Kotdwara lies in the Garhwal district in Indian state of Uttarkhand. Earlier it was known as Khohdwar or the gateway of river Khoh as the place is located on the banks of river Khoh. The place is mainly situated on the foothills of Shivalik. The place is a site of historical importance as the place was ruled by the Mauryan Empire under The great ruler Ashoka. Later on dynasty like Katyuri Kingdom and Panwar Dynasty of Garhwal ruled the place.
Kotdwar is the tehsil headquarters of Pauri Garhwal district under Garhwal division of Uttarakhand state. Here devotees from far and wide visit the Siddhbali temple of Hanuman, which is situated on a high rock on the left bank of the river Khoh. Apart from many departments of the state government, Bharat Electrical Limited, a government of India undertaking, is also here. Apart from Kanwashram rest house for stay, there is also 'Paniyali rest house' of Garhwal Mandal Development Corporation. The Forest Department also has a rest house in Paniyali. Apart from this, guest house of PWD and drinking water corporation is also there and Devyani, Paradise and Raj etc. can be accommodated in the hotel. About 250 km from Delhi and 75 km from Haridwar, Kotdwar is well connected by road and rail.
The place got its major renounce of the presence of several temples. one of the most significant one is that of Siddhbali Temple which is devoted by Lord Hanuman and is visited by numbers of devotees all throughout the year. Another religious site is that of Durga Devi Temple is also the renowned temple in the place. Perchance one can see major culture and historical significance in this place.....
Kotdwar is the largest commercial center as well as a plains town of Pauri Garhwal. It is the only railway station situated on the banks of river Khoh. Kotdwar is located at an altitude of 650 meters above sea level. This place experiences more hot weather than other parts of the district. According to the record, Kotdwar was a small commercial area till the year 1953. When it was joined by rail route in 1953, it became the major trading center of this region. Spread over an area of 60 km, offers tourists the opportunity to visit Siddhibali and Durgadevi Temple. Other attractions of the nearby tourist attractions are Kanwashram, Bharat Nagar, Chila, Kalagarh, Medanpuri Devi and Sri Koteshwar Mahadev.
About 3 km ahead of Kotdwar town, the gateway of Garhwal, about 3 km ahead of the river Khoh on the left side of the river Khoh is situated on a nearly 40 meter high mound of Garhwal Siddhbali temple. It is a mythological temple. It is said that after performing austerities here, a Siddha Baba attained the accomplishment of Lord Hanuman.
Siddha Baba built a huge stone sculpture of Bajrangbali here. Which led to its name Siddhbali (Bajrangbali founded by Siddhababa). It is said that during the British rule a Khan Superintendent who was a Muslim was going somewhere by horse, he fainted as soon as he reached near Siddhbali. He realized that a temple should be built on the tomb of Siddhbali. When he came to his senses, he told this thing to the people around him and since then this ancient temple came into existence. In ancient times it was a small temple. But due to the importance of mythology and power, devotees have given it grandeur.
This temple is not only of Hindu-Sikh faith, but Muslims also come here to ask for prayers. When the wish is fulfilled, the devotees not only give Dakshina, they also organize a bhandara here. Many other sage sages have also arrived at this place. Among these saints, Sitaram Baba, Brahmaleen Bal Brahmachari Narayan Baba and Falhari Baba are prominent. Here the seeker feels peace. It is an amazing miracle of the temple that the river Khoh flooded many times but the temple is saved from collapse. Although the ground below has slipped, the temple hangs in the sky. The fair is organized by devotees every year. In which people of all religions participate.
Durga Devi Temple
"Durgadevi Temple" is situated on the main road at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level on the banks of river Khoh, about 13 km ahead of Kotdwar on Kotdwar Pauri motorway. The modern temple is located near the road, but the ancient temple is located slightly below the modern temple in a 12 feet long cave in which a Shivling is situated. Local residents worship the goddess with great reverence in this temple. He believes that Maa Durga saves him from all the obstacles that come in life. There is an influx of devotees here in Chaitriya and Shardiya Navratri, during which many devotees organize Bhandare here. On Monday and Shivaratri of Shravanmas, a large number of Shiva devotees are here to offer water to Lord Bholenath. On this occasion, Shiva devotees do not forget to see Goddess.
In the cave located here, fumigation keeps on burning continuously for a long time. It is said that many times, the vehicle of Mother Durga comes into the temple of Simha and after seeing Maa Durga, she returns calmly. He never cast a blind eye on the Mahatmas living here. There is also an interesting phenomenon hidden in the temple construction of the Goddess. It is said that this temple used to be very small in the east. But when there was a disturbance in road construction work between Dugadda Kotdwar, when the grand temple was established by the contractor, the work was completed at a fast pace. The lush forests surrounding the temple and the huge rocks on the banks of the river below add to the beauty of this place. Although people come here on the day, but on weekends, people come here for tourism along the river.
Kanwashram is situated on the banks of the Malini River. The distance of this place from Kotdwar is 14 kilometers. Kanva Rishi Ashram located here is a very important and historical place. It is believed that Saga Vishwamitra meditated here. Indra, the God of Gods, became very worried on seeing his penance and sent Maneka to dissolve his penance. Maneka was also successful in dissolving Vishwamitra's penance. After this Maneka was born as Kanya and came back to heaven. Later there, Kanya became known as Shakuntala. And he was married to the Maharaja of Hastinapur. Shakunlata gave birth to a son after some time. Which was named India. Only after becoming the King of India, our country was named 'Bharat'.
Situated at an elevation of 1657 m, the temple is popularly known as Medanpuri Devi temple. 'Medan' literally means curd and it is believed that the Goddess showers Her devotees with milk, curd and whey by way of blessings. Legend has it that the Goddess had appeared in a curd-bowl in the hearth of a family living in village Marora. The Goddess revealed to the head of the family the place where she would appear and a temple dedicated to the Goddess was then erected in Her honour. Special offerings are made during the Navratras, followed by a big fair on Ashtami. Jeeps and taxies are available at Rishikesh (37 km), Chandighat and Haridwar (42 km). Accommodation is available in Tourist Rest Houses at Chila (36 km).
Sukhraun Devi Temple
The temple of Mata Sukhraudevi is situated on Laldhang Marg, Devi Road in Kotdwar, the entrance of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand. According to mythology, where this Sukhraudevi temple is located, the first temple was established by Maharaja Dushyant in Dwapar Yuga at that place. At that time this area was covered with forests and at this place there were ancient couple trees of vat and peepal under which the pilgrims going to Kanwashram used to rest. This Kanwashram is considered to be the birthplace of Maharaj Bharata. Over time, settlements were being constructed and trees were cut. When people saw the remains of the temple at this place, they started offering prayers. According to the information received, idols were kept in two small niches which people used to worship.
It has also been received that here first a Baba Indragiri used to live in a hut, he built two small temples with the help of a woman who was quite dilapidated, among these temples, the sanctum sanctorum of the temple of Goddess was cut. The outer cell was made of bricks. The sanctum appears to have been built first. Gradually the committee was established for the upliftment of the temple. Local citizens also greatly supported the upliftment of the temple. With this contribution the Dharamshala and library were constructed. There is unwavering reverence in the temple of local citizens. The temple has beautiful idols and paintings of Durga, Parvati, Radhakrishna, Shiva and all the deities.
Shri Koteshwar Mahadev
Situated at an elevation of 1428 m, this temple has a great following among childless couples. The temple houses a Shivling and is surrounded by the Himalayan ranges in the east, Haridwar in the west and Siddha Peeth Medanpuri Devi temple in the south. Legends has it that a village woman inadverdently hit a Shivling while digging, divine voices were then heard, directing the people to construct a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Accordingly, the Koteshwar Mahadev temple was erected. It is believed that childless couples who chant the Mahamrityunjaya mantra (verse) during the whole month of Shravana with full faith and devotion are blessed by the Lord and their wishes are granted. It is also believed that during the Navratras the Goddess roves around, besitted upon her steed, the lion.