History of Dehradun

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Dehradun isn’t just a geographical location but a living, breathing story that has captivated wanderers for decades. It remains an enchanting destination where the whispers of the past sync with the beats of the present. The city’s ability to adapt to the changes due to the social, economic, technological, environmental, and cultural factors makes it a dynamic attraction for travellers. It attracts the wanderers to embrace its uniqueness every time they visit here.

The history of Dehradun is not merely a chronicle of rulers but a narrative woven with folktales and mythology, inviting each traveller to turn its pages and discover the enchanting chapters.

Let’s know in detail about the History of Dehradun:

Birth of Dehradun

Once upon a time, decked in the embrace of snow-capped Shivalik ranges, there existed a city named Dehradun. The story of Dehradun goes back to ancient times. We find its mentions in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.

As per the legends, Guru Dronacharya, the wise teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas, was born and raised in Dehradun. Hence, the city is also known as the abode of Drona. He called Dehradun his homeland. Dronacharya worshiped Lord Shiva in the iconic Tapkeshwar to master the art of archery. Dehradun has derived its name from the union of two words, ‘Dera’ (Camp) and ‘Dun’ (Valley).

Another story of Dehradun associated with Mahabharata is that after the great battle of Mahabharata, the Pandava brother, and Draupadi pass through the enchanting Doon Valley on their way to Swargarohini.

Ramayana, too, adds its magical touch to Dehradun’s historical narrative. When Lord Laxman was injured, Lord Hanuman went to the Shivalik range to find the cure (Sanjeevni Booti). Also, Ravana himself suffered wounds in these very lands.

The battles of good and evil have left their mark deeply in the enchanting lands of Dehradun. Travellers from all around the world revel in historical narratives to quench their thirst for curiosity.

Rulers and Invaders in Dehradun

As time passed, Dehradun witnessed the rule of various rulers like emperor Ashoka and invaders like Mahmud Ghazni. Each shaped the city’s canvas in their style. The Aryans, the Katyuris (9th and 11th centuries), Taimur, and Hussain Khan Kashmiri all left their imprint on the landscape of Dehradun.

Mahmud Ghazni ruled Dehradun until Taimur Lang took the kingdom and overthrew him in 1368. In 1400, Ajay Pal founded the Garhwal region by conquering the entire area of Dehradun. He and his successors ruled Garhwal in 1803 until Gurkhas raided Garhwal and Kumaon in 1803, leading to a tumultuous period.

In 1575, Hussain Khan Kashmiri became the ruler of eastern Doon. In 1675, the arrival of Guru Ram Rai marked a turning point in the history of Dehradun. He established a Gurudwara at Dhamawala, laying the foundation for modern Dehradun.

Modern Dawn: Gurkha War, Railways, Radios and Roads

Bha Bha Thapar, a strict general, ruled the city of Dehradun in 1803 but was later defeated by the king of Garhwal Pradyuman, who came from Saharanpur with an army of 12,000soldiers and fought the Gurkhas at Khurbura.

The 19th century saw conflicts between the Gurkhas and the British, culminating in the Gurkha War. It lasted for a period of two years, 1814-1816. In 1815, the British got the authority of the Dehradun Sugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War. On 2nd November 1815, the British East India Company signed the Sugauli Treaty with the Kingdom of Nepal. The treaty gave the authority to the Britishers to rule some parts of Nepal and Dehradun.

The 20th century is the age of technical advancements for Dehradun. The first train in Dehradun arrived in 1900 and transformed it into a commercial hub.  Radios, telephone service in 1901, and the glow of the first bulb on 24th May 1909 improved Dehradun’s progress.

Dehradun’s development became a focal point for the Britishers. The dignitaries from the British Empire and Indian royal families started visiting Dehradun and Mussoorie for stay and tourism.

Later, Dehradun, Garhwal, and Kumaon became part of Uttar Pradesh. It evolved into the independent state of Uttarakhand in 2000.

As the capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is constantly evolving. It is one of the top tourist destinations, attracting visitors with its rich history, natural beauty, and modern amenities. This city has gracefully embraced the ebb and flow of time. It’s an enchanting destination where the echoes of past, present, and future call the visitors with a warm smile to explore its depths.

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