Uttarakhand is a holy place, anywhere you go you’ll find story to hear from locals. Every place and temple have it’s own importance and one of such place is Doonagiri which is around 14 km from Dwarahat and have altitude of 7336 feet.
Dwarahat is small town near Ranikhet and is around 400 km from Delhi. Mythology behind Doonagiri temple is related with Ramayana, when Hanuman was coming back carrying the hill having sanjeevani booti (devine herb) for Laxman at that time Bharat mistook hanuman as demon and aimed an arrow due to which some part of hill fell down and hence established this temple by devotees. Every stairs of temple have bells. Devotees keep ringing bell so as to overcome the stress due to climb. From ages there were lots of sages who had performed Tapasya (penance) on this land for public welfare and established there ashram. Ashram of garg muni after whom the gagas river have been named, ashram of Sukhdev muni the son of ved vyas and Pandav guru dronacharya aslo performed tapasya hence Doinagiri is also known as Dronanchal parvat.
Doonigiri godess is worshipped in vaishnavi avatar hence no animal sacrifice is allowed. And there is a belief worshiping goddess doonogiri help those who have wish for child.
Around 5.6 km drive from Doonagiri there is a place called Pandavkholi. There is a belief that during 12 years of secret exile of pandavas, they spent there last year of exile in pandavkholi. Vehicles go till kukucchina which is also known as kauravchhina and till this place kauravas came searching pandavas. From kukucchina trekking of 3.5 km starts to reach the altitude of 8340 feet where pandavkholi is situated. The altitude rise is 1335 feet, trekking here is tough and your mind may change but don’t lose courage keep trekking. There are no sign boards, sometimes path is confusing, you’ll hardly see anyone during trek, forest is dense and full of chir pine and deodar trees. Chir pine trees makes the path slippery, weather remains uncertain and can cause rain which makes path slippery and cause moss on path.
The pathway is surrounded by green trees and fresh air which purifies the respiratory system. The board of swargpriya pandavkholi give so much of relief after such a long trek. Suddenly all the place become plane on hill. All surrounded by sunflowers and can see lots of monkeys near bheem-ki-gudri (the spot where he use to sleep). Inside ashram the tea they provide is very tasty. There is a tower inside on which you can climb and can see the beautiful view around. At backside of ashram the last corner of hill there is shivling (holy symbol of lord Shiva) where lots tapsavi (ascetic) do meditation, the view from there is breath taking and the silence gives the mind the mental peace for which you escape the city.
Best time to trek is morning or late to late is noon because going on top and coming back is time consuming due to too much of steeply path. If reach late, its better to stay there as visibility there is poor and there might be danger of wild animals. On the top there is no such shops for food even staying there is also difficult. Ashrams are there to stay, people there charge nothing for anything, they just let you know where to donate for temple and can have receipt if want.