First day – First week of 2011, in DEHRADUN (Capital of of Dev Bhoomi) — Part – I

Our first day of New Year began with the traveling to Dehradun. As Dehradun is our home town,most part of our vacations are spent in Dehradun only either visiting relative’s places there or taking a halt to explore Uttaranchal’s Hill stations. This time we decided to visit all the places of Dehradun which we have not visited till now. Some of the places were really not visited by us even if we are the regular visitors to this place. So through this post I want to give you the detailed information about the places which are less explored by the visitors.

This series of the post is included those places also which were visited by us earlier too except Rajaji National Park.All the worth visiting places of Dehra Dun can be divided into four routes.Giving the information about the first route and rest of the routes will be covered in the forthcoming posts.

On the way to Dehradun

Route 01 ——- Lachchhi wala – Lakshman Siddh – Sahasdhara – Kalinga Memorial – Tapovan – Kalinga Fort

Dehradun is the capital of Uttrakhand , it is located at 230 kms from Delhi. Dehradun is surrounded by the Himalayas in the north , Shivalik Hills in the south , the river Ganga in East & river Yamuna in the west.

How Dehradun name originated

“Dera” means “Camp” & “doon” means “valley”. According to the legend Guru Ramrai , the seventh Guru of Sikh set up a dera (Camp) here , the place is very close to Dehradun Railway station. Some people relate it with Guru Dhronacharaya also.

A Brief History of Uttrakhand / Dehradun at a glance

• Uttrakhand was ruled by Kuninda Kingdom in around 200 BC.
• Later this region came under Katyuria’s.
• After the end of Katyuria’s rule, the region was divided into Kumaon which was ruled by Chand king & Garhwal by Panwar.
• In 1724 Hyderabad Nizam established Kumaon Regiment.
• For about two decades till 1815 it was under the Gorkhas.
• In 1815 Tehri Garhwal was established.
• In 1816 Except Tehri Garhwal , Uttrakhand was declared as non regulatory state & Tehri was handed over to King Sudarshan Shah.
• In 1857 Muncipal Corporation of Dehradun was formed.
• In 1859 King Sudarshan Shah died.
• The Forest research Institute (FRI) was established in 1906 by the British.
• In 1919, Narendra Shah shifted the capital from Tehri to a new town, which was named after him, Narendra Nagar.
• In 1930 Dehradun Radio Station started functioning which was closed during II World war.
• The IMA was established in 1932 by the British only.
Manvendra Shah was the last ruling King of Garhwal Kingdom (1946–1948).

Places to Visit

Route 01 – On this route one can cover the following places:-

1. Lacchi wala :– It is about 22 kms from Dehradun on Haridwar /Rishikesh road. It comes under the forest reserve area , Forest rest house is also available for the tourists. It is an ideal place for picnic, especially in summers as one can enjoy the surroundings near the water body as well as have a splash in pool or river.

Lachchhi Wala

2. Lakshman Siddh :- It is situated 12 kms away from Dehradun City on Haridwar / Rishikesh Road. It is believed that Lakshman had penance (Tapasiya) for killing the Ravana , hence this place is known as Lakshman Siddh.

Lakshman Siddh

Lakshman Siddh Temple

Lakshman Siddh Temple

One can spend hours in the calmness of silence. The temple is surrounded by forest.

Way to Lakshman Siddh Temple

There is Akhand Dhuni where ever day Hawan is performed. Two Rudraksh trees are also there.

Lakshman Siddh - Akhand Dhuni

Lakshman Siddh - Akhand Dhuni

The main Prasad of the temple is Jaggery . In every last Sunday of April the temple committee conducts a huge Bhandara.

3. Sahastradhara :- It means “thousand fold springs” an ideal place for picnic. There are three caves known as Shiva Cave , Parvati Cave & Inderesh Cave opposite to Baldi river. The way to Shiva’s cave is very slippery.

Sahastradhara - Shiva Cave

Sahastradhara - Inside Shiva Cave

Sahastradhara - Parvati Cave

3. Sahastradhara - Indresh Cave

Way to Caves opp. Baldi river

It is also famous for Cold sulphure springs where visitor take bath which helps in curing the skin infection. It contains Medicated / Therapeutic properties.


It can be visited at any time but the best time to visit is during rainy season when the streams appear of a gushing torrent.

Way to Sahastradhara

4. Tapovan :- There is a Dronacharya Ashram. According to legend Dronacharya had done penance here. The ambience in and around this holy place is so divine that it sooths all the sorrow.

Tapovan - Dronacharya Ashram

Tapovan - Dronacharya temple inside the ashram



5. Kalinga war Memorial :- It is the only martyr memorial of its kind in history where victorious army built the memorial on the bank of river Rispana in memory of General GILASPY with other army men as well as Gorkha General BALBHADRA THAPA their adversary to pay tribute to their courage jointly.

Kalinga war Memorial

6. Kalinga Fort :- Kalinga fort was known as Nalapani fort also. In 1814 the battle of Nalapani which took place between Gorkha Army & British Army. In this battle women & childen joined hand in fighting along with the Ghorkha Army against British Army. The British general GILASPY lost his life on 31st oct. 1814 with fellow military men. The most of the fort part was damaged during the war , gradually it was damaged. The only left over thing is a broken Trishul. Now a new monument has been built by authorities.

Way to Kalinga Fort

Kalinga Fort

Kalinga Fort

Kalinga Fort -- only left over thing is a broken Trishul

Tibten Settlment colony at Nalapani , on the way to Kalinga Fort

Any suggestion or queries for the rest of the forthcoming posts are welcome.


  • aurojit says:

    Hi Mahesh,

    Long time. The post is as informative as your other posts have been.

    The goldmine of information will certainly help travellers to uttarakhand/ dehradun. The history part was interesting.

    I though have complains on Dehradun traffic – was visiting Mussourie in Nov 10 and it took more time to cross Dehradun than reach Mussourie from Dehradun.

    Thanks for information.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Auro,

    I am glad to see your comment after a long time.

    Thanks for going through the post & for your golden words.

    I agree with you regarding the traffic problem of Dehradun but being a localite , we know some of the routes but which we can avoid those areas with the traffic problem.

    If you are going to Mussoorie from Dehli , the major traffic problem starts from Sharanpur from where you take a right turn for Railway station till clock tower from where Rajpur road startes. To avoid that take a right turn from ISBT & than left turn on Azabpur road that road meets at Rajpur Road, in this way you can avoid the area with traffic problem.

  • Nandan says:

    I agree with Auro on the goldmine part. It is becoming difficult to find one consolidated-complete set of information these days than in past where we could just buy a Manorma-Year-Book or some such thing.

    For someone visiting Doon, this series would be extremely helpful.

    Since you asked for suggestions :-), I have often wondered on finding a good eating place. not the coffee-days or moti-mahals necessarily but more of those exotic/lesser-known/not-very-popular joints. If you can include that in one of the posts, that would be terrific.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Nandan,

      Thanks a lot for liking the post & living the comment.

      I will be adding eating places & shopping places in my concluding post.

  • Mahesh Khugsal says:

    Once again wonderful coverage, thanks a lot for all the info.

  • Sahil says:

    Mr. Mahesh , nice informative post . Would be a great help for someone visiting Doon for the first time.


    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Sahil,

      I am glad to get such comment from a localite & a great Ghumakkar. :-)

      Thanks for going through the post.

  • Gita AM says:

    Very interesting write up. I have never been there, but have heard so much about Dehradun from my mother who used to go there on vacations in the days of the British Raj!

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Gita,

    Its nice to see your comment after a long time. Thanks for your appreciation. :-)

  • Started to read through the series about Dehradun. Interesting.

    The doubt I have is according to Uttarakhandis, Gorkha rule was better than the British? The reason to ask for this clarification is that I was under the impression that it was an event of celebration when people of Uttaranchal got rid of Gorkha raj. Perhaps there is no good or bad, being ruled by someone is an insult in itself.

    I am sure after going through the complete series I would have a good know how of the region around. Pictures of Sahasra-dhara from all three caves is very interesting. Same is true of Gandhak Jal kund as well.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Thanks Manish for going through the post. Better to be late than never.

      I agree with you that ruled by some one is insulting hence there is no question of who was better “Gorkhas” or “British”.

      Once again thanks for leaving your comments.

  • sanjay hirve says:

    ts nice to see your comment after a long time. Thanks for your appreciation. :-)

  • Dear Mahesh,

    Seeing my Dehradun through your pen and camera has been a strange experience. I have not known all these things about Dehradun although I spent 21 years of my life there. It is entirely different kind of a city now after becoming a state capital. After crossing ARTO / SSP residence, there hardly used to be any building worth its name before we reached the President’s Bodyguard / Printing press for the visually handicapped so these establishments used to serve as important landmarks for the tourists.
    But now, it is very difficult to find a road where one may have a leisurely evening stroll.

    Your this post has brought back my childhood memories in a very vivid manner. Thank you.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks Mr. Sushant !

    Dehradun is changed a lot in last couple of years, in some way it good but losing its calmness & peace for which it was famous.

  • Jolly Lazarus says:

    Gr8 Information …. all my life i have lived just 4 kms from Kalinga Fort i.e. in D L Road, but never had the chance to go there … infact in my early childhood in Dehradun Railway station there was a map which used to depict Kalinga Fort … and I used to think … where is it ? … Thx Mahesh .. i will be making a visit to this place …

  • Mukesh.rawat says:


  • lakshmi says:

    Hello Mahesh ji..

    Very good informative post . Would be a great help for me visiting Dehradoon for the first time.

  • Raj says:

    Hi Mukesh, I am not sure if you will receive this or not as you wrote about Dehradoon in 2011 but I have noticed that the last reply was on 2014. So I am hoping you will be able to give me the information. I have heard from various sources that there is s Gandhak stream which is good for your skin problems. I was not able to find anything on the internet, but a friend who wenr there 30 years back recommended to put Gandhak and i came across your notes which are very useful. Would you be able to give the exact location of this place as I am planning to visit India just for this purpose. I will be very greatful. I would also be very greatful if you can recommend any good hotel nearby (we are two girls) as well. Thankd.

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