Dehradun – Capital of Uttarakhand
Cradled in the Doon valley of Uttarakhand state, Dehradun is famous for its hill stations that allure tourists of all types – solo travelers, couples, and families. The place takes pride in showing off its beautiful landscape of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is situated at a height of 1400 feet above sea level and has cool and pleasant weather all year around. The place offers something for everyone.
Solo travelers looking for an adventurous trip can try out some thrilling activities or even a friend group can join in to explore some of the most exhilarating experiences of life. Spending a weekend with your family is equally satisfying or just watching the sunset with a loving partner makes this place perfect for family holidays and honeymoons.
Apart from the beautiful mountainous terrain, Dehradun features unique caves, waterfalls, rivers, and springs that add to the popularity of this place. From the Robber’s Cave that is most popular as a perfect excursion or tourist spot offers a walk through the ice-cold water. Another favorite picnic spot of tourists is the Lacchiwala, that features a blend of human intervention in the form of a man-made lake and the natural green surroundings. You can even make arrangements for trekking, birdwatching, or even camping in this region.
History and Importance
The name ‘Dehradun’ finds its origin from two words – ‘Dehra – Dera (home)’ and ‘Doon – a valley between the Shivaliks and Himalayas’. Guru Rama Rai came to this place with his disciples and set a camp in this place. This was also the period when Dehradun started developing into a modern city. Many historians believe that the word ‘Dehra’ also means camping. The city has also been mentioned in our religious epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In today’s time, Dehradun is an important center of education. However, the developments are not too old as there were only four colleges till the early 90s.
Most parts of the Kumaon and Garhwal region, including Dehradun, were not separated from each other and used to be a big state until in the year 2000, the government decided to carve out a separate state of Uttarakhand. Consequently, Dehradun was made the capital of Uttarakhand.
Many pieces of evidence from the temples of Dehradun points the link of the history of this place to the times of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Ramayana mentions that Lord Ram and Lakshman visited this part of the country to meditate and offer penance after the war with Ravana in Lanka. Mahabharata also mentions this place as the birthplace of Dronacharya, the royal teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas. Therefore, the city is also called ‘Dronagiri’. According to the epic, Dehradun was also the place where Pandavas took shelter on their way up to the mountains.
Why visit Dehradun?
It is a calm hill station, which is an ideal spot for those who want to spend a weekend or even a week in the arms of nature. It offers nature’s retreat and takes you away from the routine of your life, especially when the major part of the country is burning in the heat of summers. The hill stations like Nainital, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar, etc seems like a good escape from the tiredness of the summers and exhausting work life.
Dehradun also hosts our country’s popular Indian Military Academy. Every year it brings out one of the best and well trained Indian officers who work towards the betterment and protection of our country.
Doon School, the famous residential school, where students from different parts of the country come to take education is also situated in a beautiful location amidst the valley.
So, Dehradun can be a perfect destination for your holiday planning, that takes you away from the chaos of the city and allows you to feel the freshness of nature.
Places to Visit in Dehradun
Dehradun never disappoints in terms of places that you can explore here. Merely taking a stroll through the local bazaar, especially the Paltan Bazaar, will allow you to explore the beautiful streets and alleys of Dehradun.
While you are at it, do not forget to take a turn towards the Clock Tower on the Rajpur Road. You will find vendors selling handicrafts and local produce, that you can take back with you as souvenirs.
If you are here for more than a day, you should definitely not miss visiting the holy Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, a Lord Shiva temple. Also, just 6.9 km away, you will find the famous Robbers’ Cave, where you can relax and enjoy a picnic with your family or loved ones.
In case you are up for some wildlife exploration, take out some time to visit Malsi Deer Park. The trip to the park can be exciting as it offers a trek and on your way, through the park, you will witness some incredibly beautiful and unique breeds of deer.
If you are interested in visiting something historical, why not have a look at the famous Indian military academy that arouses a sense of pride in you even if you are not an army background.
Best Time to Visit Dehradun
Dehradun has a pleasant climate that attracts its visitors almost all around the year. However, the Summer season is the time when Dehradun expects most of the travelers for its soothing weather while the rest of the country goes through hostile heat waves.
You can also visit the region during Monsoon and Autumn, but winters can be a bit harsh. Winters are suitable for people who prefer to experience the chillness of the snow.
How to reach?
Dehradun is connected to other cities via Jolly Grant Airport. It is around 31 km away from the city. You can hire a taxi or cab from the airport to reach the main city.
Dehradun is also well connected to other major cities through railway lines. The railway station is only 1-2 km away from the main city.
Road connectivity is one of the easiest ways to reach Dehradun, especially if you are traveling from cities in North India. Both private and state-owned buses are available. Alternatively, hiring a cab can also be an inexpensive way to travel to the city if you are traveling in groups.