Travelling was always a dream to me. I wanted to explore the world around me with open arms. The reason I chose to travel alone was the desire to feel solitude at its best.
I was traveling solo for the first time so it was very much important for me to gain confidence. Hence, I decided to be on the safer side and chose Dehradoon which was not that far away from Delhi and also was a beautiful place with scenic views.
My journey started on the 30th of April early morning when I had to catch the Dehradoon Shatabdi from New Delhi Railway station. I still remember that I could not sleep properly that night because of the anxiety and apprehensions in my mind.
I woke up, got ready and I decided to leave home a little early. I remember, everybody in my family was in deep sleep, I gently woke up my mom and said “Mumma, Ja rahi hoon” and she looked at me with confusing eyes, trying to figure out the time and day. when she came to little senses she smiled at me and said “God Bless You, Dhyaan se jana” . Papa and brother were still in deep sleep so I decided not to wake them up, and I left…
I boarded my cab towards the railway station. I still remember the pounding of my heart and the million questions that were rambling in my mind. What if my hotel was crappy, what if some-one robbed me, what if someone murdered me in my sleep and yadaa yadaa yadaa.
With my backpack on my back, glasses on my eyes, little hunger in my stomach and waves of thoughts in my mind, I found myself standing at the door of my train. Before hopping onto the train, I stood still for a second, turned back and questioned myself “Am I doing the right thing” . You must have guessed the answer by now, if not then let me tell you, I said to myself “fuck off the fear and just let’s go”. And the next moment I saw myself comfortably placed on my seat enjoying my breakfast.
The first look of Dehradoon was as chaotic as Delhi, I instantly questioned my decision and cursed myself for choosing this place. But still I was there and there was no way of going back. So I went ahead and hired a ride towards my hotel. My ride was an auto because I can not ride in cars or buses in hilly areas.
When I passed half the way towards my hotel I started seeing more greenery and hills, and OMG I felt relaxed. But the first look of my resort was more beautiful and the moment the valley appeared to me, I felt so easy and lite and I just wanted to take deep breaths.
My resort was a little bit out of the city, situated at old Masoorie road so it has scenic views and totally peaceful surroundings. Honestly, after 15 years of not having any vacation, it felt like heaven to me. Here are some more pictures of the resort from the valley.
Dehradoon has some really beautiful and interesting places to enjoy your stay. I shortlisted a few of them to have an easy travel time. For I am a person who enjoys slow travel.
Day 1- Robbers Cave and Kalsang AMA Cafe
The first stop was Gucchupaani (Robber’s Cave) where I enjoyed the waterfall inside the caves. In pre-independence era, these caves were used by robbers as hideouts .
When you have a lot of fun in the water you need to have something filling to give to your growling stomach. Here I headed to the most popular cafe of Dehradoon, The Kalsang AMA Cafe.
I have a beautiful video with all the natural beauty of Dehradoon and the best scenic views on my Youtube Channel covering my entire trip in just 5 mins. Click here to watch the video.
My resort of a bit out of the city so I decided to come back before the sunset. And I must say, that was the best decision for me. I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life there. The soft evening breeze of a cozy March evening bought the aroma of flowers that were blooming all around the valley. The natural carpet of soft green grass was a soothing comfort to my eyes. Far away, there was smoke coming out of the chimney of a hut where a woman was cooking the evening meal for her family. I was in trans. I felt like in the meditative state.
I was in such peace that I lost the sense of time. It was 8 p.m. now, dinner time.
Day 2 – The Creative Flow
The next morning was the morning after ecstasy. That peace from the last night prevailed. After enjoying the morning sun for a while, I decided to have breakfast and for this day I did not plan anything as I wanted to stay in my room only.
I spent the entire day reading about the Law of attraction and making notes for my personal use. The evening was spent in nothingness. The stillness of the place made me enjoy the trance which was an effortless and unconscious meditation for me. I experienced a wave of deep peace in my meditative state that prevailed for the next couple of weeks.
Day 3 – Forest Research Institute and The Buddhist Monastery
Forest Research Institute has its own kind of charm. One should never skip visiting the institute while on vacation in Dehradoon.
Here is some more information from wikipedia –
Established as Imperial Forest Research Institute in 1906, the Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun, was first situated at Chandhbagh (the present location of the Doon School) on the Mall Road. A much larger campus at the present location was acquired ca 1923. Construction of the new buildings commenced thereafter. Styled in Greco-Roman Architecture by C.G. Blomfield, the main building was inaugurated in 1929 by then Viceroy Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon. It is now a National Heritage site.
Forest Research Institute Dehradun is among the oldest institutions of its kind and acclaimed the world over. The institute’s history is virtually synonymous with the evolution and development of scientific forestry, not only in India but over the entire sub-continent.
Built over a lush green estate spread over 450 hectares, with the outer Himalaya forming its back drop, the institute’s main building is an impressive edifice, marrying Greco-Roman and Colonial styles of architecture, with a plinth area of 2.5 hectares. The building was listed for a time, in the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest purely brick structure in the world. The institute has a developed infrastructure of all equipped laboratories, library, herbarium, arboreta, printing press and experimental field areas for conducting forestry research, quite in keeping with the best of its kind anywhere in the world. It is 7 km from Clock Tower, on the Dehradun-Chakrata motorable road. It is the biggest forest based training institute in India. Most of the forest officers are a part of this institute.
The FRI’s building also houses a Botanical Museum and there are many different kinds of trees from around the world. (Source: Wikipedia)
If you want to experience the peaceful vibes of the Buddhist sect then you must visit this monastery at least once. The sound of prayers, monks humming sacred hymns, lush grounds of flora and fauna and huge structures of temples and the huge huge statue of Buddha will take you to a different place where you will experience the heights of spiritual peace.
The adjacent area of this monestry is surrounded by tibbatti people which means tibatti food, clothes and other things for shopping. You can buy your souveniers from the shops which are inside of the monastery complex too. But if you want to explore then you can shop from the places outside and enjoy your food.
Apart from all these beautiful places, Dehradoon also has some other attractions too that deserve an honorable mention in this post.
Authentic Tibbatti food at the upstairs section of Kalsang AMA Cafe
- Baal Mithayi from Kumar Sweets
- Green Tea in the leaf form (purest green tea) from the local market
- souveniers from the tibbatti market outside the Monastery
- Basmati Rice is one of the finest rice you can buy here from Dehradoon. (from any local shop nearby railway station)
I hope you also enjoyed this journey with me through photographs as I did in real life. I have not edited or color corrected the pictures so that you can experience what things look like in actual light.
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Note: please excuse grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in my posts. Just focus on the message which is the most important thing here. But if you notice anything and you think it needs to be corrected just e-mail me on [email protected] I will be forever thankful.