Haridwar – Best Travel Guide
Haridwar is one of the seven holiest cities in India, situated in Uttarakhand. It is located where the sacred river Ganga enters the Indo-Gangetic plains for the first time. Dotted with temples, ashrams and narrow lanes across the city, Haridwar is a famous Hindu temple town where millions of devotees come to take a dip in the holy Ganges. It’s believed that taking a dip in the sacred Har Ki Pauri relieves one of all the sins. The highlight of Haridwar is the famous Ganga Aarti held at the Har ki Pauri Ghat every evening. One day Haridwar and Rishikesh Local Sightseeing by Private cab.
Thousands of devotees come together to pray to river Ganga and float diyas. Haridwar is one of the four cities (others being Ujjain, Nasik and Allahabad) that host the Kumbh Mela every twelve years. The Kanwar Mela is also organised here every year during saawan (rainy season). It is also the gateway to the Char Dham of Uttarakhand and acts as the base destination for some of the other tourist towns of Rishikesh and Devprayag. Varanasi – Best Travel Guide
Best Time to Visit Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri Ghat
Haridwar can be visited throughout the year, but the best time is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the festivals are celebrated. You can also visit during April and May, when the Kumbh Mela takes place every 12 years.
Things to Do in Haridwar
Haridwar offers a variety of activities for different types of travellers. You can do temple hopping, stroll along the river banks, have a holy dip in the Ganges or enjoy the serene atmosphere of the heavenly place. You can visit some of the sacred Hindu temples and ashrams or rejuvenate your senses at the Ayurveda and Yoga centers.
The auspicious Ganga Arti held at Har ki Pauri is a sight to behold, as the city is drenched in the divine aura of the glittering diyas and the ambiance is accentuated by the chanting of the mantras to appease the gods. The tiny diyas bedecked by flowers appear as if thousands of lamps are set to float in the river. Haridwar also has a lot in store for the adventure enthusiasts as Rajaji National Park and Rishikesh are located on the outskirts of Haridwar.
Places to Visit in Haridwar
Haridwar has many places to visit that reflect its religious and cultural significance. Some of the most popular places are:
- Har Ki Pauri: This is the most sacred and famous ghat in Haridwar, where Lord Vishnu left his footprints and where the Ganga leaves the mountains and enters the plains. It is also the site of the Kumbh Mela and the Ganga Aarti.
- Chandi Devi Temple: This is one of the Shakti Peeths, where Goddess Chandi killed the demons Chanda and Munda. The temple is located on a hilltop and can be reached by a ropeway ride or a trek.
- Mansa Devi Temple: This is another Shakti Peeth, where Goddess Mansa fulfills the wishes of her devotees. The temple is located on another hilltop and can be reached by another ropeway ride or a trek.
- Maya Devi Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in Haridwar and another Shakti Peeth, where Goddess Maya resides. The temple is located near the bus stand and can be reached by an auto-rickshaw or on foot.
- Bharat Mata Mandir: This is a unique temple dedicated to Mother India and her rich heritage. The temple has eight floors, each depicting different aspects of India’s culture, history, geography, religion, art, etc.
- Shantikunj Ashram: This is a spiritual center run by All World Gayatri Pariwar, which offers various activities such as meditation, yoga, pranayama, etc. for physical and mental well-being.
- Chandi Ghat: This is a newly developed ghat under the Namami Gange project, which has some murals painted by artists from around the world, depicting various themes such as nature, culture, spirituality, etc.
Must See Attractions in Haridwar
Some of the attractions that you must not miss while in Haridwar are:
- Ganga Aarti: This is a spectacular event that takes place every evening at Har Ki Pauri Ghat, where priests hold large fire bowls and offer prayers to river Ganga. Thousands of devotees join them and float lamps and flowers in the river.
- Kumbh Mela: This is a massive religious gathering that takes place every 12 years in Haridwar, where millions of pilgrims come to take a holy dip in the Ganga and seek blessings from various saints and sadhus.
- Kanwar Mela: This is another huge religious event that takes place every year during saawan (rainy season), where thousands of devotees carry water from the Ganga in pots and offer it to Lord Shiva at various temples.
- Rajaji National Park: This is a wildlife sanctuary that covers an area of 820 sq km and is home to various animals such as elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, etc. You can take a jeep safari or an elephant ride to explore the park.
- Rishikesh: This is a nearby tourist town that is famous for its adventure activities such as rafting, bungee jumping, camping, etc. You can also visit some of the attractions such as Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Beatles Ashram, etc.
Significance of Haridwar
Haridwar is a place of great significance for Hindus, as it is one of the seven holy cities and one of the four venues of the Kumbh Mela. It is also the gateway to the Char Dham of Uttarakhand, which are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Haridwar is also a place of learning and culture, as it has many ashrams and institutions that promote Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedas, etc. Haridwar is also a place of natural beauty and tranquility, as it is surrounded by the Himalayas and the Ganga river.
A: Haridwar is well connected by road, rail and air. You can take a bus or a cab from Delhi or other nearby cities. You can also take a train from various major stations in India. The nearest airport is Dehradun, which is about 35 km away.
A: Haridwar has many options for accommodation ranging from budget to luxury. You can choose from hotels, resorts, guest houses, ashrams, etc. depending on your preference and budget.
A: Haridwar is a vegetarian city, as non-vegetarian food and alcohol are not allowed here. You can try some local delicacies such as aloo poori, chole bhature, kachori, lassi, etc. You can also find some continental and Chinese cuisine in some restaurants.
A: Haridwar has many markets that sell various items such as religious souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, books, etc. You can also buy some Ayurvedic products and medicines from here.
Haridwar is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to experience a spiritual and cultural journey in a short time. You can visit some of the most famous and sacred attractions in Haridwar, witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti at sunset, participate in the Kumbh Mela or the Kanwar Mela, explore the Rajaji National Park or Rishikesh and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the heavenly place. Haridwar will leave you with a lot of blessings and memories to cherish.