Dehradun is the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, it lies 236 kilometres (147 mi) north of India's capital New Delhi and is one of the "Counter Magnets" of the National Capital Region (NCR) being developed as an alternative centre of growth to help ease the migration and population explosion in the Delhi metropolitan area. Dehradun is in the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India's mightiest rivers — the Ganges on the east and the Yamuna on the west. The city is famous for its picturesque landscape and slightly milder climate and provides a gateway to the surrounding region. It is well connected and in proximity to popular Himalayan tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Nainital and Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Chota Char Dham.
Dehradun is renowned for its natural resources, publishing services and particularly for its educational institutions. It is one of the highest rain receiving areas of North India. It hosts training institutions of national importance such as the Indian Military Academy. City population has significant contribution of government servants. It is home to national foundations such as the Ordnance Factory Dehradun, Opto Electronics Factory, and other defence establishments. Other institutions include the DIT University, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Law College Dehradun, Survey of India, Wadia Institute Of Himalayan Geology, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Wildlife Institute of India and the Forest Research Institute.
Dehradun is made up of two words: 'Dehra' is derived from the word "dera", deriving from griha and meaning home. "Doon" is a term for the valley that lies between the Himalayas and the "Shivaliks". When Ram Rai Ji, son of Guru Har Rai Ji, came to this region with his followers, he established a camp here for them. Around this time, the modern city of Dehradun started to develop. This is when the word dehra was linked to doon, and thus the city was named Dehradun.In Skanda Purana, Dun is mentioned as a part of the region called Kedar Khand, the abode of Shiva. In ancient India during the Mahabharata epic era, Dronacharya the great teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas lived here hence the name, "Drona-nagr". Some historians believe that the word dehra can be regarded as a term for camping
The city is also referred as the 'Rainy City of India' due to continuous and incessant rainfalls specially in monsoon. In fact 16–17 June rainfall was highest ever recorded rainfall of 370 mm rainfall that devastated whole Uttarakhand and nearby regions.
Dehradun is India’s wettest State capital this monsoon with 2,865 mm of rainfall between 1 June and 30 September, according to Director of the Dehradun Meteorological Centre Anand Sharma. With 2,365 mm, Mumbai received the second highest rainfall during this monsoon season.
The climate of Dehradun is humid continental, although it varies from tropical: from hot in summers to severely cold, depending upon the season and the altitude. The nearby hilly regions often get snowfall during winter. Agriculture benefits from fertile alluvial soil, adequate drainage and plentiful rain. Mountain areas are also used for agriculture. Dehradun is known internationally for its variety of Basmati rice and Lychees.
In sports tourism, the Doon Ice Rink at Maharana Pratap Sports Complex, Raipur is the first full-sized ice arena in India. It has hosted ice skating competitions and ice hockey tournaments, including the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia
By air: Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet offer daily flights from Delhi while jet airways operates a daily hopping flight(stop at delhi) from Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram(via Banglore and Delhi) and air India has direct 50 minutes flight from lucknow to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport 25 km from the valley of Dehradun.
Railways: Dehradun has a Dehradun railway station with services to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Vadodara and Varanasi. Some fast trains running to and from Dehradun include the Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express and New Delhi—Dehradun AC Express (to be renamed as Nanda Devi Express).
Dehradun, also known as "City of Schools" and "School Capital of India", is home to some of India's renowned educational institutions, which include St. Joseph's Academy, Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Summer Valley School, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Welham Girls School, Welham Boys School, St. George's College, Woodstock School, Wynberg Allen School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, The Doon School, SelaQui International School, Army Public School, Cambrian Hall, St. Thomas' College, Brightlands School
Several Indian and international luminaries have attended these schools. There are numerous forest officials in India who have attended the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. It is home to many religious schools as well. Yoga, Ayurveda and meditation have great influence in Dehradun.