Kotdwaar….Gateway to Hills

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.

leave your valuable comments. Thanks


  • Bill says:

    Beautiful! Well done!

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Great Vinay Great…………………!

    It is very nice to have darshan of God in the morning right from Dev Bhoomi….. Dhanya Bhag. Very wel written & detailed post, beautiful photographs with high degree of clearity. Narration is equally nice, a very dhamakedar entry on Ghumakkar. Welcome and keep sharing with us your travel experiences.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Good one !!!

    There are some good places to visit near Kotdwar – Sidivinayak Temple, Durga Devi temple , Lansdowne , Tarkeshwar Mandir etc.

    Have a look on Lansdowne post :-


  • Nandan says:

    Welcome aboard Vinay.

    I really liked the way you have put captions and after I read your bio at the end of the story, I can see a strong connection between the beautiful captions and designer-artiste in you :-)

    We are always looking for some help around that from fellow Ghumakkars. Welcome again.

  • Sumit Nirmal Kumar says:

    Hi Vinay,
    A very nice try, worth acknowledging it. I have been to sidhbali temple twice when i went for Lansdown last year. It was really a fantastic place to visist. You informed us of the Durga temple as well so he next time a new place to visit has been added. Thanks

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Thank you all for admiring my travelogue. Its just an inspired (inspired by you all) act.

  • Ashwani Rajput says:

    the place which is shown by u is owsome, Really i like this it’s beautiful.

  • Navneet Bisht says:

    Thanks Vinay for posting this. I have spent my 15 years at Kotdwara and these picture rejoices me and brings the memorable times spent there.

  • Navneet Bisht says:

    @vinay: Yes, I have visted this place many times. Always Visited Sidhbali mandir every Tuesday morning for prayers.

  • ANIL SARAN says:

    Really very well presented and after reading this definately in future will plan to visit there .
    From your words feel the experience which defiantely other people are missing :).Keep writing such stuff in future and good luck.

  • Ajay Gupta says:

    A very good travelogue.It has inspired me for a “must do” visit to Kotdwar.
    Vinay Ji ,
    Could you please guide me in detail about getting to Kotdwar by Road,and also the options for
    a two nights stay over there,at a reasonable cost.

    Ajay Gupta

  • ganesg kala says:

    Hi viney
    I have visted this place many times. Always Visited Sidhbali mandir.this is my home town
    femus temple.

    ganesh kala


  • Fabulous pictures!

    Great pieces of art. Keep at it.

    Try Pachmari in MP. You will like it.

    Brig. Surinder Singh

  • Rajendra says:

    being gate way of devbhumi,i have to pass thru kotdwar every time to reach my home town pauri,unfortunately,i visited sidhbali shrine only once,thanks to evaluate the piligrimage of uk,

  • pooja says:

    Kotdwar this place also knows as A Gateway Of Garhwal It is an important city in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, Kotdwar is known as the gateway of Garhwal, Uttarakhand, and the largest city of Pauri district. Its name means – “Kot” or hill and “Dwar” means “gate of the hills”. As a result, it is the gateway to the hills of Garhwal which has been there for centuries. i am also from kotdwar love my hometown

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