Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India and has recently been declared as the Provisional Capital of newly created Uttaranchal (Now Uttarakhand) State in the month of November, 2000. Also known as the ‘Adobe of Drona’, Dehradun has always been an important center for Garhwal rulers who were captured by the British. The headquarters of many National Institutes and Organizations like ONGC, Survey Of India, Forest Research Institute, Indian Institute of Petroleum etc. are located in the city. Some of the premier educational and training Institutes like Indian Miltary Academy, RIMC(Rashtriya Indian Military College), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy(IGNFA), Lal Bahadur Shahstri National Academy of Administration(LBSNAA)etc are also there in Dehradun. It is a favoured destination as it attracts tourists, pilgrims and enthusiasts from various walks of life to its serene environs. Add to this the abundance of special Basmati rice, tea and lychee gardens which contribute in turning the city into a paradise.
The district is named after its chief city Dehra Dun. Dehra appears to be a corruption of dera signifying a temporary abode or camp. During the reign of Aurangzeb, Ram Rai, Guru of the Udasi Sikhs, on being ordered by the Mughal king to retire to the wilderness of the Dun, had pitched his tents here in what is now the Khurbura locality of the town and had also built a temple near Dhanawala. Around these two sites, grew up the town popularly known as Dehra. The term dun or doon means the low lands at the foot of a mountain range, and as the bulk of the district lies in such a terrain, it justifies the dun part of the name.
According to Skanda Purana, Dun was formed as a part of the region called Kedar Khand. It was included in the kingdom of Ashoka by the end of the 3rd century B.C. It has been revealed by history that for centuries, the region was formed as a part of the Garhwal kingdom with some interruption from the Rohillas. For about two decades till 1815, it was under the occupation of the Gorkhas. In April 1815, Gorkhas were ousted from Garhwal region and Garhwal was annexed by the British. In that year the area now comprising tehsil Dehra Dun, was added to district Saharanpur. In 1825, however, it was transferred to the Kumaon Division. In 1828, Dehra Dun and Jaunsar Bhabar were placed under the charge of a separate Deputy Commissioner and in 1829; the Dehra Dun district was transferred from the Kumaon Division to the Meerut Division. In 1842, Dun was attached to Saharanpur district and placed under an Officer, subordinate to the Collector of the district but since 1871 it is being administered as a separate district. In 1968 the district was taken out from the Meerut division and was included in the Garhwal Division.