8 remarkable places to visit in Kotdwar

Aug 16, 2021 | Kotwdar Tourism

Kotdwara forest image

Courtesy- Studio Fame Photography

Places to visit in Kotdwar, the Gateway to Garhwal

Location- Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Nearest Railway Station – Kotdwar Railway Station

Nearest Airport – Jolly Grant Airport

Best time to visit- October- February

Recommended duration– 1 day

Kept away from the travel commercialization, one can find several places to explore in Kotdwar. Kotdwar is a small city in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district. The town was recently renamed Kanva Nagri Kotdwar after the decorated saint Kanva who resided by the banks of river Malan. While on a yatra or pilgrimage, one should certainly opt for best places to visit in Kotdwar. The city is located in the southwest part of the state and acts as one of the main entrance points of Uttarakhand. It also is an important commercial centre as it acts as a supplier of necessary items to the upper districts of the Himalayas.

Kotdwar is prominently known as an industrial hub as compared to being a tourist place. However, the city houses 8 religious spots which should be explored by the visitors. Kotdwar is known for the Sidhbali temple which is 2km from the city. Handicrafts and souvenirs are a must-buy from Malni market and District Board Shopping Center while visiting.

Travelling by road is a great way to explore several tourist spots and places in Uttarakhand. While coming down from a religious or holy site such as Rishikesh or Haridwar, one shall be crossing Kotdwar on its way.

Since Kotdwar is not a tourist place, one can go on a day excursion from Haridwar, Rishikesh, or any tourist town or city in the state. One can easily avail taxi services in Kotdwar to travel to nearby towns or cities.

Here are 8 hidden places to explore in Kotdwar-

1. Sidhbali temple

Sidhbali Temple- Best places to visit in Kotdwar

Courtesy- Sidhbali Baba

The Sidhbali Temple is devoted to Lord Hanuman and is 3.4km from the main market of Kotdwar. It is a beautiful enchanting temple on top of a hill on the banks of river Khoh and is one of the prime attractions of the area.

It is 50 meters above water level and one needs to climb the temple stairs to reach the temple complex. One can get a good panoramic view of the areas nearby and can enjoy the serene atmosphere at the temple. Thousands of devotees across the country and communities visit the temple throughout the year. The Sidhbali Temple is one of the best places to visit in kotdwar.

2. Kanvashram

Kanvashram Best places to visit in Kotdwar

Courtesy- Gyananta

Located on the bank of river Malini, Kanvashram or Kanva ashram is one of the beauties of Kotdwar. It is on the outskirts, just 14km away from the town. The ashram holds significant importance in terms of history, culture, and archaeology and its mentions can be found in ancient Indian scriptures such as Puranas and Mahabharat.

It is considered an auspicious site for attaining salvation and yoga. One can also attend the Basant Panchami fair that takes place nearby.

Legend has it that Indra sent a heavenly nymph Menaka down to earth to break Sage Vishwamitra’s meditation. Menaka was successful in breaking the sage’s meditation and with their union gave birth to a girl. Having accomplished her task, she left the baby on the bank of river Malini and left for her heavenly adobe.

Sage Kanva found the child and brought her to his ashram. The ashram was said to be world-renowned and a centre of intellect. The sage named her Shakuntala who later went on to marry King Dushyanta and gave birth to a bay named Bharata. It was he after whom India was named Bharatavarsha.

3. Durga Devi Temple

Durga Devi Best places to visit in Kotdwar
Courtesy- Trawell

Considered as one of the oldest Siddh Peeths, the Durga Devi temple is also one of the important religious places of Kotdwar. It is 12km from the town on the road towards Dugadda. The temple is located at a hill on the banks of river Khoh. It is dedicated to the Goddess Durga and visitors seek her blessings at this temple.

It is believed that the goddess shall fulfill a devotees’ wish if they tie a red chunri at the temple railings. One can also explore the Shivling housed in a nearby small cave.

St. Joseph Church Kotdwar

Courtesy- Kotdwar UK

It is one of Kotdwar’s attractions and has an elevation of 1500ft, making the St. Joseph Cathedral the 2nd largest church in Asia. It does not only have a religious significance but also has an architectural one. A large number of tourists flock to the town to witness this beauty and the visitors are not limited to Christianity.

The church complex is peaceful and is full of greenery. One can relax in this serene environment while exploring the church’s architectural details.

5. Jwalpa Devi Temple

Jwalpa Devi temple

Courtesy- We Garhwali

Situated 72km from Kotdwar, the Jwalpa Devi temple is a popular siddha peeth in the Pauri Gharwal region. The temple is situated on the banks of river Nawalika and is dedicated to Goddess Jwalpa or Deeptimaan-Jwalehwari (a form of Goddess Shakti). Legend has it that in order to marry Devraj Indra, Sachi (daughter of Pulom, a demon king) prayed to Goddess Shakti here with full devotion. Impressed, the supreme mother appeared in the form of Deeptimaan-Jwalehwari shortened to Jwalpa Devi and fulfilled her wish.

The temple holds two Navratri every year- Chitra Navratri and Shardiya Navratri. One can also attend the Basant-Panchami fair organized here while Janmashtami celebrations are also held here. The temple also conducts marriage ceremonies free of cost

6. Takeshwar Temple

Takeshwar Temple

Courtesy- We Garhwali

The Tarkeshwar temple is located 68km from Kotdwar and sits at an altitude of 1800m. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the complex also houses an ashram and dharamshala dedicated to the god. Previously, a shivling was worshipped at the temple; however, recently a lord Shiva’s idol was discovered at the place of temple shivling. Since then, the idol has been worshipped. The temple sits peacefully between the deodar trees.

Legend has it that a demon names Tarkasur meditated and worshipped at this place. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Being content with Tarkasur’s devotion, the Lord granted him the boon of immortality as per the former’s request. However, Tarkasur started killing saints and created havoc on earth. Saints and sages prayed to Lord Shiva for help. And that is when the god married Parvati and she gave birth to their son, Kartikeya. The son ended up killing Tarkasur and at the time of his death, he sought forgiveness from the god. Mahadev pardoned him and attached Tarkasur’s name to the temple where he once meditated.

7. Jim Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett nearby best places to visit in Kotdwar

Courtesy- Pixabay

One of the most iconic attractions of Uttarakhand is the Jim Corbett National Park. It is the oldest national park in the country and is located in the Nainital district of the state. The park was inaugurated in 1936 as Hailey National Park. And since then was renamed twice to Ramganga National Park and finally to Jim Corbett National Park. Corbett is just 40 kms away in Ramnagar.

This park is an ecotourism destination and contains 488 species of plants, 110 species of trees, 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, and 580 bird species. It spans over an area of 521km2 and has an elevation range of 1300 to 4000ft.

The park had 4 gates for entry located at Dhangadi Gate (Dhikala Zone), Amdanda Gate (Bijrani Zone), Jhirna Gate (Jhirna Zone), and Durga Devi Gate (Lohachur Zone).

While the 3 gates are operational for a certain number of months, the Jhirna Gate is open to visitors all around the year.

Good news for tourists in Kotdwar, in 2017, two more Jim Corbett National Park gates was opened with one being in the Kotdwar region. The Vatanvasa Gate (Sonandi Zone) is just 46km from Kotdwar city. The gate remains open from 15 October to 30 June. And it remains closed to the visitors during the monsoon season. Jim Corbett National Park is a must in best places to visit in Kotdwar.

One can easily travel to the Vatanvasa gate or any preferred with services of taxi in Kotdwar.

8. Lansdowne


Courtesy- Unsplash

The ‘home of Garhwal Rifles’, Lansdowne is a treat for quiet getaways clubbed with a rich history class. Located at an altitude of 1706 meters, the town is just 40kms from Kotdwar. Lansdowne is a cantonment town being a command office to Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army. The town can be termed as picturesque for the oak and blue pine forest covers. Making it one of the nearby best places to visit in Kotdwar.

The War Memorial is a must for tourists especially the ones wanting to know about the army’s rich history dating pre-independence era. However, prior permission is needed to visit the memorial. Other tourist attractions include Bhullatal Lake, Kaleshwar Mahadev temple, Tip n Top viewpoint, and St. Mary’s Church, with the Kitchner Lines’ old cemetery being a point of mystery and haunting. The town also has the annual ‘Sharadotsava’ (autumn festival). Opting for cabs in Kotdwar is a good way to travel to Lansdowne.

Travelling to and fro Kotdwar can be easily planned by car rentals in Kotdwar, Rishikesh, Haridwar, or Dehradun. One can easily book a half day to full day taxi facilities available nearby. However, in order to have a smooth and comfortable journey book with the best taxi service in Kotdwar of We Cabs.

We Cabs not only provide flexible pricing and timings, but much more! Knowing the importance of safe travelling in time of COVID, we provide sanitized and ultra-hygienic cabs for your travel in the beautiful state of Uttarakhand. We take utmost care of your wellbeing not only in, but of the vehicles. That is why our fleet undergoes a rigorous quality check and control mechanism.

Our variety of vehicles shall suit your pocket and the number of members! From SUVS, MUVS, to Minibus, and Traveller, choose according to your needs.

With payment options and timing as per your needs and easy cab bookings even 1 hour before the trip, We Cabs aspires to be the best in the area of comfortable and flexible service providers.

FAQs about Kotdwar 

Why to travel to Kotdwar?

One of the lesser-known attractions of Uttarakhand, Kotdwar is famous for the Sidhbali temple. It also has several tourist attractions including St. Joseph Church and Kanvashram.

How to reach Kotdwar?

One can reach Kotdwar by road, train, or air. You can reach Kotdwar via NH534. The town has its own railway station- Kotdwar Railway Station and the nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport.

Where to stay in Kotdwar?

People traveling to Kotdwar can book a hotel, resort, or a homestay.

When is the best time to visit Kotdwar?

The best time to visit Kotdwar is between the months of October to February.

Paromita Gupta

Paromita Gupta is a final year MA. Journalism student at the University of Delhi. She is an avid reader with her favourite authors being Khaled Hosseini and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. In the meantime and pre-covid days, she liked to play tennis and football. Also, she paints in her free time.

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