Dehradun or Dehradoon is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, it is 236 km north of India's capital New Delhi and is one of the "Counter Magnets" of the National Capital Region (NCR) being developed as an alternative centre of growth to help ease the migration and population explosion in the Delhi metropolitan area. Dehradun is located in the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India's mightiest rivers - the Ganges on the east and the Yamuna on the west.
The city is famous for its picturesque landscape and pleasant climate and provides a gateway to the surrounding region. It is well connected and in proximity to popular Himalayan tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Nainital and Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Char Dham. Dehradun is also renowned for its natural resources, publishing services and particularly for its prestigious educational institutions. It hosts some of India's best boarding schools and training institutions of national importance such as the Indian Military Academy.
It is also home to national foundations such as the Ordnance Factory Dehradun and Opto Electronics Factory of the Ordnance Factories Board and the Defence Electronics Application Laboratory and Instruments Research and Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation which maufactures products for the Indian Armed Forces. Other institutions include the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Oil And Natural Gas Corporation, Survey of India, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Wildlife Institute of India and the Forest Research Institute. The Municipal Corporation of Dehradun is locally known as Nagar Nigam Dehradun, and other urban entities involved in civic services and city governance and management include: Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), Special Area Development Authority (SADA), Jal Sansthan, Jal Nigam and among others.
The Dehradun district has various types of physical geography from Himalayan mountains to Plains. Raiwala is the lowest point at 315 meters above sea level, and the highest points are within the Tiuni hills, rising to 3700 m above sea level. The Doon valley contains the settlements including Dehradun, Doiwala, Herbertpur, Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Rishikesh, Raiwala and Subash Nagar, Clement Town. The district contains Rajaji National Park which is home to several elephants. The Doon valley has the Terai and Bhabar forests within it as well as the Shiwalik hills and Lesser Himalayan Range containing hill stations such as Mussoorie and Chakrata.
The district is bordered by the Himalayas in the north, the Sivalik Hills to the south, the river Ganges to the east, and the Yamuna river to the west. Towns located in the foothills of the mountain ranges include Mussoorie,Sahastradhara, Chakrata, Lahkhamondal, Gautam Kund Chandrabani and Dakpathar. This district is divided into two major parts, the main city Dehradun surrounded by Shivalik and the Himalayas, and Jaunsar Bavar, which is located in the foothills of Himalayas. In the north and northwest it borders on the district of Uttarkashi and in the east by Tehri and Pauri. In the west, it is bordered by Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh and the Tons and Yamuna rivers. To the south are Haridwar and Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.
Dehradun has many beautiful old buildings. After Dehradun was made the capital of Uttarakhand there was a construction boom, especially in residential property. Modern buildings have gradually supplanted older architectural styles including those related to the British colonial rule of India. Important older buildings include Clock Tower, Forest Research Institute, CNI College, Morrison Memorial Church, Inamullah Building, Jama Masjid, Osho Meditation Center, Indian Military Academy and Darbar Sahib.
The climate of Dehradun is generally temperate, although it varies from tropical; from hot in summers to severely cold, depending upon the season and the altitude of the specific location. The nearby hilly regions often get snowfall during winter but the temperature in Dehradun is not known to fall below freezing. Summer temperatures can often reach 40°C whereas winter temperatures are usually between 2 and 20°C. During the monsoon season, there is often heavy and protracted rainfall. Dehradun and other plains areas of Uttarakhand see almost as much rainfall as Coastal Maharashtra and more than Assam. The weather is considered to be good during winter in the hilly regions but it is often hot in the "Doon" valley. Agriculture benefits from fertile alluvial soil, adequate drainage and plentiful rain. Mountain areas are also used for agriculture. Dehradoon is known internationally for its variety of Basmati rice and Lychees.
Tourist destinations include the Tapkeshwar temple, Malsi Deer Park, Kalanga monument, Laxman Siddh, Chandrabani, Guchhupani, Forest Research Institute, Tapovan, Santala Devi temple and Wadia Institute. The tourist destinations in Dehradun can be divided into four or five areas: nature, sports, sanctuary, museums and institutions. The nearby hill stations are well known for their nature, temples for its faith dimensions, sanctuary for animal and bird lovers. Hill stations include Mussoorie, Sahastradhara, Chakrata, and Dakpathar. Famous temples Tapkeshwar, Lakhamandal and Santala Devi are located here. In regards to sports tourism, the Doon Ice Rink at Maharana Pratap Sports Complex, Raipur is the first full-sized ice arena in India, and it has hosted both ice skating competitions and ice hockey tournaments, including the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia.
Dehradun is a part of Garhwal region, therefore the local customs of the Garhwali people have had a great influence on its culture. Garhwali and Hindi are the primary languages spoken in this state. Other languages spoken in this region are Punjabi, English and Kumaoni. There are people from differing religions and backgrounds residing here. After becoming the capital, there has been continuous growth in education, communication and transport. As the state capital, Dehradun is home to many government institutions. Dehradun is also renowned all over India for its quality education institutions.
Dehradun has a per capita income close to $2400 (national average $800), and has enjoyed strong economic growth in the last 20 years. Dehradun today has experienced a commercial and information technology boom, amplified by the establishment of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and various SEZs (special economic zones) throughout the city. The construction of the Delhi-Dehradun four lane highway will enable more economic development. Paltan bazar and Rajpur Road are the economic heart of business in Dehradun. There are also 3 multiplexes situated namely Glitz cinemas near isbt, Silvercity multipex in rajpur road and Reliance Big Cinemas inside Vikas cinemall in Indira Nagar respectively.
- By Air: Indian Airlines and private carriers offer five flights per week from Delhi to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, 25 km from the valley of Dehradun.
- Railways: Dehradun has a railway station with services to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. High-speed trains running through Dehradun include the Shatabdi, Mussoorie Express, Jan Shatabdi and Doon Express.
- Road: Dehradun is linked to all parts of the country by road. Deluxe buses are easily available from Delhi to Dehradun. Deluxe and semi-deluxe buses run to Shimla and Mussoorie from Dehradun Interstate bus terminal (ISBT) near Clement Town. A deluxe bus service is offered by UPSRTC to and from Delhi (Gandhi Road). From ISBT there are bus services to Dehradun and Mussorie every 15–70 minutes. There are also buses available to and from cities neighbouring Dehradun starting at the Parade Ground. The distances to Dehradun from some of the major cities are Delhi 255 km, Haridwar 54 km, Risikesh 42 km, Agra 382 km, Shimla 221 km, Yamunotri 279 km, Kedarnath 270 km and Nainital 297 km.