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Sightseeing in Dehradun

Dehradun sightseeing tour showcases very many places. The most prominent landmark of Dehradun is the Victorian clock tower in the main commercial district. From here, the trunk line of Rajpur Road goes northwards right up to Rajpur, forking off towards Mussoorie after a point. About 4 kms up the Rajpur Road is the sprawling campus of the Survey of India, set up by the British in 1767. The centre of all major mapping and survey activities in India, its historical high point was measuring the height of Everest, which was then named after the Surveyor-General, Sir George Everest.

Across the dry river bed of the Bindal Rao on Kaulagarh road are the Doon School (the Eton of India) and the huge red brick campus of the Forest Research Institute.

Built in 1914, the FRI campus is a verdant expanse of Botanical Gardens and forests. Within, is a library stocked with a huge collection of books on forestry, a bookshop and a museum divided into six parts. The museum is worth visiting, with its array of wood samples, insects and wildlife. The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology also has an interesting museum displaying rock samples, semi-precious stones and Himalayan fossils.

For religiously inclined travellers, 6 kms from the centre of town is the cave shrine of Tapkeshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lying next to a swift flowing forest stream, the cave has a stone lingam with milky water dripping onto it from the ceiling. Every year, during Shivratri the entire area is taken up with festivities because of a fair where devotees jostle with holy men to gain access to the cave. Outside, stalls selling knick-knacks, food items and toys drum up a festive atmosphere. You can also get a shot at having a special bhang (cannabis) drink.

At Rajpur, 12 kms from the centre of town is a Tibetan settlement with a new gompa called the Shakya Centre. Decorated with ornate frescoes, the settlement has a centre for Tibetan medicine.

For more sightseeing you can visit Sahastradhara (thousand streams) with its sulphur springs, the new Malsi Deer Park, that is 10 kms down the Dehradun – Mussoorie road and the shrine of Lakshman Sidh, which is 12 kms away make for wonderful drives and picnics and are truly quite idyllic.

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