Dehradun, in spite of rapid urbanization, growing traffic and commercialization, has still been able to maintain its old-world charm. It is now the capital of a small Himalayan state, Uttarakhand. Flanked by the Yamuna on the West, Ganga on the East, the Himalayas in the North and Shivaliks in the South, it is one of the greenest states of India and the doorway to the Himalayas.
It was the Britishers and the Christian missionaries who established the first-ever schools in Dehradun. Over the years Dehradun has come to be known as ‘the little Oxford of India’. It is an education hub and boasts some of the best schools, colleges and universities in India. The Doon School, Woodstock, Welham Girls’ School and University of Petroleum are some of its most prominent institutions.
Dehradun has something to offer everyone. For the nature lover, it is dotted with national parks; for the foodie, it has some great bakeries and restaurants and for the shopaholic, there are malls and the Paltan Bazaar. It’s a well-connected city with both public and private transport easily available. The entry of Ola has made travelling within the city all the more convenient.
Just a short distance away from the main city are Rishikesh and Haridwar. For all those who want to experience spirituality and religion first hand, these cities offer an experience of a lifetime. There are several ashrams where you can find decent, safe and cheap accommodation. It is also a great opportunity to experience the life of a person who has renounced the material world, practice yoga and take part in daily religious ceremonies.
If the mountains are your calling, then Mussoorie should be high on your list. Just 45 minutes away from Dehradun, nestled in the Himalayas, it’s a great place to enjoy those carefree strolls and the accompanying perfect weather. Mussoorie was established by the Britishers as their summer escape, so you will discover some beautiful churches and quaint old cottages as you walk around the town.
For nature lovers, Dehradun is surrounded by forests from all directions. You can spot deer, leopards and even elephants! It’s a great place for birding too. Almost fifty percent of the subcontinent’s species can be spotted in Dehradun. With each season you will find different species. Wherever you see a patch of forest you will find birds.
The Forest Research Institute, Tapkeshwar and the Buddha temple are great places to spend your evenings. You may also like to visit the Jhanda Sahib, a 500-year-old Gurudwara, which is bang in the centre of the city. We bet you will fall in love with the age-old murals.
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