Photos: Bhumesh Bharti
|Himalayan ranges in the backdrop are the first sight the outstation students fall for in Dehradun
Distance: 255 km from New Delhi
Journey Time by road: 5 hours
Location: set in the foot hills of Himalayas at the centre of 120 km long Doon Valley
Climate: Summer up to 40°C, Winter up to 02-20°C
|Indian Military Academy is an unmatched training institute for the armed foces personnel
Dehradun and education is quite synonymous. The city has been known as “school capital of India” for its world class residential schools which attract students across the globe. During the last decade, Dehradun or Doon has tremendously evolved as a hub for higher education in north India. One has to simply name a genre or stream in which he/she wants to pursue higher education, the options are galore in this capital city of Uttarakhand. From Engineering to Management, Pharmacy to Medicine, Law to Education; every subject has some of the well-known institutes of north India in Dehradun. Uttarakhand was formed in 2000 after parting with Uttar Pradesh and since then, the capital of the 27th State of India has never looked back on the higher education front.
Apart from the State policies which encourage the establishment of educational institutions, the scenic beauty and weather of the city has also promoted Dehradun as one of the more preferred locations to pursue higher education in the northern belt. The city is flanked by the majestic Himalayan range in the north and the picturesque Shivaliks in the south. The overall package which this city offers to students has made studying in Dehradun quite attractive.
When it comes to schooling, the Doon School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Welham Girls School, Welham Boys School, St. Thomas' College, St. Joseph's Academy are some of the names that come instantly to one’s mind. The city has some of the best coaching institutes for National Defence Academy (NDA) and Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exams. The prime reason for the city being a coaching hub for Defence Forces Examination is that Doon has one of the oldest Cantonment areas and it has been a retiring spot for the officials of the armed forces. So, many of the well-known coaching institutes are being run by retired officials.
|JBIT among city's many engineering colleges
Educational opportunities are immense and Dehradun has some of the finest colleges imparting education in the fields of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy, Medicine, Sciences, Nursing etc. The Forest Research Institute (established in 1906) is a prestigious institute in the city which apart from being a grand academic centre, is a premier tourist attraction because of its artistic building. The institute has achieved the status of a Deemed University because of its pioneering efforts in the field of Forestry and Environment studies. DAV College of Law is one of the oldest institutes in the city established in 1948. The Institute of Management and Studies is another noteworthy institute in the city, which is the oldest and the largest management institute in Uttarakhand. Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical Health and Sciences is a medical college, which is approved by the Government and affiliated to the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.
According to a recent survey by Higher Education Department of Uttarakhand government, there has been a threefold increase in the number of engineering and management institutes in Dehradun, in the past eight years. Success of these institutions can be judged by the fact that five of the oldest colleges have been granted status of university by the State government recently. Most of the engineering and management colleges are affiliated to Uttarakhand Technical University Dehradun or HNB Garhwal University, a Central University located in Shrinagar, 150 km from Doon. The University runs AICTE approved courses through affiliating institutions which are 91 in number. The first batch at HNBGU started in 2006 and now has over 35,000 students..
Another major government university is the Doon University which began its first academic session in 2009. The idea of Doon University draws its elements from modern challenges in the area of excellence in higher education. The university offers postgraduate courses in Environmental Science and Natural Resources, Mass Communication, Social Sciences, Management, Economics and Languages.
|Natraj publishers serving the scholars
The city is fast becoming a favourite destination for students willing to pursue engineering in different streams. Colleges here offer various undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, the more popular ones being Mechanical, Electronics & Communication, and Computer Science Engineering. There are a number of engineering colleges in Dehradun that are highly specialised such as the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies set up in 2003.
Doon has witnessed the largest explosion of MBA/Management colleges among any other city in the State and possibly in the country. At present, over 85 colleges are offering different management programmes in the city and its suburbs. While some like DIT, or Doon Business School have gained a name for themselves, many are yet to make a substantive mark in the said domain.
Medical studies is one area which has recently developed in the city of Doon. During the last decade many good colleges imparting medical and paramedical studies have flourished in the city. These institutes boast of students coming in from as far as Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala.
Dehradun is dotted with a number of law colleges, out of which many are well-known for giving in depth understanding of legal issues. A large number of students from States such as Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh join these colleges every year.
|Green Market: Student's flock here if they cook
Pharmacy in Dehradun hold an edge over colleges in other parts of the country as they avail the advantage of their proximity to the Doon Pharma City. This not only gives students a better opportunity of in-house training but also enhances their chance of campus placement. These institutes offer courses like B.Pharm, D.Pharm and M Pharm. Joining Pharmacy in colleges that are accredited by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and approved by AICTE are preferred. Most of the colleges are affiliated to Uttarakhand Technical University.
Unique food habits
Food is something that is not just our basic need but something that gives us joy and happiness. Many people definitely live to eat and it is precisely these people for whom good food is a priority. The food habits in Dehradun are generally of the north Indian type and have a lot of variety. The city being a retirement spot caters to different communities and their varied food habits. So, one can expect anything from south Indian to Gujarati and from Rajasthani to typical Punjabi style food. The Dehradun cuisine is so appealing that it coerces you to visit it time and again. As the people belong to the hilly region, their food is also very nutritious. It not only suits the energy requirements but is also apt for the cold climate in the region.
Food is often cooked in pure ghee and is high in hot spices such as red chillies. Popular dishes include chainsoo (a dish of black gram dal), ras (a mixture of dals), jholi (a thick gravy with potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables), kafuli (a spinach dish), and local breads such as chapatis, mandua ki roti and gahat ke paranthe. Chutneys made from sesame seeds, hemp seeds and other local ingredients help perk up the meal. The restaurants in Dehradun offer a wide range of cuisines serving all kinds of people. It doesn’t matter if you are a hardcore non-vegetarian or a vegetarian person, there are bound to be some restaurants that suit your taste. Apart from the restaurants, you can find fast food joints at every nook and corner of the city. These joints serve you local celebrity food such as chowmein, momos, bakery products etc. These food joints also serve various types of soups like the piping hot chicken soup, tomato, and sweet corn soup. Some of the best eating joints can be found at Orient Theatre, Rajpur Road, Karanpur, Prem Nagar, Dharampurand so on.
Hospitals and well being
Hospitals are a place which no one would love to visit but for the working professionals over there. But, in a medical emergency, one has to do so. The city has a good number of clinics and hospitals being run by both government and private sector. Many good government hospitals are affordable and at the same time have state-of-the-art equipment. Doon Hospital and Coronation Hospital are situated in the city. While Doon Hospital is on the Court Road, Coronation is on the EC Road. The medical facilities being provided are comparable to private hospitals. Some of the other city hospitals are Combined Medical Institute, Doon Mahila Hospital, Gandhi Shatabdi Eye Hospital, Peshin Hospital, and Shri Mahant Indresh Hospital. Besides, AIIMS in Rishikesh, which is 45 km from Doon is likely to start functioning soon. Apart from conventional hospitals many physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinics are found in Doon. The city is famous for its beauty and as such many beauty clinics are here to welcome you. Same is the case with a number of slimming centres and dental clinics.
|Some of the prominent places in and around are:
Mussorie: About 35 km from Dehradun city.
Sahastradhara: The place is a must-watch. It has the water of sulphur spring which is a cure for skin diseases.
Malsi Deer Park: Located at the foothills of Shivalik range, Malsi Deer Park is a beautiful tourist place.
Other known places: Robber’s Cave, Tapkeshwar Temple, Lachhiwala, Buddha Temple, Laxman Sidh Temple, Shiv Mandir, and Dehradun Zoo.
For transportation within and around Dehradun, one can pick from the private bus services, tempos, auto rickshaws and taxis, even though they have a very limited network. The local transport in Dehradun is mainly centred on the bus service and tempos which are more popularly known as Vikram. These are three-wheeler rickshaws that can accommodate eight people at a time and mainly operate on fixed routes in the city. But when it comes to moving to the inner lanes in the city, one has to depend on one’s own vehicle. Remember, because of the hilly region there are no rickshaws that ply on the roads. So, on the whole one can say that a two-wheeler is an inevitable mode of transport especially for students residing far away from college. The city bus stand is located near the Clock Tower which is just a 20 minutes’ walk from Dehradun Railway Station. It is the central point and covers almost all areas in Dehradun.
Part-time work options
When it comes to part-time work opportunities, Dehradun is one city which has a good number of such options. The chances of successful openings may not come quickly and readily but smart searching certainly brings in fruitful results. There are many Non Government Organisations (NGO’s) working in and around Dehradun which are actively working in the field of biodiversity, wildlife, education, health and Himalayas etc. So, students can work for them on a part-time basis. Apart from this, the other sector is the Information Technology Enabled Services or ITES. This is one area which has seen an exponential growth in the last five years. Students can find many call centres in and around Dehradun where they can work. Recently, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) ranked Dehradun third in the list of 3-Tier cities which have shown a remarkable growth in employment opportunities. The other sectors which offer good opportunities are academics, banking, insurance and automobiles. These have been the growing sectors in Dehradun for the last five years.
|This is certainly one area which needs systemic improvement in Dehradun. There are very few government or private hostels, especially for boys. Organised paying guest (PG) facilities are very few. Maximum hostels which provide PG facilities are around the educational institutes being run by private owners.
- Recently, a few colleges and institutions have also stepped into the arena of providing accommodation to students.
- Apart from PGs and hostels, a large number of families in and around Dehradun also give rooms on rent. Areas which provide housing facilities are usually near the institution premises. Some of the major areas where students can get good accommodation are Karanpur, DL Road, EC Road, Survey Chowk, Shastradhara Road, Dharampur, Prem Nagar, Mianwala, Vasant Vihar,
- Jakhan. Rajpur Road, Raiwala Road, Deal Area etc. The best way to search for accommodation in Dehradun could be the local classifieds in the newspapers or even the internet. Every Sunday, the classifieds are flooded with advertisements of rooms available on rent.
- Apart from this, the other method to search a room in the locality you have short listed to live, is to go door-to door. This could be the cheapest way but certainly not a very convenient one.
Dehradun is not just famous in the world for its scintillating surroundings and mesmerising beauty but it is also known across the globe for its rich culture and heritage. “Unity in diversity” holds the true meaning for Dehradun culture as the city is home to four major world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The city’s culture is unique, colourful and famous for its tradition, hospitality, liveliness and generousity. The culture of Dehradun has played a key role in the development of the city which weaves together its cuisine, festivals, music, literature, art and so on making it stand out distinctively. Fairs and festivals are the best way to display the rich culture in Dehradun. A few of the major festivals and fairs in Dehradun are Jhanda fair, Tapkeshwar Fair, Bissu Fair and Uttarakhand Mahotsav. Sports and outdoor adventure activities also contribute to the city’s character. The city along with Auli, recently hosted the South Asian Winter Games.
Student’s hangout spots
Rajpur Road that begins right from Clock Tower is one road in the city which attracts lots of students in the evening. Many tea shops and fast food joints offering yummy momos, chowmein and bun-tikki add to the serenity of this road. Deer-park and Mussorie road till Shiv Mandir is also one stretch (about 10 km), that has lots of fast food joints, juice corners’ and soup parlours along with the ever green trees on both sides of the road.
The Fashion Fiesta
Doon has always been known to lead the race of fashion. From mid-range copy-cat brands to bustling designer stuff, you will have all kind of takers in this city. So, the students have a lot of options when it comes to shopping. The mid-range market destination popular among the student community is Tibetan Market just opposite to the Parade Ground. Walking 5 minutes from here will take you to Indira Market which is much more organised and has lot of variety from apparels to accessories. Of course, one should not forget Rajpur Road which has almost all the leading brand stores.
|Dehradun being a hill city is not a cheap place to live in. Cost of living Index, if not more, would be almost equal to Delhi. For instance, the rentals for a single room set (1 room, small kitchen & toilet) would be anywhere around Rs. 4,000-5,000 per month. Moreover, if you move towards a more furnished room it would cost you around Rs. 6,000 per month.
The private hostels in Dehradun charge anywhere between Rs. 7,000-9,000 for a room shared by two. In this amount, food is also included which is of fixed menu type. If a student moves toward some of the older areas of the city like Karanpur, DL Road, College Road and Gurudwara Road the rentals are down by about 20% but compromises have to be made. Compromises could be like smaller space, no parking available even for two-wheelers, and hygiene etc. Since many of the institutes are located at a distance from the city centre, students generally own two-wheelers which add to the expenses.
Generally, Dehradun is a fast-food city. So, students living in a particular area have to scout for a good hotel of their choice. Food is bit costlier as compared to other smaller cities. Fast foods like chowmein, momos, burgers and bun-tikki are readily available. Dehradun is also known for its fashion. The latest trendy clothes are available in the local markets like Indira Market, Tibetan Market, Ghanta Ghar etc. For branded clothes you can just walk down to Rajpur Road where you can see all the big brands
|Forest Research Institute
Forest Research Institute is one of the oldest institutions of its kind, and acclaimed the world over. Being the only university dedicated solely to Forestry, FRI offers courses in MSc (Forestry), MSc (Environment Management), MSc (Wood Science & Technology) and MSc (Cellulose & Paper Technology) Ten SAARC Fellowships are also available for all MSc programmes.
National Institute for the Visually Handicapped
The National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH) at Dehradun is an apex body in the field of education and rehabilitation of the Visually Handicapped in India under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. NIVH is the most important centre in the country for education and training of the visually handicapped. The institute occupies 43 acres of land on the Mussoorie-Dehradun Highway.
Wildlife Institute of India
Established in 1982, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an internationally acclaimed institution, which offers training programme, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management. The Institute is actively engaged in research across the length and breadth of the country on biodiversity related issues.
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIR), formerly known as Indian Photo-Interpretation Institute (IPI), was set up in 1966 under the aegis of the Survey of India to provide comprehensive training with hands-on experience of the emerging technologies. The institute offers MSc in Geoinformatics; MSc in Natural Hazards & Disaster Risk Management and M.Tech in Remote Sensing and GIS applications.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
Established in June, 1968 as a small nucleus in two rooms of the Botany Department at Delhi University, the Institute was shifted to Dehradun during April, 1976. It was renamed as the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in memory of its founder- the late Prof. DN Wadia (FRS and National Professor), in appreciation of his contribution to geology of the Himalayas. During the last quarter century, the Institute has grown into a centre of excellence in Himalayan Geology and is recognised as a National Laboratory of International repute which is well equipped and has other infra structural facilities for undertaking advance level of research in the country.