Dehradun district, a part of the Garhwal division is a district of Uttarakhand with its administrative headquarters located at Dehradun city. The district got its name from its headquarters city. The name of the place, Dehradun is derived from the two words such as “Dehra” which is again taken from the word Dera meaning home and the term "Doon" means the valley located between the Himalayas and the Shivaliks. Numerous interesting mythological stories are associated with the place, Dehradun. According to one Puranic story of the era of Ramayana, Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshmana visited the area after defeating Ravana, the king of Lanka. The ancient temples, statues and archaeological structures present in the district reflect its glorious history during the period of Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The discovery of the edicts of Ashoka at Kalsi near Dehradun made one thing very clear that earlier it was a quite prosperous place. In 1368 the region was attacked by Mahmud Ghaznavi, Timur. Then the errant eldest son of the seventh Guru of the Sikhs named Guru Har Rai, established his 'Dera' meaning camp in the Dun Doon Valley around the year 1676 and it is believe that the town which develop around this 'Dera' has come to be known as 'Dehradun'. He founded his own Udasi Panth (sect) later and received support from Auragnzeb. Rohilla chieftain Najib ad-Dawlah in 1757 and Ghulam Qadir in 1785. This kept the area in disarray till 1801. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers. Finally, the British occupied the area in 1816 and in the year 1871 the place, Dehradun was emerged as a separate district. Later, the district was added to the Garhwal division in the 1970s.
Anita Mazumdar Desai, an eminent Indian novelist and the Emerita John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was born on 24th June, 1937 at Mussorie in the district. She was honoured with a number of prestigious awards likewise Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978, Padma Bhushan in 2014 and many more.
Geographically, the district lies at 30°32'N latitude, 78°03'E longitude and 435 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 52.09% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,088 sq km. and it is bounded by Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh on the North, Haridwar district and Pauri Garhwal district on the South, Tehri Garhwal district and Uttarkashi district on the East, Uttar Pradesh on the South West and Himachal Pradesh on the North West. The climate of the district is not so hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1462.4 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district comprises 6 sub-districts, 22 towns and 748 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 16,96,694 out of which 8,92,199 are males and 8,04,495 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 902 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 32.33% including 31.29% were males and 33.51% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 83.98% of the total population. The population density in the district is 549 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 87.06%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 31,447 including 16,358 were males and 15,089 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 8,167 including 5,140 were males and 3,027 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture. The chief agricultural products in the district are sugarcane, mango, guava, peach, grape, strawberry, barley, mustard, potato, wheat, maize, potato, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. From the last 20 years the place, Dehradun is enjoying a strong economic growth. Dehradun is flourished in both the fields of commerce and information technology after the establishment of software technology parks of India (STPI) and SEZs (Special economic zones) throughout it. Dehradun is as well famous as a centre for national defence production. The principal defence production factories in the district which manufactures the products for the Indian Armed Forces are the Ordnance Factory, the Opto Electronics Factory of the Ordnance Factories Board, Defence Electronics Application Laboratory and Instruments Research and Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these factories in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 40,57,583 lakh at current price and Rs. 32,91,255 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 36,32,604 lakh at current price and Rs. 29,36,417 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 1,95,925 at current price and Rs. 1,58,376 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is popularly known as "City of Schools" and "School Capital of India". Moreover, it is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. The most recognised educational institutions in the district are St. Joseph's Academy, Delhi Public School, Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Summer Valley School, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Convent of Jesus and Mary, The Doon School, Army Public School, Cambrian Hall, St. Thomas' College and many more. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 84.25% including 89.4% are males and 78.54% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 12,59,506 out of which 7,02,216 are males and 5,57,290 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Tapkeshwar Temple, an ancient sacred temple located in the district is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pilgrims from far off places come to this temple every year on the occasion of Shivaratri. Laxman Siddh, situated at a distance of 12 km. away from Dehradun is a famous temple devoted to Laxman, the brother of Lord Rama. A large number of people from all parts of the country come to this temple to offer their prayers. Malsi Deer Park, located almost 10 km. away from Dehradun at the foot hills of the Shivalik hills is a mini-zoological park which comprises a children park, full of beautiful and mesmerising natural sceneries. Some other places of interest in the district are Sai Darbar, Tibetan Temple, Santala Devi Temple, Tapovan, Mussoorie, Sahasra Dhara, Chandrabani, Robber’s Cave, Lachhiwala, Bhagirathi Resort, Asan Barrage Water Sports Resort, Dakpathar, etc.