Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalaya, Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India and is recently declared as the Provisional Capital of newly created Uttaranchal (Now Uttarakhand) State in the month of Nov’2000. Also known as the ‘Adobe of Drona’, Dehradun has always been an important center for Garhwal rulers which was captured by the British. The headquarters of many National Institutes and Organizations like ONGC, Survey Of India, Forest Research Institute, Indian Institute of Petroleum etc are located in the city.
Some of the premier educational and Training Institutes like Indian Miltary Academy, RIMC (Rashtriya Indian Military College), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Lal Bahadur Shahstri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA)etc are also there in Dehradun. It is a favoured tourist destination as it attracts tourists, pilgrims and enthusiasts from various walks of life to its serene environs. Add to this the abundance of special Basmati rice, tea and leechi gardens which contribute in turning the city into a paradise.
The district is named after its chief city Dehra Dun. Dehra appears to be a corruption of dera signifying a temporary abode or camp. During the reign of Aurangzeb, Ram Rai, Guru of the Udasi Sikhs on being ordered by the Mughal king to retire to the wilderness of the Dun, had pitched his tents here in what is now the Khurbura locality of the town and has also built a temple near Dhanawala. Around these two sites, grew up the town popularly known as Dehra. The term dun or doon means the low lands at the foot of a mountain range, and as the bulk of the district lies in such a terrain, it justified the dun part of the name.
Another derivation of the term dun is stated to be from Dronashram, hermitage of Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata fame, who sojourned for a season in the village of Devara, situated near to Dehra to perform his devotions at a lonely spot.
Sahastradhara, laterally meaning, the 'thousand fold spring' is situated at a distance of 11 kms from Dehradun. The place makes an ideal picnic spot and is of immense attraction to visitors.
Tapkeshwar Shiv Temple is an ancient place of worship and is situated on the banks of a rivulet, in the Garhi Cantt. Area, 5.5 Kms from the city bus stand, the temple is well connected by road.
Built by Guru Ram Raj during the reign of Aurangzeb in the Dhamanwala locality of the town is a religious place of eminence. The other places of importance is the Robber's cave, situated at a distance of about 8 kms from Dehra Dun. The cave is a natural picnic spot surrounded by hills where water suddenly disappears from sight and goes underground only to reappear after a few yards in the form of a stream.
Situated 8 Kms along the Clock Tower on Rajpur Road, is the Sai Darbar Temple. This place holds a high cultural and spiritual value and is visited by tourists from across the country and foreigners as well.
Situated 7 Kms from Dehradun on the Dehradun-Delhi road is the famous temple of Chandrabani (Gautam Kund).
Malsi Deer Park
10 Kms. from Dehradun, enroute Mussoorie is situated a beautifully developed tourist spot lying at the foot hills of the Shivalik range. Malsi Deer Park is a mini-zoological park comprising of a children’s park enveloped by beautiful, natural surroundings
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park was founded in 1966 and spreads over an area of 820 sq.kms, the park with it’s magnificent ecosystem, is nestled in the lush valley of Shivalik ranges. It represents the flora of several zones of the forest, reverine, broad leaf mixed forest, chirpine forest, scrub land and grassy pasture lands. There are 23 species of mammals and 315 of avi-fauna here. The Rajaji National Park is named after Late Shri C.Rajgoplalachari, popularly known as Rajaji. Best Tourist season is between November to mid June.
Robber’s Cave (Guchhupani)
An ideal place for a picnic, Robber’s Cave is just 8 Kms away from the City Bus Stand. Local bus services are available upto Anarwala Village, from where it is just a Kilometre’s trek to the spot.
Situated on Rajpur Road near the Sai Darbar Temple is a huge and colorful temple of Lord Buddha.
Santala Devi Temple
About 15 Kms from Dehradun to reach the famous temple of Santaula Devi, one can utilize the bus facilities till Jaitunwala, then it is a 2 Kms drive to Punjabiwala by a jeep or any light vehicle and further it is a 2 kms trek to the temple. The temple stands as a symbol of the faith people have in the temple and has a great cultural and religious significance. It is within the fort that the shrine was built and Saturdays marks the transformation of the Goddess into stone.
An 18 Kms drive along the Chakrata road, Bhagirathi Resort at Selaqui, Dehradun lends a breath-taking spectacle of the Himalayan ranges. The resort lures the tourists with its tranquil swimming pool, water slides and fountains. Against the backdrop of the mountain ranges, the resort is an ideal tourist spot.
12 Kms. Away from Dehradun towards Hardwar/Rishikesh is a famous temple known as the Laxman Siddh.
3 Kms from Doiwala and 22 Kms from Dehradun, on the Hardwar/Rishikesh road is Lachhiwala. The serene and blissful spot is famous for its picnic spots.
45 Kms from Dehradun, Dakpathar is a beautiful tourist spot in the western Doon Valley, amidst the Shivalik range. Dakpathar has emerged a wonderful tourist spot. The place is connected by a regular bus service from the Parade Ground and Highway Bus Stand near the Railway Station, Dehradun. Accommodation is available in a Tourist Rest House with swimming pool facilities.
Asan Barrage Water Sports Resort
A water sports resort has been developed at the Asan Barrage by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam in the year 1994. Asan Barrage was created in 1967 and it is popularly known as Dhalipur Lake. Situated 43 kms from Dehradun on Chandigarh-Shimla highway, the resort offers facilities like water skiing, boating, rowing, kayaking, canoeing etc.
Approximately, 5 kms from the City Bus Stand on the Dehradun-Rajpur road, this place is situated in beautiful surroundings. Legend has it that Guru Dronacharya had done penance in this area.