Dehradun is one of my favorite cities. It is summer. With breezy air, sunny days and sweet-cool nights, we gush out of the buses in a rush to, a not so hush-hush trip of, one city to other! As I take the window seat and peep outside this gateway to the green city, it looks like my eyes protrude in fascination glaring each tiny part of the old-rich city!
This is not just a trip; it is a long journey turning dreams into reality and certainly I suggest my “traveler” mind to
be patient as I take it towards the heaven on Earth!
Located at a distance of around 250km, Dehradun lies six hours away from Delhi. The city is as transparent as it is full of mystery and adventure. The temples embracing a huge bunch of faith, the natural habitats wooing the birds and fauna, the various avenues of beautiful treks and adventurous rafting are all that make Dehradun to be the traveler’s top choice. Not a place or two, but a series of many haunted, some religious and few bold and venturesome spots qualify to be visited in my list. A classy place, a hub for many movie shoots, Forest research institute (FRI), tops the list.
Let’s reach, learn, understand and live these sites.
FEEL ELITE AT “FRI”
The oldest institution of Uttarakhand is situated just a few kilometers away from the Dehradun Clock Tower. In 1906 it was reorganized as the Imperial Forest Research Institute (IFS) under the British Imperial Forestry Service. Besides the seven museums in the FRI, due to its royal buildings and its peaceful surroundings, it also remains a center of attraction for Bollywood as well. Flicks like Student of the Year, Pan Singh Tomar, and R. Madhwan’s Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein demonstrate many glimpses of the place.
UNIQUE WORLD OF OUR OVERSEAS FR’NS
The Asan Lake, which connects Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, located approximately 28km from Dehradun, has its own unique history. This place is famous for those foreign guests who fly over thousands of kilometers to come here. Yes, it is a famous place for Siberian birds. You will be blessed to see the rare species that are declared as extinct species by the IUCN’s Red Data Book. Greater Spotted Eagles, Osprey, Malladros, Red Crested Pochadars, Coot, Fishing Eagles and many others, whose influx is higher in winters, are few that will take your breath away for a while.
Best Time: October–November; February–March
Just a few kilometers away from the ISBT, the famous Buddha temple of the Tibetan community is situated. Established in the year 1965, the temple and stupa that took three years to be completed by fifty artists giving it a golden color is 185 square feet tall and 100 feet wide. Surrounded by a garden spread over two acres, it is the world’s largest stupa and is a spectacular example of Buddhist art and architecture.
A fascinating fact about it lies in the fact that the fourth floor of the building, open every Sunday for visitors, will give you a 360-view of the beautiful Doon valley!
FEW MYSTERIES, SOME ADVENTURE
Finding its way through an adventurous drive-route, the 650m long cave stands amazing in being quite intriguing and scary. If stories are to be believed, robbers used hide in this cave in the British rule. Because of its mysterious geography, the English army would fail to reach here and the mobsters managed to escape with the robbery, but today this mysterious cave remains a matter of curiosity for the people. A fair number of tourists come here from far away. Water currents emerge from all sides of this cave; the water being so clean that the stones under water also shine like silver.
CHERISHING RAIN SHOWER
Only 16km from Dehradun, there lies a unique place, Sahastradhara, near Rajpur village. Crossing three hills, one can reach this wonder land where water falling from the hill is stored naturally. There are a few small nests that are naturally laid down inside a hill, which are not clearly visible from outside but when entering these caves, the continuous showers of rain from these roofs spark an immediate happy emotion in the visitors. And that’s just Sahastradhara!
“Gandhak water” at Sahastradhara is renowned world-wide for its skin disease curing qualities!
LESS EXPLORED, BEAUTIFUL EVER
A hidden land, with dense thicket and river song flowing in ecstasy, Maldevta, lies evergreen the year round and would entice you to stay back as and when you visit it. At around just 7km from clock tower, the serene site is missed by many and remains a road less travelled! Yet it serves as a best spot if you are keen of camping and picnicking along the naturally running river and in the lap of lush-green high peaked hills that stand even more beautiful than the Queen of hills. Providing a more alluring gateway to hills in Mussorie and Dhanaulti, the mesmerizing place continues to be thronged by many localite and is best party destination for youngsters!