnic spot that is 20 km from Dehradun on the Haridwar and Rishikesh road. The spot is for one and all. Children can enjoy the space for their activities and bird lovers have the chance to see various species here. A place for the whole family! It is a forested space with loads of greenery, artificial ponds, pleasant climate and fresh air.
(image source: Flickr)
If you aren’t planning to go anywhere for a day and just want to relax, then you know where to head, right?
Forest Research Institute: The pioneer institute in the field of forest research is spread in a sprawling area of 450 hectares. Established by the Britishers as the British Imperial Forestry services, it is termed as one of the oldest institutes in India. If you want to know things about the forestry then 110 years old building is the one where you should head.
(image source: Wikimedia)
A fine combination of Greco-Roman and colonial style architecture, the building is a pride of Dehradun. It houses several museums (very different than the usual museums we see around).
– Pathology museum
– social forestry museum
– Silviculture museum
– Timbra museum
– non-wood forest
– products museums
– Entomology museum
It houses libraries, laboratories and Herbarium apart from the above. You can go for the guided tour, in case you want to enhance your knowledge and take back some fond memories.
Tapkeshwar Temple: The linga is a self constructed one and the water that drips on it is from the river Nandi where the temple is sited. The temple also has a sulphur spring where people take a dip. The temple can be accessed after a steep pathway so people need to be careful while going there.
(Image source: Google)
It is said that Dronacharya, the guru of Pandavas once prayed for milk for his son Ashwathama and lord Shiva appeared in front of him and said that the milk that will drop on the Linga from the cave can be used for his son. So the name Tapkeshwar, tapakna meaning dripping.
Another place that one needs to visit related to Dronacharya is the Tapovan. It is the place mentioned in epic Mahabharat, where guru Dronacharya performed his penance. This is considered as a pilgrimage place and thousands of Hindus come here every year to visit Tapovan. The lush green Nandanvan is also located in Tapovan, known for its arresting beauty.
Mindrolling Monastery: The monastery was established in 1965 by Khochhen Rinpoche along with few other monks. It is sited at Clement town near Dehradun. It is considered to be one of the major monasteries of Nyingma school of Buddhism. It has Ngagyur Nyingma College in its premises, one of the largest learning centers in India.
The monastery is well developed, beautifully done with a stupa that is as high as 60 meters, the rooms are neatly done and adorned with murals, the statue of Buddha is of 35 meters. There are number of relics for people to check for.
Rajaji National Park: This sprawling national park is spread over 820 sq km and is shared amongst three regions namely Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal. The national park is named after the great freedom fighter C.Rajagopalchari. The national park lies against the Shivaliks and Gangetic plains and so one can expect a variety in the flora and fauna.
(Image Source: Rajaji National Park)
There are deciduous trees, scrubs, grassland, and trees namely Shisham, Rohini, Sal,Palash, Khair, etc.
The park is generally know for the elephant population and it is soon going to be a tiger reserve (the government has granted the permission). There are goats, gorals, chittals, sambhar, barking deer, nilgai wild pigs, langur, leopard, civet, jungle cat, black bear, etc.
Here you can also find resident and migratory birds (during winter season) amongst them the common ones are vulture, pheasant, woodpecker, barbets, kingfishers.
The park is accessible from various regions of Uttarakhand as there are many gates to get an entry.
Asan Barrage Water Sport Resort: So, here is something to refresh you even more and indulge in some fun filled water activities. Asan barrage is the barrage situated on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and is found at the convergence of Yamuna canal (eastern) and Asan river. It is approximately 28 km from Dehradun.
(Image source: ukuttarakhand)
There are several water sports you can indulge in. Boating, skiing, kayaking, paddle boating, canoeing, etc. The resources likes ski equipment, paddle boat, kayaks, rowing boats, surfing boards are all available for the visitors here. It is the sheer beauty to watch birds from here, A small paradise for the bird lovers.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology: A centre for the Himalayan geology, it is one place where you can learn about the different geographic locations of India. You get to know about the facts and if geology interests you then this is the place where you should spend some time.
Tibetan Buddhist Temple: The temple is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in India. It was constructed in 1965 by the Tibetan community with the aim to promote the Buddhism religion in India. The wonderfully done interior, the painting depicting the life of lord Buddha and the majestic 220 feet Stupa (the tallest in south east Asia) is a thing to relish. The Buddha statue housed here is of about 103 feet, a huge one, indeed, is dedicated to Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Buddhist community).
(Image source: chatpatadun)
The temple is spread over 5 floors and very colourful. People from all over the world visiting Dehradun make sure to visit this temple.
On each floor there is a statue of lord Buddha and guru Padmasambhava. The fourth floor feels like heaven, as you can get 360 degree view of Dehradun valley.
You can spend a good amount of time with family scrutinizing each and every wall painting. The beautiful garden has colourful blooms enough to mesmerize you with their fragrant magic.
Malsi Deer Park: As the name goes, there are, of course, deers and apart from them there are tigers, nilgai, peacocks, leopard, monkeys, owl, parrots, etc. It is located towards the Mussourie diversion.
This park has ample space for the children so if you have kids with you and want them to have a good time, then you know where to head. There is a small canteen and also adventurous sport activities that have been started recently.
Clock Tower: The clock stands tall at the centre of the city at Rajpur road and has the unique feature of having six faces with clock in each face. It was built before independence and has the names of the freedom fighters engraved in a golden plaque.
(Image source: Google)
The various major shopping centres like Chakrata bazar, RD, Rajpur road, Haridwar road meet at this clock tower and thus forms the bustling centre of the town. The clock, unfortunately, don’t function anymore but yes, it is visible even from a long distance.
Kalinga War Memorial: Visiting Kalinga war memorial will not only fill you with pride but also bring tears to your eyes. The Kalinga war memorial was constructed in the honour of the Gorkha regiment by the Britishers. The shocking fact is that the Britishers won the 1814-16 Anglo-Gorkha and yet built this memorial marking the bravery of the Gorkhas.
(Image source: Indiamike)
Its only when you go and visit the memorial, you know more about their bravery.
Dehradun is such a magnetic place that you would like to come again and again. The winters are cool and summers warm with the seducing monsoon.
It is round the year tourist destination, with more and more people visiting Dehradun from June-December. The monsoon season can also be a good time to immerse yourself in the nature’s delight. It is very well connected to all the major regions of India.
How to reach:
– The airport “Jolly grant airport” is approximate 20 km from the city centre. From there you can get taxi to reach the main destination.
– Bus: There are number of bus services that runs between Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Agra, Mussourie. The Uttarakhand state transport buses are well routed. There are number of bus services from major cities. National highway no.7 makes it easier to get to the place.
– Train: Dehradun is well connected via trains. There are several trains to reach Dehradun from major cities of India like Delhi (Delhi to Dehradun-Delhi, daily train). Then, there are Shatabdi express and Mussourie express trains connecting cities like Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah. The names of other trains are Dehradun express, doon express, Bandra express.