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Tourist Places To Visit In Dehradun
The capital of the newly formed state of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India. A picturesque hill station with pristine lakes, mesmerising landscapes, sprawling tea plantations, ancient colonial architecture and serene ambience, Dehradun offers a perfect hideout for all worn out souls. Dehradun is an experience where you become one with nature. From Robber's Cave to Sahastradhara, Chetwode Hall to the famed Clock Tower, Dehradun is traveler's delight. Here are the top tourist places to visit in Dehradun.
Sahastradhara or a thousand fold spring is located 16km from the city. The falls not only add to the scenic beauty of the place but is also popular for its therapeutic qualities. The water contains sulphur which helps in curing skin diseases.
Forest Research Institute
The Forest Research Institute was set up in Dehradun in 1906 to facilitate research activities associated with forests. Apart from its educational significance, the imposing building with strong colonial and Greco-Roman architectural influence and sprawling grounds is a treat to the eyes. The institute also houses six museums accessible to the public. Open from 9am to 1pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm, entry to these museums is free.
Dehradun is popular for the Indian Military Academy. Inside the academy is the small yet charming Chetwoode Hall where arms and ammunitions and military artefacts of the 20th century are displayed.
Also known as Guchchu Paani, Robber’s Cave is an exotic picnic spot and popular tourist destination. It has a natural cave with water flowing inside. A stream of water goes underground and appears a few metres away. The cave is surrounded by beautiful hills and this serene spot is an ideal getaway for anyone looking for peace and quiet.
Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple
Located on the banks of a rivulet, Tapkeshwar temple is the abode of Lord Shiva and one of the most popular pilgrim centres of Dehradun.
This is a Buddhist Monastery built in Tibetan Nyingma tradition in 1676. It is one of the largest Buddhist viharas in India. Over the years it has been a victim of attacks and calamities and owes its present structure to Khochche Rinpoche. The monastery imparts education in different academic fields and also houses Ngagpur Nyingma College which is one of the largest Buddhist institutions in India.
The largest non-chiming six-faced clock, the Clock Tower in Dehradun is the most popular landmark of the city and can be seen from a distance. The Clock Tower has six faces which makes it unique and one of its kind in Asia.
The Kalinga War Memorial
The Kalinga War Memorial was constructed by the British to honor their foe, the Gurkhas or Gorkhas.
The Char Siddhas
This refers to a group of four temples located across Dehradun. It is believed that visiting all the four temples in one day will fulfil a devotee’s wishes. The word siddha means wish. The char siddhas are Lakshman Siddh, Kalu Siddh, Manak Siddh and Madu Siddh.
On the banks of River Ganges bounded by lush green foliage is a scenic spot of absolute bliss and serenity. The quiet and holy ambience of the place fills one with a sense of peace. It is believed that it is here where Dhronacharya had undergone his penance. Today the place is full of sadhus and sages undergoing penance to appease God. Tourists visit Tapovan to witness the rituals here and to enjoy the quiet environment.
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is a reserve where people go to see tigers. It is not too far from Dehradun city centre and makes for a perfect wildlife trip. Three sanctuaries, namely Chilla, Rajaji and Motichur were merged to create this park. In the cover of Shivalik ranges and forests of the Himalayas, you get to see lots of animals — elephants and deer and leopards and tigers not even beginning to cover the list. Rajaji National Park is functional for half a year. It closes on 15th June and opens again after monsoon on 15th November.
Rupin Pass comes highly recommended on the tourist circuit of Dehradun. It is a classic, with its trek-like trails and Himalayan alpine jungles. The Rupin pass trek begins in Dhaula and goes all the way up to Sangla in Himachal, hence crossing state lines. At the top, you are treated to some of the most beautiful views of snow-frosted peaks. Along the way you will enjoy many temples (Kinnaur temple, Pokhu Devta temple et al) and local flora and fauna. Summer and late autumn are good seasons to do this trek.
Malsi Deer Park is another wildlife treat when you are in Dehradun. It is the most coveted one after Rajaji. As the name suggests, it is home to lots and lots of deer, as well as is a well maintained zoological park with designated spots for picnic and strolls. Add to that amusing rides for children and gaming areas, and you are set for a nice family outing. Deer Park lies on the Mussoorie Road, some 10 km from Dehradun.
Located at the point where Asan River meets Eastern Yamuna, the Asan Barrage is a dam that is instrumental in generating electricity in the area. But this also means that this place is serene and perfect for birds to flock. Even if manmade, the barrage exudes natural charm. Bird watchers prefer to come here when in Dehradun, with their cameras and binoculars in tow. Around 53 native bird species fly around, and an added 20 flock from various other places in the world during the migratory season. Due to this, they declared it a bird sanctuary recently. You can also indulge in skiing, kayaking, paddle boating, rowing etc at GMVN water sports complex close by.
How can you be on a hill station and not see a waterfall?
The Shikhar Fall occupies a secluded corner of the city, perched in the middle of forests and woody mountain terrain. One needs to hike up steep ways to reach here. The speciality of Shikhar Fall lies in the sweet multi-coloured butterflies flying about, with many birds flocking too. The shallow little pool at the base of this waterfall is also great to take a dive in. Stalls sell teas and coffees and snacks, while many small waterfalls sprout from various other places, inviting you in. A summer afternoon can be happily spent here.
Har ki Dun
Har ki Dhun is another trekkers’ paradise, suffused with alpine foliage, rhododendron meadows, mountainous trails, frozen rivers and ancient temples in small villages. This is hence one of the most famous treks in Uttarakhand, pulling travellers out of Dehradun for a couple of days in the wild. You get to see some beautiful sceneries like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Ruinsara and Black peak. There are some very quiet villages, some older than 3000 years. They worship Duryodhan, the biggest villain of Mahabharat. A week-long trekking camp can be arranged through Har ki Dhun in any season except monsoon.
Maldevta is your typical Himalayan hill station, but quainter, more subdued and a lot more natural. It is tucked in the midst of Himalayan ranges and is home to many an old temples, meandering hiking trails and the Song River gushing down its green meadows. Quite close to Dehradun, Maldevta is perfect for mountain biking, bird watching, swimming in the Song and pitching a tent for camping. Photographers also throng this place for its postcard sceneries.
Kalsi is a small village on the hem of Dehradun town, one that pulls you closer into the maze of Himalayan trails and pristine streams. The environment of this village is unpolluted and pure as it is far from the usual tourist circuits. Kalsi sets the boundary where Tons and Yamuna river converge. You can detour here for a day or two, enjoy sites like Ashokan Rock Edict (it’s as old as 253 BCE), Dak Pathar and the waterfront picnic spots. Other activities they boast of are trekking, camping, canoeing, sailing, water skiing and swimming.
Shopping and travelling go hand in hand. You just can’t not shop when you are on a trip. Even if it is window shopping!
Tibetan Market of Dehradun is one of the most popular markets around, and is lovingly run by the community of refugee Tibetans. Their handmade art pieces, sculptures, wood wares etc are highly coveted. You can easily pick up a souvenir or two or twenty here. From wind chimes to sweaters to baskets to local Garwali jewellery, there is much to look at. And when your tummy rumbles for food, just stop by a momo stall or slurp some spicy piping hot noodles from the cup while walking the street. There are also noodle soups, sweet corn and other fast food stalls.
An amusement park in the midst of Dehradun’s nature tourism, Fun valley is known for its thrilling rides, water sports, restaurants and family-friendly picnic attractions. Tourists and locals from Haridwar, Rishikesh as well as Dehradun flock here for a day of fun. There is an in-house motel if you want to stay overnight.