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About Dehra Dun

Dehradun

 

 

 

 

Forest Research Institute (FRI)
Forest Research Institute (FRI)
Dehradun is located in Uttarakhand

 

 

 

 

 

History

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 epicMahabharata, 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 Tsang. 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.

On the western front Garhwal and parts of Himachal Pradesh up to Punjab and on the eastern front the state of Sikkim up toDarjeeling 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.

 

 

 

 

Economy

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.

 

 

 

Tourism

Central Braille Press, Dehradun — the first Braille press of India

Tourist destinations include the Tapkeshwar temple, Malsi Deer Park, Kalanga monument, Laxman Siddh, Chandrabani, GuchhupaniForest 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 includeMussoorie, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Culture

Statue of Tara and Great Stupa Dehra Dun

Dehradun is a part of the Garhwal region, therefore the local customs of theGarhwali people have had a great influence on its culture. Garhwali and Hindiare the primary languages spoken. Other languages spoken in the region arePunjabi, 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. It was called "The Gray City" in the initial days because ex-Army officers and VIPs considered this place ideal for 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 angora jackets. Girls wear full skirts with scarfs covering their head and shoulders; more recently, they have adopted modern wear like 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, jeans and kurta-pyjamas. In winter, men usually dress in jackets, hats and overcoats. 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 and education. Staple foods are rice and dal with raita, curd and salad. Dehradun is known for its lychees and for growing the world's finest basmati rice.

There are fairs (melas) throughout the year. Notable fairs include Magh Mela, held on 14 January and Jhanda Mela in March, a fair for the Hindu community, that attracts Hindus from all over India and abroad.

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping and Entertainment

Paltan Bazaar and Rajpur Road are the economic heart of Dehradun. A new mall, Times Square, is under construction in the highly populated Sahastradhara Road, with international features like automated parking and glass lifts. Other malls are also in various stages of proposal, consideration or development, in response to changing demographics, globalisation and purchasing power.

Dehradun boasts/bears 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, etc. Malls include Crossroads, Pacific, City Junction Mall, Parsvanath Eleganza, Stanmax, V Mart and Vikas Cine Mall. There are four multiplexes:

  • Glitz Cinemas near ISBT,
  • Silvercity Multiplex on Rajpur Road,
  • PVR Cinemas in the Pacific Mall,
  • Reliance Big Cinemas inside the Vikas Cine Mall in Indira Nagar.

 

 

Images

  • Dehradun night lights: A view from Mussoorie

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  • Mindroling stupa

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  • Tara statue and stupas

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  • Dehradun Night View From Mussorie

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  • Forest Research Institute

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  • Osho Institute, Dehradun

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  • Buddha statue, Dehradun

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  • Six-face Clock Tower marks the centre of the city

 

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