Dehradun, India: A New Definition of Wealth

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Dehradun, India: A New Definition of Wealth

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always woken up to surreal sunrises and fallen asleep to spectacular sunsets. In the morning, I would perch on my balcony, splashed by surprise showers and surrounded by majestic mountains. These are my strongest memories of the quiet and peaceful Dehradun, a town located near the Shiwalik ranges of the Himalayas and held in the longitudinal valley called Doons – more lovingly referred to as ‘Doon’.

Growing up here meant plucking litchis right from the trees and enjoying the fresh lip-smacking flavors of the fruit. It meant boasting of your gardens rather than your cars or your house. What made you rich here was the multitude of flowers and the intoxicating and invigorating smell of pollen all around.

Gateway to the Himalayas

As you move further north in India, the gateway to the Himalayan ranges beckons you – and you enter the small hilly state of Uttarakhand. From valleys, to snow-capped peaks, to the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, to majestic rivers, this state is the abode of the Gods. Dehradun is the portal to this heavenly land, untouched by civilization.

But Dehradun was never hostile to development. I, for one, studied in one of the most reputable Convent Schools in the country. And there are so many other schools that make it to the top 10 in the country and the top 100 internationally. Examples include The Doon School, Welham Girls’ High School and Welham Boys’ High School, which offer world-class education to children of dignitaries all over the nation.

Growing up in Dehradun was always about being surrounded by a highly conscious, intellectually sound, artistic and socially aware set of people.

Young army men train rigorously to be commissioned into the Indian Army, spending their days in the prestigious and world-renowned Indian Military Academy. We would see them roaming around the city enjoying their weekend liberties with their typical haircuts and uniforms, and those olive-green trucks and buses waiting to escort them after their hours of freedom were over.

Our weekends were always incomplete without a trip to Rajpur Road, which boasts of bakeries that make the most scrumptious of goodies – or a short trip to Mussoorie, a neighboring hilly town situated at a higher altitude and just a 45 minute drive from Dehradun.

From valleys to snow-capped peaks, to the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, to majestic rivers, this state is the abode of the Gods. Dehradun is the portal to this heavenly land, untouched by civilization.

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Dehradun is a blend of cosmopolitan culture and a quiet that those in Delhi crave. We thrive in the summers with temperatures at least 10 degrees lower than the average diurnal temperature in North India. Even the rapid urbanization and gradual climate change have failed to take away our mild summers, and this is one reason why many people from neighboring cities have started to settle here. Because who doesn’t want to live here?

Not just the Indian Military Academy, but many organizations of world-class fame have their footing here. From the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, to Survey of India and the IMA, this city not only has rejuvenating natural beauty, but elite institutions and offices too. I still beam with pride when someone asks me of my native home. As soon as I utter Dehradun, everyone just gushes about the place and my pride in this dreamy and exquisite town is reaffirmed.

Dehradun

Dehradun

Dehradun has a blend of it all. There are hills, caves and the neighboring towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, which are the entry points to the Kumaon and Garhwal mountain ranges. And most of all, there is no shortage of exciting and picturesque picnic spots, ranging from Assan Bird Sanctuary, to Rajaji National Park, to Maldevta and Sahastradhara – all surrounded by tributaries of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and replete with flora and fauna. School picnics were always awesome!

I have been lucky to come from a place that helps me stay rooted and detached from the material ways of the world. And honestly, it is pretty difficult for any of my fellow Doonites to stay away from Dehradun for long. This is what the place does to you. That’s the spell it casts on you.

Aishwarya Sharma

Aishwarya Sharma

A dentist by profession, and a writer, traveler and musician by passion - I never fail to explore some of the most underrated aspects of India. I have a special love for the hills as I grew up in the small, quaint hill town of Dehradun. I never leave out an opportunity to explore any landscape, whether it's the hilly terrains of Himachal Pradesh, the breezy beaches of Goa or the regal environs of Rajasthan. There's a pride I carry in my heart because I belong to one of the most diverse, fulfilling and vibrant regions of the world, India.

1 Comment

  • Erika
    Erika

    Sounds gorgeous!

    May 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm
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