Dehradun is a city in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand , and also its capital. The city derives its name from two words - ‘Dera’ meaning home and ‘Doon’ meaning valley, as it lies in the valleys between the Himalayas and the Shivaliks in the region.
Places to Visit in Dehradun
Nestled in the lap of the Shivalik ranges and the Lesser Himalayas, Dehradun is one of the many quaint cities in Uttarakhand offering peace, scenic delight, and a spiritual vibe that fills the heart with happiness. The capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun has evolved to become an ideal getaway for solo travelers, couples, and families alike with the permanent views of the soaring mountains which are snow capped during winters, attracts an influx of tourists from across the country. From temples to picnic spots, to trekking places or water bodies, here are the best places to visit in Dehradun.
- Sahastradhara: Literally translates to ‘Thousand-Fold Spring’, Sahastradhara is one of the most popular and visited tourist spots in Dehradun surrounded by caves and the Baldi River which offers a magnificent view. With a high sulfur content, the water of the springs is said to have healing properties, while the lime content in the water has given rise to limestone outcrops and ridges. Apart from the spring falls, there is an amusement park and several small pools have been made with the natural water for people to enjoy without collecting too much crowd at one place.
- Sahastradhara Ropeway: A ropeway line built on top of the Sahastradhara hills offers spectacular bird’s eye view visuals of the entire village which is an experience to relish.
- Robber’s Cave: Also known as Guchu Pani by the locals, the Robber’s Cave is a 600m-long cave with a stream flowing throughout and a small waterfall inside it. It is believed that during the olden times, robbers used to use this cave as their hideout, and hence, the name. There are big rocks towards the entrance of the cave where you can sit and dry yourself after getting drenched and the feeling of cold water tickling your feet while you enjoy warm snacks is a must-try experience.
- Tiger Falls: Located in the lush green forests of Chakrata, Tiger Falls offers pristine views of mother nature along with a stunning fall of white water. With an elevation of 312m, this is one of the highest direct waterfalls in India which transforms into a pond at the end, enabling visitors to enjoy and have a good time. Besides, visitors can also go canoeing, rappelling, and rafting in the water.
- Tapkeshwar Temple: Located on the banks of Asan River, the Tapkeshwar Temple is the oldest temple in Dehradun and has a mystical charm to it. The cave inside has a Shivalinga and the entire pilgrim receives water droplets from the cave walls non-stop, making it a beautiful spectacle.
- Tapovan: With River Ganga flowing alongside the lush green peaceful surroundings, Tapovan is the place to meditate and take a break from the fastidiousness of life. it is said that Guru Dronacharya did his penance here in the tapovan Temple, and hence it is a spiritual and an attractive place to visit.
- Malsi Deer Park: One of the most popular places in Dehradun, Malsi Deer Park is a heaven for wildlife lovers. A peaceful home for herd of deer and other animals as well, Malsi Deer Park is a picnic spot with an aquarium and a bird breeding Centre as well.
- Maldevta: A synonym for picnic spot among the locals, Maldevta is on the outskirts of Dehradun and is known for its abundant beauty and peaceful surroundings. Ideal for young travelers or anyone looking for some frivolous activities such as swimming, biking, hiking, birdwatching, camping, and photography, the mighty Himalayas serve as the backdrop in Maldevta while the song River and the beautiful flora add to the magnificence of the landscape.
- Rajaji National Park: Nestled amidst the majestic Shivalik ranges, Rajaji National Park is spread over in an area of 820.20 square kilometers and is home to 50 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. Take a jeep safari or walk trough the park and spot a range of fauna and flora including the endangered species.
- Forest Research Institute: If you are interested in plants, birds, animals, and other areas of forestry, then the Forest Research Institute is the ideal place for you. Established in 1906 and known for the colonial Greco-Roman styles of architecture, the institute has a vast ground in front and a museum showcasing different plant species and one of the oldest living trees.
- Tapkeshwar Temple
- Mindrolling Monastery
- Tapovan Temple
- Ram Rai Gurudwara
- Kalinga War Memorial
- Soham Himalayan Centre
- Kasmanda Palace Museum
- Forest Research Institute Museum
- Agrakalpa Art Gallery
Major festivals celebrated in Dehradun include the following –
- Holi – Festival of colours; celebrated in March
- Nag Panchami
- Dussehra – A 10-day festival, worshipping goddess Durga
- Diwali – Festival of lights; celebrated in October-November
Dehradun has various markets and shopping spots where people can buy souvenirs and things like brass artifacts, beautiful shawls, local spices, clothes, funky accessories and handicraft work. Here are some of the best market places in Dehradun –
- Paltan Bazaar (especially for lovely brass items)
- Tibetan Market
- Indira Market
- Astley Hall (Furniture pieces)
- Rajpur Road (clothes – esp. affordable sportswear)
- Arhat Bazaar (spice marts)
- Himalayan Weavers (for Pashmina shawls and other handwoven clothes)
- Pacific Mall Dehradun
- Doon One
- Times Square Mall
- Crossroads Mall
Public transport within the city includes buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws. Besides these, a metro train system called the Uttarakhand Metro is being built to serve the city - this is a light rapid transit system for people to travel in, connecting various major areas within Dehradun.
Uttarakhand is known for its delicious north-Indian local dishes (from Uttarakhand’s cuisine) as well as its lip-smacking street food! Here are some must-try foods in Dehradun –
- Channa Puri (or Chhole Bhature) – Chhole/Channa means cooked chickpeas curry and Puri/Bhature mean deep fried flatbread made from unleavened whole-wheat dough
- Bun Tikki
- Paneer Samosa – A variation of the famous Samosa that usually stuffed with potato curry, this Crispy stuffed snack, with fresh cottage cheese is popular in Uttarakhand
- Paratha – Stuffed flatbreads
- Pakodas (Pakoras) – vegetables (or meat) dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried; served with spicy and flavorful chutneys to dip them in!
Following is a list of some of best restaurants in Dehradun to try the local delicacies as well as other interesting foods and meals –
- Muse Restaurant
- Black Pepper Restaurant
- The Tavern
- Y Cafe and Restaurant
- Punjab Grill
- Prez Restaurant
- The Garage Dine-In
- Mirabilia Restaurant
- Punjab Restaurant
Here are some of the best hotels in Dehradun for a comfortable stay -
- Four Points by Sheraton Dehradun
- Lemon Tree Hotel, Dehradun
- Ramada by Wyndham Dehradun Chakrata Road
- Hotel Grand Legacy
- Treebo Trend Blessing Bells Hotel
- Hotel Saffron Leaf
- Treebo Trend Grand Legacy Elite
- Hotel Rajpur Heights
- Divine Paradise Homestay
- Ribera Resort
Dehradun also has various good bars and pubs with good food, drinks and ambience, for people to hang out during late hours. Some of these include –
- Bristal Bar
- The Great Indian Pub
- Hill Queen Restro Bar Cafe
- Nirvana Party Lounge
- The DugOut – Sports Grill Bar & Lounge
- The Terrace
- Town Table
- QB Lounge
Dehradun city STD Code – 0135 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police –100
- Fire – 101
- Ambulance – 102
- Women Helpline – 1090
- AIDS Helpline – 1097
- Child Helpline – 1098
Hindi is the official state language of Dehradun. English is also used.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
The city with pleasant weather, eye soothing greenery, and an age-old culture and history, Dehradun is like a jewel atop the lower Himalayan Mountain ranges adorned with ancient temples, shimmering rivers and canals, and the breathtaking view that adds to the charm of the already scintillating place.