Haridwar, one of the seven sacred cities of India lies in the foot hills of Shivalik ranges, on the right bank of river Ganga. According to a mythological legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors, who had perished due to saint kapila’s curse. Bhagirath was blessed and the holy river descended on the earth and its water revived the sons of King Sagara. Following the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stands in the sacred waters here and pray for the salvation of their ancestors.
Haridwar is also famous for the ‘kumbh’ and ‘Ardh Kumbh’ fairs held here once in every 12 and 6 years respectively. Millions of devotees flock to the Haridwar during this auspicious occasion and take a dip in the holiest river of India. It is said that drops of amrit (nectar) obtained after the ‘Sagar Manthan’ fell at four places – Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik and the Kumbh fair is held at these four sacred sites.
This mos sacred ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated here. It isa also known as Brahamakund and is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela. The evening Ganga aarti is spectacular as a large number of ornate oil lamps (diyas) with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee are offered to Mother Ganga.
Haridwar is located at a height of almost 300 metres. One should never expect any sort of a pleasant high altitude climate here. During the summers, the temperature usually hangs around 40°C but a winter sees the mercury dipping as low as 6°C. So neither of the seasons are suitable or ideal for tourists to venture in Haridwar. The monsoons further add to the miseries of the visitors.
Though Haridwar is down in the plains, it is cooled by the river Ganga and the snow peaks of the Himalayas Mountains. Summers can get hot though, with temperatures going up to 42°C. Winter nights are chilly, but in the daytime, a bright sun makes the weather very pleasant.
Haridwar also known as 'the Gateway to the Gods', is the centre for Hindu religion. Other pilgrimage destinations in Uttrakhand are namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath also referred to as Mayapur, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar according to the ancient scriptures and epics, but Haridwar remains the most vital and sacred city for the Hindus. Many foreign scholars like Huen Tsang praised it and also called it the 'Mayura' on the eastern banks of Ganges.
Haridwar Tourism Information
Haridwar (also known as Hardwar) is a holy city and has a municipal board in the Haridwar Distrit in the state of Uttaranchal in northern India. Literally meaning the 'Gateway to God', Haidwar is considered one of the seven holiest places according to the Hindus, as the devas are said to have left their footprints in this sacred place.
Canal Centenary Bridge
It affords a panoramic view of the Gats and Ganga canal.
Maya Devi Temple
The ancient temple is dedicated to Goddesss maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. It is regarded as one of the Siddhapeethas and according to mythology the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen over here.
Mansa Devi Temple
It is perched atop the Bilwa Parwat and can be reached by a rope way or no foot. A statue of the goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. The temple commands a fine view of Haridwar. This is an ancient templeof Mansa Devi, the 'Adhishatri deity' of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhpeethas. It is said to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
This ancient Shiva (Mahadev) temple is located in the south Kankhal town. It is assocated with the legend of goddess Sati. The mythological story about this place is that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife) performed yagna at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted. Therefore, she burnt herself in the yagna kund. This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on, Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend.
Chandi Devi Temple
The shrine atop Neel Parvat on the banks of Ganga was built by Suchat Singh, the king of Kashmir in 1929, but the main state is said to be established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century. According to a legend Goddess Chandi killed demons Chand Munda over here. The temple is about 3km trek from Chandighat. It is a 3km trek from Chandighat.
Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar
The legendary site is said to be the place where Saptarshis Iseven sages) meditated and river Ganga not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams 9Sapt Sarovar) around them.
Other places of interest Gurukul Kngri University; Kanva Rishi Ashram; Bikeshwar mahadev; Pawan Dham; Bhooma Niketan; Vaishnav Devi Temple; Doodhandhari Temple; Shahi Gurudwara; Jairam Ashram.
Haridwar Tour Information
Rajaji National Park (Chilla) (10 km)
The picturesque park covers an area of 820 sq. km on the edge of the Doon Valley. It was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species Key fauna – elephant, tiger, panther, bear, chital, sambar, wild boar, barking deer etc.
Rishikesh, the ‘palace of sages’ is an important pilgrim and spiritual centre set on the right bank of holy Ganga. It is surrounded by Shivalik ranges on three sides andis the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage. A large number of people interested in meditation, Yoga and other aspects of Hinduism also flock to this spiritual centre. The international Yoga week, which attracts participation from all across the world, is held here every year from 2nd to 7th February on the banks of Ganga. It is connected by rail and road. The nearest airport is Dehra Dun’s Jolly Grant (17km).
This temple is dedicated to Bharat, the brother of Lord Ram. It lies near the Triveni Ghat and is the oldest temple is Rishikesh.
The sacred bathing ghat on the banks of Ganga is believed to be the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati River. The evening Aarti ceremony here is growth attending.
Kailash Niketan Temple
The 13 storeyed temple lies near Laxman Jhoola.
Shatrughan Temple (5km)
This ancient temple is dedicated to Shatrughan, Lord Ram’s brother.
It is set atop a hill across the Ganga. According to mythological legends, Shiva drank the venom produced during ‘Sagar Manthan’ here, which turned his throat blue and was named Neelkanth.
Laxman Jhoola (5 km)
This hanging bridge across Ganga is on the way to Badrinath. It was originally a jute rope bridge without pillars and was rebuilt with iron ropes in 1889. On the side of this famous bridge is the well known Shri Raghunathji temple dedicated to Lord Ram.
The hanging bridge similar to Lakshman Jhoola is built between the Shivanand Ashram and the Swargashram.
Shivanand Ashram (The Divine Society)
The famous spiritual centre was established by Swami Shivanand. It imparts lectures on spiritual life and training in meditation and Yoga.
It is one of the crowded markets of Haridwar where you can find anything. The sight of the entrance of the market makes you feel like you are in a different city. Despite Haridwar being a Hindu city, Jwalapur is mostly inhabited by the Muslims.
Gurukul Kangri University
It is situated on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road. It is an old institution known for following a unique system of education in India. The Ved Mandir Museum with archaeological exhibits in display can also be seen.
Sati Kund, another well-known mythological heritage worth visit is situated in the Kankhal region. Legend has it that Sati laid down her life in this kund. Pilgrims from all over India visit this place and feel blessed.
This tank is at a distance of about 1km Harki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to the Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of his knee.
Har Ki Pauri
The Har Ki Pauri is King Vikramaditya constructed a sacred ghat in memory of his brother, Bhartrihari. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahmakund.
This is situated in Harihar Asharam, Kankhal. It is a Shivling weighing about 150kg and the Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.
The tomb, Piran Kaliar of Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious harmony in India, which is visited by the people of all religious sects from all over the world. The 'URS' festival is organized every year in the holy dargah in summer.
Pavan Dham (means sacred place) has a magnificent display of art work completely made up of glass.
Bharat Mata Mandir
This is the only temple of its kind, inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Smt. Indra Gandhi. A multi-storeyed temple, each floor covering an era of Indian History, from the days Ramayana till India's independence.
Saptrishi Ashram & Saptsarovar
It is said that the river, Ganga had split herself in seven currents at this place so that the Sapt(seven) Rishis worshipping here would not be disturbed.
State Insustrial Development Corporation Uttaranchall Limited (SIDCUL) is a government body which is established for industrial promotion. Big enterprises are investing in it such as, Dabur, Mahindra & Mahindra, Havells, HILL etc. SIDCUL is located near Bahadrabad coming towards Haridwar from Delhi.
Rishikesh is about 20km from Haridwar, and is located on the banks of the holy Ganges. Risikesh is a popular religious destination in India. It as a number of ashrams and temples that make it an ideal destination for a religious tourist. It provides wonderful opportunity for trekking, rock climbing and river rafting.
The Lakshman Jhula, a 450 feet long suspension bridge was built in 1939. The bridge is situate on the river, Ganga along the old route to the holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath, about 3km from Rishikesh. This is where Lord Rama's Brother, Lakshmana is said to have crossed the river on a jute rope.
The other suspended Iron Bridge was recently constructed between Shivananda Ashram and Swarga Ashram. It is similar to the Lakshman Jhula. Ram Jhula is also known as the Shivananda Jhula.
Situated 12km away from Rishikesh is located the Nilkanth Mahadeo temple at a height of about 5000 feet, commanding spectacular views of the region.
India has been attracting the whole world with her rich cultural heritage and spirituality. The renowned Kumbh Mela is a unique blend of all these. Haridwar Kumbh has its importance as the last Kumbh has its importance as the last Kumbh of this century. The Kumbh Mela is held in every 12years to commemorate this spiritual day. Millions of men, women, children, sages, rishi, sanyasis and tourists gather here to take a dip in the holy water of the holy river, Ganga.