Hill Stations

Dehradun - Uttar Pradesh

Dehradun, one of the most important towns of the state of Uttar Pradesh, located at an altitude of 700 m, serves as the gateway to Mussoorie. The town lies in the Dun Valley, on the watershed of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. It derived its name from the camp ( 'Dehra' means camp ) of Ram Rai, the son of Hari Rai, the 7th Sikh guru. Apparently, Ram Rai was not made guru after his father, and consequently, disputed the decision. Defeated, he came to Dun Valley, where he was accorded a warm welcome by the Garhwal Raja. In the latter half of the 17th century, Ram Rai established a gurudwara in the Jhanda Mohalla area, which still draws hordes of devotees.

During the British Raj, Dehradun was the summer base of the Viceroy's Bodyguard, and transformed into an educational centre and military cantonment. At present, it is also the base of the Indian Military Academy. Dehradun also boasts of the Forest Research Institute, dating back to the British Raj period, and the Wildlife Institute of India.

What to See

Like the Forest Research Institute, the mulberry demonstration farms of the Sericulture Institute, are also one of the highlights of the town. Eight kms from Dehradun, is a popular picnic spot, Gucchu Pani, or Robber's cave. Five kms away is Tapovan, where the legendary Dronacharya, the great guru of the heroes of the Mahabharata, is believed to have performed penance. A monument to the hero of the great siege of Kalanga, Balbhadra Singh Thapa, is also about eight kms from the town. The Sahastradhara, 14 kms away, is renowned for its sulphur springs. The Rajaji National Park, another tourist attraction, is 20 kms away. The site of prime historical interest is Kalsi, 50 kms from Dehradun, which boasts of a rock inscription of Asoka, the great Mauryan emperor. 6 kms from the centre of the town is Tapkeshwar Mahadev, a cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, by the banks of a river. According to a tale from the Mahabharata, Shiva made milk flow from this cave for Asvathama, the son of guru Dronacharya.

How to Get There

By air: The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant, 25 kms away, on the outskirts of the town, that has daily flights to Delhi.

By rail: Dehradun is a major railhead on the Northern Railway line with direct trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Varanasi and Lucknow.

By road: UP Roadways operates regular bus trips from Simla, Haridwar and Delhi to Dehradun.

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