Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand capital and center of Garhwal, a city about which the famous Beatles Musical Band’s member George Harrison’s had written and sung a song in 1969, –
Many roads can take you there, many different ways
One direction takes you years, another takes you days
Dehra Dehra Doon
Written in 1969, for the song, everyone can have their meaning and significance.
Well, a lot has changed since then in Dehradun. For the first time in 1900, the city got connected to the rest of the country through rail, when the first train ran from Haridwar to Dehradun. It took the next 1 year for phone rings to chirping, i.e, in 1901 when the telephone service began here.
Surrounded by the beautiful Shivalik range and The Himalayas, there is a story behind this beautiful valley being called Dehradoon.
It is said that Sri Guru Har Rai Ji’s, son Sri Ram Rai when came to this valley, his disciples made a camp ( डेरा in Hindi ) here. Which with time became डेरा दून and with time passing by, it became Dehra Doon / Dehradun.
On the slopes of the mountains, you will see beautiful villages.
Villages, reflecting multi-cultural ambiance. Sitting somewhere in the between spaces of Village – City – Metro-city, in this beautiful valley you will find reflections of cultures of Nepal, Tibet Punjab, and Himachal.
Traditional cloths include the famous woolen blankets (Laba), which is still worn in the villages. The women wear full sleeve shirt and jacket (Angra in local language ) with Saari, worn beautifully. Long Skirts ( Ghaaghra ) is also a part of young women’s traditional dresses.
There is much to see here, which is:
- Robber’s Caves
- Sahasra Dhaara
- Mindrolling Monestry
- Sri Raam Rai Gurudwara
- Rajaji National Park
- Tapkeshwar Temple
- Kalanga Memorial
- Chandra Baani
- Lakshman Siddh
- Forest Research Institute
- Santola Devi Temple
- Wadia Institute
- Malsi Deer Park
We did see some, some were left for the next time.
In addition to tourism, Dehradun is also known for its educational institutions, which are the famous Doon School and Velhams school.
In 2000, after Uttarakhand being a state and Dehradun as its capital city, things certainly changed a lot in the city in terms of development.
However a song from a renowned Garhwali singer Narendra Singh Negi, written and sung in 2011, that I heard from my roommate during my stay in Chandigarh, (I do not remember the lyrics, though the meaning is ); मेरे को पहाड़ी पहाड़ी ना बोलो, मैं देहरादून वाला हूँ ‘, it says a lot in a different way.
The people are very sensitive about being called them पहाड़ी. And this song indicates the same. So many of my friends from college explained it to me.
Corridors or Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, I loved my solitary moment here…
Ages old history of the development of Dehradun has its own importance but more important is the fact that the city is not carrying its centuries-old history but has turned to a modern city.
With all the modern development in recent years, the city itself shout out loud the story of its conflict of being stuck between modern and ancient. It wants to say that, even though rooted to its ancient values and traditions, it’s not the same city now.
With the new routes and large tunnels connecting mountains, modern infrastructure came the change in the atmosphere of the social, political and economic life of the town. Over the past few years, with new multiplex, shopping malls, cafes, open houses, etc. in abundance, the city is on its route of modernization, yet it still has its time.
– Alok Upadhayay