Garhwal Himalaya has its own distinguished historical traditions and religious importance due to its geographical significance, cultural heritage and social background. The people of Pauri Garhwal as a part of Garhwal Himalaya share this rich heritage in their life styles, which root with their tough economic and hardworking day-to-day life, their work culture and faith in physical labour. The population in urban areas and yatra routes have intermixed their culture with the visitors and people from other part of the country. A typical Garhwali, Short, Stout, Hardworking & Honest has to be met in the interior hills and villages. They are simple and shy people, closest to the nature. Society in the District is a mixed one - Brahmins, Rajputs, Harijans (Scheduled Castes) being the major constituents. Each caste group is subdivided in sub-groups and sub-castes. Inter-caste marriage is forbidden but exception and breeches of the rules are tolerated. The main profession of the villagers is agriculture and animal husbandry. The Land of Pauri Garhwal is blessed with splendid view of snow-bound peaks of Himalayas, scenic valleys & surroundings, meandering rivers, dense forests and hospitable people with a rich culture.
Pauri Garhwal, a district of Uttaranchal state encompasses an area of 5440 sq. km and situated between 29 45' to 30 15' Latitude and 78 24' to 79 23' E Longitude. This district is ringed by the districts of Chamoli, Rudraprayag & Tehri Garhwal in North, Bijnor & Udhamsingh Nagar in South, Almora & Nainital in East, Dehradun & Haridwar in West. Pauri is the headquarter of Pauri Garhwal district and is located at the height of 1650 m. and has a population of 20,397. This is fairly located on high altitude amongst the Deodar forest and on the northern slopes of the ridge, which provide one of the ice-clad mountain chains. The topography of pauri Garhwal is by and large rugged and except for the narrow strip of Bhabar, the entire region is mountainous. The highest point of the area is 3116 m at Dudatoli and the lowest point of the area is 295 m near chilla. The village located at the hightest level is Dobri, which is 2480 mtrs high. The forest cover is the maximum in Thailisain block and the minimun in the Pauri block. The district of Pauri Garhwal as part of the Western Himalaya presents a unique set of ecological characteristics over a complex variety of systems that incorporate forests, meadows, savannah grasslands, marshes and rivers, as well as wildlife, geology and several other phyto-geographically distinctive peculiarities.Besides Alaknanda, Nayyar River is the major river of the district and is one of the major tributies of Alaknanda which is called Nayyar after the confluence of eastern and Western Nayyar at Satpuli. Both the Nayyars originate from the Dudatoli range and drain their water to the south. The high ranges in the Nayyar catchments areThailisain (Dudatoli - Chakisain ridge), Baijro (Pokhra - Demdeval ridge), Khirsu-Mandakhal (Pauri - Adwani - Kanskhet ridge), Bironkhal (Lansdowne - Gumkhal - Dwarikhal ridge) & Rathwadhab (Dugadda - Kandi ridge).
Culture and Lifestyle
The region has a sub-temperate to temperate climate, which remains pleasant throughout the year. The maximum temperature recorded in the month of june is 45 C at Kotdwar while in the higher reaches at Dudhatoli it only rises to 25 C. Temperature descends to a minimum of 1.3 C in January, and means monthly temperature for the region ranges from 25 C to 30 C. The hilly terrain with its densely forested slopes receives adequate rainfall generally commencing from mid-June and extending till mid-September. Occasional rainfall is also recorded in winter. Average annual rainfall in the district is 218 cm., about 90 percent of which is generally concentrated over the monsoon. Relative humidity varies between 54 and 63 percent. The higher reaches receive some snow in winter when temperature falls to freezing point.
Soils of the region have been formed either through pedogenetic processes or are transported soils. The pedogenetic soils are the one which have been formed by long duration of exposure to atmospheric agencies, physical and chemical weathering and rock slides. Such types of soils are derived from granite Gneissic, schistose and phyllite rocks. These soils obtained high percentage of silica from their parent body, while the soils formed from the limestone are rich in calcium carbonate. The transported soils are carried and deposited by the streams. Their parent body and source rocks lie at far away places. Some of these soils have mixed origin pf glacial and fluvio-glacial origin. These soils of takus, fans and terraces are silt to clayey loam and are very fertile. The brown forest soils contain very high percentage of organic matter. The katil soils are stony, immature and extremely poor. Soils of Upraon are gravelly ab\nd sandy Loams, they are brown of Talaon. The Talaon soils are brown in colour with clayey texture. The stony texture provides higher rate of erosion.
There are extensive forests in the district Pauri Garhwal. These forests are serving, as a base for many industries, local needs of fuel wood, fodder resources and ecological stability. There is a considerable variation in the forest type, which occur in this area. Such variations are based on altitude, climate, rocks, soil etc. As per the statistics available for year 1997-98, the total forests of the district are distributed as 170360 hectare under 'Forest Deptt.', 156815 hectare as 'Reserved Forests', 90616 hectare as 'Civil Soyam Forests', 26520 hectare as 'Panchayat Forests' and 590 hectare under 'Nagar Palika & Private Ownership'.
Also termed as Reverie forests, occur in areas of lower elevations. Its main constituents species are: Acacia Catechu (Khair), Shorea robusta (Sal), Dalbersia sisso (Shecham), Bombex ceiba (Bamboo) etc. In these forests different varieties of bamboos occur in patches or mixed with the main species. Khair trees have become hollow on rocky patches and in depressions, which are moist and sheltered. The crop is of fairly open density. Regeneration is adequate in areas, which are away from habitation where the effect of grazing eloping is not very severe. Sal forests occur in Rathwadhab forests of Rikhanikhal and lower elevation of Jahrikhal block.
Chir Pine Forests
These are the most extensively developed type in the Nayyar catchments. The main species is Pinus roxburghii which occurs in pure form. The altitudinal variation of this forest is from 900 mts. to 1500 mts. Besides chir pine, the other tree species which may occur Cedrela toona (Toon) be, Anoegissous Latifolia, Ehertia laevis. The density of this forest varies from 0.3 to 0.6, the density tends to higher in areas away from human settlements, intensive grazing, on sandy soil etc.
They occur at altitude ranging from 800 m. to the highest elevations of Pauri Garhwal area. The main species include Quercus semicarpifolia (Banj), Q. incana (Banj), Rhododendron arboreun (Burans), Rhus punjabencis, cedrela toona (Toon), vitis himalayansis. These forests occur on moist, shady depressions, declivaties on southern aspects. At times they are mixed with chir pine forests, the former occurring on moister sides and cooler aspects. The density of the forest ranges from 0.4 to 0.8. There is a thick layer of undecomposed humus in the soil. By and large it has been seen that this forest type is associated with moisture.
These are confined to areas of higher elevation. It is one of the most beautiful types found in the Himalayan region. Individual trees may attain a height of over 35 mtr and a diameter of over 110 cms. The main species are cederus deodara which occur in pure form. In cooler aspects Deodar is accompanied by blue pine (pinus exelsa), silver fir and spruce. Regeneration is fairly adequate as these forests occur in areas, which are away from habitation. Deodar forests occur in Pauri, Tarkeswar, Dudhatoli etc.
Industries based on forests
Chir pine and Deodar are being used for supply of timber, paper and match industries. These industries are located in the Ganga plain adjoining the Garhwal hills. The khair forest occurring in the lower hills are feeding the Kattha industries located at Kotdwar and other foothill towns of U.P. The pine forests are being extensively tapped for the production of resin. Individual trees not below the 35 cm. Diameter class are being tapped all over the district. This resin is transported to the resin and turpentine factories. These forests are also yield pulpwood (for paper industry), wood for match industry, Gums, Tannins, Paint fibre, Canes and minor forests products. The local people depend on these forests to a great extent. They derive their fuel wood for cooking & heating purpose, fodder for cattle, grasses for thatching of roofs, small wood for agricultural implements, timber for house building & furniture from these forests. In this area over 90% of the cattle owned by local people graze in these forests.
Minerals are inorganic substances, which contain one or more elements. Rocks consist of minerals. It is a common believe that Himalaya as a whole are rich in mineral wealth. During the last eighty years or so, a number of geoscientists have been carrying out surveys and prospecting work in different parts of Garhwal hills and besides the metal ores which were already known to common people (Copper, Lead, Zinc, Silver, Gold, Iron ore etc.), a number of new minerals of utility have been located. The widening gap between the presence of minerals at a place and their local non-utilization due to various reasons is the greatest problem in developing the mineral industry in Garhwal hills. Important minerals available for exploitation in the region are Limestone, Gold, Graphite, Sulphur etc. Lime is produced out of limestone, which is use for manufacturing of cement and in all constructional work. In the district, limestone deposits are in existence at Lansdown, Srinagar. Sulphur and Graphite has been found in Alaknanda valley near Srinagar. Hard coal has been found near Laldhang in the district. Along upper Shivalik hill reaches in the Kalachur region of Pauri Garhwal, a 60 km. long and two to five km. wide seam of Gold deposit has been found.
Most upcomming phenomenon around the world is 'Adventure Tourism', and Pauri is a paradise of adventure seekers interested in sports like- Trekking, Moonlight Trekking, Cycling, Jungle Camping, Wildlife Adventure, Aero- sports, Angling, Rockclimbing, Rafting etc. As far as exposure of Pauri in context to tourism is concerned, it's almost negligible. Department of Tourism, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar has taken the initial step towards this direction by introducing, Cycling and Rock-Climbing Camps in association with Department of Tourism, Government of Uttranchal. Common adventurous activities available in district are :
Binsor is situated at an altitude at 2480m and is at a distance of 134 kms from Pauri. Set amidst dence forest of Oak, Deodar and Rhododendro is a celebrate place of worship. The temple dedicated to Lord shiva is of archaeological significance, the central room of the temple is beautifully adorned by the idolsof ganesh, Her Gauri and Kans Mardini. Thalisain, 104 kms from Pauri, is the last bus stop.
From thalisain, the trek trails begin through very rich forest of Deodar, Pine and Oaks, all brimming with wildlife. This trek is full of life and it is assured that one will enjoy the scenic beauty through the trek.
Doodhatoli, Situated at an altitude of 3100 m, is covered with dense mixed forest. Thalisain is the last bus terminal (104 km. from Pauri) from where Doodhatoli is at a distance of 24 km. by trek. It is one of the most picturesque places and offers a panaromic view of the Himalayan ranges and the surrounding areas. The indomitable freedom fighter of Garhwal, veer Chandra Singh Garhwali was enamoured by the place. As was his last wish a memorial in his name has been erected here after his death. A humble but bold momorial in his name creates a 'never say die' atmosphere under the tall Oak trees.
How to reach
Pauri to Thalisain 104 kms drive
Thalisain to Peersain 11km trek
Peersain to Binsar 11km trek
Binsor to Doodhatoli 12 km trek
Hariyali Devi trek
Hariyali Devi temple is situated at the height of 1480 m, a confluence of pristine beauty and religious fervour. Hariyali Devi is thronged by tourists and pilgrims in large numbers during janamasthami and deepawali.
Pauri to Dabrukhal (Drive) 43 km
Dabrukhal to Mojkhal (Trek) 6 km
Mojkhal to Bhenswara to Hariyali Devi (trek) 13 km
Pauri to Thalisain to Bajroan to Liskot to Kingorikhal (Drive)
Kingorikhal to Gujurugahri (Trek) 4 km
Tara Kund Trek
Situated at a height of 2,200 m, Tara Kund is picturesque spot amidst lofty mountains in the Charisirh development area. A small lake and an anciet temple adorn the place. The teej festiwal is celebrated with great gaily when the local people come here to worship and pay homage to God.
Pauri to Pathani 49 km (Drive)
Pathani to Sirtoli 4 km (Trek)
Sirtoli to Tara Kund 5 km (Trek)
One of the latest concepts of adventure in Garhwal Himalaya is Cycling at an altitude of 1800 m and above. The route has been notified by the Department of Tourism, Garhwal University, Srinagar. One can enjoy the picturesque view of Himalaya from this route. The undulating route passing through extremely dense forest of Oak, Blue Pine and Rhododendron can reward the tourist with memories to enjoy in future. The solitude and tranquility of the area gives peace of mind and soul.
For more information
Adventure Activities Cell,
Department of Tourism,
H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal
At 12km from Pauri town en-route to Kotdwar is a place called Kandara. The place surrounded with natural beauty has an Aero sport club developed by a private entrepreneur Mr. Manish Joshi.
One among the recreational activities, which can flourish in Pauri, is Angling and Swimming in Nayar river. Nayar valley with tremendous natural beauty and have the potential to spell bound the tourist with its charm. Satpuli area is best for the purpose of Angling & Swimming. The place has also the capability to develop one of the best farms in Garhwal and can provide tourist an opportunity to get a close look to the real life of Garhwal i.e., developing Rural Tourism. The place Satpuli offers number of private accommodation along with Government Accommodation units like Tourist, Forest Rest House, etc.
Chandra Singh Garhwali
Chandra Singh Garhwali will be remembered for posterity as a brave soldier and a revolutionary, who had shown great courage, patriotism as a freedom fighter while serving as a soldier. He was born in 1891 in Rauni Sera village of district Garhwal (now in district Chamoli). In 1930, severe riots had broken out in Peshawar city when a procession was being taken out by Pathans in support of the 'Salt Satyagraha'. Some of the troops led by Chandra Singh Garhwali refused to open fire on the demonstrators and he ordered a cease-fire. Consequently a large number of the soldiers followed his action. Chandra Singh Garhwali was the man behind this incident. Chandra Singh Garhwali was tortured and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by the Britishers along with 59 other serving soldiers. This great soldier and freedom fighter died on 1st October 1979 at the age of 88 years.
Anusuya Prasad Bahuguna
Anusuya Prasad Bahuguna will be remembered as a great patriot and gallant freedom fighter who sacrificed his life for the country. He was born in 1919 a place near chamoli. In 1919-20, when the non-cooperation movement was taking place in the country, agitations also startrd in the hill region against the age old custom of 'Begar Bardayash' (Compulsory provision of porters for carriage of luggage of British administrators without any payment). This agitation was jointly led by Ansuya Prasad from Garhwal region. And Badri Dutt Pandey and Victor Mohan Joshi from Kumaon region which resulted in the end of the custom. In 1930, he took part actively in the Salt Satyagrah. In 1937 he was elected as a member of the provicial assembly and continued to work for the progress of Garhwal region.
Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was born on 25th April, 1919 in Bughani village of district Pauri Garhwal. In 1942, he led the Quit India Movement at Allahabad. As British Government declared a prize of Rs. 10,000 on catching him live or dead, he went underground to continue the freedom struggle but later arrested. He was tortured and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by the Britishers but released in 1945 due to illness. After independence, he held a number of important portfolios in state and central governments. This great leader was died on 17th March 1989.
Jagmohan Singh Negi
Jagmohan Singh Negi will be remembered in the history of Uttarakhand as a great freedom fighter, administrator and above all a learned scholar who represented Garhwal region during and after the freedom struggle along with Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant from Kumaon region. Jagmohan Singh Negi has been described as 'Jawahar of Uttarakhand' who served the people of this region for thirty-eight years. He was born on 5th July 1905 at Kandi village of district Pauri Garwhal. In 1925, he successfully organized the youth movement in his area for boycotting the elections of the state council. On October, 1930 he organized yet another meeting attended by thousands of people at the historic place of Yamkeshwar Block in district Pauri Garhwal. This meeting shook the British administration and later he was arrested and awarded imprisonment. He was elected as a member of the Provincial assembly in the year 1936. After independence, he held various portfolios in the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet. This great man of Uttarakhand expired on 30 May 1968.
Baldev Singh Arya
Baldev Singh Arya was born in 1912 in Umath village of district Pauri Garhwal. In 1930, he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months by the Britishers for the anti government speech. He had played very important role in 'Doli Palki Movenment' for the rights of lower castes. This great leader was died 1992.
Bhawani Singh Rawat
Bhawani Singh Rawat was born on 8th October 1890 in Panchur village of district Pauri Garhwal. During his student life in Hindu collage, he influenced by the revolutionaries and joined 'Hindustan Republican Association', which subsequently in September 1928 was renamed as 'Hindustan Socialist Republican Association' under the leadership of Chandra Shekar Ajad. In 1930 Bhawani Singh Rawat participated in 'Chandni Chowk Robbery' with Chandra Shekar Ajad and other revolutionaries. After this incident, in July 1930, Chandra Shekar Ajad with his five companions visited Nathopur, a place near Dugadda in district Pauri Garhwal on the advised of Bhawani Singh Rawat for arms training at a hideout place and trained young companions. He was died on 6th June 1986.
Mola Ram has carved a niche for himself in the history of Uttaranchal for his contribution to Art and Painting. In fact, he laid the foundation for the 'Garhwal School of Painting'. Mola Ram was born in the year 1742 near Srinagar in district Pauri Garhwal. He was also a poet, philosopher and a statesman. Mola Ram worked during the rules of Maharaja Pradeep Shah, Maharaja Lalit Shah, Jaikrit Singh and Maharaja Pradyuman Shah from 1777 to 1804. He continued to work for the development of art and literature during the period of Gorkhas rule (1803-15) and the British rule. Mola Ram died in Srinagar at the age of 75 in 1833. The paintings of Mola Ram are kept in the Boston Museum of art in the USA but most of his paintings are laying in personal possession of individual. However, some of them can be seen in 'Bharat Kala Bhawan, Banaras', 'Kastur Bhai Lal Bhai Saghralaya, Ahemdabad' and few in the art galleries of Calcutta, Allahabad, Lucknow and Delhi.
Dr. Pitambar Dutt Barthwal
Dr. Pitambar Dutt Barthwal will be remembered as a great educationalist and journalist throughout the country as he became the first man to have been honored with a degree of D.Litt. in the Hindi language. He was born in December 1901 in Pali village near Lansdown in district Pauri Garhwal. He was honored with the degree of 'Doctor of literature' in convocation in 1933 on his research work in 'Hindi Kavya Mein Nirgun Bad' at the age of 32. Unfortunately, his dedication and hard work in the field of education adversely affected his heath and he expired on 24th July 1944 at his native village.
Places of Interest
Pauri is situated in the northern slopes of beautiful Kandoliya Hill Ranges of middle Himalayas, at the height of 1650 meters above the sea level. Pauri became the headquarter of the district Garhwal in 1840 A.D., and the headquarter of the Garhwal Division in 1969 A.D. A panoramic view of snow clad Himalayan peaks of Bander Pooch, Gangotri Group, Kedarnth, Chawkhamba, Neelkanth, Hathiparvat, Nandadevi and Trisul etc. can be seen from any point of the city. Area of the city is about 5 sq. km. Total populations as per 1991 census is 20,397 with 11,560 male population and 8,837 female population. The literacy percentage of the city is 84.59. Topography of the city is mountainous. The climate of the city is pleasant in summer, very cold in winter and heavy rainfall in monsoon.
How to reach
Nearest airport is Jollygrant (155kms.) via Rishikesh - Srinagar
Nearest railway station is Kotdwar (108kms.)
Pauri is well connected to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kotdwar and other cities of the region.
Distance of Distt. HQ from State Capital (Dehradun) 181 Km
Distance of Distt. HQ from New Delhi 323 Km
Distance of Distt. HQ from Nearest Airport (Jolly Grant, Deharadun) 171 Km
Places of Interest
The main temples of the city are Kandoliya Devta, Laxmi Narayan, Kyunkaleshwar Mahadev and Hanuman mandir. Every year, a 'Bhandara' is organized in the premises of the Temple of the Kandoliya Devta and thousands of people from Pauri and near by villages participate in it. The city is blessed with a number of picnic spots surrounded by 'Deodar' forests and filled with natural beauty viz. Ransi, Kandoliya, Nag Dev, Jhandi Dhar etc. Every year 'Sharadotsav' is celebrated in the city since 1974, in which different culture programmes and games are organized.
8th century Shiva temple established by Sankaracharya during his visit to Pauri with the view of revival of Hinduism. The temple is well renowned in Pauri and nearby areas, people has a very strong belief in the temple with main Deities- Lord Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya. Other Deities in the temple just behind the main temple are of Lord Rama, Lakshmana & Goddess Sita. One can have a spellbound sight of the magnificent Himalayan ranges along with Alaknanda Valley and town itself from here.
Much worshipped temple of snake God (Nag) and situated in a dense forest of Pine and Rhododendron. On the way to the temple an observatory is installed from where one can get a gigantic and thrilling view of magnificent Himalayan ranges like Chaukhamba, Gangotri Group, Banderpoonch, Kedardom, Kedarnath etc. The temple is located on Pauri- Bubakhal road and is 5km from bus stop. One can reach there by a trek of 1and 1/2 kms.
Another Shiva temp[le (Kandolia Devta) is located in the dense forest of Oak and Pine on Kandolia hills. Adjacent to this temple is a beautiful park, sports complex and a few meters ahead is Asia's highest Stadium Ransi. During summers Kandolia Park witnesses the cheering, laughing and funfilled families from the locale. One side of the park gives a beautiful view of Pauri town and other side of it gives a beautiful view of Gangwarsyun valley. The place is one kilometre ascend on foot from bus stand or 2 km from motorable road. Professional or amateur photographer can capture a lot in their camera to cherish.
Famous ShaktiPeeth of this area dedicated to Goddess Durga is around 33 kms from Pauri on Pauri- Kotdwar motor road. A special worship is offered during Navratras' people come from far and wide to pray for the fulfillment of their desires. Accommodation units like Tourist rest House (4 beds) and Dharamshala are available here. Temple is located on the Northern bank of river Nayar, nearby station is Satpuli some 17 km away.
Amidst the dense forest of Birch, Rhododendron and Deodar, is located the temple of Binsar Mahadev at an altitude of 2480 m and is at a distance of 114 kms from Pauri. Sanctorum of temple consists of deities, Hargauri, Ganesh and Mahisasurmardini. Temple is believed to be constructed by Maharaja Prithu in memory of his father Bindu. This temple is also known as Bindeshwar temple. A big fair takes place here on the occasion of Baikunth Chaturdashi every year. Women taking lamp (deepak) on their palms pray for blessing of a baby for night long, with the strong belief of their desires to be fulfilled. A 12 km trek from here leads to Dudhatoli (3001 m). One amongst the most beautiful treks in Pauri and on the way trekkers are rewarded by the sight of wonderful flowers, waterfalls and bugyals (pastureland). View of clear blue sky and white spread peaks from here is magnificent. Dudhatoli was the dreamland of great freedom fighter Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali. Every year on 12th June a big cultural fair is organised here in his memory. 2 km away from Dudhatoli is a place called Brahmadungi where a big stone statue of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali is placed. Binsar is 114 km from Pauri. Last motorable road is Thalisain Tehsil 96 km away from Pauri. Forest Rest House, PWD Rest House, Dharamshala are the accommodation units their.
Situated at a height of 2200 m. Tarakund is a small picturesque spot amidst lofty mountains in the Chariserh Development Area. A small lake and an ancient temple adorn the place. The Teej festival is celebrated with great gaiety when the local people come here to worship and pay homage to God.
The snow-covered mountains of Khirsu offer a panoramic view of the Central Himalayas and attract a large number of tourists. From here one can get a clear view of many named & unnamed peaks. Located 19 kms away from Pauri at an altitude of 1,700 m, khirsu is a peaceful spot, free from pollution. Only the chirping of birds breaks the tranquility of the adjoining thick Oak and Deodar forests and apple orchards. The ancient temple of Ghandiyal Devta in the vicinity is well worth a visit. Accommodation is available at the Tourist Rest House and Forest Rest House.
Connected by a well-maintained 17 kms long road from Pauri, Adwani is an ideal picnic spot, as it is surrounded by thick forest and devoid of the hustle & bustle of the town. There is a Forest Rest House where one can stay.
Doodhatoli situated at an altitude of 3100 m, is covered with dense mixed forest. Thalisain is the last bus terminus (100 kms from Pauri), from where Doodhatoli is at a distance of 24 kms by trek. One of the most picturesque places, it commands a panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges and the surrounding area. The indomitable freedom fighter of Garhwal, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali, was enamoured by the place. As was his last wish, a memorial in his name has been erected here after his death. A humble but bold memorial in his name creates a 'never say die' atmosphere under the tall Oak trees.
22 kms away from Kotdwar and at a height of 1,400 m, Bharat Nagar abounds in immense natural beauty. It is mentioned in the ancient Hindu texts that once this place was full of life giving herbs. From here one can have a beautiful view of the Balawali bridge of Ganga, Kalagarh dam and Kotdwar town.
Situated on the bank of river Malini at a distance of 14 kms from Kotdwar, Kanva Rishi Ashram is an important place from the historical and archaelogical point of view. It is believed that Sage Vishwamitra meditated here. Indra, the king of Gods, was scared by his intense meditation, and sent a beautiful heavenly damsel named Menka to disturb him. Menka finally succeeded in diverting Vishwamitra's attention. After giving birth to a girl she went back to heaven. This girl later became Shakuntala who got married to the prince of Hastinapur and gave birth to Bharat, the prince after whom our country is called Bharat. Accommodation is available at Tourist Complex, Kanvashram.
Situated at a distance of 48 kms from Kotdwar, Kalagarh is an ideal place for nature lovers. The dam across Ram Ganga River is also worth visiting. Accomodation is available at the Irrigation & Forest Rest houses.
Dhikala (Jim Corbett National Park)
Dhikala tourist place is a part of famous Jim Corbett National Part, the first national park of India. The entrance in this place can be made as per rules of Jim Corbett Park during opening season of the part from mid-November to mid-August. This part is famous for its bio-diversity and wildlife. Jim Corbett Park has a total area of 1318.54 sq. km. Out of which 912.67 sq. km comes in district Pauri Garhwal. Dhikala is generally overloaded on New Year day, Holi, Bhaisakhi and weekends by tourists from all over India, which come here to natural beauty, wild life and bio-diversity.
Srinagar, once the capital of the Garhwal Kings before the arrival of British, is situated in a sprawling valley on the bank of Alaknanda River at a distance of 29 km. from district headquarter Pauri. Today, it is one of the biggest townships of the district and a seat of Garhwal University. It is located at a junction of roads from Kotdwar, Rishikesh, Tehri Garhwal, Kedarnath & Badrinath and it serves as main halting point for the pilgrims of 'Char Dham Yatra'. Srinagar, the traditional capital of Garhwal Kings, was an important center for Art & Architecture and Trans- Himalayan Trades. The town's name derived from 'Shri Kshetra', ascribed to the location here of an 'Sriyantra' - a tantrik device associated with human sacrifice. Modern Srinagar was founded in 1879 A.D. when it was given a status of town area and its architectural complexion has changed drastically in the last few decades. Area of the city is about 9.7 sq. km. Total population as per 1991 census is 18,791 with 12,913 male population and 5,878 female population. The literacy percentage of the city is 62.22. The climate of the city is hot in summer, cold and foggy in winter. The nearest railway terminus is at Rishikesh at the road distance of 106 km., and the nearest airport is Jollygrant, a place near to Deharadun at a distance of 123 km. via Rishikesh.
Places of Interest
The religious places around the city are Raghunath Temple, Buli Temple, Satyanarayan Temple, Kamsmardani Temple, Kamleshwar Temple, Dharidevi Temple, Kishori Math, Shankar Math, Badrinath Math. Annually a five day fair is organized on Baikunth Chaturdashi.
The Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple
A very ancient Shiva temple enunciated by legendary accounts that Lord Rama worshipped Shiva here and offered lotus flower to him. Shiva tested Rama's devotion by stealing one of the lotus flower, and Lord Rama was ready to replace the lost flower with one of his eyes. On seeing this Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with Sudarshan Chakra. Hence the place is known as Kamleshwar. On the occasion of Baikunth Chaturdashi special worship is performed and a big fair takes place here as organized at Binsar. Women worship Lord Shiva for whole night holding lamp on their palms. It is a strong belief that on dooing so one's desire for the baby is fulfilled.
It is believed that the name Srinagar was derieved from a Sriyantra, drawn on a huge slab of stone. According to legend human lives were sacrificed in front of this Sriyantra in order to please the divine powers. In a bid to stop this cruel practice Adi Guru Sankaracharya had the slab thrown into the river Alaknanda, where it still lies. It was at the same spot that the Guru first realized the amazing powers of Lord Shiva. So the Shankar Math came up. However, Lord Vishnu and the Goddess Lakshmi are also held in veneration here.
Just opposite Shankar Math and in the courtyard of a house, a huge rock protrude from the mountain slopes. This is where Guru Gorakhnath meditated and where he met his desciples. A tiny unobtrusive door (through which has to literally crawl) will take you inside the rock- to the Guru's cave. An image of him has been installed there, and the trustees look after the place. The prayer at this temple is conducted by the sadhus of Gorokh Panths (followers of Gorakhnath) of the "Nath Sect".
Sankaracharya who had knowledge of Shiva Shakti felt that the worship of Shiv Pooja in this cave would be ideal. So the place has been accepted to be the best for Sadhana. Guru Gorakhnath did his penance at this place and it is said that he took "Samadhi" in this cave. According to Atkinson the tomb was built in 1667 but according to the imprint on the copper plate lying with the pujari, it was in 1677 that the Samadhi was renovated. Presently the cave is totally abandoned and worn out and till date no remuneration activities have been done to protect the structure of archeological & Historical importance, which is a major threat to the extinction of the temple.
Kesho Rai Math
A devotee of lord Narayan from southern India, Kesho Rai, was very old when he began his trip to Badrinath. After climbing 2100 feet he was tired and decided to rest. This was the eastern bank of the Alaknanda river in Srinagar, the capital of the Kingdom of Garhwal. While he slept Narayan appeared to him in a dream and told him not to proceed any further but to dig the surface on which he was sleeping. Kesho Rai dug- and discovered an image of Narayana. He then built a temple and installed this idol in it. The temple is 800 years old now. A flood caused by the Alaknanda resulted in its sinking a few inches into ground.
Dhari Devi Temple
The temple dedicated to goddess Kali is a much worshiped Goddess of the region. People are of the opinion that the stone carved deity changes face of a girl, woman, and of old lady as the day progresses. A mythological account says that once a severe flood washed away a temple and Dhari Devi's idol was trapped against a rock near the village Dharo. Villagers heard the wail of the idol and a devine voice directed them to install the idol there. Every year on the occasion of Navratras special worship is offered to Goddess Kaliasaur. People from far & near visit this sacred haunt in great number to get the blessings of Goddess Kali. An ancient cave is also present near the temple. The temple is 15km from Srinagar on Delhi- Niti National Highway 55 leading to Badrinath. A 1km-cement pathway leads one to the temple on the bank of river Alaknanda.
Raj- Rajeshwari Dewalgarh
A 16th century famous temple of Raj- Rajeshwari (Durga) built in a two storied form is at Dewalgarh. The temple today is partially ruined but is of great importance. Kangda King Dewal established Dewalgarh in 14th century. Deity of Satyanarayan, Bhairav and Stone written document (inscriptions) of Panwar rulers Ajaypal and Manshah are also here. A fair is held every year in the month of April in Dewalgarh. It is 17 km away from Srinagar on Bughani- Srinagar road. However 9 km long trek still exist.
The Lansdowne was founded by 'Lord Lasndowne' in 1887 A.D., thus the place has been named after him. Lansdowne was originally a popular hill station with the Britishers. Lansdowne was a major place of the activities of freedom fighters from British Garhwal during British period. Nowadays, the famous Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army had its command office here. 81 km. from Pauri, Lansdowne is situated at altitude of 1,706 meters on a hill, which was originally known as 'Kaludanda' in local language, enroute Kotware-Pauri road. The nearest railway station is Kotdwar at a distance of 41 km. The nearest airport is Jollygrant, a place near to Deharadun at a distance of 152 km. via Kotdwar-Haridwar road. The climate of the city is pleasant in summer, very cold in winter. Area of the city is about 6.09 sq. km. Total population as per 1991 census is 7,106 with 4,415 male populations and 2,691 female population. The literacy percentage of the city is 89.58. The pine and oak trees provide an healthy climate. The beautiful and refreshing points around the city are Tip-n-Top, Santoshi Mata Temple, Church Point. The war memorial at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Center is also an attraction for the visitors. The excursions from the city are Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple, Bhairav Garhi temple etc. Annual 'Shardotsav' is also organized at this hill station during autumn season.
Kotdwar, the biggest business center and the only railway terminus of the district, enroute the all items for the necessities of the hill region of the district. Kotdwar is only plain town of this mountainous district having most of the industrial potential. Situated at the bank of river 'Khoh' in the 'Bhabar' region of Himalyan foothills, its altitude is 650 meters from sea level. It is one of the hottest places in the district. Area of the city is about 2.59 sq. km. Total population as per 1991 census is 21,378 with 11,425 male populations and 9,953 female population. The nearest airport is Jollygrant, a place near to Deharadun at a distance of 115 km. via Haridwar. The famous religious places around the city are Siddhbali and Durgadevi Temple. The excursions from the city are Kanvashram, Bharat Nagar, Chila, Kalagarh, Medanpuri Devi, Shri Koteshwar Mahadev.
Situated at a distance of 19 km. from the main town of Srinagar via Chamdhar, Devalgarh was established by the King of Kangra named Devel. The Laxmi Narayan temple, Gauri Devi Temple & Rajrajeshwari temple are the main attractions here. Inscription on the stones of the temples make them important from the archaeological point of view. The 'Sthanaka' (standing) Vishnu sculpture is noticed in Laxmi-Narayan Temple. On the basis of stylistic features and decorative details, the images from Develgarh can be placed in the 9th-10th century A.D.
This temple is of great significance for its architectural beauty. The temple has been made of huge stones and the inscription on the stone of the main door reveals that around 1682 A.D., a person by the name of 'Keshorai' got this temple constructed.
The Kanda temples are situated at a height of 1 km. from Delchauri village, which at a distance of 44 km. from district headquarter Pauri, on the route of Srinagar-Delchauri road. This is a pleasant place. Images of Laxmi-Narayan (12th century), Uma-Mahesh (11th-12thcentury), Surya (10th- 11tt century) and Vishnu (12th - 13th century) are seated in the 'Garbhagriha' (Sanctum) of 'Bhagwati' temple. Besides these, there are a number of stone images of different Gods, which are very significant from archeological point of view.
At a distance of 14 km. from district Pauri, there is Deval group of temples, also named as 'Vashnav Temples' situated in Sitansu Patti of Pauri tehsil. This group consists of twelve temples, which can be divided in two groups according to time period. The first group belongs to 18th - 19th century which contains 'Lakshman & Shiv' temples. The rest of the temples belong to 11th to 15th century, older than the first group.
This place is situated in the Kotdwar tehsil of district Pauri at the distance of 27 km. from Kotdwar in the route of Kotdwar-Haridwar road. There is a Shiv Temple in main market. In the 'Garbhagriha' (Sanctum) of this Shiv temple, a marvelous image of 'Panchyatan Shivlig', which was brought from Panduwala, is consecrated. The images of Bramha, Vishnu, Surya and Uma-Mahesh are engraved around this 'Panchyatan Shivlig'. This image belongs to the 9th century. The Panduwala , at a distance of two km. from Laldhang, is a famous archaeological place for the proof of ruins of temples & ponds and remains of earthenware of pre and post medieval period.
Shri Koteshwar Mahadev temple
Situated at an elevation of 1428 m, this temple has a great following among childless couples. The temple houses a Shivlinga and is surrounded by the Himalayan ranges in the east, Haridwar in the west and the Siddha Peeth Medanpuri Devi temple in the south. Legend has it that a village woman inadverdently hit a shiv Linga while digging. Divine voices were then heard, directing the people to construct a temple dedicated to Shiva. Accordingly, the Koteshwar Mahadev temple was erected. It is believed that childless couples who chant the Mahamrityunjaya mantra during the whole month of Shravana with full faith & devotion are blessed by the Lord and their wishes are granted.
Tarkeshwar Mahadec Temple
This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Is is 36 kms from Lansdowne, the headquarter of 'Garhwal Rifle'. Surrounded by thick forests of Deodar & Pine, it is an ideal place for those who seek for beauty in nature. During Shivratri, a special worship is held. The temple committee provides a dharamshala for accommodation.
Medanpuri Devi temple
The temple of Medanpuri Devi is situated at an elevation of 1657 m. '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 Morora. 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 kms.), Chandighat Haridwar (42 kms.).