Kotdwara (or Kotdwar) is a town and headquarters of Kotdwara Tehsil in the Pauri Garhwal district of Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the south-western part of state and is one of the main entrance points in the state of Uttarakhand. Kotdwar was called Khohdwara initially;–meaning a gateway to the Khoh;–after river Khoh on whose banks it is located. Kotdwar is a transformation of this name. The town has always been a commercial centre; and being located on the foothills of Garhwal, it has played the important role of a supplier of essentials to the upper reaches of the hills, such as Pauri, Srinagar, Badrinath and Kedarnath. In common with the rest of the region, Kotdwara was ruled by the Mauryan Empire under Ashoka the Great, then by the Katyuri dynasty followed by the Panwar dynasty of Garhwal. The Gorkhas of Nepal followed for a brief 12 years and then the British colonists. Writing in 1882 in The Himalayan Gazetteer (Vol III, no II) E.T. Atkins says that it was a small but rapidly increasing mart located on a flat piece of land on the left banks of the Khoh. There was a fort at the hill end of this flat land, to fend off robbers from the plains. Kotdwara’s bazaar, he says, was increasing in importance partly due to the recently introduced cultivation and because of “increased means of communication, as hill men, instead of purchasing cloth, gur, etc. from Srinagar now go direct to this place where they can procure all they want at cheaper rates, and also barter ghi, red pepper, turmeric, hempen cloth, ropes of different fibres, and a few barks and jungle products , for what they require for home consumption”. He adds that the forest department had a large amount of timber and bamboo cutting in the vicinity and that there was a large mill on the canal used for grinding grain from Najibabad and Nagina. According to him, two fairs were held here during the week on Tuesdays and Fridays, frequented by thousands of people. The town itself, he points out, “was peopled by petty traders from the Bijnaur district numbering 1,000 for 10 months a year, as a large number of traders form Najibabad and also the hills keep shops open during this period, only going away for the unhealthy months of August and September.” Before the coming of the railway to Kotdwar and even before the metalled road came into existence, the majority of trade passed through Kotdwara on bullock carts and horse-driven carts up to Dugadda (Dogadda) from where it was further carried on mules and donkeys up the hill to neighbouring hill towns like Pauri and Srinagar.  In 1910, H.G. Walton reports in British Garhwal: A Gazetteer that the establishment of a cantonment at Lansdowne and the extension of the railways from Najibabad, both in 1887, had contributed to the prosperity of Kotdwara. He however points out that, “The town has already passed its prime and is waning rapidly as Dugadda waxes” – a situation which has now been completely reversed. Mr. Walton reports that the shops were no longer shut during the rains as the sanitary conditions of the town had improved, and that during the winter the town was a busy market which catered to residents of the region who all did their shopping here. Once the metalled road was extended beyond Kotdwara in 1920, the town’s destiny became ascendant . Mechanised transport started carrying the bulk of goods from the railhead at Kotdwara directly to the mountain towns and cities. . .