Indian Military Academy is the centre, where the officers of the Indian Army are imparted training. It became functional on 1st October, 1932 with a strength of 40 gentlemen cadets. Brigadier L. P. Collins was the first commandant of the academy.
In December 1934, the first batch, the Pioneers, passed out of the academy. The proud alumni, included Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, General Muhammad Musa and Lieutenant General Smith Dun, who later rose to the apex positions in the Army of India, Pakistan and Burma, respectively. The academy was renamed as the National Defence Academy (NDA) in January 1950. After the shifting of NDA operations to Khadakwasla, Pune, the academy was again renamed to Military College.
In 1960, it was renamed back to its original name of IMA. There is a shooting demonstration room, a museum, 18 Holes FRIMS Golf Course and a war memorial, in the premises of the academy. The campus even has a helipad, located in the north-west direction in the Tons Valley.
Sahastradhara is a beautiful and popular spot, located at a distance of around 11 km from Dehradun. The literal meaning of Sahastradhara is the thousand fold spring. The beautiful spring is around 9 m deep. The Baldi river and the caves, located in its vicinity, add to the beauty of the place, making it an ideal picnic spot.
The astounding aura of the place is enhanced multifold during the monsoons, when the region resonates with the vitality and energy of the gushing water torrent.
The water of this spring is said to have medicinal properties due to the presence of sulphur. People suffering from skin diseases visit this place to take bath in the spring to treat their ailments. Apart from sulphur, the water also contains lime that has led to the formation of caves here.
Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun is a premier research institute situated on the Kaulagarh Road. The institute was founded in 1906 and covers a large area of about 450 hectares. This institute is famous for its impressive building, which represents a wonderful amalgamation of the Greco-Roman and the Colonial style of architecture.
There are six museums related to forestry in the premises of the building. These museums display exhibits of a variety of non-wood forest products, timber, silviculture, social forestry, pathology and entomology. Besides the museums, the place also has a beautiful botanical garden.
This garden is quite popular amongst the visitors. In addition, the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy is also situated here.
Robber's Cave, popularly known as Guchu Pani, is situated at a distance of 8 km from the city centre of Dehradun. The place is one of the most popular picnic spots and lies close to the Anarwala village.
To reach Robber's Cave, tourists can take a bus to Anarwala. From there, the destination can be reached by a trek of 1 km. According to the local stories, the caves were used as a safe house by the robbers, during the pre-independence era. They hid here from the British forces. This place is also known for a strange hill that suddenly disappears and reappears. It is an extremely beautiful place surrounded by hills.
Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple is a popular cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on the banks of a migratory river, 5.5 km from the city bus stand in Dehradun. "Tapak" is a Hindi word, which means "to drip". It is said that the water drips naturally from the ceiling of the cave on the Shivaling, which is enshrined in the temple.
According to a legend, it was through this cave temple that Lord Shiva made milk flow to Ashwathama, the son of Guru Dronacharya, the famous saint from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The temple is surrounded by sulphur springs, the water of which is said to possess medicinal properties. On the Hindu festival of Shivaratri, a large number of devotees visit this temple to be a part of the sacred marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Santala Devi Temple is located at a distance of about 15 km from Dehradun. Travellers can reach the temple by availing bus services till Jaitunwala, and from there it is a 2 km drive to Punjabiwala. From Punjabiwala, travellers have to trek about 2 km to reach the temple.
According to legends, when Santla Devi and her brother realised that they would not be able to fight the Mughals, they threw away their weapons and started to pray. Suddenly, a light flickered on both of them, and they turned into stone idols. The temple is thronged by devotees on Saturdays, as it is believed that these days mark the transformation of Santla Devi into a stone statue.
Clock Tower is a popular historical monument in the city of Dehradun. It is situated on the Rajpur Road and is a major attraction of the city. The tower holds a great historic relevance and is a fine portrayal of the British architectural style.
According to the locals, the chime of the tower's clock can be heard from far-off places. Presently, the six-faced tower is not functional but still attracts a large number of local visitors and tourists everyday.
Paltan Bazaar is the most popular shopping centre of Dehradun. The Doon basmati rice and the gorgeous woollen garments are the main attractions of this market. Tourists can also buy artefacts and high-quality spices here. This bazaar gives the real picture of the city.
Sai Darbar Temple is a famous religious centre of Dehradun. The temple is open to people from all religions and faiths, and is symbolic of the secular teachings of Sai Baba. This temple is situated on the Rajpur Road at a distance of around 8 km from the Clock Tower.
The temple is known for its beautiful surroundings and majestic marble structure. It is thronged by a large number of devotees everyday. During the evenings, a prayer session takes place in the premises of the temple. The serenity of the place makes it an ideal place for people seeking peace of mind and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Laxman Siddh Temple is located at a distance of about 12 km from Dehradun on the way to Haridwar and Rishikesh. According to the Hindu mythology, Saint-Swami Laxman Siddh underwent penance at this place. Devotees in large numbers visit the temple during the popular Laxman Siddh Fair, which is organised every year.
Malsi Deer Park, lying on the foothills of the Shivalik Range, is located at a distance of around 10 km from Dehradun. It is a beautiful tourist spot that has been developed as a mini zoological park. Tourists can spot peacocks and Nilgais, also known as antelopes, in the park. A children’s park is also located in its premises.
Lachhiwala, situated at a distance 22 km from Dehradun, is one the most popular picnic spots of the valley town. Surrounded by dense woods of Sal trees, the place boasts of great natural beauty. The major attraction of the place is the Suswa river pool, where travellers can enjoy the cool waters of the hills. There is a big park located close to the place, which is a major draw for children.
Chandrabani is a popular religious site, located at a distance of around 7 km from Dehradun. The temple lies on the Dehradun-Delhi Road and is famous for the Gautam Kund. According to a legend, Maharishi Gautam, one of the seven sages of the Vedic era lived here with his wife, Ahalya, and daughter, Anjani.
According to yet another legend, this is the same place where Ganga, the daughter of heaven, manifested herself. Devotees in large numbers visit here to take a dip in the pious Gautam Kund.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun is an independent research institute of the Department of Science and Technology. It was founded by the Government of India in 1968 and was earlier known as the Institute of Himalayan Geology. The institute later came to be known as Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in honour of Prof. D.N. Wadia, who established this institute.
This institute, which has been recognised as a National Laboratory of International Repute, conducts basic research in the field of Himalayan geology. Moreover, it also carries out research in the related fields of seismotectonics, natural resources, mountain building processes and geodynamic evolution. Currently, there are about 65 technical personnel, 61 scientists and 76 supporting staff in the institute. The library of the institute has a rich collection of books and journals. There is also a museum in the institute complex.
The Museum also known as Zonal Museum, is a must-visit place of Dehradun for tourists interested in historical and ancient objects. It lies on the Haridwar Road and can be visited between 10 am and 5 pm on weekdays (it remains closed on government holidays). This place was opened for public viewing in 1971 and is considered perfect for family trips. A visit to the museum can be an enriching and stimulating experience for youngsters.
The Museum is renowned for its unique collection of ancient artefacts, which depict the story of origin, evolution and existence of human beings on the planet earth. Visitors can also gain knowledge about the customs and traditions of the tribal people, who used to live on hills and mountains.