is situated in the north Indian state of Uttaranchal around 235 km from
Delhi. Dehradun extends from the latitude 30° 19' in the North to
longitude 78° 04' in the East. The city of Dehradun is well
connected to other cities of north
by rail, road, and air. Dehradun is one of the oldest cities in India.
In the Vedic times, the Garhwal Mandal, of which Dehradun is a part, was
known as the Kedar Khand. Legend has it that Guru Dronacharaya, a
Brahmin teacher of warfare, considered Dehradun a place fit for
meditation & worship and therefore, the valley of Doon was
christened Drona Ashram, which means "The Abode of Drona".
written history of Dehradun dates back to 250 BC and King Ashoka's
inscription at Kalsi, on the outskirts of the city, is proof of this.
There are 14 edicts carved on a rock and nearby is the site of three
horse sacrifices by Raja Shilvarma of the Vrisheri dynasty. Large bricks
with writing on them are laid out in the shape of a huge bird with a
fire altar in the middle. The Sikh saint Guru Ram Rai also camped here
at the place where the present Guru Ram Rai Durbar is located. Like most
other Indian hill stations, the British found the climate and the serene
environment of this place closer to their home and established many
well-known institutions here.
Dehradun is now the capital of
the new state, Uttaranchal, founded in 2000. It is one of the wealthier
and more literate regions of India. Neither of which is surprising when
you realize that two of the major industries are oil and education.
Although it is not a region with much oil, Dehradun is home to the ONGC
(Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited), for which my father-in-law
worked. It is also home to over 200 schools and colleges, including the
famous Doon School, Indias top prep-school. Where the late Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and the writers Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh all
went to school. (As did my father-in-law, and one of my former
professors at Temple.) St. Josephs Academy and Welhams
School (for girls) are also well known, but it is the name Doon
which is used by schools all over the country to build their prestige.
There is even a documentary film about the school by the famous
ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall. This year, the school may even
begin admitting girls. This is a good thing, considering how important
the Doon Old Boys network is among Indias ruling
elite. Best time to visit
Due to its location in
the hilly part of the state, the climate of Dehradun is salubrious.
During the summer months, the temperature ranges between 36°C and
16.7° C. The winter months are colder with the maximum and minimum
temperatures touching 23.4°C and 5.2° C respectively.Sightseeing
How to reach
- Robbers' Cave
Robbers' Cave is 8 km away from the
city bus stand and is an ideal picnic spot. Local bus service is
available upto Anarwala village, from where the caves are only a
- The Malsi Deer Park
The Malsi Deer Park is a newly
developed tourist spot at the foothills of the Shivalik range. The
place is situated about 10 km from Dehradun on the road leading to
Mussorie. A mini-zoo with a children's park and lovely natural
surroundings make it an ideal sightseeing cum picnic spot.
Kalsi is a historical place with an Ashokan
Pillar, which has inscriptions in Devanagari. An Ashokan rock edict
built in AD 450 is also situated here.
Tapkeshwar is a cave temple dedicated to
Lord Shiva on the banks of a seasonal river. Here, water falls on a
shivling drop by drop from a rock and hence the name Tapkeshwar. It
is 5.5 km from the city bus stand and is situated in the Garhi
- By Air
The nearest airport from Dehradun is the Jolly
Grant around 25 km away, on the outskirts of the town. There is a
daily flight from here to Delhi, which is the nearest international
- By Rail
Dehradun is a major railhead on the Northern
Railway line with direct trains to almost all the metropolitan
cities of India and some important tourist destinations in
Uttaranchal. The Shatabdi Express is the best option for the
tourists coming from Delhi and the other good option is the Mussorie
Express. The Dehradun-Mumbai Express connects the city to Mumbai.
There are also trains to Varanasi, Kolkata and Lucknow.
- By Road
Dehradun is well connected to other cities of
Uttaranchal and Delhi with regular bus services. Distances of some
major cities from Dehradun are Agra 381 km, Calcutta 1562 km,
Chennai 2365 km, Delhi 235 km, Jaipur 493 km, Lucknow 582 km, and
Mumbai 1578 km.