Dehradun, nestled in a wide and thickly forested valley of the Shivalik ranges in the South, the River Ganga in the East and River Yamuna in the West, is a well known tourist for its salubrious climate. It is also known for public schools, IMA and other national institutes. It has premium educational and research institutes such as Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Indian Institute of Petroleum. It is also famous for aromatic long grain rice - Basmati Chawal (Rice) and delicious litchis.
According to Skanda Purana, Dun formed part of the region called Kedar Khand.
It was included in the kingdom of Ashoka by the end of the 3rd century B.C.
It is revealed by history that for centuries the region formed part of the Garhwal kingdom with some interruption from Rohillas. For about two decades till 1815 it was under the occupation of the Gorkhas. In April 1815 Gorkhas were ousted from Garhwal region and Garhwal was annexed by the British. In that year the area now comprising tehsil Dehra Dun was added to district Saharanpur. In 1825, however, it was transferred to the Kumaon Division. In 1828, Dehra Dun and Jaunsar Bhabar were placed under the charge of a separate Deputy Commissioner and in 1829, the Dehra Dun district was transferred from the Kumaon Division to the Meerut Division. In 1842, Dun was attached to Saharanpur district and placed under an officer subordinate to the Collector of the district but since 1871 it is being administered as separate district. In 1968 the district was taken out from Meerut division and included in the Garhwal Division.
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 235 km away.
By Rail: Dehradun is a major railway station which is connected to all cities in the country.
By Road: All nearby cities are connected to Dehradun by State owned Uttarakhand transport buses.
Any trip to a tourist destination is incomplete without some shopping activities. Dehradun is one such destination from where you can't return without buying gifts or sourvenirs for family members, relatives or friends. Among the variety of items, the traditional handicrafts is a must buy in Dehradun. In addition to handicrafts, you will find the specialties of Uttaranchal in the bazaars of Dehradun. Some of the specialties of Uttaranchal include the local paintings and ornaments, woodcrafts prepared by the local artisans, artifacts and utilities made from bamboo and cane. Apart from these, don't forget to buy woolen garments like sweaters, shawls, cardigans made by the Tibetan women which are available at the bazaar round the year. Paltan Bazaar is the main shopping centre of Dehradun, other popular shopping places are Rajpur Road and Ashley Hall areas.
Shopping in Dehradun is an amazing experience. There are no shopping malls in Dehradun, but the city is home to several markets where you will find good artifacts, shawls, and brass statues.
Visit the shops at the Sahakari Bazaar, Rajpur Road, Ashley Hall, Paltan Bazaar, and Connaught Place in Dehradun to pick up some unique articles at affordable prices.
While shopping in Dehradun, you can buy anything from woolens to gift items. The carpets weaved by the Tibetan refugees make for excellent gift items and souvenirs. Check out the utilities created out of wood, bamboo and cane. The local paintings and ornaments available in the shops of Dehradun are also worth a buy.
Astley Hall: An abundant reservoir of shopping centres, Dehradun offers a plenty of opportunities to shopping buffs, which makes shopping an enjoyable experience. With high quality shops and good restaurants, Astley Hall on Rajput road is the most desired shopping complex of Derhadun.
Astley Hall and its adjoining areas offer superb object d'art, which makes one’s shopping in Dehradun a cheerful experience. What makes shopping in Derhadun so special is the fact that the artifacts that are put on sale are not only beautiful but also inexpensive. The delicate woodcrafts, utilities and artifacts made by the local artisans out of bamboo, cane and wood are the major draw while shopping in Astley Hall. Woolen garments like stunning cardigans, shawls and sweaters, are the most sought after items which are worthy for the money one pays.
Mall Road: Though Dehradun does not offer the modern culture of shopping malls, it offers wonderful time of shopping with its tremendous set of bazaars and small shops. Shopping is the most enjoyable bustle without which a tour package would be quite incomplete. To shop in Dehradun means to wander across the city and one would get good quality articles at a moderate price.
One of the best spot to have the items on offer is the Mall Road, which lies with in the heart of the city itself. A cluster of small and large shops displays the best products like Tibetan carpets local jewelries, brass statues, wooden crafts work, Garhwali paintings and woolen items. What makes shopping in the Mall Road so interesting is the fact that the artifacts that are put on sale suits to the pocket of any type tourists.
Paltan Bazaar: A shopper’s delight, Dehradun displays it’s celebrated past in its artifacts. The glorious culture and tradition of this hilly terrain is very well imprinted on its shopping articles. The rich fragrance of the Doon Basmati rice and the gorgeousness of woolen garments present a wonderful ambiance of shopping in the Paltan Bazaar.
The streets are perfumed with the aroma of good quality spices that are so tempting that one would not spare the chance of buying something from there. While shopping in these crowded bazaar, one would get the real picture of the rustic life of this hill station since the woolen clothes reveals the local tribes customary life style.
Plenty of accommodation options are available in the town of Dehradun. You may stay in private hotels, government run guesthouses or in dharmshalas as per your requirements and budget. As Dehradun is a most visited hill stations of India, so don't forget to book your accommodation well in advance. Some of the famous hotels of Dehradun include Best Western Hotel Madhuban (4 Star), Hotel Great Value (3 Star), Hotel MJ Residency (3 Star), Hotel Aketa (3 Star), Hotel President (2 Star) and Hotel Relax (2 Star).
The options for adventure activities in Dehradun are simply too many. For the cycling enthusiasts, the city offers the perfect tracks. You can start from Rajpur, along the Old Mussoorie highway, which has very low traffic and provides a gentle incline. About 20 km further from Old Mussoorie, the incline will start getting more and more steep, all the way to Mussoorie.
Dehradun offers its tourists the option to indulge in their favorite sport of golf as well. There is a mini golf course, called ‘The Small Putt’ in ‘The Club’. Then, there is DSOI Golf Clubhouse as well, situated on Vijay Path. Hotel Mathuban in the city also features a mini golf course.
Hot Air Ballooning
Dehradun is one of those destinations in India where you can explore the opportunity of going on a hot air balloon ride. Floating hundreds of feet above the earth’s surface, you will get to see the lush green valleys below, teeming with wildlife. There is a ballooning club in the city, which provides the service.
One of the most famous pilgrim places near Dehradun is the Tapkeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from that, the city is also known for its Sai Darbar Temple, situated on Rajpur Road, and Santala Devi Temple, about 15 km from the city.
If you are an adventure seeker visiting Dehradun, do not miss out on the opportunity of going on an exciting trek. The city serves as the base camp for a trek to the Kempty Falls in Mussoorie. Chakrata, almost 98 km from Dehradun, is also a destination for trekkers and nature lovers
Guchhupani and Sahastradhara are the two water springs near Dehradun that surely merit a visit from tourists. The former is known for its freezing spring that goes underground at someplace and resurfaces a few meters away from the underground tunnel. The latter, on the other hand, is famous for its 9 m fall of water with healing properties.
Malsi Deer Park, situated on the outskirts of Dehradun, is yet another place that is a must-see for tourists, especially those with kids. A zoological garden, it is home to a large number of deer, which include the Indian antelope a.k.a. Nilgai and the two-horned deer. Then, there is a large population of brides as well, both residents and migratory.