Dehradun

Dehradun, is the capital city of the Uttarakhand state, and the headquarters of Dehradun District. It is located in the Doon valley, 230 kilometres north of India's capital New Delh. The district is surrounded by the Himalayas in the north, Shivalik Hills in the south, the river Ganga in the east, and the river Yamuna in the west. The water divide of Ganga and Yamuna passes through the city. A large number of tourist come to Dehradun every year, many of them en-route to Mussoorie. Even though city transportation is now taken care of by blue striped city buses crisscrossing the city, another popular sight are the omnipresent blue three wheel vehicles (known as "Vikram"). These vehicles provide the most common and cheapest form of public transport, however, these vehicles have also been cited as the chief cause of increased levels of noise and air pollution in the city.

The railway station of Dehradun is linked with major cities of the country such as New Delhi, Lucknow, Amritsar, Bareilly, Haldwani-Kathgodam, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Indore, Ujjain, Ahmedabad, etc. with dedicated trains to Dehradun, under Northern Railways. The Dehradun - Chennai Express is the only weekly train that connects Dehradun to Bhopal Junction, Nagpur, Gwalior and Chennai. Recently many Durontos and new trains have started from New Delhi. The city is served by the Jolly Grant Airport, 25 km east of the city. Dehradun has a helidrome located on Sahastradhara Road.

Places of Interest

Tapkeshwar Temple
Ancient temple of Shiva is located 5.5 kms from Dehradun.

Sahastradhara
Sahasratra Dhara, laterally meaning, the 'thousand fold spring' is situated at a distance of 11 kms. from Dehra Dun. The place makes an ideal picnic spot and is of immense attraction to visitors.

Laxman Siddh
12 Kms. Away from Dehradun towards Hardwar/Rishikesh is a famous temple known as the Laxman Siddh. Legend has it that a sage underwent penance over here. Due to easy accessibility the temple is visited by a large number of people especially on Sundays.

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.

Chandrabani
Situated 7 Kms from Dehradun on the Dehradun-Delhi road is the famous temple of Chandrabani (Gautam Kund).

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.

Lachhiwala
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.

Dakpathar
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 under the Yamuna Hydel Scheme.

History

Dera (or Dehra) is a camp, while Dun or Doon is a reference to a local term used for a river valley between a smaller range Shivaliks and the main Himalayas, and the present town of Dehradun was founded in the early eighteenth century by Guru Ram Rai, the elder son of seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai, and the founder of the Udasin Sect of Ascetics, who when exiled came here in 1675, and first settled in the village Dhamawala which until today hosts the annual 'Jhanda Fair' on the fifth day after Holi in his memory.

Thus the name refers to his Dera or settlement in the valley, and marking this settlement is a Darbar called 'Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar', built in 1699, and modelled on the tomb of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. In Skanda Purana, Dun is mentioned as a part of the region called Kedar Khand, the abode of Shiva. In ancient India during the Mahabharata epic era, Dronacharya the great teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas lived here hence the name "Drona-nagri".

Tea plantations in Dehradun, first started by Britons in 1863 are still operational although many of Dehradun’s tea pockets like Sirmour, Banjarawala and Kargi are fast getting converted into residential colonies. The few surviving estates today manufacture green tea, which is all supplied to Amritsar, the sole and biggest centre of green tea in the country. From there it is exported to Pakistan and Afghanistan, in addition to markets in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other areas.

The biggest tea estate, East Hopetown, was spread over 600 acres (2.4 km2) and comprised Harbanswala and Arcadia tea gardens. East Hopetown estate was owned and operated by Amarnath Rohailla & Sons under Pratap Saxena until 1962 and was the largest producer of tea in the region supplying tea to Delhi, Punjab, Afghan and England.

Weather

Dehradun is located in the foothills of Shivalik Range. Its climate is very cold in the winter season and generally nice at night in the monsoon season.

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