The ancient Baori Shiva temple on the outskirts of Dehradun, was where Swami Vivekananda rested for three weeks in 1890, on his way to the Himalayas. Though it was meant to be developed by the Uttarakhand tourism department, not many even know of the temple's significance.
For the development purpose, an approach road to the temple was built in 2011. However, much more needs to be done as the ancient temple and the room where Vivekananda stayed is far from being able to attract tourists and spiritual aspirants to Doon, as not many are even aware of its existence.
In 2011, Rs 20.63 lakh were spent for a road till the entrance of the temple and upwards and tiling in front of the temple.
Swami Vivekananda had come to Tehri with Swami Akhandananda for his medical treatment and both had gone to Mussoorie on a horse-ride, it was while coming back from the hills on October 13 in the 1890. When they were on the Rajpur Road they caught a glimpse of Swami Turiyananda at a distance who was also a disciple of Ramakrishna like them and was practising severe spiritual disciplines at the Baori Shiva temple in Doon. On meeting him, they decided to stay at the temple for a while.
"This place is indeed sacred and to maintain its sanctity we take all the measures," said Swami Sacchidananda, head priest at the temple. He claims the place needs more recognition though.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, celebrations started in the Ramakrishna Mission retreat centre with the chanting of Vedic mantras at 5.30 am, followed by special prayer sessions and discussions on the life and teachings of Swamiji. The seekers and followers from across the state gathered to be a part of the occasion and also attend the reading sessions about the teachings of Swami in the evening. However, the temple remained as secluded as always.
"Swami Vivekananda perhaps visited Doon at least four times during his lifetime, we have records of two instances only. But he had a close connection with Uttarakhand, as it was here that Vivekananda had set up 'The Advaita Ashram' in Almora, where he himself stayed for nearly a fortnight.