Here I am, writing first time, li’l immature for writing travelogue, but will do my best…kindly cooporate.
I am form Najibabad (Bijnaur), and Kotdwar is next to that. Few months back, I visited there to watch ‘Siddhbali Mandir’ and ‘Durga devi mandir’ along with my wife. I love to visit temples at hills. And these both temples are beautifully located on hills of Kotdwar and a small river ‘Kho’ is flowing near to both. Let me tell about Kotdwar to those who less know.
Kotdwara is a small town, situated at the border of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, on the foothills of the Shivalik Range of Himalayan Mountains. It is locked in by hills from three sides. The name Kotdwara indicates the gateway (dwara) to the Abode of God (Dev Bhoomi), since this is the place from where the pilgrimage to two famous temples Kedarnath (Lord Shiva) and Badrinath (Lord Vishnu) starts. It is situated on the banks of three seasonal rivers namely Kho, Malini, and Sukhro. This area was the place of meditation for many sages and rishis.
Kotdwara or Kotdwar was called Khohdwara initially–meaning a gateway to the Khoh–after river Khoh on whose banks it is located. Kotdwar is a transformation of this name. The town has always been a commercial centre, and being located on the foothills of Garhwal, it has played the important role of a supplier of essentials to the upper reaches of the hills, such as Pauri, Srinagar, Badrinath and Kedarnath.
Kotdwar is well connected by buses. Kotdwar is also linked by a motorable road to almost all the important cities in Uttaranchal. Kotdwar is 240 km from Delhi. The Road route from Delhi to Kotdwar:- Delhi -> Ghaziabad -> Modi Nagar -> Meerut -> Mawana -> Meerapur -> Bijnaur -> Kiratpur -> Nazibabad -> Kotdwar. There are two main trains from Old Delhi to Kotdwar :- Missouri Express, Garhwal Express.
Coming back to my visit’s story. Siddhbali temple is a beautiful place located at the bank of river Kho, is having Bajrang bali as its main deity. Its very peaceful place, best to be visited on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, because of bhandara, which is organised here on these three days by the pilgrims and devotees. Main food of bhandara is amazingly tasty Alu bhaji, with Pudis and desi ghees’ Halwa. There is a long waiting queue for booking to organise these bhandaras. It is said if you want to arrange this bhandara on your expanse then you would have to wait for 10 to 15 years. The temple was broken almost one third due to landslide in late 80’s, and miraculously survived and now situated on top of the town as an icon of the city. It is said that Lord Hanuman himself supported the structure on his shoulders.
I visited there early morning and worshiped, saw Arti. You can find all god’s beautifully framed photographs there. There is also a Shani dev’s temple, a big tree tied with red sacred threads. There is also a beautiful garden besides the temple, i stayed there for some time. Then I ate bhandara which was an experience in itself. I loved the whole experience. Let me tell you that I found the place so peaceful that I didn’t want to come back. The whole environment was awesome….Imagine a peaceful temple on hill and rives flowing in it foot. Wow. It is to suggest to visit there on Sunday and stay there for some time and eat the bhandara’s meal. Parking facility is provided.
Second place visited by me was Durga temple at Dogadda, a few kms ahead from Siddhbali temple. Its a small temple yet very famous. It is said here that all wishes of devotees are fulfilled. They tie a chunri and wish what they want. I found the place so beautiful that words would not explain. This is a must visit place. You can easily find place along side the road to park your vehicle. The temple is located downstairs from the hill and is a perfect picnic spot. You can spend time at small river’s bank with tiny water falls. The sound of river is very loud, which makes it more worthy to be visited. It was awesome experience of mine. I couldn’t take bath in river but enjoyed fully. There was a group of boys & girls, making fun and taking bath. There is a small gufa having Shiv-linga, I worshiped there for some time, had sacred bhasm tika on my forehead.
From Durga temple this route goes to Lansdowne, another excursion of Kotdwar. Lansdowneis the nearest hill-station to Delhi,about 275 Km. It is most underrated place as not much people know about it. I am looking forward to visit there, also planned earlier but couldn’t go because of some reasons. But will visit soon and write about that….till then Happy Ghumakadi.
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