The unhurried lifestyle and moderate climate of Dehradun make it the ideal retirement town it is. Some parts of the town still retain a distinctive British character, while a lot of it has outgrown its colonial origins. The town is also a centre for renowned public schools and educational institutions.
In recent times, widespread environmental degradation due to limestone quarrying around the town has caused concern amongst local inhabitants and conservationist. After a lengthy process of protests and litigation, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on limestone quarrying, and efforts at re-forestation of the denuded hill slopes around Dehradun have begun.
Today, Dehradun is the administrative centre of the hill region of Uttarakhand and the capital of the new hill state that has been carved out of Uttar Pradesh. Dehradun sees a lot of local tourists escaping the hot and dusty plains to its temperate climes.
The area around Dehradun has references in several ancient Hindu texts. It is known as the land of Shiva, the region where the Hindu mythological heroes Rama and Lakshmana performed penance, and the Pandavas of Mahabharata rested on their way up to the mountains. Apart from mythological associations, Dehradun was once ruled by the great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (1st century BC), whose rock edict was found near Kalsi, just off the town. Over the centuries, this area passed from one ruler to the next, including the Sikhs, Mughals and Gurkhas. Finally, the British established it as an army base and educational centre in 1815. In the post-independence era, Dehradun has witnessed dramatic transformations, from a quiet sub-Himalayan town to a bustling commercial centre. The spiralling local movement for a separate hill state was spearheaded from this town, which is now all set to become the new capital of Uttarakhand
Places to See Near Dehradun
The capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is famous for its scenic grandeur and beautiful surroundings. Dehradun and its surrounding places are adorned with the beauty of the Himalayas. There are several historical places, temples, natural springs, parks, picnic spots in the city's vicinity, which are surely worth a visit. In fact, a trip to Dehradun can't be successful without visiting the excursions around it. Apart from the natural beauty, there are several artificially built amusement parks around Dehradun that make an excursion trip interesting. Dehradun is also very close to famous hill stations like Mussoorie.
Tourist Places to See Near Dehradun
Located only 35 km from Dehradun, Mussoorie is one of the most visited hill stations in the country. It is stunningly beautiful place, with extremely pleasing weather and exotic locales. A trip to Dehradun, without visiting Mussoorie, is as good as waste.
The name 'Sahastradhara' means the site of 'thousand springs'. Situated near Rajpur Village, approximately 16 km from the major township of Dehradun, it is a very popular picnic spot. The place becomes more attractive during rainy season, when there is abundance of water in the springs. The water of sulphur spring is assumed to have some medicinal properties that can help cure skin ailments.
Santaura Devi Temple
The temple of Santaura Devi is located approximately 16 km away from Dehradun, in Santur Garh. It is most crowded on Saturdays, as it is regarded to be the day of Goddess Santaura Devi and Her brother.
Also known as Robbers' Cave, Guchhupani is the perfect picnic spot in Anarwala, situated approximately 8 km away from Dehradun. This serene and peaceful cave is surrounded by picturesque surroundings of hills and springs, making it definitely worth a dekko.
Malsi Deer Park
Malsi Deer Park is a recently developed picnic spot cum mini zoological park on Mussoorie Road, situated approximately 9 km from Dehradun. This is a perfect place for refreshment as well as for having a great time with your family.
Tapkeshwar Temple Asan Barrage, Dehradun
Tapkeshwar 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.
Rajaji National Park
Named after Shri C. Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of India, Rajaji National Park is a place worth visiting, especially for all the nature lovers. The park is spread in over an area of 820.42 sq km and boasts of having more than 23 species of animals. There are century-old rest houses within the park, providing accommodation facilities to tourists.
Fun 'N' Food Kingdom
One of the most famous amusement parks near Dehradun, Fun 'N' Food Kingdom is the perfect destination for a family outing. Approximately 11 km from the major township of Dehradun, it is meant for people of every age group.
Kalsi is a place approximately 57 km from Dehradun. It is situated at the confluence of Yamuna and its tributary Tons. Apart from it scenic grandeur and natural serenity, this place is also famous for being the location of the Rock Edict of Asoka.
Asan barrage is situated at the confluence of two rivers - Yamuna and Asan, approximately 50 km from Dehradun. This is an idyllic place for bird lovers as well as water-sport enthusiasts. Near the Asan Barrage stands a Conservation Reserve, created to protect the endangered bird species.
Lachhiwala is a popular picnic-garden spot, situated on the banks of river Song. This place offers economical boating opportunities. It is approximately 22 km from Dehradun.
Chakrata is situated approximately 98 km from Dehradun. It is the perfect destination for trekkers and nature lovers.