Tucked away in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Dehradun is the capital of India's Uttarakhand province. The architecture is a mix of imposing British colonial buildings and Tibetan-influenced Buddhist temples. Busy market streets filled with colourful fabric, handicrafts and the scent of spices flow around the central Ghanta Ghar clock tower. Set between two major rivers, the Yamuna and the Ganges, Dehradun is home to dramatic gorges, waterfalls and verdant mountain landscapes to explore.
You can stay in a contemporary Dehradun hostel on busy Mussoorie Road, a cosy homestay with scenic views of the Himalayas, or classic dorm accommodation. Look out for dorm beds with curtains for extra privacy. Most hostels in Dehradun have free Wi-Fi, and some have extras like air con, mineral water, and luggage lockers for stowing your stuff. Many Dehradun backpackers hostels have a rooftop café or terrace, where you can relax and catch the sunrise.
The old town is the bustling heart of Dehradun, with temples, historic buildings, and shopping at Paltan Bazaar. Rajpur Road is known for business, nightlife and some of the city's best bakeries. Clement Town is home to Mindrolling Monastery, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist centres in India. It also borders Rajaji National Park, a densely-forested wildlife reserve. Other areas to explore include Mussoorie hill station, a small town with misty mountain views and hiking trails.
Dehradun has a few top sights. Atmospheric Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, nestled in a rocky cove, has a statue of the Hindu god Shiva which is thought to be 6,000 years old. For a touch of grandeur, head to the Forest Research Institute. Its imposing colonial architecture has been used as a location for various Bollywood films and also houses a museum. Areas of natural beauty include the plunging Tiger Falls and Guchhupani. The latter, also known as Robber's Cave, has a deep, narrow gorge used as a hideaway during British rule.
Dehradun Airport (also known as Jolly Grant Airport) is only served by domestic flights. It's about an hour's drive to Dehradun town, or you can or walk around 900 metres from the airport and catch the intercity bus. From Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi), you can take the subway to New Delhi Railway station and then a train to Dehradun. The whole journey takes about 6.5 hours. Dehradun railway station is a 10-minute walk from Paltan Bazar. In Dehradun, you can get around by bus or auto-rickshaw.