History of Dehradun

According to the history of Dehradun, it was originally part of the Garhwal kingdom for a long time except for a brief Rohilla interlude. Nestled in the Himalayas, Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India and is presently the Provisional Capital of the newly created Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand state since November 2000. For about twenty years it was under Gorkha occupation. In April 1815, the Gorkhas were ousted and Garhwal annexed by the British. Tehsil Dehradun thus became part of Saharanpur district. Within 1825 and 1871, the history of Dehradun shows that it constituted part of Kumaon, Meerut, Saharanpur and Garhwal divisions respectively.

According to popular belief, Rama and Lakshmana performed penance here while the Pandavas took rest here during their ascent of the mountains. Dehradun was once ruled by Emperor Ashoka (1st century BC), whose rock inscription has been discovered near Kalsi nearby. At different times, this area passed into the control of Sikhs, Mughals and Gorkhas. It served as a British army base and educational center after 1815. Post-independence, Dehradun has transformed from a peaceful sub-Himalayan town to a busy commercial hub. Local agitations for a separate hill state were initiated from this town.

The district is named after its chief city Dehradun. Dehra seems a corruption of 'dera', a temporary abode. The history of Dehradun reveals that Aurangzeb had banished Sikh guru Ram Rai to the wilderness of Dun. He set up camp in the present Khurbura locality and also constructed a temple near Dhanawala. Dehra town grew up around these two sites. 'Dun' means the low lands at the foot of a mountain range, and since most of the district lies in such a terrain, it justifies the dun part of the name.

The history of Dehradun is an engaging mixture of fact and fiction.

British Period

The British period in Dehradun was accompanied by a frenzied redrawing of the political map of the region. After the annexation of Dehradun, the administrators from London added Dehradun to the district of Saharanpur. The task was done in the year of annexation itself-1815. In 1825 during the British period in Dehradun, Dehradun was transferred to the Kumaon division.

Vedic Period

The vedic period in Dehradun is an integral period of ancient Indian history. The vedic period in Dehradun forms a part of Indian history when the sacred Vedic Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas were written. The composite culture during that era is known as the Vedic Civilization. The economy of the vedic period in Dehradun was agricultural and concentrated in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The vedic period in Dehradun played a major role in the evolution of Hindu religion.

Last Updated on 14 March 2013



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