Friday, April 16, 2010

Enchanting Dehradun, India

Once during our stay in Duliajan, I terribly wanted a BREAK; wanted to be away from the household chores and responsibilities. And it did come at the right time. One day my husband informed me in a hushed tone that we will go to Delhi. As reticent as he is, he did not disclose the details. It was only after a lot of persuasion he informed me that he has to go to Delhi for training and that I would be accompanying him. And without doubt I was thrilled by the news. Thus my planning for the trip started right away. I also decided to go to Dehradun where my brother-in-law and his family stay.


 Dehradun has always fascinated me. Not that I will be visiting it for the first time. I had been there and roamed its streets. I had seen its flowers growing in the wild and felt its thin winter air kissing me on my cheeks as a child tourist. Once the famous writer Ruskin Bond as a child, who has made Mussoorie his abode, asked his father what is Dehra like? His father told him-“It’s a green place. It lies in a valley in the foothills of the Himalayas, and it’s surrounded by forests. There are lots of trees in Dehra”. This sums up and completely describes the soul of Dehradun. A place surrounded by trees, forests and greens.

As my husband had eight days training programme , I decided to stay with my hubby for couple of days and then proceed to Dehradun where my hubby would join me. While I was taking leave from my hubby with a heavy heart to board the Shatabdi Express I still found some excitement and contentment to be at the place of my childhood dreams. My co-passengers were IAS officers who were on their way to Mussoorie for training. The start itself was edifying as we discussed various topics. To be in company of this group of illustrious people cannot be anything but educational. I came to know that Dehradun is bounded on the west by the Yamuna and on the east by the Ganges. According to the epic Mahabharata, Guru Drona founded the city. During the 18th century the area was succumbed to successive invaders, the last of whom were the GORKHAS. When the Gorkha War ended in 1816, the area was ceded to the British. It is now a political seat, commercial centre, resort and the terminus of a road and a rail line from the south. The section called the Dun is a valley between the Himalayan foothills and the Shivalik Range. A popular item that has made Dehradun known across the world is "Dehradooni basmati rice". Within India it’s famous for its Lychee. The city has a salubrious climate throughout the year. It boasts of the famous Doon School and Welham’s High School.


We were chatting endlessly for six hours as our train chugged into the Dehradun station. I saw my bro-in-law waiting to receive me. As I recounted my travel experience, he said that it has outgrown its size in recent years after it has become a capital city. Yes, I could feel it as he maneuvered his car through the busy roads. We finally reached home where my sis-in-law gave me a warm welcome. The next five days were hectic as every day we used to visit its various places of interest.

We visited the ancient Tapkeshwar Shiv Temple, situated on the banks of a rivulet, in the Garhi Cantt. Area, 5.5kms from the city bus stand. It is named Tapkeshwar as water droplets originating from a rock, fall on the Shivling placed in the shrine. Another place of immense attraction to visitors is the Sahastra dhara ,literally meaning, the “thousand fold spring” which makes an ideal picnic spot and the caves provide a breathtaking view. There is also a sulphur spring in which visitors often take bath. Its water is said to cure skin infections and possess other medicinal properties. Then there is this place of cultural and spiritual value,the Sai Darbar Temple. Near this Temple is a huge and colorful temple of Lord Buddha. They took me to Tapowan, which according to legend is the area where Guru Dronacharya had done penance.


As there were so many places to visit, we would wait eagerly for my bro-in-law to return from office and take us out. One evening he took us to the majestic Forest Research Institute, which is situated in a sylvan surrounding. It trains forest officers in India and has six museums that display the best species of flora and fauna to be found in India. The impressive Mindrolling Monastery ( one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma school in Tibet) situated in Clement Town is worth visiting. Established in 1965 by His Eminence Khochhen Rinpoche and a small band of monks as the new seat of Minrolling in exile,it is one of the largest Buddhist Centers in existence today.As we sat discussing what more is left to visit, my sis-in-law reminded about the Temple of Lakshman Siddh, which is believed to be the place where Lakshmana had undergone penance for killing the demon king Ravana. While driving to the various places of interest my bro-in-law did show the Institutes like Anthropological Survey of India , Botanical Survey of India, Survey of India, Indian Institute of Petroleum, RIMC, IMA, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and Zoological Survey Of India.

My hubby joined me as planned .We planned to go to Mussoorie(34kms) but due to heavy rain abandon the plan. The few days spent at Dehradun will be always memorable and with thoughts of coming to this enchanting place again I bade good-bye to my bro-in-law and his family.

6 comments:

ronty2010 said...

Well I visited that place,last year!!!!! Its really beautiful!!!!!

JAGDISH BALI said...

Very interesting and informative. Following U.

nainital hotels said...

very great post......
nice description about dehradun showing its beauty...

TravelNina said...

Quite intresting blog post enjoyed reading keep posting :)
would liek to share a similar expereince

Ajay said...

Nice article.. i live in Dehradun .. and the Information you give is so nice and Good...

stay in Dehradun said...

Nice post, Liked your article. You have covered almost every detail about Dehradun. I had visited Dehradun in the month of September and it was beautiful experience.