Dehradun

Snuggled in the lap of Himalayan foothills, the capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun harbours immense natural beauty that coexists with a modern lifestyle. Sandwiched between the rivers of Ganga and Yamuna, the city is home to reputed institutions namely Forest Research Museum and Indian Military Academy. Providing some extraordinary view of the Himalayan range, Dehradun is situated nearby Auli, Mussoorie, Haridwar and Rishikesh.

As a peaceful getaway from the chaos of city life, Dehradun mesmerises every visitor with its small-town charm. Enriched with scenic beauty, Dehradun is dotted with various tourist attractions like Tapovan, Sahastradhara and Tapakeshwar temple. The famous Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) is the central landmark and the defining image of the city. Adventure lovers are treated with an unforgettable adrenaline gushing, as Dehradun is a hotspot of activities ranging from trekking, cycling and hot air ballooning.

No wonder that Dehradun’s iconic attractions mark its touristy value. However, the city does not lag behind considering its cultural heritage, which has Garhwali influences. Even though local inhabitants are fluent in languages like Garhwali, Kumaoni, Punjabi and Tibetan; they also speak Hindi and English. Its cultural diversity is best represented during festivals like Shivratri Mela and Jhanda Fair, where people celebrate their religious beliefs.

With its bustling bazaars, Dehradun offers a shopping expedition to die for. Its popular shopping hubs namely, the Paltan Bazaar and the Tibetan Market, stocks an extensive variety of merchandise for everyone. Food lovers will be spoilt for choice as Dehradun has notable eating joints serving a wide range of cuisines including Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Continental.

With all this on offer, Dehradun offers every traveller a fun-packed vacation that seems to emerge from the lifestyle of a Ruskin Bond novel!

Tourists prefer visiting Dehradun or the Doon Valley in the duration between April and July as the weather is pleasant and moderate.

Right from natural beauty to wildlife diversity, from religious sites to heritage grandeur- Dehradun combines modernity and tradition in a way that leaves every wanderer in awe. Get appalled by giving a visit to the sleeping tiger in Rajaji National Park and end your day by finding peace at the Mindrolling Monasteries and Tapakeshwar temple. Dehradun has many unique places to see that attracts every visitor to explore the stories of past, present and future.

Rajaji National Park

Opening up vistas to appreciate the richness of wildlife diversity, Rajaji National Park is home to more than 23 species of mammals and 315 fauna species. Settled in the lush valley of Shivalik ranges, the park is a reflection of the rich bio-diversity that nature has been guarding since times immemorial- proposing everything that can make any wildlife enthusiast rolled up with excitement. Preserving 250 leopards and 11 tigers along with thousands of chital (spotted deer) and hundreds of Sambars (India’s largest species of deer), can be spotted by a keen eye. Go there to see some rarely found sloth bears and some 300 species of birds. On a safari, don’t make noise as you might wake up a sleeping tiger!

The village called Chilla, situated at 13km northeast of Haridwar, is the base camp that leads to the park. Tourists can refer to a brochure, deposit entry fees and get a jeep at the Forest Ranger’s office, nearby the tourist guesthouse at Chilla. These jeeps have the capacity to contain eight people.

The best time to visit is between November to mid-June and the park remains closed during the rainy season.

Cost of Permits

Indians: Rs.150/visit of about 3 hours

Foreigners: Rs.600/person/visit for foreigners in Chila Range.

Cost of Gypsy: Rs.1500 from park gate

Vehicle Entry Charges: Rs.250/entry of vehicle for Indians and Rs.500/entry of vehicle for foreigners.

Cost of Guide: Rs.300 for general guide / Rs.600 for experienced Bird and wild life guide.

Timings

Morning: 6 am to 9 am

Evening: 3 pm to 6 pm

Essential Information: Additional charges are required for cameras and vehicle entry. It is Rs.250/entry of vehicle for Indians and Rs.500/entry of vehicle for foreigners.

Children above 3 years old are charged for entry in the park. Still cameras are free for Indians and Rs.50 for foreigners. A local guide is a must with every vehicle for Rs.300/drive.

Sahastradhara

Any traveller visiting to Dehradun will surely be admired by the masterpiece creation of nature in the form of Sahastradhara. A picnic place for many, this spot is based at a distance of 11 km from the main town. Magnificent flow of the Baldi River, falling water from a distance of 9 meters splashing on the rocks, and a mystical appearance of a cave is enough to enchant a nature lover.

The water here can give a tough competition to over-the-top branded creams and lotions, as it has some inherent medicinal properties to cure allergies and skin disorders (it’s free as well).

Opening –Closing Time: 8 am to 7 pm

Tapovan

By visiting this place, one gets reminded of the unwavering focus and unmatchable archery skills of the Great Guru Dronacharya. He was believed to have undergone penance at this site and thus, the place seems to radiate spirituality and vigour. It is situated 5 km from the main town on the banks of sacred Ganges. Visiting this place is like a feeling of getting covered by the blanket of Mother Nature infusing cells of energy in our whole being. Periodic Yoga courses are being held here justifying the ancientness of this space.

Opening-Closing Time: All days of the week, 6 am to 8 pm

Mindrolling Monastery

Peace of mind, sense of liberation, solace via meditation and spirit of Buddhism is what the Mindrolling Monastery has in its surroundings. A short escapade for anyone from the troubles of a routine life, the monastery is located 10 km south of the centre in Clement town. The monastery has 60 meters tall stupa and has a series of shrine rooms showcasing Tibetan artistry. An astounding 35m-high gold Sakyamuni Buddha Statue stands as a guardian protecting the monastery.

The monastery can be reached by hopping on to a Vikram auto from the city centre. An autorickshaw ride will cost you Rs. 150.

Opening-Closing Time: All days of the week, 9 am to 7 pm

Tapakeshwar temple

Feel the heightened sense of Bhakti towards the Destroyer, Lord Shiva in his Shiv Linga form, by stepping in the divine space of Tapakeshwar temple. A mesmerising spectacle forms when the central Shiva Linga, positioned inside a natural cave, is touched with a water stream falling from the cave ceiling.

Opening-Closing Time: All days of the week, 6 am to 7 pm

Shopping

From traditional handicrafts to hand-woven woollens, from gaudy jewellery to simple and junky ones, from exquisite Garhwali paintings to exotic artefacts- Buy it all here! Dehradun is not only known for its idyllic landscapes or heritage sites but also is considered to be a shopper’s haven. Its bustling markets with alleyways of tiny stores have everything to satisfy your shopping frenzy. Do not forget to stuff your suitcases with highly bargain-able woollen garments, artificial jewellery, artistic handicrafts and paintings sold by arrays of shops in Connaught Place and Ashley hall markets.

The famous Paltan bazaar, located near the clock tower, is stocked with some unique and exotic artefacts developed by the tribal community. A Biryani-lover? The city’s pride Basmati Rice is also sold here at a reasonable cost. Shopaholics can curb their shopping streaks by laying their hands on woollen apparels like precious pebbles, carpets and artificial jewellery in the popular Tibetan market. So, come, buy and explore these Dehradun markets to get a taste of a trendy yet authentic city!

Connaught Place- Don’t worry, we are still talking about Dehradun! Just like the famous Connaught Place of Delhi, this market is constantly bustling with tourists. This popular shopping hub is located at the Chakrata Road. Shopping freaks should not miss visiting this market as it is stocked with vibrant retail stores and street shops selling some beautiful handicrafts and artificial jewellery. Some shops sell wooden carved artefacts, exquisite Garhwali paintings and premium handicrafts articles which can serve as the best souvenirs.

Tibetan Market- The other shopping hub that attracts tourists visiting to Dehradun is the Tibetan market. Shopaholics can curb their shopping streaks by laying their hands on woollen apparels and special Tibetan articles like precious pebbles, carpets and artificial jewellery. Nearby the market there are various eateries serving many Tibetan dishes such as Thukpa, Momos and chowmein.

Ashley Hall- Situated right in the opposite direction of Gandhi Park, Ashley Hall is a popular marketplace in Dehradun. The famous purchasing items such as wooden artefacts, woollen garments, and beautiful paintings are sold by an array shops and stores. Items made of bamboo and canes are also showcased and are available at affordable costs.

Paltan bazaar- The popular Paltan bazaar is located near the famous landmark of Dehradun, the Dehradun-Clock Tower. The bazaar is always occupied by travellers, shopaholics and local inhabitants buying items like woollen apparels and exotic artefacts made by the tribal community. The famous Basmati rice of Dehradun can be purchased here at a reasonable price.

Rajpur Road- the Street is occupied by shops including both modern showrooms and stores displaying local artefacts and handicrafts. Apart from shops, there are various cafes, eateries and restaurants serving delicious delicacies to satisfy your hunger streaks.

Natural beauty, serene environment, clear blue sky and bustling bazaars are not just what Dehradun has to offer. The city is famous for its eateries and food joints serving authentic cuisines for our food-lovers. If you are travelling to Dehra Dun, your trip is incomplete without getting a taste of its local flavours. From authentic dishes like Gahat ki Dal, Sani Hui muli and nimbu, Singodi, kaafil, Kadalee ka Saag, Aloo ke gutke, Kulath Phanu, Tibetan Momos, Kumauni raita, and Gulgula to cakes, pastries and homemade chocolates- options are galore!

City dwellers blessed with a taste for sweet dishes can tickle their taste buds by trying their famous Arsa, Jhangora ki Kheer and Bal Mithai. Food joints close to the Bus Stand are the best places to enjoy the Tibetan Thukpa. If you are a Chaat enthusiast, don’t forget to visit the famous Chaat Wali Street near Paltan bazaar. Do come and visit some of its famous food joints!

Kumar Vegetarian & South Indian Restaurant- This sparkling clean restaurant is always packed with tourists relishing their famous Masala Dosa. The staffs are attentive and the ambience is peaceful enough to give you a satisfying gastronomical delight.

Opening Hours: 11 am to 4 pm, 7-10:30 pm

Address- 15 B Rajpur Road

Cuisine- Indian, Chinese

Price- 150-220

Lhasa Restaurant- Offering something different for foodies, the eatery is famous for its Tibetan delicacies. Visitors can enjoy their meals by relaxing in its peaceful environs and beautiful ambience. Do remember to make prior reservations as the eatery is normally packed with food lovers.

Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Address- 230 Dhaki Patti, Rajpur Road

Cuisine- International Cuisine

Ellora’s Melting Moments- Synonymous with Dehradun, the famous bakery is known for its flavourful biscuits and buns. One must not leave the place without try their quick bites including pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and soft drinks. If mouth-watering sweets and international desserts are something that you are looking for, then Ellora is a great choice.

Opening Hours: 10:30 am to 10:30 pm

Address- 25, Rajpur Road

Cuisine- Bakery Items

Town Top- A famous restaurant of Dehradun, this small eatery serves almost everything you will find on a typical continental menu. It lures many customers as it offers both indoor and outdoor seating options with a peaceful ambience.

Opening Hours: 12:00 to 10:30 pm

Address- 101, Rajpur Road

Cuisine- Continental cuisine

Rich with its Garhwali culture and traditions, Dehradun is host to many fairs and festival held regularly once in a year and are celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm by the local inhabitants. These fairs and festivals give a sneak peek into the diversity of the Garhwali culture. Innumerable tourists, devotees and local inhabitants gather to enjoy the festival and offer prayers to the deity. Some of its famous fairs include:

Tapakeshwar Fair- Held during Shivatri at the famous Tapakeshwar temple in Dehradun, the fair is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Innumerable tourists, devotees and local inhabitants gather to enjoy the festival and offer prayers to the deity.

Lakhawar fair- As a rural fair held between the months of September and October, the Lakhawar fair is one of the favourite fair of the Garhwali people as it celebrates their rich culture and traditions.

Bissu fair- Organised at the Jhanda ground located at a distance of 3 km from Chakrata, the fair celebrates the vibrant cultural traditions and heritage of the Jaunsari tribe.

Jhanda Fair- Primarily celebrated by the Sikh community, people from all segments of society enjoys this fair with great excitement and vigour. Held at the historic Guru Ram Raj Darbar, many followers from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh visit the event.

From traditional handicrafts to hand-woven woollens, from gaudy jewellery to simple and junky ones, from exquisite Garhwali paintings to exotic artefacts- Buy it all here! Dehradun is not only known for its idyllic landscapes or heritage sites but also is considered to be a shopper’s haven. Its bustling markets with alleyways of tiny stores have everything to satisfy your shopping frenzy. Do not forget to stuff your suitcases with highly bargain-able woollen garments, artificial jewellery, artistic handicrafts and paintings sold by arrays of shops in Connaught Place and Ashley hall markets.

The famous Paltan bazaar, located near the clock tower, is stocked with some unique and exotic artefacts developed by the tribal community. A Biryani-lover? The city’s pride Basmati Rice is also sold here at a reasonable cost. Shopaholics can curb their shopping streaks by laying their hands on woollen apparels like precious pebbles, carpets and artificial jewellery in the popular Tibetan market. So, come, buy and explore these Dehradun markets to get a taste of a trendy yet authentic city!

Connaught Place- Don’t worry, we are still talking about Dehradun! Just like the famous Connaught Place of Delhi, this market is constantly bustling with tourists. This popular shopping hub is located at the Chakrata Road. Shopping freaks should not miss visiting this market as it is stocked with vibrant retail stores and street shops selling some beautiful handicrafts and artificial jewellery. Some shops sell wooden carved artefacts, exquisite Garhwali paintings and premium handicrafts articles which can serve as the best souvenirs.

Tibetan Market- The other shopping hub that attracts tourists visiting to Dehradun is the Tibetan market. Shopaholics can curb their shopping streaks by laying their hands on woollen apparels and special Tibetan articles like precious pebbles, carpets and artificial jewellery. Nearby the market there are various eateries serving many Tibetan dishes such as Thukpa, Momos and chowmein.

Ashley Hall- Situated right in the opposite direction of Gandhi Park, Ashley Hall is a popular marketplace in Dehradun. The famous purchasing items such as wooden artefacts, woollen garments, and beautiful paintings are sold by an array shops and stores. Items made of bamboo and canes are also showcased and are available at affordable costs.

Paltan bazaar- The popular Paltan bazaar is located near the famous landmark of Dehradun, the Dehradun-Clock Tower. The bazaar is always occupied by travellers, shopaholics and local inhabitants buying items like woollen apparels and exotic artefacts made by the tribal community. The famous Basmati rice of Dehradun can be purchased here at a reasonable price.

Rajpur Road- the Street is occupied by shops including both modern showrooms and stores displaying local artefacts and handicrafts. Apart from shops, there are various cafes, eateries and restaurants serving delicious delicacies to satisfy your hunger streaks.

Dehradun has every ingredient of being a tourist destination- diverse culture, mystical and adventurous tourist spots, favourable climate, and food joints serving mouth-watering delicacies, and shopping hubs. Packed with visitors all the time, the city has many staying options ranging from luxurious five star resorts for affluent families to pocket-friendly guest houses and hostels for bag packers.

It has a wide range of hotels, guest houses and resorts in its kitty. There are budget hotels for people on a weekend getaway and it has other options for staying for corporate groups. Most of hotels which are pocket-friendly and preferred by bag packers and college-goers are found on the Haridwar road outside the train station. Most of the premium hotels offering luxury and high-end staying facilities are found in the main city along Gandhi Road and Rajpur Road. Don’t worry about pennies, as Dehradun welcomes every visitor with open arms!

It is advisable to research online and have a prior booking in the peak season as hotel rates are soaring during that time.

Being the capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun has an efficient network of transportation for backpackers, corporate groups, families and local inhabitants-all alike. The local modes of transportation include buses, taxis, private cars, tongas, tempos and auto rickshaws. One can hop on to the very well commuting bus service operated by Uttarakhand Roadways to explore the city. The bus stand is located near the Clock Tower which is a 10 minute walk from the Dehradun railway station.

If you are lucky enough to travel in a group, you can hire private coaches from travel agencies for city excursions. Auto Rickshaws operating on fixed rates can be hired. However, don’t forget to bargain! The most popular form of local transport operational on all major routes is Vikram Rickshaws. With a capacity of 6 people at a time, they too are an affordable option.

Reaching Dehradun by Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, which is at 22 Km Southeast of Dehradun on Rishikesh Road, Uttarakhand.

Reaching Dehradun by Rail: The Dehradun Railways Station, located at Lakkhi Bagh, in Dehradun is the nearest railway station which has a well-connected railway network linked with major cities from all over the country.

Reaching Dehradun by Road: Dehradun is connected by all major road transportation facilities. The best way according to young travellers is by hopping on to luxury, deluxe and normal buses which are avalaible on a regular basis from major cities. It is connected by NH-72 linking it to other cities of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

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