Known for its natural resources, Dehradun is the capital city of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Located in the Doon Valley at the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun is bordered by the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers of India.
The city is known for its pleasant climate and provides a gateway to the popular hill stations like Nainital, Mussoorie etc. and pilgrim sites like Haridwar and Rishikesh. The city receives high amounts of rain during the monsoon season and get really cold during the winters. Being a part of the Princely Garhwal State the local customs of the Garhwali people have influenced the culture in the city. Here are the top 10 places that you must visit on your trip to Dehradun.
The name Sahastradhara literally means ‘The Thousand Fold Spring’ is a popular tourist destination in Dehradun. It comprised of waterfalls, caves and steppe farming lands and provides a totally marvelous and rejuvenating experience to its visitors. The name is due to the water that drips from the limestone stalactites in the caves and its waterfalls.
Located at a height of 1400 meters above sea level, the Tiger Falls are 50 meters high waterfalls. The waterfalls are situated amidst a picturesque setting of dense forests at the foothills of the Himalayas. The water converges into a small pond which provides a perfect setting for an outing with friends and family. At an elevation of 312 ft, it is considered the highest direct waterfall in India.
The 600 meters long river cave (Robber's Cave) is known by the locals as Gucchupani. The cave is divided into two main parts with its highest fall being 10 meters long. The place is known for its unique natural phenomenon known as the disappearing stream. The place was believed to be used by the robbers to hide during the British Raj hence owing to its name.
Founded in 1965, The Mindrolling Monastery houses the Ngagyur Nyingma College which is one of the largest Buddhist learning centers in India. The monastery is a re-established facility of the original Mindrolling Monastery and was established by Khochhen Rinpoche. The well maintained gardens and a 60 meters high stupa and contains various rooms which are decorated with murals and house various relics and a 35 meters high statue of Lord Buddha in Gold.
Tapkeshawar Temple is considered to be the oldest Shiva temple in Uttarakhand and is located at the banks of the Nandi River. The Temple is located within a cave which is characterized by naturally dripping water over the Shiva lingam placed here. The cave is also the site to the shivratri festival that happens every year.
Things to Do at Tapkeshwar Temple:
Explore the hills around Drona Cave.
Have a bath at the cool sulfur water springs.
Attend the Maha shivratri festival in Feb/Mar.
6. Forest Research Institute
Famous for: Education, Architecture, Gardens, Photography.
Tickets: 25 INR per person (museum) and a nominal entry fee for vehicles.
The premier research institute of forestry in India is located in Dehradun. The Forest Research Institute was established in 1906 as the British Imperial Forestry Service. The site also contains a museum for forestry with six main sections that are Pathology Museum, Social Forestry Museum, Silviculture Museum, Timber Museum, Non-Wood Forest Products Museum and Entomology Museum. It has also being featured in many Bollywood films like Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, Paan Singh Tomar, Nanban, Student of the Year etc.
Tapovan is known to be the place the Guru Dronacharya performed his penance according to the Hindu epic Mahabharatha. The place is located on the banks of the River Ganges and is considered to be a major pilgrim spot. Tapovan is also known for its amazing meadows known as Nandavan which are trekked by various pilgrims and trekkers.
Things to Do near Tapovan.
Yoga and meditate.
Pay your respects at Sai Baba Mandir.
8. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
Famous for: Geology, Science.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days (10 AM – 5 PM) but closed between 1 pm to 2 pm.
Previously known as the Institute of Himalayan Geology, the facility is one of the best centers of Himalayan Geology in the country. The best attraction here is the museum that displays the diverse geographic locations of India and visitors often get to know a few stunning facts about the geology of different regions in India.
Things to Do at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology:
Visit the geological museum.
Pay a visit to the library.
Famous for: Nature, Photography, Picnic.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open all days from sunrise to sunset.
Located on Dehradun- Rishikesh highway, Lachhiwala is a perfect outing spot near Dehradun. Located in the middle of forest, it is filled with man made pools which are safe to use and remain abundant with water. Spend some time here to relax in the lap of nature.
Things to Do at Lachhiwala:
10. Malsi Deer Park
Famous for: Wildlife, Nature, Adventure.
Tickets: 10 INR per person.
Opening Timings: Open all days except Monday (10 am to 6 pm).
Now known as Dehradun Zoo, Malsi Deer Park as the name suggests is a perfect way to spot a deer in its natural habitat. There are many birds and other animals around too but they are kept enclosed in a cage. Spread over an area of 25 hectares, Malsi Deer Park is located on the way to Mussorie and can be a stopover en route.
Things to do near Malsi Deer Park:
Relax at the canteen here.
Explore the flora and fauna.
Some other attractions around Dehradun are Asan Barrage, Sakya Centre Buddhist Monastery, Santala Devi Temple, Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara, Laxman Siddh Temple, Zonal Anthropological Museum and Khalanga War Memorial.
The 10 places mentioned above comprise of the major places that are not to be missed on a trip to Dehradun. Being the capital city of the mountain state of Uttarakhand, most of the tourist places in Dehradun have rich Garhwal culture and is a major tourist attraction in the country.