[Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India] In Dehradun, at the foothills of the Himalayas – I

Junior was glued to the window of the Shatabdi Express as it chugged out of New Delhi Railway Station and proceeded toward its final destination, Dehradun. The capital of Uttarakhand.

Window seat! Shatabdi Express, India.

Window seat! Shatabdi Express, India.

While the summer sun shone harshly in Pune, we escaped to the cooler climes of the mountains. A long summer vacation in Uttarakhand. A much-awaited tryst with the mighty Himalayas.

Our first destination was Dehradun. Located in the Garhwal region of the state, the city is a gateway to the hills and the mountains beyond. To its east, the river Ganga finds her way to Rishikesh, Haridwar and beyond. To its west, the river Yamuna flows along. Dehradun, situated in the Doon Valley, boasts of numerous premier institutions and establishments such as the Indian Military Academy, the Forest Research Institute, and the Doon School. I had always wanted to visit this city. Perhaps I was drawn to its similarities with Pune.

As the train entered Dehradun station, Junior was still riveted to the window.

Our hotel was in the heart of the city, near the Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar). Despite the crowds and the noise in the busy areas, we enjoyed discovering Dehradun’s attractions at a leisurely pace.

The sprawling green campus and the beautiful architecture of the Forest Research Institute created a lasting impression on my mind. The museums at FRI were a pleasant surprise.

Given B’s strong draw toward monasteries, he would definitely put the Mindrolling Monastery at the top of the list.

As for Junior, well, the Malsi Deer Park and Sahastradhara were his favorite places in the city.

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India.

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India.

Malsi Deer Park, Dehradun, India.

Malsi Deer Park, Dehradun, India.

Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun, India.

Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun, India.

The best family experience? A ride in a Vikram, of course! Vikrams are big, blue shared autos that are a popular mode of transport in the city. We loved the experience! It did get a bit crowded, but hey, it gave us a great “local” experience in Dehradun.

Did we plan to visit Mussoorie? No. Now, that reply shocked the locals. They thought it strange (a bit, disturbing, too) that we were going to spend a few days in their city and not visit the cooler and more popular hill station nearby. Well, we had “different” plans.

 

More about Dehradun in the next post. With details and lots of pictures, of course! Coming soon…


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