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History of Dehradun

The area around Dehradun has references in several ancient Hindu texts. It is known as the land of Shiva, the region where the Hindu mythological heroes Rama and Lakshmana performed penance, and the Pandavas of Mahabharata rested on their way up to the mountains. Apart from mythological associations, Dehradun was once ruled by the great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (1st century BC), whose rock edict was found near Kalsi, just off the town. Over the centuries, this area passed from one ruler to the next, including the Sikhs, Mughals and Gurkhas. Finally, the British established it as an army base and educational centre in 1815. In the post-independence era, Dehradun has witnessed dramatic transformations, from a quiet sub-Himalayan town to a bustling commercial centre. The spiralling local movement for a separate hill state was spearheaded from this town, which is now the new capital of Uttarakhand.

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