Haridwar is one of the oldest living cities and finds mention in writings during the period of Buddha and even during the British times. It also serves as a gateway to the four pilgrimage places in Uttarakhand. It is also one of the four places where Kumbh Mela is celebrated after every 12 years. The other places are Ujjain, Nasik, and Allahabad. Haridwar is not only an important pilgrimage destination but since ancient times it has served as an important seat for learning arts, culture and science. Wildlife lovers must visit the Rajaji National Park while in Haridwar.
Location of Haridwar
Regarded as one of the seven holiest places to the Hindus, Haridwar literally means 'Gateway to God' (Hari meaning god and dwar meaning gateway). It is a municipal board in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. Haridwar is the place where river Ganga descends to the plains.
Places to see in Haridwar
Har ki Pauri: This is believed to be the place where divine nectar fell from the pitcher. It derives its name from the footprints of Lord Vishnu. This Ghat is also known as Brahmakund and a holy dip here is considered sacred by all the Hindus. At twilight, when evening arti is performed the reflection of the golden diyas that keep floating on the river offer an enchanting view of the ghat to the visitors.
Chandi Devi temple: Built in 1929, by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, Chandi Devi temple is located on the top of a Neel Parvat on the banks of river Ganga. The temple is a 3km trek from Chandi Ghat.
Maya Devi Temple: It is said that the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell here. This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhishtkatri deity of Haridwar. It is also famous as one of the Siddhapeethas.
Shanti Kunj: Shanti Kunj is a famous ashram of Gayatri where pilgrims come here for yoga and natural cures.
Mansa Devi Temple: Mansa Devi temple is located atop Bilwa Parwat and is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. There is a ropeway that carries pilgrims to the temple.
Sapta Rishi Ashram: It is believed that seven sages meditated in this region and Ganga split herself into seven streams for not wanting to disturb their meditation.
What to do in Haridwar
Haridwar is a perfect destination for the pilgrims and people in search of peace and meditation
Excursions from Haridwar
Rajaji National Park: This is a very popular destination near Haridwar especially for wildlife lovers. Rajaji National Park consists of three sanctuaries namely, Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla which were combined to form the Rajaji National Park. It constitutes about 820 sq kms and has as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. You can find animals like elephants, tigers, lions, jungle cat, leopard, cheetal, wild boar, langoor, samber, and wild boar.
Piran Kaliyar: This is a must visit place for every tourist. Known as Piran Kaliyar the Dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed Sabri is located about 23kms on the outskirts of Roorkee. The Dargah is visited by Muslims and Hindus alike and is considered as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. People believe that the Dargah has mystical powers to fulfill their wishes.
Rishikesh: Rishikesh is a famous religious place and a popular adventure destination as well. Located on the banks of the Ganga, Rishikesh attracts hundreds of pilgrims every year from India as well as abroad. It has ancient temples, ashrams, yoga centers and famous ghats where you can take a holy dip. It also serves as the starting point for a trip to the "Char Dham" pilgrimage which includes Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Rishikesh is also popular among tourists for the limitless recreational and adventurous activities that it offers. Rafting, trekking, rock climbing are some of the sports that you can enjoy at Rishikesh.
Accomodations Hotels in Haridwar
Haridwar offers a number of accommodation options like Rahi Motel of GMVNL, Hotel Suvidha Deluxe and Hotel Classic Residency to name a few
Best time to visit Haridwar
You can visit Haridwar anytime of the year but winters are generally avoidable for extreme cold. Weekends and holidays witness maximum rush in Haridwar.
How to reach Haridwar
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 41kms from Haridwar.
By Rail: Haridwar is well connected to all important cities in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Agra, Varanasi, and Allahabad.
By Road: Haridwar is located on National Highway no 45 and is well connected by road to all major cities.