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Dehradun - At the Foothills of the Himalayas

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A peaceful vacation in the lap of nature does not get better than a trip to the city nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas and bounded by the mighty rivers Ganges and Yamuna. If you haven't guessed it already, we are talking about the state capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun. Picturesque landscapes of the valleys against the backdrop of mighty mountains and the gushing river waters are sure to send you into a blissful reverie.

Dehradun is gifted as far as natural abundance is concerned, so it is no surprise that there are many places to visit in the city and spots that are a popular as tourist attractions. Be it a trip for relaxation or adventure, Dehradun has a unique offering for every traveller. Here are some of the key places to visit in Dehradun.

Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park

The National Park spanning an area of 820 sq km surrounding the Shivalik hills at the base of the Himalayas is beautiful with thick forests and interesting wildlife. The deciduous cover, vegetation bordering the rivers and tall pine trees make it a must-visit place in Dehradun. The wildlife spotted at the park include elephant, Bengal Tiger, leopard, juncle cat, Goral, Rhesus Macaque and various other animals. For the bird-watchers, the park offers over 315 varieties of avian life.

Photo Courtesy: Parth Joshi

Robber's Cave

Robber's Cave

Situated at a distance of 8 km from the city is another place to visit in Dehradun, the Robber's Cave. It is also known among the locals as Guchhupani, a name resulting from the fact that it is a river cave. The cave consists of two parts, together stretching across the length of 600 mt. The rivers passing through the caves make for a rather unique outing. Transport however is only available till the Anarwala Village, after which travellers have to proceed by foot for 1 km trek.

Photo Courtesy: Alokprasad

Massive Buddha Statue

Massive Buddha Statue

The Buddha Temple in Dehradun is popular for its massive Buddha statue that stands at a height of 103 ft. The beautiful Buddha statue in gold attracts travellers from all over the country to marvel at its beauty and relax at the base. The statue was established in the honor of the Dalai Lama. Surrounding the statue are well-maintained gardens and the scenic views of the Doon valley.

Photo Courtesy: Ajay Tallam

Mindrolling Monastery

Mindrolling Monastery

The monastery is believed to be the largest Buddhist repository in the world. The main structure of the temple has a height of 220 ft and is made of five levels. The first three levels provide the viewers with amazing paintings and artwork that portray the life of Buddha. Painted in gold, the walls took over three years to complete. The fourth floor offers panoramic views of the Doon Valley. Nearby is the famed 103 ft tall statue of Buddha erected in the honor of his holiness the Dalai Lama. The monastery is one of the key tourist attractions in Dehradun.

Photo Courtesy: Dr. Umesh Behari Mathur

Sahastradhara

Sahastradhara

A popular sightseeing place in Dehradun is Sahastradhara. The name translates to 'the place of thousand springs'. Located at a distance of 16 km from the city, the place is a key tourist attraction as it an ideal picnic spot. The many water springs add to the beauty and fun. The post-monsoon season is the best time to visit Sahastradhara.

Photo Courtesy: Ashok Prabhakaran

Malsi Deer Park

Malsi Deer Park

Another popular sightseeing place in Dehradun is the Malsi Deer Park. Unlike the name suggests, the park has many animals you can sight here including tigers. Situated at the base of the Shivalik Hills, the park has the elusive two-horned deer, Neelgai and Peacocks as well. It is a great outing for families with children.

Photo Courtesy: Chobist

The Forest Research Institute

The Forest Research Institute

Dehradun has old buildings that display beautiful British style architecture, among them the most popular is the Forest Research Institute and Museum. Spanning an area of 1,200 acres, the building itself is beautiful and can be mistaken even for a monument with its size and sophisticated grandeur. The building houses six informative museums. The exterior parts of the complex are beautiful with gardens and clean pathways, an ideal place to take a stroll and enjoy the peace that the Institute offers.

Photo Courtesy: Shivanjan

Shopping at Dehradun

Shopping at Dehradun

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Dehradun. Locally made items such as Khukris or traditional knives used in the region are available in many small shops here. You can also buy a variety of handmade woolens. Local handicrafts and clothes are available in plenty. The popular shopping areas are Paltan Bazaar, Indra Market and Rajpur Road.

Photo Courtesy: Paul Hamilton

Food and Stay

Food and Stay

The local cuisine of Dehradun is famous for the 'pahadi' style of cooking. Specialities of the region include items such as kandalee ka saag, bal mithai, arsa, gulgula, etc. Restaurants and eateries are available in plenty catering to a variety of cuisines.

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Photo Courtesy: Paul Hamilton

How to reach Dehradun

How to reach Dehradun

By Road: Dehradun is connected by a good network of roads such as the NH-72. There are both state and private buses that ply the route to Dehradun from various regions of Uttarakhand and other nearby states.

By Rail: The Dehradun Railway Station is well-connected by regular trains to major cities such as Delhi, Amritsar, Howrah, Mumbai, Lucknow, Varanasi, etc. The station is located at a short distance of 2 km from the city center.

By Air: The Jolly Grant Airport, located 25 km from Dehradun city is the nearest airport. It has regular flights to major domestic destinations such as Delhi.

Photo Courtesy: Paul Hamilton

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