Dwarahat is 38 kms from Ranikhet. Once it was the principal seat of the Katyuri kings whose empire, it is believed stretched from the Sutlez river in the west to river Gandak in the east, and from the Himalayas to the plains, including the whole of Rohelkhand. Later it came under the rule of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon in the sixteenth century. Dwarahat has several temples of exquisite architectural excellence, divided into distinct groups. Some temples now have great archaeological value. The Mrityunjay temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and remains open for the devotees. Another temple near by is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is named Badrinath temple. Both these temples, not very massive in structure but beautifully built are excellent examples of temple architecture and date back to 10th to 12th century when the Katyuris were in power.
Dhwaj temple deserves special mention for its Khajuraho like unconventional sculptures. The temple may have been damaged by the massive earth quake of 1803. Many of its sculptured stones lay scattered around. It is likely that when the earth quake damaged the temple many of its sculptured slabs lying scattered around, may have been taken away by the people before the archaeological department took it over. But what ever remains, in the delapidated premises, is also beautifully sculputured with perfection. The remains remind visitors of the great past of this pretty town of Dwarahat. Access to the temple is through very narrow lanes and for its archaeological values it needs to be opened out in public interest.
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