Forest Research Institute, Dehradun

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Nature lovers, Environmentalists, Botanists, Students, Forestry Enthusiasts, Trekker, Colonial Architecture Enthusiasts
  • Entry Fee: Rs 15 per head plus additional parking charges
  • Visiting Time: 9:30 am – 5 pm daily baring Mondays
  • Visit Duration: 2-3 hours

The Forest Research Institute in Dehradun is an educational cum tourist spot set amidst the lush green mountains of the lesser siwalik range. The ambience here explodes of intricate beauty and natural diversity. This premier research institute is also the oldest research institute of the country. The place is dedicated for studying the plants, animals, climate and topography of the Himalayan forests. It is one of the prestigious institutes of India and the primary one dedicated singularly to the field of forestry. Constructed on the lines of Greco-roman architectural, this 5-km area campus is home to different varieties of trees, plants and animals – specially a wide range of migratory birds. This architectural gem dates back to the colonial era and has been established in 1906 by the British government. Apart from the scenic beauty and architectural masterpiece the place houses enormous amount of data and specimens pertaining to forestry and forest research. It hosts 6 museums pertaining to the area of forest including the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Indian Council of Forest Research. Its scenic beauty, natural aura, rare specimen’s hilly terrain and architectural structure makes it a sought-after tourist destination in Dehradun.

Forest Research Institute
Photo by Krupal Bhavsar, CC BY 2.0

Traveller Tips

  • Photography is strictly prohibited on the institute premises. So, keep your shutters restricted to the campus greens.
  • There are different types of museum on the premise. Make sure you choose the right one according to your preference. Hence prioritize your time.
  • However, don’t miss out a museum while you concentrate on another. Visit all of them.
  • Make sure you explore the natural beauty of the place.

Things to Do

  • Visit all 6 museums – specially look for timbre, sylvicultural, non- wood and entomology museum.
  • The paintings of Afshan Zaidi depicting plants, animals and birds in their natural habitat is the star attraction.
  • 700-year-old cross section specimen of a deodar tree is another must see object.
  • The depicting of the utility of various medicinal plants draws many people.
  • Trek through the mountainous campus and enjoy the sight of exotic Himalayan birds and migratory birds.
  • Relish the opulent greeco-roman architecture.
  • Pay a visit to the libraries and herbarium sections to gather knowledge.
  • Take a picture of the colonial building situated amongst the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas.
  • Enjoy a small picnic on lush green campus in the picnic points.

Availability of Guides

For the benefit of people guided tours are organised by the institute itself. These tours operate daily in 2 slots – morning from 9:30am – 1 pm and afternoon slot from 2:30-5:30pm. These tours guide you through the 6 different museums quite comfortably and with enough time in hand. The guided tours come at a price of Rs 50 per person

Best Time to Visit

This hill station has pleasant weather all throughout the year. Hence, it is a good place to visit in every season. However, summer time remains the ideal time to visit. The monsoon rain at Dehradun is beautiful as it wears a green coat. So, April to June are ideal to pay a visit here.

How to Reach

The institute is located at a distance of 5km from the main town area of Dehradun and is well connected by buses, taxis, cars and autos. It takes about 30 mins to reach the place from the town area. The nearest railway station Dehradun is 6km away and the Jolly Grant Airport lies at a distance of 30km

Interesting Facts and Trivia

  • Its original name as given by the British government was The Imperial Forest Research Institute.
  • Though it was founded on 1906. It was constructed much later. It started in 1924 and ended in 1929. C.G. Bloomfield was the architect of this masterpiece.
  • It is the oldest research institute of India.
  • It harbours the headquarter of the Indian Council of Forest Research
  • With an area of 450 hectares, it has the largest campus in India even greater than the Buckingham Palace area.
  • The popular Bollywood film “Student of the Year” was shot here for some of it scenes.
Forest Research Institute Dehradun
Photo (Cropped) by Rakesh Kumar Dogra, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • The Clock tower of Dehradun town lies at a distance of 7kms from this institute
  • Tapkeshwar temple at the Garhi Cantonment lies within 5km radius of the institute.
  • Robber’s Cave at Guchchu Paani is within 8km of the institute.
  • Indian Military Academy and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology lies within 2km from this place.
  • Tibetan Buddhist Temple near IAS academy is another interesting place to visit.
  • Mindrolling Monastery and Ram Rai Gurudwara are other places of interest.

Nearby Restaurants

  • Imperial Clark Inn, Walk in Woods restaurant, The Wok, Ellora’s Bakery, Café BMG, the dug out and Barbeque Planet are some of the best places to eat in the vicinity.
  • Naveen Foods and Nanking Restaurant at Ballupur Road, Dehradun are good options for eating out.
  • Daawat at Surbhi Palace, Chakrata Road and 7 Eleven at Alka puri, Chakrata Road are interesting dining gateways.

Thus, The Forest Research Institute with its opulent architecture, soothing ambience and picturesque beauty offers an attractive alternative to tourists. it is a must visit place in Dehradun. So, don’t forget to visit this place when you visit Dehradun. Who knows you might find out that “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra”

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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