The army of Ruhels was defeated in Kathgodam
The Kumaon was acquired by the British in 1815. Before that Kathgodam was a small village known as Badakhodi or Badakhedi. During the time of King Kalyanchand, his commander Shivdutt Joshi defeated the army of Ruhels in this place in 1743-44 and after that they could never dare to come to this side.
There was no facility of transporting timber from the mountain during the British rule. The contractors of the forests used to bring the wooden logs and beams to the river through the flow of the Gaula River and store them here after being drained from the river. Businessmen used to buy them here and transport them to other places. This is the reason why this place was named Kathgodam i.e. wood store.
Until the first fifty years of the nineteenth century it was not even counted in the towns. In 1824, when Bishop Haber went from Rudrapur to Almora via Bhimtal, he has not mentioned this place in his travels.
The Kathgodam train arrived from Lucknow for the first time in 1883–84. Shortly thereafter, the Guwahati Tirhut Mail of the small line of Uttar Pradesh was extended to Kathgodam. Initially goods trains used to run more here. Later the number of passengers started increasing.

After half a hundred years, on May 4, 1994, the small line of Kathgodam was converted into a broad gauge.