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Uttarakhand: Dehradun - The Capital
Dehradun is the capital of Uttrakhand, and it has a pleasant weather all the year round, The summer temperatures ranges from 16 degrees Celsius to 36 degrees Celsius and the winter temperatures ranges from 5 degrees to 24 degrees. It is situated at a height of 675 meters. It is Asia's second biggest valley, with the Himalayas in the North and Shivalik range in the south. The South east sees the Ganges flows by, while the North west sees the Yamuna. Green cover is abundant, there are other streams and springs too. The climate is healthy, and it is common to see people residing in the city to get rid of their ailments.
Modern Dehradun was built by Sikh Guru Ram Rai, who made this place his residence in the 17th century. The Darbar Sahib Gurdwara beside the Rail station was also built by him. The Sikh event of Jhanda fair or Jhanda mela is still held every year, 5 days after holi, and is the biggest festival of Dehradun. You can find more about the Jhanda Mela at TheHolidaySpot.
Places to visit in Dehradun or tourist attractions:
Forest Research Institute: It is the only such institute built by the British in India, way back in 1914. It has an impressive collection of trees and plants. There is a museum too, with 6 galleries. Plant lovers would love the place. Located on Chakrata road, 5 kilometers from the city.
Survey of India: Established on 1767, it was Radhanath Shikdar of this institute who measured Everest as we know today, and established that it is the tallest peak of the world. Situated on Rajpur road.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology: Situated on the General Mahadev Singh Road, it is an impressive showcase of collection of a single human being. The museum contains fossils and rocks.
Doon School: With the most impressive alumni like Prime ministers and number One flim stars, many visit the school as well.
Premnagar: 8 kilometers from the city, you can see how silk worms are cultivated here.
Sahastradhara: Used to be a must visit. It is a spring that has thousands of outlets, and provided for a good picnic spot as well. But now it is one of the most dirtiest and filthiest place of Dehradun, and it would be wise to give it a miss.
Tapkaleshwar Mahadev: Situated on the banks of tones or Bindal river, it is a cave where Mahadev is worshipped. There is constant dripping of water on the Lingam. Shivratri is the biggest festival here. Surrounding are truly beautiful. There is a Durga temple too, and also a Valmiki cave. Take a bus from city bus stand to Garhi. From Garhi, walk down half kilometers to reach the cave temple.
The Tibetan Gumpha (Shakya center)will also fall en route. Check it out for its frescoes.
Robber's Cave: it is 8 kilometers from the city, near Tones river. Also known as Guchhupani. You will be disappointed if you were looking for robbers here, for none exist. However, the sparse population, and empty surrounds is sure to tingle you. The Tones is trreat to watch here. It disappears in a bed of pebbles here, only to resurface at a distance.
Tapovan: 6 kilometers from the city, it has many mythological tales associated with it. 12 kilometers away is Laxman Sidh, which is a memorial temple built in memory of saint Laxman Sidh, and is frequented by visitors from near and far.
Malsi Deer Park: It is at the foothills of Shivalik mountain range, and is a lively zoo. It is loved by children, owing to the number of rides there. The zoo has tigers, double horned deers, Neelgai, peacock etc, and is a lovely picnic spot too.
Shiva Temple: Lovely surroundings, and a nice place to visit.
Bhadraj Temple: Situated 15 kilometers from Dehradun, it is a temple to worship brother of Krishna, Lord Balbhadra or Balram. Located in a place that gives great views, it will not leave you disappointed. Unparalled views of the doon valley and the Chakrata mountain range are visible from here.
Chakrata: 91 kilometers from Dehradun, towards Shimla, is Chakrata, and beautiful, unspoilt hill station. Till recently Chakrata had its gates closed to tourists and visitors. It is still in the hands of the defence, but now it has opened its doors for tourism. Situated at a height of 2153 meters, it is covered with dense forests of oak, pine, fir and rhododendron. You will have to pass the Kalsi and Sahiya gates too. The Kalsi gates open at 7, 9.20. 12, 14, 17, and 19 in summers and 7.30, 10, 12.30, 15, and 17.30 in winters. Sahiya is 23 kilometers away from Kalsi, and gates open exactly after 1 hour from Kalsi.
Chakrata is 23 kilometers from Sahiya. There are no gates however, in the Mussurie chakrata road. Foreign nationals will need a RAP to go to Chakrata.
Chakrata is a beautiful place, with anumber of view points. Check out the Kharamba peak (3083 meters),the Chirimiri lake, trek 1 kilometers to Thanadanga, Ramtal garden, and Churani.
Definitely visit the ridge at 2865 meters, and if you are lucky, you will be able to spot wildlife.
5 kilometers north east from Chakrata is the Tiger falls, the most beautiful place of Chakrata. Situated at a height of 1395 meters, the water falls froma height of 50 meters. Walk for 2 kilometers to Deovan, and you can view the snow capped majestic Himalayas, with the Doon valley below. A sight to behold, and though your digital SLR will be clicking away to glory, it wouldn’t be able to capture the experience you will feel with in.
You can also choose to go to Shimla (214 kilometers) by bus via Tuini (82 kilometers). The road winds through forests of Cyprus, oak, pine, fir and Deodar, and chirping of numerous birds will always keep you entertained. Kathian will fall en route. It offers the best views of Himalayas, nestled in raw nature. You can also trek for 3 days to reach Kathian from Chakrata.
DakPathar: En route to Chakrata, 45 kilometers from Dehradun is Dakpathar, known for its Hydel power project. There is a deer park, aviary, rose garden and children's park at the base of the Dam. Ideal for picnics.
Asan Barrage: 11 kilometers from Dakpathar and 38 kilometers from Dehradun, in the Dehradun Paonta road is Assan Barrage, a water sports resort. You can taste kayak and canoe rides in fast flowing waters of Yamuna here. There are a host of other water sports too, like a 7 day course on water skiing. If you visit in the months of November and December, you will be able to see migratory birds in its lake. Stay at GMVN's tourist rest house.
Kalsi is only 6 kilometers fro Assan, and Paonta Sahib of Himachal Pradesh is only 16 kilometers from Dakpathar.
Haripur: Famous for its natural beauty, the Yamuna hits the plains for the first time in Haripur. Situated at a distance of 56 kilometers from Dehradun.
Lakhamandal palace: 111 kilometers from Dehradun via Mussurie, and 65 kilometers from Chakrata is Lakhamandal palace. There are quite a few temples here of Shiva, Pandavas, and Parashuram. It is said that the Jatugriha of Mahabharata was built here. The nature is pleasing, with the Barni river flowing down. To visit, stay one night at Chakrata and take the conducted tour from Mussurie or Dehradun to cover Kalsi, Lakhamandal, Yamuna pool, and Kemti falls.
How to reach Dehradun: It is well connected from Delhi and other parts of the country by railways and roadways. Check our transport links below.
Where to stay: There are many hotels in Dehradun and a few at Chakrata. Check our hotel booking links blow for options, rates, photos and online booking at best rates.