Dwarahat is situated in Almora district of Uttarakhand, 37kms from Ranikhet and is popular for a group of 55 ancient temples. It is quite a small place in the centre of Ranikhet and Garsian at the intersection of Ranikhet - Kasauni road and Almora – Badrinath road.
As the name suggests, Dwarahat means way of Heaven where Dwara means way and Hat means Heaven. A visit to Dwarahat gives you a feeling of closeness with God. Dwarahat has a population of 2543 where 53% constitute males and 47% females. Though it is not a very popular education center of the region, it houses a government engineering college called Kumaon Engineering College. There are also two government colleges in Dwarahat one exclusively for girls and the other a co-education college.
Dwarahat is famous for its ancient temples which were constructed mainly by the Katyuri kings and its architecture resembles the Gurjari School of Art. Maa Dunagiri temple located at a distance of 20km from Dwarahat belongs to the mountain brought by Pavandev. Eevery night of navratri is dedicated to none different forms of Goddess Durga. They are Maa Shailputri, Maa Brahmachaarin, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmaanda, Skand Maa, Maa Kaatyayini, Maa Kaalratri, Maa Chaamunda, and Mata Sidhidaarti.To reach the Durga temple or Paban Maharaj Ashram on the highway, you have to climb 500 steps on the top of a hill.
You can get both food and lodging facilities in the Ashram. Almora, Ranikhet and Kasauni are visible from the Ashram which also provides an excellent view of the mountain peaks of the Himalayas. A couple of fairs are also held at Dwarahat. These are Doonagiri Mela about 52kms from Ranikhet and Syalde Bikhauti Mela which is celebrated on Vishuwat Sankranti day. Music and dance form part of this festival. Like other places of the Kumaon, Dwarahat celebrates festivals like Makar Sankranati, Basant Panchami, Herala and Bhaitauli, Olgia, Khatarua, Bat Savitri and Ganga Dusshera.
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