Today, Dehradun is one of the most developed cities of India. Dehradun hill station is a world full of adventure, spiritualism and tranquility, amidst the Shivalik ranges the foothills of Himalayas, Dehra Dun is an entry point for all the trekkers and mountaineers on to their journey into the Garhwal Himalayas. The ski resort at Auli near Dehradun attracts enthusiasts from all over the country and abroad. The resort has skiing facilities like cable car, Ski lift, chair lift, snow-beaters etc. The valley of flowers, Har-ki-Doon, Dodital, and Pindari glacier etc. make excellent trekking routes from Dehradun. A gateway to the popular hill station of Mussoorie and the pilgrimage centres of Haridwar and Rishikesh, Dehra Dun is well known for the famous Forest Research Institute and the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy. Doon Valley stretched between the two rivers Ganga and Yamuna is a picturesque town with moderate climate with a number of places of tourist interest
Mussoorie is one of the most beautiful hill stations not only in Uttarakhand, but the whole of India. It is named after Mansoor, a shrub which is indigenous to this area. Popularly known as the ‘Queen of hills’ in India, the place seems like a ‘virtual paradise’ on earth. Lush green forests and lofty mountains add the scenic town. With a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain ranges in the north-east, and sparkling views of the Doon Valley and Shivalik ranges in the south, the hill resort offers its visitors real scenic delights. Mussoorie was discovered in 1827, by Captain Young, an adventurous British military officer, along with Mr. Shore, the resident Superintendent of Revenues at Dehradun. They were captivated by this extraordinarily beautiful place and jointly constructed a shooting ridge here. Today, Mussoorie has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
The romantic weather of the town is a pleasant change from the heat, humidity and dust of the plains. Mussoorie also acts as the gateway to the holy shrines of “Gangotri” and “Yamunotri”. With cascading waterfalls, lush green forests, mystic Himalayas, grassy slopes and awesome valleys,Mussoorie offers its visitor the real experience of being in the lap of nature. The city’s raw and unhampered beauty has a majestic aura about it. It seems as if nature has blessed this city with everything required for becoming a visitor’s paradise. A summer tour to Mussoorie will indeed be an enchanting experience for any tourist.
Sahastradhara is one of the most beautiful and serene picnic spots in Dehradun. It is very popular amongst both the locals as well as the tourists coming to the city. Its name emerges from the fact that the water literally drips down from limestone stalactites numbering thousands. During monsoons the water flow increases and in turn the floral vegetation of the area increases significantly, much to the delight of visitors.
The water comes from a hill. Sahastradhara is situated around 15 kms east of Dehradun Bus stand in the state of Uttarakhand. The nine metre fall of water of Sahasradhara through the lime shelf unconsciously stuns the visitors. It has an aged appeal and magnificence which only matches the healing powers of its waters. Sahastradhara also has a Sulphur spring near falls which has the medicinal properties and supposedly cures skin diseases or ailments. In addition to curing the skin disorders, the healing water also has additional restorative distinctiveness. Due to these properties of the waters, many people come here just to take a dip and then relax.
This temple is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva, situated approximately 8 km from Dehradun, on the banks of a stream, in Garhi Cant.
This place holds a lot of reverence amongst the devotees of Lord Shiva.
Santaula Devi Temple
About 15 Kms from Dehradun is the famous temple of Santaula Devi. One can utilize the bus facilities till Jaitunwala, then it is a 2Kms drive to Punjabiwala by a jeep or any light vehicle and further it is a 2 kms trek to the temple. The temple stands as a symbol of the faith people have in the temple and has a great cultural and religious significance. Santaula Devi, along with her brother, on realizing that they would not be able to face the Mughal Army, abandoned their weapons and began to pray. A light flickered and within moments they both were transformed into stone images. It is within the fort that the shrine was built and Saturdays mark the transformation of the Goddess into stone.
Tapovan is on the Dehradun-Rajpur Road. situated in the Doon Valley . Tapovan is believed to have been the spot where Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of warfare to the Kauravas and Pandavas, underwent his penance.
Dehradun is also renowned for its academic institutes. Dehradun is home to the institutes like the Anthropological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Institute of India, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, and Indian Military Academy.
Chakrata is a small town near Dehradun which served as an infantry base during the British rule. It is especially known for tranquil, beautiful and pollution free surroundings. The hill station is positioned between the Rivers Tons and Yamuna at an altitude of 5,500-6,500 ft. The region was earlier known as JaunsarBawar from the local Jaunsari tribe, which still has a remarkable presence in the area. Chakrata is an access-restricted, special entry military cantonment with foreigners not allowed to drive inside the area. One has to show Indian identity proof before entering this secluded paradise.
The timings start at 7am and then after every 2.5 hours. It is the permanent stronghold of the mysterious and Special Frontier Force, also recognized as ‘Establishment 22. It is the only traditional Tibetan unit of the Indian Army which was gathered after the Indo-China War of 1962. During spring season, red Buransh flowers are in full bloom. Special juice is acquired by crushing the flowers with mortar and pestle. At a distance of exhausting but enlightening eight kms hike from Chakrata lays the famous Tiger Falls. The place is pure poetry when all the elements of the gushing water, lush greenery and the charming pond come together.
About 20 kms away from Chakrata, is Deoban surrounded by impenetrable Deodar forests. Positioned at an elevation of 2200 m, Deoban offers a comprehensive view of the Himalayan ranges. Located at a distance of about 60 kms from Chakrata is LakhaMandal. This region has legendary worth due to its connection with the epic Mahabharata. It is believed that the Kauravas built ‘Lakshagraha’ here to set ablaze the Pandavas alive.
Robber’s Cave also known as Guchhupani and Lachhiwala
Though they have different attractions to entice people, both these places are ideal examples of the treasures of nature in Uttarakhand. Guchhupani is basically a natural cave with an ice cold spring where erstwhile robbers used to hide from Britishers. Lachhiwala, on the other hand, is a picnic spot with just enough uncovered area amongst the forests with a river flowing nearby.
Guchhupani or Robber’s Cave is located in Vijaypur near Anarwala, about eight kilometers from Dehradun Clock Tower. Since it is quite in the interiors of Anarwala village, sometimes one has to trek or take a sturdy vehicle to reach the place. This place as a picnic spot was established by the British Officials in the mid of their rule here. It is popular and is considered unusual because the freezing spring goes underground at someplace, reappearing a few meters away from the underground tunnel. This stream passes through cave, a natural rift in the mountains.
Lachhiwala is also a famous outing destination between the locals. It is located just three kilometers from Doiwala and about 22 kms from Dehradun. The place is really serene and striking being absolutely untouched by any kind of commercialization. Though many people prefer to go only for the day but the government has set up a guest house for overnight visitors.
Chandrabani is seven kms from Dehradun on the Dehradun-Delhi road is the famous temple of Chandrabani. According to the mythological beliefs, this spot was inhabited by Maharishi Gautama, his wife and daughter Anjani who are widely worshipped by the people. It is believed that the daughter of heaven Ganga had manifested herself on this spot which is now popularly known as the Gautama Kund. Every year devotees, in large numbers, take a dip in the holy Kund. 2 Kms away from the main road, located in the midst of Shivalik hills, the place is a beautiful tourist spot.