Dehradun is a part of Garhwal region, therefore the local customs of the Garhwali people have had a great influence on culture of dehradun. Garhwali and Hindi are the primary languages spoken. Other languages spoken in the region are Punjabi, English,Nepali, and Kumaoni. There are people from differing religions and backgrounds residing here. After becoming the capital, there has been continuous growth in education, communication and transport. As the state capital, Dehradun is home to many government institutions. Dehradun is renowned all over India for its quality education institutions.
Buses are identified with blue bars. There are auto-rickshaws which are often used for transportation but blamed for pollution and noise. The evening buzz of Rajpur road is an attraction. After becoming the capital of Uttarakhand, the development of the city has accelerated; it is still known as a peaceful city with pleasant weather. The center is easily recognised by the Clock Tower (Ghanta-ghar), a structure with six functioning clocks. The statue of San Dijen placed in Shanti Niketan contributes to the beauty. This is the reason that Dehradun is home to many artists and writers like Stephen Alter, Nayantara Sahgal, Allan Sealy, and Ruskin Bond, who either stayed in Dehradun for a long time or wrote during their stay.
Dehradun was home to freedom fighters whose names are engraved in gold on the Clock Tower. It was called “The Gray City” in the initial days because ex-Army officers and VIPs considered this place as residence after retirement.
Woolen blankets are typical of this region and worn by people living at high altitude. Women wear saris with full-sleeve blouses along with angra jackets. Girls used to wear full skirts with scarfs covering their head and shoulders; more recently they have adopted more modern wear and salwar suits. In villages and to a lesser extent in towns, men wear the traditional dhoti, angarkha and langoti. The way dhotis are worn represents backgrounds and castes: Short dhotis represent low status whereas long dhotis represent high. It is more common in urban areas for men to wear shirts and trousers, denims or kurta-pyjamas as daily wear. In winter men usually dress in jacket, hat and overcoat. Hemp is grown in great quantities in this region, so its yarn is frequently used as lining.
The largest profession in Dehradun is agriculture. There are large numbers of people in the military, businesses or education. Staple foods are rice and dal with raita, curd and salad. Dehradun is known for its lychees and basmati rice.
There are fairs (melas) throughout the year. Notable fairs include Magh Mela, held on the 14 January and Jhanda Mela in March, a fair for the Hindu community that attracts Hindus from all over India and abroad.
The religions followed in this state are Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh etc. Sikhism is a prominent religion in Dehradun with over 25% population representing Sikhs. They are prominent in Racecourse, Vasant Vihar, Dalanwala and other areas of the town.