Things To Do In DEHRADUN (Activity #6 Can Surprise You)

things to do in dehradun
Serene Dehradun 

Did you know there are more things to do in Dehradun than in the more famous town of Mussoorie? Well, most people think Dehradun is just a stop-over town en route Mussoorie, maybe just about good enough for a meal break. 
That is why I see people hurriedly driving to Mussoorie during my regular walks (I live on Mussoorie road!). 

While Mussoorie and adjoining towns/spots like Pari Tibba, Benog Tibba, Tiger Falls, Jog Falls, Kempty Falls, Landour, Dhanaulti, Lal Tibba, and Gun Hill are truly enchanting. But at the same time, there are more things to do in Dehradun than you could have imagined.

Delhi to Dehradun is just about 5 hours of smooth drive. But Dehradun is so distinct from Delhi-NCR. Dehradun not only has beautiful weather around the year but it offers, serene walkways, peaceful treks, happening restaurants, temples, and a number of breathtaking water bodies. 


In fact, Dehradun has a myriad range of hidden treasures that people hardly know or talk about. From mystic caves to ancient temples and gorgeous waterfalls to delightful eating joints, Dehardun has something for everyone. 

Moreover, more than places and joints, Dehradun offers incomparable intangible experiences that none can offer. I am talking about the serenity that you could find here to cleanse your mind and soul. 

The solace one can find here during the long walks at the Rajpur Road (the stretch near Sai Temple) is rejuvenating, works like a charm, and offers you unparalleled peace from within. So, let me take you through some incredible things to do in Dehradun. Sit tight and read on to explore Dehradun with a twist.

1. Things To Do In Dehradun: Visit Robber’s Cave 

Robber's Cave Dehradun
Robber's Cave, Dehradun

This comes to my mind on top of the things to do in Dehradun simply because I used to visit this astounding place every time I used to visit Dehradun before shifting here. Robber's Cave, also known as Gucchupani is about 500 meters water trek amid open caves. Here, you will be walking through the water (just about six to eight inches) and reach the terminal where you will find a little waterfall. People love drenching themselves under the gushing stream of water.

The experience of walking on pebbles wearing flip-flops or barefoot is a phenomenal one. Keep in mind that the journey is always more beautiful than the destination. So, don't rush to reach the end of the trek, walk slowly, snap the coloured pebbles or little butterflies hugging the big rocks, enjoy the gushing water over your feet and soak yourself in nature's bliss.

There are a few little outlets that serve Maggie and other fast-food items, these outlets also double up as the places where you can leave your shoes before entering the water trek. On your way back, you can enjoy a plate of hot Maggi on the tables that are partially submerged in water, so you can eat while water caresses your feet.

Tip: wear shorts or a short dress (knee-length) and carry a pair of slippers with you in a backpack. Also, don't forget to carry a small water bottle, your mobile, and a hand towel.

I don't suggest using a personal car to reach Robber's Cave as the way is too congested (goes through the local villages), you are bound to get stuck. It is better to hire a local cab or a three-wheeler (easily available near the Jakhan Petrol Pump, Indian Oil, Rajpur Road). The three-wheelers generally charge anywhere between INR 450-550 for a return journey. Also, hiring a bike for a day is a good idea to explore Dehradun.

Gucchupani or the Robber's Cave is about 6 kilometers from Ghantaghar. Robber's Cave is open to the visitors round the year but February to October is the best time as winters are pretty harsh here, not suitable for any aquatic activity. Also, it rains heavily in monsoons and all water streams well up pretty fast, so you would be better advised to avoid monsoons.

2. Things To Do In Dehradun: Visit Sahastradhara

things to do in dehradun
Sahastradhara, Dehradun

At Sahastradhara, you can immerse yourself in 1000s of minute springs. It is a picturesque day picnic place that has been revered by people for decades. More so because of the innate quality of water to heal skin diseases owing to high sulfur content. The place is full of water bodies, little springs, and intriguing caves.

But the best part is not Sahastradhara itself, but the Sahastradhara road itself is so enchanting. If you really want to enjoy the scenic beauty, curls, and curves and find advantage points to click the captivating ranges, head towards the Sai Temple on the Rajpur Road and take the right turn after crossing Sai Temple. 

This gorgeous Sahastradhara Raod will offer you many vantage points to click selfies with stunning foothills as a backdrop. On the way, you will also find Dehradun Helidrome and many open restaurants, where you can stretch your legs, appreciate the landscape and sip your tea with sumptuous parathas.

Sahastradhara also has a rope-way (cable car) that adds to the attraction of the place, especially for families with kids.

Sahastradhara Raod is one of my favorite driveways where we go hunting for Kadhi Patta on weekends :)

Sahastradhara is about 7 kilometers from the Sai Temple, Rajpur Road and just like Robber's Cave should be visited between February and October. If you're a bunch of young people looking for budget hostels, check this website for great deals

3. Things To Do In Dehradun: Go Paragliding

Things to do in Dehradun
Paragliding in Dehradun

When people prepare the list of things to do in Dehradun, paragliding is not likely to make a cut in that list. Reason - most people don't know that there are opportunities to do paragliding in Dehradun. 

So, if you're among the fun-seeking tribe with a big heart, you shouldn't miss the opportunity of flying and watching the Doon Valley whilst you stay in Dehradun. Maldevta, near Dehradun, is where most Paragliding options are available. They usually charge between INR 3500 to INR 4500 depending upon the flying time. Good negotiation skills will be an advantage!

To find the best Paragliding operators, just Google: Paragliding in Dehradun. Check out the reviews and ratings, negotiate the rates and you are good to go and touch the clouds! Stay for a few days in some of the best hotels at amazingly low prices to explore Dehradun. 

You can also find some of the best Hotels/Homestays deals on Trivago here.

4. Things To Do In Dehradun: Visit Malsi Deer Park

Things to do in Dehradun
Malsi Deer Park, Dehradun

If you are a family with kids, you have got to have Malsi Deer Park on your list of things to do in Dehradun. The Malsi Deer Park is situated on Mussoorie Road and is about 3 kilometers from the Mussoorie Diversion. 

The park is bound to enchant you and your little ones. The park is a house to deer, peacocks, antelopes, two-horned deer among other animals. Malsi Deer Park is a beautifully maintained mini zoo that is ideal for a day out with family. 

Timings of the park are 10.0 am to 5.0 pm, please check before going as the park was completely shut for visitors till recently last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malsi Deer Park is also home to 100s of natural flora, so a visit to the park will be a rich learning experience for the young ones. There is a nominal entry fee and ample car parking in the park compound. Go ahead and spend some quality time with fauna and flora during your stay in Dehradun! There are some ongoing fabulous offers on Trivago, book your happy times right away, right here!

5. Things To Do In Dehradun: Visit Forest Research Institute

Things to do in Dehradun
Forest Research Institute, Dehradun

Forest Research Iinstitute (FRI) was established in 1906 which is known for its marvelous architectural design. It is one of the most beautiful and well-maintained government offices in the country. The red-brick walls and Greco-Roman architecture of the Forest Research Institute are truly awe-inspiring. The pictures that you click here with Mussoorie Hills in the backdrop will allure you till eternity.

FRI is built on expansive lush green lawns of 450 hectares. A couple of years back, FRI had hosted the International Yoga Day on its lawns where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also participated. If you are a group of friends or a family, you're going to love the Forest Research Institute day outing.

FRI is located on Chakrata Road, hardly about 5 kilometers from the Ghanta Ghar. The timings for the visitors are from 9.0 am to 5.30 pm. Forest Research Institute is a stunningly beautiful place, without which your list of things to do in Dehradun won't be complete. Best-in-class Hotels like Four Points by Sheraton are offering great deals, grab them here now!

6. Things To Do In Dehradun: Find Solace at Vivekanand Ashram

Things to do in Dehradun
Vivekanand Ashram, Dehradun

This is one of the most beautiful places, especially if you are travelling alone or with a small group who is looking for peace and solace. Vivekanand Ashram is situated right on the Mussoorie Diversion, Rajpur Road and it is a walking distance from the Sai Temple. Vivekanand Ashram is a huge compound that houses a temple, a library, homes for the destitute, a free school for the poor kids, a free dental and eye hospital.

There is a meditation hall up the stairs where you can devote some quiet time with yourself. Vivekanand Ashram also has beautiful lawns with 1000s of well-maintained plants and stunning Himalayas foothills in the background.

Maybe, you will be surprised if I propose that you should do nothing during your stay in Dehradun. Choose to relax, unwind and unclutter yourself. The peace and tranquillity that you will find here are truly phenomenal. Dehradun offers you a rare opportunity to spend some quality time with none else but 'yourself'. 

Grab a book or two, find a cosy room for yourself somewhere near Vivekanand Ashram, either in a hotel or a comfy homestay, and practice meditation to cleanse your mind and soul. Happy spiritual journey!

7. Must Visit Tapkeshwar Temple

Tapkeshwar Temple
Tapkeshwar Temple, Dehradun

Tapkeshwar Temple is an ancient temple that is highly revered among devotees. Tapkeshwar Temple houses two Shivlings that came into existence naturally. It is situated by side of a small river which makes the entire complex beautiful among the holidaymakers as well as the devotees. 

Tapkeshwar fair is held every year during Shivratri, which sees hordes of people thronging the temple. The festival is celebrated with great fervor and revelry. 

Tapkeshwar Temple is hardly around 5.5 km from the city center or Ghanta Ghar. So make sure that you visit the temple and soak in the holy and sacred atmosphere that the environment of the temple exudes. What's stopping you from driving down to Dehradun and staying here for a few days amid sheer peace, serenity and tranquility? Grab the best deals on best hotels right here.

8. Discover Eating Trails

Things to do in Dehradun
One of the best restaurants in Dehardun

If you like old-styled food: Poori-Aloo-Chole, it is very difficult not to mention Chetan Poori which is located near Old Hanuman Temple, near Paltan Bazar. This place is only for die-hard foodies as the food is simply awesome, but they have not kept pace with the changing times in terms of ambience. They serve hot Pooris with multiple bhajis (Aloo, Chole and Sitaphal) with salad raita (optional). There is no way to reach the place except to walk all the way either through the Paltan Bazar or from the railway station side.

Anandam: this is yet another eating joint that serves awesome food and finger-licking Indian sweets. Although the menu has Chinese to Italian cuisine, but highly recommended for Indian food.

Kalsangis an exceptional Chinese-Tibetan-Thai restaurant. If you attach authenticity to your cuisine, you just can't miss Kalsang. This also happens to be one of our go-to restaurants. If you are non-veg, I can suggest a dish that's our all-time favourite - Kung-Pao Chicken with noodles of your choice. 

The restaurant is on the first floor and the ground floor boasts of one of the classiest cafes in Dehradun - Ama Cafe. They serve some of the top-notch dishes, blueberry cheesecake being our favorite :)

Food court in the Pacific Mall, Rajpur Road: this is one of the most happening places. It goes without saying that when we are talking about things to do in Dehradun, visiting the Pacific Mall must be a priority. Here, you will find all the famous stores to satisfy your shopping pangs. 

When you're done with shopping, you can head to the top floor which houses the food court, kids’ area and movie theatres. We have tried vegetarian as well as non-veg platters, along with many other delectable dishes and our food experience has been awesome every time.

Limited time offers on some of the best hotels in town, including Four Points by Sheraton. Grab them now, right here

Wrapping Up

To sum up, Dehradun is an astounding town which promises something for everyone. There are loads of other activities or places that could be added to the list of things to do in Dehradun and I am certainly going to do that as soon as I could. So, remain tuned.

However, I hope that after reading this brief post, people now have a better perspective of Dehradun, as a town that has its own persona and identity - A town that is not a mere stop-over option but it is a town that has myriad mystic options for one and all.

If you have been to Dehradun, do share your experiences by commenting below, I would love to hear back!

Drive safe, have a wonderful time in Dehradun (ensuring Covid19 appropriate behavior), please!

Till then, stay safe!👋

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