Dehradun famous for its picturesque landscape and a moderate climate is also called as city of love. Nestled between the Himalayas and the Shivalik range, Dehradun also called as Dronagiri owing to the belief that Guru Dronacharya lived here. Reading Ruskin Bond as I grew up, I could only imagine Doon to be a city with misty mornings and winding roads, greenery around with a huge lawns in the houses there.
With a day to spare in Rishikesh, I could not resist and grabbed the chance to spend the day in Doon. With Doon an hour’s drive from Rishikesh just 50 kms away, I set out to explore the city around 08.30 in the morning.
The first stop being Mindrolling Monastery at Clement town. Located centrally, the visit timings varies during summer and winter. During winter, the monastery is open from 09.00 to 12.00 and 01.30 to 06.00. The word Mindrolling in tibetan means “place of perfect emancipation” Locally known as a tibet monastery, this is one of the largest Buddhist centres in India. The shops lining the entrance to the monastery sell souveneirs and Tibetan artefacts.
Lush green garden welcome you inside the campus. The monastery is an amazing display of Tibetan art and architecture. The grandeur of the great stupa and the statue of Padmasambhava is remarkable.
Dedicated to world peace, the stupa stands tall at 185 feet is one of the tallest stupas in the world. There is a 103 feet Buddha dedicated to Dalai lama. The vast area has a huge prayer wheel, many small stupas around the big stupa. Many monks walk around doing their prayers and daily rituals.
The beauty and unique aura of this place mesmerises you and brings serenity to a stressed mind
Our next stop was the Forest Research Institute. A green treasure hidden in the city is a sprawling campus, a visual treat to the human eyes. Soaking in the greenery, the greek roman architecture of this institute is breathtaking.
That explains the reason why this institute is shot in many movies like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, Student of the year..
Spread over 450 hectares of green land, the research institute is the oldest institute established for scientific forestry. Established as the British Imperial Forestry Service in 1906, this institute has six museums - Pathology Museum, Social Forestry Museum, Silviculture Museum, Timber Museum, Non-Wood Forest Products and Entomology museum. Photography is prohibited in these museums. One can easily spend two hours admiring the architecture and the fascinating history of this place.
Feeling hungry, to grab a bite we landed at Anandam, Rajpur Road. Some amazing chat and a quickie lunch and we are done.
How could I forget to pick up the famous stick jaw chocolates from Ellora Homeaids, Rajpur Road.. loaded with oodles of butter and sugar melting in the mouth.
At a distance of around 6 kms from Anandam, we drove through Rajpur Road to reach Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple. As the name suggests there are constant droplets of water dripping on the shivling inside this cave temple. One has to walk around 300 steps from the main gate till the temple. Probably being the last Sunday of the auspicious Shravan month, the temple was crowded with thousands of devotees making a beeline to have a darshan of the presiding deity “Lord Shiva”
It is believed that this cave was inhabited by Guru Dronacharya and Ashwathhama, his son was born here. A tall hanuman statue by the flowing river near this cave is also a major attraction.
Sahastradhara meaning “thousand fold spring” is one of most popular tourist destinations in Dehradun. Flowing through the mountains, this stream appears as a gushing torrent during monsoon. The natural waterfall apart from its scenic beauty draws a lot of tourists because of its medicinal properties. This sulphur water heals many skin diseases.
As it had started raining as we reached Sahstradhara, we could not spend much time there and started back towards Rishikesh. Blessed with beautiful gifts from nature, the day was well spent in Dehradun