Gateway to Land of Gods HARIDWAR
- Ancient temple city on the banks of River Ganga
- One of the most important Hindu pilgrimages
- Site for Kumbh Mela
- Gateway to the holy Char Dham circuit of Uttarakhand
Located on the right bank of the holy river Ganga in the state of Uttarakhand, this city has a very significant religious history. Haridwar is the first place where the river of Ganga enters the Indo-Gangetic plains thereby it was previously called ‘Gangadwar’.
It is one of the holiest places for Hindus as the name Haridwar suggests ‘Gateway to Lord Vishnu’ for its religious temples and chanting of the priests.
WHAT MAKES IT A PERFECT TOURIST SPOT?
It serves as the base point for commencing the journey of Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. ‘Har ki Pauri’ holds the auspicious ‘Ganga Aarti’ for the peace of mind and tranquillity of the devotees. The city is lit up with Bright Diyas and sounds of various chanting mantras fill-up the bodies and souls of the tourists with an auspicious aura.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT HARIDWAR?
Haridwar is a city of various attractions including Bharat Mata Mandir, Maya Devi Temple, Bhimgoda Tank, Chandi Devi Temple, Piran Kaliyar, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar. Some of these attractions are a part of ‘Panch Tirth’ (five pilgrimages) which is situated in Haridwar such as Bilwa Tirth which is Mansa Devi Temple, Neel Parvat which is Chandi Devi Temple, Kushwart Ghat, Kankhal and Har ki Pauri which is Gangadwar. It also has the world’s greatest centre of yoga ashrams and study of herbal research Shantikunj which is known for its knowledge in ayurvedic fields
It is a great spot for adventure sports enthusiasts as it has Rajaji National park and Rishikesh as its nearby destination.
In ancient writings sometimes Haridwar is also mentioned to be named as Mayapuri, Gangadwar and Mokshadwar. According to Hindu mythology during the event of Samudra Manthan which means churning of the ocean the drops of immortality or Amrit (elixir) fell at four places which were Ujjain, Nashik, Allahabad and Haridwar. To celebrate this event Kumbh Mela is organised once every three years at these four places respectively. The exact place where Amrit fell in Haridwar was Brahma Kund situated at Har ki Pauri.
ACTIVITIES TO DO IN HARIDWAR:
GANGA AARTI AND VISITING TEMPLES
The major activity that can be done in Haridwar is to witness Ganga Aarti at Har ki Pauri. While the priests offer their prayers by holding large fire bowls, the tourists float the diyas which are decorated with flowers in the Ganga river.
Not only that, you can visit temples such as Mansa Devi or Chandi Devi on Neel Parvat. You can either walk up the hill that leads toward Mansa Devi also called a wish-fulfilling goddess or you can use a ropeway.
You can also get involved in various adventure sports such as trekking, bird watching. River rafting is very famous at Rishikesh which is at a distance of 23 km from Haridwar you can visit Rishikesh if you wish to try river rafting.
There are various bazaars which are located in Haridwar such as Bara Bazar and Moti Bazar where you can buy ornaments, idols and other sorts of garments.
You can visit Rajaji National park to participate in Safari to spot various animals like deer, panthers, elephants and the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Haridwar is one of the few places where Tanga ride or tuk-tuk ride still exists. People can still have fun while watching the city from close for an entire day trip hiring these rides.
On your first day, you can board the Shatabdi express that starts from Delhi and halts directly at the Haridwar railway station. Explore Haridwar and its various ghats specially Brahmakund Ghat and stay for the night.
On your second day, you can drive towards Rishikesh situated 23 km away from Haridwar to explore its surroundings.
On the same day, it returns and drives towards Haridwar railway station to board the train back to Delhi.
WHAT IS IT FAMOUS FOR?
Haridwar offers the Himalayas on one side and plains on the other. Because of its unique topography, it’s a famous business hub and industrial town. Industrial sites like BHEL are situated here. It is also famous among various tourists for Maha Kumbh Mela is known to be the world’s most peaceful gathering, Ganga Aarti and its temples. Not only that, the food that is offered at Haridwar is very affordable and any person walking down the streets of Haridwar will be able to taste all flavours of the native food type. Some of the common food items are kulfi falooda, chaat papri, Jalebi offered with badam milk.
It’s a recommended destination for couples, foreigners and individuals.
If you are looking for a great way for your weekend Haridwar is one such place you should consider because not only will it provide you with an insight into the Hindu rituals but also peace of a lifetime.