Located in the Garhwal region of the Himalayan foothills at around 700m, Dehradun lies at the centre of the 120km-long Doon Valley, hemmed in by the Yamuna west and the Ganga at Rishikesh to the east. The town was established in 1676 after Guru Ram Rai, the eldest son of the seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai, set up a dera (camp) here in the doon (valley). Mughals, Gurkhas and the British later occupied it. After leading a quiet life as a favourite retirement spot and a seat for renowned institutions like the Doon School and the Indian Military Academy, it was made the capital of Uttarakhand in 2000, adding a bustle to its charming mountain life.
Best time to visit Dehradun
The average annual temperature of Dehradun is 21.8 degrees Celsius. March to June is the ideal time to visit Dehradun.
How to reach
Most Spoken Languages in Dehradun
A cool, grotto-style restaurant with a bar upstairs, it is popular with families and youngsters alike. Good Indian, Chinese and Continental meals and a new south Indian section on the menu are what you’ll find on offer.
Established in 1957, this sweet shop is popular with the locals for a reason: the rasmalai, kulfi, carrot halwa and mewa bite are beyond par.
This sleek restaurant inside the eponymous hotel serves excellent north Indian and Chinese dishes. Try the chicken kadhai, butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.
A clean, friendly restaurant serving chowmein, cheese pizza, besides North and South Indian thalis—dosa, idli, vada and kheer (rice pudding).
Most bars in Dehradun, are located in hotels and malls where you can grab a drink and the odd live gig.
Hotel Ashrey, Tyagi Road In a quiet, but central spot, just a three-minute walk south of Prince Chowk; the private lawn in front leads to well-furnished new rooms with flat-screen TVs, of which some have air conditioning. This is also one of the hotels situated close to the Dehradun railway station.
Hotel President, Astley Hall Luxury boutique hotel that is contemporary and classy, with a choice of fine dining restaurants—Salt & Cravings stirs up Lebanese, Mexican and Italian while Prez and The Pavilion offer Indian, Chinese, Continental and tandoori options. Also on offer is complimentary all-day tea and ironing between 8-10am.
White House Hotel, Subhash Road An atmospheric, old art deco, Raj-era residence near Astley Hall with huge verandas, lofty ceilings, sturdy furniture and a friendly owner. This peaceful retreat with a lovely lawn lies in the heart of Dehradun, yet is an oasis of calm. The cosy Y Café and Restaurant with vintage furniture, a fireplace and books serve excellent pizzas, kinds of pasta and sandwiches.
Vishranti Resorts, Pachwadoon If you don’t mind staying away from the buzz, check out this luxurious Doon Valley jungle retreat, set amidst 23 acres of lush plantation. The cottages look like colonial countryside bungalows with sloping roofs, wide verandas and period furniture and decor.
Among other favourite places to visit in Dehradun is Sahastradhara (literally 'a thousand-fold stream'), a series of cascades and sulphur springs.
If you are interested in wildlife, don't miss the Dehradun Zoo and Malsi Deer Park.
Tourists also throng Tapkeshwar Temple, said to be the place of penance of Guru Dronacharya, where water drips on a Shiva linga inside a cave.
At the centre of the city is the six-faced Ghantaghar. A famous landmark in the town standing much before Independence is encircled by various commercial centres such as GPO and shops.
How about a jungle safari that too on a hill station? Special right! So, if you want to do something different from the regular sightseeing, head to Rajaji National Park nestled in the lap of the Himalayas and Shivaliks. This national park is especially famous for the Asian Elephant Reserve that you can explore by jeep safaris. There are two times for safaris - one in the morning and the other in the evening. While on safari, you can even spot Wild Boar, Leopard, Tiger, Barking deer, Goral two kinds of Bears Himalayan Black and Sloth along with more than 400 species of birds. It's a one-of-its-kind experience that will make your Dehradun trip different and memorable while letting you explore the brilliance of nature.
A popular destination among honeymooners, it's a perfect romantic gateway from Dehradun. This beautiful valley mesmerises everyone with its serenity while creating unforgettable memories. If you love adventure, you can go for trekking as well.
An essential site for Hindu pilgrimage, Haridwar is easily accessible from Dehradun. The place has ample tourist spots like Ganga Arti, Har ki Pauri Ghar, Mansa Devi temple, which attracts numerous tourists all around the year.
A popular site for river rafting, situated close to Dehradun is among the ideal gate away from the city.
This beautiful, silent and picturesque place is an ideal destination for a short escape from Dehradun.
Holi festival is celebrated almost everywhere in India. Though, the forms of celebration vary from region to region. In Dehradun, this festival is more synonymous to a musical event. It falls every year in the month of March-April according to the Hindu calendar.
It is a celebration that takes place in the Tapkeshwar temple on the eve of Mahashivratri. This festival attracts a large number of devotees and is celebrated with great fervour every year in the month of February.