Dehradun is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, it lies 236 kilometres (147 mi) 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, Shimla and Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Chota Char Dham.
About the City
Dehradun is renowned for its natural resources, publishing services and particularly for its educational institutions. It is one of the highest rain receiving areas of North India. It hosts training institutions of national importance such as the Indian Military Academy, ITBP Academy & Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA). City population has significant contribution of government servants. It is home to national foundations such as the Ordnance Factory Dehradun, Opto Electronics Factory, Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Center for Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) and other defence establishments. Other institutions include the Indian Institute of Petroleum,National Institute for Visually Handicapped, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research & Training Institute, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Uttarakhand Space Applications Centre, Survey of India, Wadia Institute Of Himalayan Geology, Forest Survey of India (FSI), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Wildlife Institute of India and the Forest Research Institute. Dehradun Municipal Corporation 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 Ji, 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.In Skanda Purana, Dun is mentioned as a part of the region called Kedar Khand, the abode of Shiva. In ancient India during the Mahabharata epic era, Dronacharya the great teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas, lived here hence the name, “Dronanagari” , lit. city of Drona).Some historians believe that the word dehra can be regarded as a term for camping.
The history of the city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun (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.
The city of Dehradun mainly lies in Doon Valley and is at a varying height from 410m in Clement Town to above 600 m at Jakhan which is 4 km from the city. However general elevation is 450 m above sea level. JAKHAN is the starting point of Lesser Himalayan Range that extends to Mussoorie and beyond. Jaunsar Bawar hills in Dehradun District rises to 3700 m above sea level.The hilly region of Mussoorie goes up to a height of 1870–2170 metres 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, Benog Wildlife Sanctury at Mussoorie & Asan Conservation Reserve. 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 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 Pauri. In the west, it is bordered by Yamunanagar district of Haryana 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, Kalsi, Tiuni and Rishikesh — six community development blocks — Vis, Chakrata, Kalsi,Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Rajpur and Doiwala — 17 towns and 764 villages. Out of these 746 villages are inhabited; 18 are uninhabited.
The latitudinal extent of the region defines its climate.As the city is located between 30-31°N the climate is exclusively classified under Humid Subtropical Climate and is often Continental type.The climate is similar to Haldwani,Panchkula,Jammu or Siliguri. The city is also referred as the ‘Rainy City of India’ due to continuous and incessant rainfalls specially in monsoon. In fact 16–17 June rainfall was highest ever recorded rainfall of 370 mm rainfall that devastated whole Uttarakhand and nearby regions.
As per provisional reports of Census India, population of Dehradun in 2011 was 578,420; male and female are 303,411 and 275,009 respectively. The sex ratio of the city is 906 per 1000 males. 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.
Because of the low population and great education institutes, Dehradun garners a good per capita income close to $2400 (per 2012 figures : national average $800). 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, Spice Digital, Serco, IMSI, Spanco, Aptara, IndiaMART are present in Dehradun. 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.
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 of Himalayan Geology. 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.
Dehradun, also known as “City of Schools” and “School Capital of India”, is home to some of India’s renowned educational institutions, which include St. Joseph’s Academy, Delhi Public School Dehradun, Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Summer Valley School, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Welham Girls School, Welham Boys School, St. George’s College, Woodstock School, Wynberg Allen School, Convent of Jesus and Mary Waverley Mussoorie, The Doon School, SelaQui International School, Army Public School, Cambrian Hall, St. Thomas’ College, Brightlands 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.
Dehradun is a part of the 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, Nepali, Tibetan, and Kumaoni. There are people from different 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 educational institutions. Buses are identified with blue bars. There are autorickshaws 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 growth of the city has accelerated; it is still known as a peaceful city with pleasant weather. The city centre is easily recognized 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 of the city. Dehradun has been home to artists and writers including Stephen Alter, Nayantara Sahgal, Allan Sealy, and Ruskin Bond. Dehradun was home to freedom fighters whose names are engraved in gold on the Clock Tower.
The first indoor ice rink in India that meets the size requirements for ice hockey, figure skating, short track and rink bandy was built in Dehradun. Uttarakhand Cricket Association is the governing body of the Cricket activities in the Uttarakhand state of India and the Uttarakhand cricket team.
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium & Mega Sports Complex is a proposed multi-purpose stadium in the Raipur area of Dehradun. It will be the first international level stadium in the state. Since, the formation of the state 2000, the state suffered a blow to its sport facilities as Uttar Pradesh had the entire infrastructure for sports. Uttarakhand had hosted very few matches of Ranji Trophy. Due to lack of the in infrastructure the player started moving to different states. In November 2012, Former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna laid the foundation of the stadium hoped that the stadium would bring Dehradun on the international cricket map and added that the shortage of money would not be a hurdle in the completion of the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium and Mega Sports Complex.The stadium would be constructed as per international norms. The stadium and sports complex would be built in 23 acres.
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 still upstanding include the Clock Tower, Forest Research Institute, CNI College, Morrison Memorial Church, Inamullah Building, Jama Masjid, Osho Meditation Centre, Indian Military Academy and Darbar Sahib.
Shopping and entertainment
Paltan Bazaar and Rajpur Road are the economic heart of Dehradun. The largest mall in Dehradun is currently Pacific Mall at Jakhan. Other malls are also in various stages of proposal, consideration or development, in response to changing demographics, globalisation and purchasing power.
Malls include Crossroads, Pacific, City Junction, Parsvanath Eleganza and Vikas Cine Mall. There are five multiplexes