If you want to take a short break from the hustle and bustle of city life, take a trip to Dehradun. Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand and is famous for its religious places and scenic beauty. This hilly city is also the gateway to some popular tourist destinations in India like Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Nainital. In every corner of this hilly town you’ll be greeted with mystifying caves, drizzling waterfalls, high mountains, and lush forests. Be it a solo or family trip, Dehradun has something to offer to every individual.
The city has a rich historical and religious significance. According to legends, the history of Dehradun dates back to the era of Mahabharata and Ramayana. You can see various ancient temples around town that speak for its historical significance. For spiritual escape here you can visit famous temples such as Tapkeshwar Mandir, Daat Kali Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Laxman Siddh Temple, and Tapovan Temple.
Dehradun is als famous for offering an amazing view of hills, forests, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries, monasteries, waterfalls, lakes, peaks and many more. There are loads of hotels, restaurants, and resorts available, where you can stay overnight and enjoy a little bit of nature with your family or friends. Apart from enjoying the serene landscapes, make sure to try out authentic Tibetan cuisine in Dehradun.
To explore Dehradun and its nearby surroundings, you need at least 3 days, as there are plenty of places to visit. However, if you’re planning a short one day trip to Dehradun and want to make the most of your time, this travel guide will help you. Here we’ve suggested all the top places you can cover during your 1-day Dehradun tour.
Dehradun Places to visit in 1 Day: Mindrolling Monastery, Robber's Cave, Tapkeshwar Mahadev, Sahastradhara, F.R.I Museum and Zonal Museum
1. Mindrolling Monastery
The Mindrolling Monastery, popularly known as Tibetan Buddhist Temple Compex, is a must visit place in your 1-day trip to Dehradun. Located at Clement Town, the monastery is one of the largest Buddhist learning centres of India. The history of Mindrolling Monastery is dated back to the 17th century. In 1676, this Buddhist temple was constructed by Rigzin Tendak Lingpa. What sets this place apart from any other attractions in Dehradun is the marvellous holy statues of Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava.
Mindrolling Monastery is also dedicated to the research of Tibetan lunar calendar, Buddhist scriptures, Tibetian medicine, astronomy, and calligraphy. Inside the premises of this monastery over 300 monks are offered education on Buddhist studies. And thousands of visitors from all across India and even abroad visit this place to attain knowledge and spirituality.
The architecture of this Buddhist Temple is also remarkable. The grand Stupa (220 feet height and 100 square feet width) of the monastery reflects the Japanese style of architecture. The entire monastery has five floors with exquisite interiors and a grand manicured garden. You can see vibrant wall paintings describing the life of Buddha inside the monastery.
The lush greenery and serene view of the Dehradun valley surrounding the monastery is another reason most tourists prefer to visit this place. The monastery has a shopping arcade, where you can purchase various religious artefacts and souvenirs.
The Mindrolling Monastery is around 4 km from ISBT (Inter-State Bus Terminus) Dehradun. You can easily catch a bus or book a cab to reach the destination without a hassle.
2. Robber's Cave
Robber's Cave or Gucchu Pani, is a popular tourist destination in Dehradun. The cave is naturally formed between a conglomerate and limestone formation. According to legends, the cave is a holy abode of Lord Shiva.
Surrounded by high hills and lush greenery, the sparkly cold spring water goes underground in some places inside the Robber’s Cave. The burbling sound of the stream and dark rocky walls of Robber’s Cave creates a mysterious atmosphere. You can enter the cave and see some gorgeous waterfalls inside. While exploring the cave and bathing in the water you can feel the mesmerising beauty of nature.
Robber’s Cave is the perfect destination for picnic lovers, couples, and trekkers. Here you can dip your feet in the cold-freezing water and soak the mystic ambience of the cave. If you get exhausted and need to refill your energy, grab a bite at the local eateries available surrounding the cave. When visiting the cave make sure to bring some extra clothes as you can get wet while exploring the cave.
From the city of Dehradun, Robber’s Cave is only 8 km away. You can book transport in advance to visit the cave. Also there are plenty of local buses and taxis available to reach this place.
3. Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple
The Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple is worth visiting on your 1-day trip to Dehradun. It is built in a cave and dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple holds great religious significance. It is believed that the son of Guru Dronacharya, Ashwathma was born here. Also, the locals believe that here Lord Shiva grants all the wishes of those who seek blessings of him.
As the temple is located in a cave, you can see a unique blend of natural and manmade architectural style. Moreover, the gorgeous Tons River beside the temple and lofty mountains increases the elegance of this place. However, the key attraction of Tapkeshwar Temple is the Shiva Lingam. The cave is formed in a natural way, where water droplets continuously fall on the Shiva Lingam from the ceiling. Undoubtedly, watching this nature’s miracle will be a once in a while experience.
Apart from offering your prayers, there are plenty of adventurous activities you do at Tapkeshwar Temple. The temple area is surrounded by dense forest, mountains, and a river. You can go trekking to explore the place. Also, this place is perfect for having a little picnic with friends and family. There are a few shops available nearby the temple where you can savour local foods. The breathtaking view of the surroundings makes Tapkeshwar Temple a paradise for shutterbugs.
If you’re lucky enough to visit the temple during the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, you can witness great celebrations. During this time, a grand festival is organised and prayer services are held for Shiva. Hundreds of locals and pilgrims around the world visit this place during these festivals to offer their prayers.
The temple is located close to the Dehradun city. The nearest rail station, Govindnagar is only 7.5 km away. You can also hire cabs to reach the temple in no-time.
The next destination on your list of best sightseeing places in Dehradun is Sahastradhara. The literal meaning of the name Sahastradhara is “the thousand fold springs.” Sahastradhara, one of the most popular attractions in Dehradun is located only 14 km away from the main city of Dehradun.
The caves and waterfalls in Sahastradhara are a treat to the eye. But not just the beauty, Sahastradhara waterfall is mainly famous for containing medicinal properties in the water. The water which falls through the limestone stalactites is rich in sulphur. So, it is believed that bathing in the sulphur-rich waterfall can help heal skin ailments.
The surroundings of Sahastradhara will give you a sense of tranquillity. While dipping your feet in the water you can enjoy the mountain view. If you’re looking for some thrilling experience, trek around the rocky cave and the surroundings of spring.
The best time to visit Sahastradhara is during the months of monsoon. This time the streams fall down the cliffs with great force. To admire the beauty of this waterfall you can also take the ropeway rides to the top of the mountain.
After visiting the waterfall you can explore the nearby sightseeing places. There is a famous water amusement park situated near Sahastradhara. Inside the park you can ride various water slides, swings, and rides. There is also a Shiva temple nearby the cave, you can visit the temple to spend some peaceful time.
Sahastradhara is situated around 14 km away from Dehradun city. This popular spot is well connected to the roads. You can easily catch buses, autos, or cabs to reach the destination. On your visit to Sahastradhara waterfalls, make sure to carry extra clothes as you can get wet in the spring water. Also wear comfortable footwear as the rocky cave area is slippery and you have to walk a lot to reach the top of the mountain.
5. Forest Research Institute
On your one day tour to Dehradun, don’t forget to visit India’s one of the oldest research institutes, the Forest Research Institute (F.R.I). This educational institute is spread over 450 hectares of land. The building of the FRI Institute is built in the Greco-Roman and Colonial architectural style. It was originally founded in 1878, by a German-British botanist and forestry academic, Dietrich Brandis.
Initially, FRI Institute was named as the British Imperial Forest School. Later in 1906, the research institute was reestablished under the British Imperial Firesty Service. After getting declared as a National Heritage site, the FRI institute has been attracting a lot of tourists over the years.
This prestigious research institute is dedicated to researching various animals, plants, and climate. The institute is an architectural marvel. The beautiful surroundings and the mesmerising backdrop of the Doon Valley adds more elegance to the institute. Because of its beauty, the FRI has been featured in several bollywood movies, for instance- Krishna Cottage, Student of the Year, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, Paan Singh Timar, and many more.
The Forest Research Institute has six museum sections dedicated to various studies related to forestry. If you’re in FRI make sure to visit all the six museums including, Pathology Museum, Timbra Museum, Silviculture Museum, Non-Wood Forest Products Museum, and the Entomology Museum.
Inside the museum campuses you can witness various attractions such as paintings of Afshan Zaidi, 700 year old specimens of a deodar tree, medical plants, etc. The infrastructure of this museum also needs special mention. The institute is equipped with laboratories, libraries, arboreta, printing press, herbarium, and multiple areas for studies.
The Forest Research Institute is open all days of the week except government holidays. The visiting hours of the FRI museum are from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. The entry fee is INR 15 per person. However, if you opt for a tour guide the tickets will be INR 50. The institute is located just 6 km away from the Dehradun Railway Station. You can easily reach this place via cabs, autos, and buses.
6. Zonal Museum
You can close your one day tour in Dehradun with a visit to the Zonal Museum. If you’re a history lover, you’ll love to witness the artefacts inside the museum. Zonal Museum is dedicated to showcase the collection of Anthropological artefacts related to the origin, growth, and sustenance of earth’s mankind. The museum exhibits the living and customs of the people in the ancient age. It depicts the living conditions of the early human inhabitants in Himalayan region.
The zonal Museum was established during 1981- 72 by the Anthropological Survey of India. The main purpose behind building this museum is to educate the livelihood of the people in the early age. Here you can witness various sculptures, statues, coins depicting the stories of the past.
The Zonal Museum is a perfect place to make your kids more curious about history. You have to pay a nominal charge to enter the museum. It remains open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on every weekday except on all Sundays.