Welcome to Dehra Dun!
Picturesque surroundings in the foothills of the Himalayas and a moderate climate make Dehra Dun, India (capital of Uttarakhand), an absolutely incredible destination. Whether it is a mention in the religious text of Mahabharata or its origins by the hands of Guru Ram Rai, you’ll find that the city has a colorful past, steeped in ancient findings, that gives it a remarkably distinct charm.
Tourist spots are aplenty, but as a worldwide local you get to explore the city’s hidden attractions. This is an insider’s guide to Dehra Dun’s delightful discoveries.
A City of Education
Dehra Dun’s claim to fame is its many residential schools. Students from around the globe, arrive here to receive top class primary education. If you get an opportunity, visit the open house of The Doon School, to see the place where some of India’s most prominent political leaders, media heads, and film celebrities once studied.
Worldwide Local Tip: As the closest hill station from New Delhi, if you are staying in the capital, Dehra Dun and its surroundings make for a wonderful weekend getaway that promises fresh mountain air and a quick fling with nature.
Dehra Dun’s transformation from a quaint old town to a bustling metro hasn’t been without challenges. Expect to get stuck in long traffic jams, especially with tourists passing through during the hot months of June and July. If visiting in the summer, it is best to take the train into the city, and then hire a taxi for local travel.
Worldwide Local Tip: Among the most fun attractions, in Dehra Dun, is Robber’s Cave. A stream of water flowing in-between two towering mountains, the cave is a favorite picnic spot. You can indulge in hot noodles, here, while dipping your feet in fresh cold stream water. However, walking through the stream during the rainy season is not recommended as the water can rise quite suddenly.
Shopping in the City
Shopping in Dehra Dun is a rather crowded affair. Paltan Bazaar, packed with shops selling local products, clothing, and household items, does make for the perfect place to practice your bargaining skills. Just remember to knock down the quoted prices by almost half. The Tibetan shops are especially famous for their woolens and handicraft items which have an exclusive mountain feel to them.
Worldwide Local Tip: Every city has that one legendary eating joint, a reminder of the good things in life. For Dehra Dun, it is Ellora’s, a confectionery shop established in 1953. You simply cannot leave the Doon Valley, without trying Ellora’s cakes and biscuits.
Dehra Dun in Literature
The Doon Valley has been the subject of many books over the years. Rudyard Kipling and Ruskin Bond, are two prominent writers who have written extensively about it. Bond, one of India’s most loved authors, still resides in Landour, and you can meet him every Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon, at the Cambridge Book Depot in Mussoorie.
Worldwide Local Tip: For an adventurous break, hike up or down the famous 5 ½ miles Kipling Trail between Rajpur and Mussoorie. Passing through old British bungalows and a hidden brick tunnel, you are privy to stunning panoramic views of the Doon Valley, that very few people have witnessed. The climb is steep in parts, but easily achievable when done leisurely.
Enjoy Your Stay!
There’s a beautiful aura about Dehra Dun that reflects through the simple life of its residents. Even more endearing is that the city manages to maintain its old-world charm, and continues to be the idyllic gateway to the joys of mountain living. As a worldwide local, you enjoy the very best of Dehra Dun and its neighboring regions.