A Travel Guide to Dehradun

Dehradun Airport Directory (DED)
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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

March to June is the ideal time to visit Dehradun. The average annual temperature of Dehradun is 21.8 degrees Celsius. 

How to reach Dehradun

  • By air: You can book a flight to Dehradun at Jolly Grant Airport. It is Dehradun's main airport, about 20km away from the city centre. IndiGo operates non-stop daily flights between Dehradun and Delhi, Bengaluru and Lucknow.
  • By train: Dehradun is well-connected to all parts of the country with several trains like Shatabdi Express, Doon Express, Dehradun AC Express etc.
  • By bus: Dehradun has a vast network of Volvo, Deluxe, Semi-deluxe and Uttarakhand State Transport buses, connecting it with all major cities of the country.

Getting around Dehradun

Dehradun has a network of private buses to travel around the city, but they are usually crowded. So, you can use other modes of transportation, including auto-rickshaws and shared auto-rickshaws, locally known as 'Vikram'.

Most Spoken Languages in Dehradun

  • Hindi
  • English
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Places to visit in Dehradun

  • Sri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib: An excellent place to start is where it all began. Sri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib, the 17<sup>th</sup> century gurudwara of Guru Ram Rai. The gateway, walls, ceilings and chhatris (cenotaphs), are imbued with exquisite 200-year-old Mughal style murals painted in bright vegetable dyes.
  • Forest Research Institute: Northwest on Chakrata Road is the Forest Research Institute, an impressive red-brick colonial structure built in the 1920s. Set on a sprawling campus, it is devoted to the preservation of India's threatened woodlands. The FRI Museum is divided into six sections though the highlight is the slice of a 704-year-old deodar tree that marks global events across seven centuries.
  • Guchhupani: At Anarwala, 6km from town, is the legendary Robber's Cave, known locally as Guchhupani. Tons river, a tributary of the Yamuna, flows through narrow limestone caverns carving a natural rock formation that was once a hiding place for bandits. [Tip: Slippers are given on hire to wade through ankle-deep water along the 600m-long canyon to a small waterfall]. Simple eateries arrange tables and chairs in the stream where guests enjoy Maggi or bread-omelette while cooling their heels.
  • Tiger Falls: Tiger Falls, nestled in the beautiful forests of Chakrata, offers a mesmerising view. With an elevation of 312 m, this is one of the highest direct waterfalls in India. It culminates into a beautiful pond which makes its a popular tourist spot. One can opt for trekking, canoeing, rappelling, and rafting in the waters and enjoy the entire day exploring this beautiful spot.

Places to eat in Dehradun

Black Pepper, Rajpur Road
Black Pepper, Rajpur Road

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.

Kumar Sweet Shop, MDDA Complex
Kumar Sweet Shop, MDDA Complex

Established in 1957, this sweet shop is popular with the locals for a reason like the rasmalai, kulfi, carrot halwa and mewa bite are beyond par.

Moti Mahal, Rajpur Road
Moti Mahal, Rajpur Road

This sleek restaurant inside the eponymous hotel serves excellent north Indian and Chinese dishes. Try the chicken kadhai, butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.

Tirupati, Chukkuwala
Tirupati, Chukkuwala

A clean, friendly restaurant serving chowmein, cheese pizza, besides North and South Indian thalis—dosa, idli, vada and kheer (rice pudding).


Shopping places in Dehradun

  • Local bazaars: Paltan Bazaar, located in the heart of Dehradun near the clock tower, is the central shopping hub. You can find many shops along the busy Rajpura Road, Astley Hall and the Tibetan Market opposite the parade ground.
  • Natraj The Green Book Shop: Situated on Rajpura Road, this is a famous bookstore where one can pick up books on the region besides personally autographed titles by author Ruskin Bond, who resides in nearby Landour.
  • Purkal: For hand-made shawls, scarves and stoles using fibres and natural dyes like henna, pomegranate and indigo, head to Himalayan Weavers. Drop by at Purkal, a self-help group selling patchwork quilts and cushion covers made by local women. Dehradun is also famous for its basmati rice, and you can pick up a 5kg gift pack to carry home.

Nightlife in Dehradun

  • Head over Heels in Hotel Madhuban
  • MJ Cheers in Hotel MJ Residency
  • Retro Pub at The Solitaire 
  • The Terrace at Four Points by Sheraton 
  • Sheesha Lounge and Restaurant
  • The Tavern at Crossroads Mall
  • Vibezz in Jakhan

Where to stay in Dehradun


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

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

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

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.

More reasons to visit Dehradun

  • Sahastradhara: Among other favourite places to visit in Dehradun is Sahastradhara (literally 'a thousand-fold stream'), a series of cascades and sulphur springs.
  • Wildlife parks: If you are interested in wildlife, don't miss the Dehradun Zoo and Malsi Deer Park.
  • Tapkeshwar Temple: 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.
  • Ghantaghar: 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.
  • Jungle safari: 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.

Places to visit near Dehradun

  • Mussourie: 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.
  • Haridwar: 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.
  • Rishikesh: A popular site for river rafting, situated close to Dehradun is among the ideal gate away from the city.
  • Dhanaulti: This beautiful, silent and picturesque place is an ideal destination for a short escape from Dehradun.

Festivals in Dehradun

  • Kumaoni Holi: 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.
  • Tapkeshwar Mela: 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.

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