Dehradun appears like a normal bustling hill station at first glance. But look closer and you will see that it is steeped in heritage and history. It has a long list of landmarks and is home to some of the oldest schools in India. Dehradun is the location for the Indian Military Academy, the Survey of India and the world famous Doon School. We have for you today some amazing facts about Dehradun.
1. Did you know Dehradun was founded by Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Rai in the 18th century? Sikhs ruled the city for about 24 years.
Dehradun was founded by the elder son of the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai. The Sikh devotees came to this ancient city back in 1675. The village of Dhamwala still witnesses an annual fair in the memory of Guru Ram Rai. Seen below is the Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar.
2. Nepalese also got to rule the Dehradun region for a short span of time.
Gurkhas took over the city in the year 1803 and ruled it until 1816, when they signed the treaty of Sugowali with the British.
3. Once ruled by the Mauryas, Dehradun also finds mention in the ‘Skanda Purana’.
Dehradun was a part of the Mauryan Empire under the reign of Ashoka the Great from 273 BC to 232 BC. A rock edict of Ashoka the Great found in Kalsi in 1860 proves this. Seen below is the structure housing Ashoka Edict in Kalsi near Dehradun.
In the ‘Skanda Purana’, it has been mentioned as Kedar Khand, the abode of Lord Shiva. It has also been mentioned as Dronagiri in the Mahabharata.
4. Not just ‘Mahabharata’, ‘Ramayana’ also mentions Dehradun.
Dehradun was visited by Lord Ram, accompanied by Lakshman on their way back from Sri Lanka. It is also home of the greatest guru of our nation, Guru Dronacharya. Seen below is Guru Dronacharya as Commander-in-Chief of the Kaurava Army.
Lakshman underwent penance at the location of the Laxman Sidh temple. This ancient temple can only be reached on foot and is set in the most beautiful natural surroundings.
5. Dehradun continues to top the list of cities with best educational institutions.
From the Doon School, Welhams Girls School, to the Indian Military Academy, and Survey of India, the presence of prestigious educational institutes had earned Dehradun its nickname, ‘Eton of the East.’ Seen below are new officers celebrating at the IMA, Dehradun after completing their graduation.
6. Gharwali is not the only language spoken in Dehradun; it’s a melting pot of different cultures.
Where people also speak and understand Hindi, Urdu, Sindhi and Punjabi.
Seen below are children in traditional dresses during Republic Day Celebrations in the capital.
7. Dehradun has a fair share of home-grown celebrities.
Dehradun is home to Bil Acne, Nayatra Sahgal, David Cling and Ruskin Bond. All these celebrities came from elsewhere and made the Dehradun region their home. Seen below is Ruskin Bond at his writing desk.
Dehradun is also home to the famous shooter Jaspal Rana. You will find his shooting range, in a scenic location here.
8. Considered overcrowded, Dehradun still retains a naturally scenic countryside you should not miss.
Long stretches of Sal Forests cover Dehradun that produce a rich yield of resin, wax, hides, honey and lac. The town is several canals, rivers and waterways running through its boundaries. These include Ganga, Yamuna, Asan, Tons, Suswa, Bindal, Rispana and Amalava to name a few.
9. Historic Paltan Bazar in Dehradun has been awarded an international award for best systems and convenience.
10. Dehradun produces the sweetest litchi in the country.
11. Many historical temples with legendary tales are housed in Dehradun.
Among them, Tapekshar Cave Temple is mysterious and intriguing. The Buddha Temple is Asia’s largest reliquary. It took fifty artists to paint the wall of this temple in gold paint, in three years.
To seek the blessings at the Daat Kali Mandir you will need to trek for 14 km.
12. Hundred of tourists visit the nearby Sahastradhara sulphur spring near Dehradun, for the waters can heal various skin ailments in humans.
Sahastradhara literally means a ‘thousand fold springs.’
13. Dehradun is situated at an altitude lower than that of Bangalore.
Seen below is a view of the city from Mussoorie.
14. Dehradun was the only place besides Bombay and Delhi where Cabaret shows were organized back in the 60s.
*** Are you aware of some other such facts? Do let us know in comments.