Dehradun : The Capital City

Clock tower at Dehradun Dehradun  is a picturesque valley nestles in the Himalayan range. It is bounded by lesser Himalayan Foot Hills to the north-east; the shivalik Hills to the south-west; the Yamuna river to the nort-west and the Ganges river to the south-east.

Dehradun is a very old city. In vedic times, Garhwal Mandal, of which Dehradun is a part, was known as Kedar Khand. Legend has it that, Guru Dronacharaya considered it a place fit for meditation and worship. So, the valley of Doon was called Drona Ashram which means the Abode of Drona. His son Ashwasthama was born here. The sikh saint Guru Ram Rai camped here at Guru Ram Rai Darbar. Poanta Sahib, where Guru Govind Singhji stayed is 45 kms. from here.

Historically, Dehradun has always been an important centre. Once the strong hold of the Garhwal rulers it was captured by the British. The Battle of Nallapani was fought between Gen. Gillespei and Gen. Bal Bhadra Thapa.

The Headquaters of many National Institutions are located in the city of Dehradun - ONGC, Survey Of India SOI, Indian Institute of Patroleum (IIP) etc. It has Rashtrapati Ashiyana on Rajpur Road. Dehradun is a major educational centre, boasting of premier educational Institutes such as Forest Research Institute (FRI), Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Indian Military Academy(IMA), Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), a host of public schools and colleges. It has also emerged as centre for Adventure Tourism training programmes

Places Worth Seeing

1. Forest Research Institute
Forest research Institute , Dehradun, FRI

Set in the sylvan surroundings of Doon Valley, the Forest Research Institute is a proud testimony to the foresight and vision of foresters and administrators of long ago. Forestry, as a scientific venture, made its beginning in India in the mid-nineteenth century. Need for research in forestry was felt towards the end of the nineteenth century. Dehradun was fortuitously chosen to house the Forest Research Institute, which was finally established in 1906. Though the initial staffing was limited to Imperial Silviculturist, Imperial Superintendent of Forest Working Plans, Imperial Forest Zoologist, Imperial Forest Botanist, Imperial Forest Chemist, and Imperial Forest Economist (R.S. Troup), the Institute soon expanded, necessitating larger surroundings.

Forest Research Institute , Dehradun, FRI

The new house in which it had to shift is now an architectural edifice in Greco-Roman style. Designed by C.G. Blomfield and built by Sardar Ranjit Singh, the main building of F.R.I. is of great interest to tourists also. This grandiose building with office and laboratory space of about 5,800 mts2 and six magnificent museums covering 2,400 mts2, was inaugurated in 1929. The building is a tourist attraction and it signifies Dehradun as the forest capital of India

2. Sahastradhara
Sahastradara, Sulpher Water Spring

Sahastra means thousands and Dhara means streams, so Sahastra Dhara means thousands of streams. Around 14 km from Dehradun is the cold Sulphur water spring. The spring is believed to have exceptional medicinal value and the dripping caves and a bath in the Baldi River near the spring are said to rejuvenate the body and soul. Many people come to the spring in the hope of being cured from polio and other such ailments.

Set amidst the picturesque bounty of nature, Sahastradhara has become quite popular with tourists off late. The place makes an ideal picnic spot and is of immense attraction to visitors. The Baldi river and the caves provide a breathtaking view. The water here has a fall of about 9 metres and leaves an incrustation of lime of all its touches.

3. Tapkeshwar Temple
Shivling, Tapkeshwar Temple

This cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva is on the bank of a seasonal river. Here on the Shivling, water falls drop by drop from the lap of a rock and hence the name Tapkeshwar. It is 5.5 kms. from the city bus stand and is situated in the Garhi Cantt. area. It is connected by regular bus service. A fair is held every year at this temple on the occasion of Shivratri.

4. Malsi Deer Park
Deer grazing in park

The newly developed spot at the foot hills of Shivalik is situated about 10 kms. from Dehradun, enroute to Mussoorie on Diversion road. A mini zoo with children's park and lovely natural surroundings make it ideal sightseeing cum picnic spot. Refreshment Tea and snacks are also available. It also is home to such fabulous creature like sambhar, deer, panther etc.

Closed on : Monday

5. The Great Stupa

The World Peace Stupa in Clement town is the largest in the world offering a panoramic aerial view of the city. Surrounded by soft and supple grasslands, this tibetian temple is a must visit place in Dehradun. Bestowed with the state of the art Buddhist statues, a tibetian Mindrolling Monastery which means "Place of Perfect Emancipation" in Tibetan language, is a renowned monastery of the Nyingma sect. Rigzin Tendak Lingpa established it in 1676.

This monastery witnessed numerous attacks and natural calamities and its present structure is the contribution of Khochhen Rinpoche. Mindrolling Monastery is one of the largest Buddhist Viharas in India, which exhibits architectural marvel.

The Great Stupa situated at Mindrolling Monastry, Clement Town, Dehradun is a unique example of its kind in the world. This magnificent stupa measuring 185 feet was inaugurated by His Holiness The Dalai Lama on 28th October 2002. It has five storeys. Shrine room at each storey is filled with statues, paintings and other items representing the body, speech and mind. Stupa surrounded by a beautiful garden is an excellent example of Tibetan Buddhist religion, culture, tradition, art and heritage, which is worth seeing.

6. The Statue Of Budha

The 103 ft. high statue of the Buddha Shakyamuni is there at the Dhe Chen Chokhor Kagyupa Monastry, Clement Town. This statue of lord Boddha is dedicated to H.H The Dalai Lama. May his message of love, compassion, kindness and peace spread wide in every nook and corner of the world. It took almost two years to complete this 103 ft. long statue of the Buddha Shakyamuni. It also comprises of beautiful garden with green grassfield and surrounded by different range of beautiful flowers. There are number of visitors from home and abroad who come here with their family and friends.

7. Dakpather

45kms. from Dehradun, an excursions Yamuna Hydel Scheme, Dakpathar has emerged as a lovely tourist spot in the Western Doon Valley. It encompasses lush green and blooming gardens. The vast stretch on the Yamuna river and the serrated Shivalik rang add to the grandeur of the palce. The place is connected by regular bus service from Parade Ground and Highway bus stand near Railway Station, Dehradun. A tourist Bungalow commands a beautiful view of the area with swimming pool facilities.

8. Robber's Cave
Robber's cave, Robbers cave, Guchhupani

An ideal place for a picnic, Robber's Cave is just 8 Kms away from the City Bus Stand. Local bus services are available upto Anarwala Village, from where it is just a Kilometre�s trek to the spot. A magnificient spot that lies at the suburban areas of Dehradun, Robber's Cave is a best loved tourist location. Popularly called as Guchhipani or Guchu Pani it is a perfect destination to spend the holiday in a pristine atmosphere.

Beauty in the midst of adventure is the prime specialty of this scenic place. Bounded by majestic hills, this caves presents an amazing scenario of the mother nature. After the tedious trek of one kilometer, one would get the pleasant warmth of a refreshing stream. After a quite flow, this would vanish only to appear in a few kilometers away. Tourists folk together in large groups here, to witness this strange and splendorous experience.

9. Guru Ram Rai
Guru Ram Rai, Guru Ramrai

Sikh Guru Har Rai died in 1661 leaving behind two sons, Ram Rai and Harkishen. Both claimed succession, but because Ram Rai was son of a handmaiden, Harkishen was preferred over his brother (Ram Rai). Ram Rai, however, refused to abide by the judgment and differences ran so high that the matter was referred to Aurangzeb for arbitration. Aurangzeb also cast his vote in favour of Harkishen and sent Ram Rai away. He, however, did not abandon the pretension of Ram Rai to the spiritual leadership of his sect. Harkishen died in 1664 and was succeeded by his uncle Teg Bahadur. Ram Rai again pressed for his claim and posed a threat not only to his position but also to his life. Teg Bahadur was however, arrested and executed in 1675. Aurangzeb also directed Ram Rai to retire to wilderness and refrain from meddling in public affairs or face the same fate. Following the emperor's directive Ram Rai came to Dehradun and resided for a short time at Kandli on the Tons and then settled down in Kharbara. He built his temple at the village of Dhamawala which even today hosts the famous Jhanda Fair on the fifth day after Holi in the sacred memory of the revered Guru.

The art form of the region have greatly influenced the wall paintings at the Durbar Sahib, the seat of Guru Ram Rai, which were painted in three phases, from early 17th century to middle of the 19th century. They are a sight to behold. The Archaeological Survey of India has taken up the restoration of Darbar Sahib's wall paintings depicting the Mughal, Rajasthani and Kangra style of mural paintings.

The walls of the Guru Ram Rai complex present richly decorated paintings on various subjects. Most prominent are scenes from the Mahabharat, Gita, Ramayan and Krishna Leela. Besides Noor Jahan, Heer-Ranjha and Laila-Majnu, some Britishers also find place in the paintings of the famous Durbar Sahib.

10. Lakha Mandal
main temple lakha mandal, lakha mandal temple

The Lakhamandal temple is 90 kilometres from Vikas Nagar on Yamnotri road and past Kempty falls 75 kms. on the Mussoorie Yammunotri road. Legend has it that the Kaurvas made a shelter house and conspired to burn Pandavas alive here. It is believed that at this very site, there were about hundred thousand Shivlingams. This is how the place got its name of Lakhamandal. It is believed that by performing prayers at this temple, one can achieve deliverance from his sins.

While carrying out the excavation, shivalingams of various hues were found, dating different periods of history. Also found were silver and copper coins again dating different period of history. Every year on the auspicious occasion of Baishakhi falling on 14th of April, a fair is organised with great religious fervour and gaiety, attended by hundreds of devotees of the nearby area. No specific time has been assigned for aarti.

Lakha mandal shivling Lakha mandal sculpture Lakha mandal main temple Lakha mandal shivling
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