|Elevation||636 m (2,087 ft)|
|• Official||English, Hindi, Sanskrit|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Dehradun // (Hindi: देहरादून, Dehradoon) is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, it is 236 km north of India's capital New Delhi and is one of the "Counter Magnets" of the National Capital Region (NCR) being developed as an alternative centre of growth to help ease the migration and population explosion in the Delhi metropolitan area. Dehradun is in the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India's mightiest rivers — the Ganges on the east and the Yamuna on the west. The city is famous for its picturesque landscape and slightly milder climate and provides a gateway to the surrounding region. It is well connected and in proximity to popular Himalayan tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Nainital and Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Char Dham.
Dehradun is renowned for its natural resources, publishing services and particularly for its prestigious educational institutions. It hosts some of India's best schools and training institutions of national importance such as the Indian Military Academy. It is home to national foundations such as the Ordnance Factory Dehradun and Opto Electronics Factory of the Ordnance Factories Board and the Defence Electronics Application Laboratory and Instruments Research and Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation which manufactures products for the Indian Armed Forces. Other institutions include the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Survey of India, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Wildlife Institute of India and the Forest Research Institute.
The Municipal Corporation of Dehradun is locally known as Nagar Nigam Dehradun. Other urban entities involved in civic services and city governance and management include Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), Special Area Development Authority (SADA), Jal Sansthan, and Jal Nigam among others.
Dehradun is made up of two words: 'Dehra' is derived from the word "dera", deriving from griha and meaning home. "Doon" is a term for the valley that lies between the Himalayas and the "Shivaliks". When Ram Rai Ji, son of Guru Har Rai, came to this region with his followers, he established a camp here for them. Around this time, the modern city of Dehradun started to develop. This is when the word dehra was linked to doon, and thus the city was named Dehradun. Some historians believe that the word dehra cannot be regarded as a term for camping.
The history of the capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun (sometimes written as Dehra Doon, nicknamed "Doon Valley") is linked to the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is believed that after the battle between Ravan and Lord Ram, Lord Ram and his brother Laxman visited this site. Dronacharya, the legendary royal guru to the Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata, is believed to have been born and resided in Dehradun. Evidence such as ancient temples and idols have been found in the areas surrounding Dehradun which have been linked to the mythology of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These relics and ruins are believed to be around 2000 years old. Furthermore, the location, the local traditions and the literature reflect this region's links with the events of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Even after the battle of Mahabharata, the Pandavas had influence on this region as the rulers of Hastinapur with the descendants of Subahu ruled the region as subsidiaries. Likewise, Rishikesh is mentioned in the pages of history when Lord Vishnu answered the prayers of the saints, slaughtered the demons and handed the land to the saints. The adjoining place called Chakrata has its historical impression during the time of Mahabharata.
In the seventh century this area was known as Sudhnagar and was described by the Chinese traveler Huen Chang. Sudhnagar later came to be recognised as the name of Kaalsi. Edicts of Ashoka have been found in the region along the banks of river Yamuna in Kaalsi indicating the wealth and importance of the region in ancient India. In the neighbouring region of Haripur, ruins were discovered from the time of King Rasala which also reflect the region's prosperity.
Before the name of Dehradun was used, the place is shown on old maps as Gurudwara (a map by Webb, 1808) or Gooroodwara (a map by Gerard, 1818). Gerard's map names the place as "Dehra or Gooroodwara". Surrounding this original Sikh temple were many small villages that are now the names of parts of the modern city.
Dehradun itself derives its name from the historical fact that Shri Ram Rai Ji, the eldest son of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji, set up his "dera" (camp) in "dun" (valley) in 1676. This 'Dera' 'Dun' later on became Dehradun.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was highly impressed by the miraculous powers of charismatic Ram Rai Ji. He asked the contemporary Raja of Garhwal, Fateh Shah to extend all possible help to Shri Guru Ram Ji. Initially a Gurudwara (temple) was built in Dhamawala. The construction of the present building of Darbar Sahib was completed in 1707. There are portraits of gods, goddesses, saints, sages and religious stories on the walls. There are pictures of flowers and leaves, animals and birds, trees, similar faces with pointed noses and big eyes on the arches which are the symbol of the colour scheme of Kangra-Guler and Mughal art. High minarets and round pinnacles are the models of the Muslim architecture. (The huge talab in the front measuring 230 x 80 feet had dried up for want of water over the years. People had been dumping rubbish; it has been renovated and revived. Now whoever visits to the Shri Darbar Sahib would notice the change.)
Dehradun was invaded by Mahmud of Ghazni during his campaigns into India followed by Taimooralang in 1368, Ruahela Njibuddulo in 1757 and Ghulam Qadir in 1785. In 1806 King Prithvi Narayan Shah united and many of the Indian territories now fell under such as Almora, Phatankot, Kumaon, Garhwal, Simur, Shimla, Kangra and Dehradun. The current king of the Kumaon kingdom is Raja Mahendra Chand of Lamakhet (Pithoragarh), married to Rani Gita Chand of Rina.
On the western front Garhwal and parts of Himachal Pradesh up to Punjab and on the eastern front the state of Sikkim up to Darjeeling became parts of Nepal for a brief period until the British East India Company went on war from 1814 to 1816. The war ended with signing of the Treaty of Sugowli where almost a third was ceded to British East India company. The British got Dehradun in 1816 and colonised Landour and Mussoorie in 1827-1828.
Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, was quite fond of the city and often visited. He spent his last few days here before passing away in Delhi in 1964. Another leader from the independence movement, Rash Behari Bose, who was one of the key organisers of the Ghadar conspiracy and, later, the Indian National Army was based in Dehradun in his early days before he was forced to move to Japan in 1915 to continue the freedom struggle.
Post independence Dehradun and other parts of Garhwal and Kumaon were merged with United Provinces which was later renamed the state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2000, Uttarakhand state (earlier called Uttaranchal) was created from the northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh under the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000. Dehradun was made its provisional capital. After becoming the capital, the city has seen continuous development.
The Dehradun district has many types of physical geography from Himalayan mountains to Plains. Raiwala is the lowest point at 315 meters above sea level; the highest points are in the Tiuni hills, rising to 3700 m above sea level. The Doon valley contains the settlements including Dehradun, Doiwala, Herbertpur, Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Rishikesh, Raiwala and Subash Nagar, Clement Town.
The district contains Rajaji National Park which is home to several elephants. The Doon valley has the Terai and Bhabar forests within it as well as the Shiwalik hills and Lesser Himalayan Range containing hill stations such as Mussoorie and Chakrata.
The district is bordered by the Himalayas in the north, the Sivalik Hills to the south, the river Ganges to the east, and the Yamuna river to the west. Towns in the foothills of the mountain ranges include Mussoorie, Sahastradhara, Chakrata, Lahkhamondal, Gautam Kund Chandrabani and Dakpathar.
This district is divided into two major parts: the main city Dehradun surrounded by Shivalik and the Himalayas, and Jaunsar Bavar, which is in the foothills of Himalayas. In the north and northwest it borders on the district of Uttarkashi and in the east by Tehri and Pauri. In the west, it is bordered by Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh and the Tons and Yamuna rivers. To the south are Haridwar and Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.
It is between latitudes 29 °58' N and 31°2'N and longitudes 77° 34' E and 78° 18'E. This district consists of six tehsils — Dehradun, Chakrata, Vikasnagar, Kaalsi, Tjonee and Rishikesh — six community development blocks — Vis, Chakrata, Kalsi,Vikashnagar, Shaspur, Rajpur and Doiwala — 17 towns and 764 villages. Out of these 746 villages are inhabited; 18 districts are uninhabited.
The climate of Dehradun is generally temperate, although it varies from tropical: from hot in summers to severely cold, depending upon the season and the altitude. The nearby hilly regions often get snowfall during winter. Although the temperature in Dehradun can reach below freezing during severe cold waves, this is not common. Summer temperatures can reach up to 40°C for a few days, whereas winter temperatures are usually between 1 and 20°C. During the monsoon season, there is often heavy and protracted rainfall. Dehradun and other plains areas of Uttarakhand see almost as much rainfall as coastal Maharashtra and more than Assam. The weather is considered to be good during winter in the hilly regions, and it is often hot in the "Doon" valley.
Agriculture benefits from fertile alluvial soil, adequate drainage and plentiful rain. Mountain areas are also used for agriculture. Dehradoon is known internationally for its variety of Basmati rice and Lychees.
|Climate data for Dehradun|
|Average high °C (°F)||19.3
|Average low °C (°F)||3.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||46.9
The number of literates in Dehradun city is 463,791, of which 251,832 are males and 211,959 are females. Average literacy rate of Dehradun city is 89.32 percent, whereas male literacy and female literacy rates are 92.65 and 85.66 percent, respectively.
The number of children of age under six in Dehradun city is 59,180 as per figure from Census India report on 2011. There are 31,600 boys and 27,580 are girls. Child sex ratio of girls is 873 per 1000 boys.
Tourist destinations include the Tapkeshwar temple, Malsi Deer Park, Kalanga monument, Laxman Siddh, Chandrabani, Guchhupani, Forest Research Institute, Tapovan, Santala Devi temple, Central Braille Press and Wadia Institute.
The tourist destinations can be divided into four or five areas: nature, sports, sanctuary, museums and institutions. The nearby hill stations are well known for their natural beauty, temples for its faith dimensions, sanctuary for animal and bird lovers. Hill stations include Mussoorie, Sahastradhara, Chakrata, and Dakpathar. Famous temples Tapkeshwar, Lakhamandal and Santala Devi are here.
In sports tourism, the Doon Ice Rink at Maharana Pratap Sports Complex, Raipur is the first full-sized ice arena in India. It has hosted ice skating competitions and ice hockey tournaments, including the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia.
Transport options include:
- By air: Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet offer weekly flights from Delhi to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, 25 km from the valley of Dehradun.
- Railways: Dehradun has a railway station with services to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Trivandrum and Varanasi. Some fast trains running to and from Dehradun include the Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express and New Delhi—Dehradun AC Express.
- Road: Dehradun is linked to all parts of the country by road. Luxury Volvo and deluxe buses are easily available from Delhi to Dehradun. Deluxe and semi-deluxe buses run to Shimla and Mussoorie from Dehradun Interstate bus terminal (ISBT) near Clement Town. A deluxe bus service is offered by UPSRTC to and from Delhi (Gandhi Road). From ISBT there are bus services to Dehradun and Mussorie every 15–70 minutes. There are buses to and from cities neighbouring Dehradun starting at the Parade Ground. The distances to Dehradun from some of the major cities are Delhi 255 km, Haridwar 54 km, Risikesh 42 km, Agra 382 km, Shimla 221 km, Yamunotri 279 km, Kedarnath 270 km and Nainital 297 km.
Dehradun is home to some of India's renowned educational institutions, which include The Doon School, Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Army School, Ann Mary School, Riverdale School,Tapovan Vidya Niketan, Convent of Jesus and Mary,Cambrian Hall, St. Thomas' College, Guru Nanak Academy, St. Joseph's Academy, Scholars Home, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Welham Girls School and Welham Boys School. Several Indian and international luminaries have attended these schools. There are numerous forest officials in India who have attended the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. It is home to many religious schools as well. Yoga, Ayurveda and meditation have great influence in Dehradun.
National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH) plays a key role in helping the blind people. It is the first such institute in India and the first press for Braille script in the country which provides education and service to the blind children.
Dehradun houses organizations like the Latika Roy Foundation for people with disabilities to access education, employment, and full inclusion in the community. It harbours innovative organizations like the ASK Foundation working to channelize the teaching community and to uplift the academic level of students of Dehradun.
Dehradun has institutions for engineering, medical, management and others for purpose of higher education.
Dehradun is a part of Garhwal region, therefore the local customs of the Garhwali people have had a great influence on its culture. Garhwali and Hindi are the primary languages spoken. Other languages spoken in the region are Punjabi, English and Kumaoni. There are people from differing religions and backgrounds residing here. After becoming the capital, there has been continuous growth in education, communication and transport. As the state capital, Dehradun is home to many government institutions. Dehradun is renowned all over India for its quality education institutions.
Buses are identified with blue bars. There are auto-rickshaws which are often used for transportation but blamed for pollution and noise. The evening buzz of Rajpur road is an attraction. After becoming the capital of Uttarakhand, the development of the city has accelerated; it is still known as a peaceful city with pleasant weather. The center is easily recognised by the Clock Tower (Ghanta-ghar), a structure with six functioning clocks. The statue of San Dijen placed in Shanti Niketan contributes to the beauty. This is the reason that Dehradun is home to many artists and writers like Stephen Alter, Nayantara Sahgal, Allan Sealy, and Ruskin Bond, who either stayed in Dehradun for a long time or wrote during their stay.
Dehradun was home to freedom fighters whose names are engraved in gold on the Clock Tower. It was called "The Gray City" in the initial days because ex-Army officers and VIPs considered this place as residence after retirement.
Woolen blankets are typical of this region and worn by people living at high altitude. Women wear saris with full-sleeve blouses along with angra jackets. Girls used to wear full skirts with scarfs covering their head and shoulders; more recently they have adopted more modern wear and salwar suits. In villages and to a lesser extent in towns, men wear the traditional dhoti, angarkha and langoti. The way dhotis are worn represents backgrounds and castes: Short dhotis represent low status whereas long dhotis represent high. It is more common in urban areas for men to wear shirts and trousers, denims or kurta-pyjamas as daily wear. In winter men usually dress in jacket, hat and overcoat. Hemp is grown in great quantities in this region, so its yarn is frequently used as lining.
The largest profession in Dehradun is agriculture. There are large numbers of people in the military, businesses or education. Staple foods are rice and dal with raita, curd and salad. Dehradun is known for its lychees and basmati rice.
There are fairs (melas) throughout the year. Notable fairs include Magh Mela, held on the 14 January and Jhanda Mela in March, a fair for the Hindu community that attracts Hindus from all over India and abroad.
The religions followed in this state are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh etc. Sikhism is a prominent religion in Dehradun with over 25% population representing Sikhs. They are prominent in Racecourse, Vasant Vihar, Dalanwala and other areas of the town.
Dehradun has many beautiful old buildings. After Dehradun was made the capital of Uttarakhand, there was a construction boom, especially in residential property. Modern buildings have gradually supplanted older architectural styles including those related to the British colonial rule of India. Important older buildings include Clock Tower, Forest Research Institute, CNI College, Morrison Memorial Church, Inamullah Building, Jama Masjid, Osho Meditation Center, Indian Military Academy and Darbar Sahib.
Because of the low population and great education institutes, Dehradun garners a good per capita income close to $2400 (Rs. 1,31,000 per 2012 figures) (national average $800) despite not having any major industry. It has enjoyed strong economic growth in the last 20 years. Dehradun today has experienced a commercial and information technology boom, amplified by the establishment of software technology parks of India (STPI) and SEZs (special economic zones) throughout. Regional offices of Genpact, Serco is present in IT park. A number of manufacturing units are present in the Selaqui area. The construction of the Delhi-Dehradun four-lane highway will enable more economic development.
Paltan bazar and Rajpur road are the economic heart of business in Dehradun. There are four multiplexes: GLITZ Cinemas near ISBT, Silvercity multiplex in Rajpur road, PVR Cinemas in Pacific mall and Reliance Big Cinemas inside Vikas Cinemall in Indira Nagar respectively. A large number of malls are coming up to boost the economy which is adding to the reduction in forest cover and change in climate/environmental conditions.
Dehradun boasts of major fashion and retail stores such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Madame Tissot, Adidas Club America, Vero Moda, Being Human, French Connection. Many malls like Crossroads, Pacific, City Junction Mall, Parsavnath Elegenza, Stanmax, V-mart and Vikas Cinemall are resulting in economic growth.
Dehradun night lights: A view from Mussoorie
- List of cities in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh by population
- Nepali people
- Sikh people
- Garhwali people
- Gorkhali people
- Garhwal Rifles
- Bengal Engineer Group (based in Uttarakhand)
- Kumaoni people
- Kumaon Regiment
- Special Frontier Force
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