I have been waiting to put out this article straight from the majestic Himalayan Hills – DEHRADUN itself! This capital city of Uttarakhand welcomes so many tourists and peace seekers both nationally and internationally on a daily basis. We were actually going to pass by the magical city of Dehradun on our way to Mussoorie but we decided to stay there for good 3 days as we fell in love with the climate, the gushing clean streams, the beautiful valleys, their lip-smacking cuisine and the green vibes. For those of you planning your trips to Haridwar or Rishikesh should definitely stop and stay over in this ancient city of aromatic long grain rice (Basmati) and litchis.
The Buddha Temple at Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
We started off really early on day 2, by dropping by at The Buddha Temple at Mindrolling Monastery, which is surreal, peaceful and serene. The huge camp also has a holy school of Tibetan religion and upon your entry you will spot some of the cutest baby monks in its vicinity.
You just cannot leave Dehradun city without visiting the Buddha Temple and taking blessings at the Buddhist structure. It’s pure bliss. We sat at the adjoining garden for few hours and discussed nothing but the circle of life and how we got there. Also, not to mention while leaving this gorgeous place, we decided to do a quick photo shoot for the quilted jacket look I was donning that day. This Tibetan Monastery is believed to be the largest Buddhist Reliquary in Asia. I also found a small yet efficient shopping complex in the same temple area, where you can get all kinds of Tibetan souvenirs and gifts including their holy books.
The shops and temple gardens are open on all 7 days but the main temple remains open only on Sundays for public to visit from inside. The Dehradun railway station is just 9 kms away from the Monastery. You need to stay here for at least a few hours and get lost in the tranquility and peace.
Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun
Next must see architectural delight in Dehradun is the Forest Research Institute of India known as FRI. The main building boasts of Greeko Roman Architecture and it has an extensive range of items related to forestry.
This landscape is a photographer’s paradise and you can spot some never seen before plantations and trees gathered from across the globe at FRI.
The cutting chai and pan noodles are really famous from their campus canteen and we wouldn’t have missed that for the world.
The botanical garden in the FRI premise is a perfect picnic spot. Good read and a basket full of quick bites and you are set for the entire evening. You need good amount of time to check out the entire architecture and rushing through such beautiful piece of history is a crime. FRI also is home to six different museums such as – non-wood forest products, entomology, silviculture, timber, pathology and social forestry. It can be quite a walk from the main entrance so come prepared. You could also take a Buggy or the rickshaw that you used to reach there. We took the buggy till the exit gate on our way out and from there we got into Vikram (The Himalayan rickshaws have to be experienced).
Robbers Cave, Dehradun
Day 3 was kick started by heading to the very famous – Robbers Cave. This name “Robbers Cave” was given by the British and it goes by the local name of “Gucchu Pani”. Robbers were known to hide in the Gucchupani caves and hence they named it Robbers Cave. Remember to wear slip-ons or beach slippers when visiting this place as shoes aren’t allowed and if you wear they might get dirty since one has to walk in water and on rocky pathways quite a bit in the caves.
The cold springs emerging from beneath the caves are freezing chilly but it is an experience one cannot ever forget. It was pretty cold when we visited in February, so as a solace of finding our perfect harmony with the chilly weather and slight sunshine, we requested the maggi stall owner to place our chairs right above the cold spring.
He happily agreed and this was a splendid maggi and chai session right above the springs with our feet dipped in cold sparkly water. Meri Himalayan waali Maggi. Oh Dehradun, I think I left a piece of my HEART behind with you.
In the evening we walked to the Mall Road and passed by the very famous Clock Tower also known as Ghanta Ghar locally. It is situated at Rajpur road and is one major landmark in the city. The names of our freedom fighters are also engraved on the Clock Tower in a gold plaque. We walked a little bit ahead of the Clock Tower and the kids in us got the best of us. We dropped everything and rushed towards a bowling game alley.
How can it be that we visit the main mall road of Dehradun and not visit the very Famous –Elloras Melting Moments? Their stick jaws and rusk pista biscuits are to die for.
They have been operating since 1953 and anyone who comes back from the Doon Valley has to have along the goodness from Elloras. Other than taking boxes of our sweet indulgences, we also ordered some pie and freshly baked cupcakes on the go.
Our dinner and lunches took place at several famous eateries and local restaurants that are known for Garhwali cuisine.
Day 3 early morning we booked a car to go to the Queen of Hills – Mussoorie. We didn’t get to drop by at the Malsi Deer Park, which is right between Dehradun and Mussoorie as the sanctuary is closed on Monday. I want to visit this place again to relive all the wonderful moments spent here!!
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