F FRINGED BY the Shivalik Hills, Dehra Dun lies in the pretty Doon Valley, flanked by the Ganges to the west and the Yamuna to the east. The provisional capital of the newly-formed state of Uttaranchal, the town is also the gateway to the Garhwal Hills. A number of prestigious institutions have their headquarters here, such as the Survey of India and the Forest Research Institute, with its botanical gardens. India’s very own Eton, the Doon School, as well as the country’s foremost training academy for army officers, the Indian Military Academy, are also situated here. Rajpur Road, the main link to the hills, is lined with bakeries and restaurants and has the old Clock Tower, the town’s principal landmark, at one end. Debra Dun’s bracing climate and its proximity to Mussoorie, make it a popular retirement retreat. The Doon Valley is also famous for its fragrant basmati rice, and its mango and litchi orchards.
ENVIRONS: The Rajaji National Park, 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Debra Dun, is a wildlife sanctuary covering over 800 sq km (309 sq miles). It is best known for its birdlife and herds of elephants.