As you enter the city of Haridwar, you are greeted by priests chanting temple bells and religious mantras. The city of Haridwar is of religious significance as the holy Ganga first entered Haridwar in the Indo-Gangetic plains of northern India. Hence, having ‘Gangadwara’ as the former name is perfect in every sense.
Considered to be one of India’s seven holiest places, Haridwar refers to the ‘the “gateway to Lord Vishnu” is located on the banks of the River Ganges. Haridwar is also spelt as Haridwar or Hari-Dwar.
Haridwar serves as the gateway to the Char Dham and Dev land of Uttarakhand. Gangadwara (Har Ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kangal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi) are the five pilgrimages around ‘Pancha Tirtha’ or around Haridwar.
Haridwar is mentioned in ancient scriptures. It was also mentioned during the British period. Along with Ujjain, Nashik and Allahabad, Haridwar has become one of India’s four major shrines. Kumbh Mela is celebrated every three years for these four destinations. The Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in 2022 in Haridwar. In ancient scriptures, Haridwar is known as Mayapuri, Gangadwar and Mokshadwar.
Haridwar has also served as an attraction for the study of art, science and culture. Haridwar is known for its tremendous source of Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies along with its unique Gurukul school system of traditional education. Rajaji National Park is located at a distance of 10 km from Haridwar, a beautiful destination for wildlife and adventure lovers. In the evening, the ghats look astonishingly beautify as thousands of Diyas (lamps) and marigolds (Genda Phool) float and illuminate the holy water.
To this day, Haridwar is known not only for its religious significance but also for The Roorkee University, one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions for learning in science and engineering. Gurukul, another university in the district with a spacious campus, also offers traditional education of its kind.
Haridwar is the gateway to the Char Dham in Uttarakhand. Gangadwara (Har Ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi) are five pilgrimages around ‘Punch Tirtha’ or around Haridwar.
Chandi Devi Temple, Mayadevi Temple, Piran Kaliyar, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar, Bhingoda Tank and Bharat Mata Mandir are other significant attractions. Haridwar is one of the important places if you are looking for peace and spirituality. One can go to the temples, stroll along the river bank, immerse oneself in the Ganges or enjoy the serene atmosphere of the heavenly place.
You can visit some holy Hindu temples and ashrams or renew your senses at Ayurvedic and yoga centres. The Shubha Ganga Arti in Har Ki Puri is a sight to behold, as the city is drenched in the divine aura of glowing diyas and the atmosphere is enhanced by chanting mantras to please the deities.
Tiny diyas are decorated with flowers, and thousands of lamps can be seen floating in the river. Along with spirituality, there are locations such as Rajaji National Park and Rishikesh are located on the outskirts of Haridwar so that adventure enthusiasts can quench their thirst for trekking as well.
Ganga Aarti is a spectacle that takes place every evening in Har Ki Podi. Do not miss it when in Haridwar.
Photography may be prohibited inside the temple, especially inside the sanctum. Follow the guidelines laid down by the temple authorities.
Haridwar is crowded, especially during the Kumbh Mela. Special care should be taken at that time not to get caught in large groups and take bridges over the river Ganga.
Devotees of Haridwar should abstain from meat and food as it has a religious meaning here. If you are wondering, there is no chance of getting a liquor store in Haridwar.
Haridwar is one of the most visited shrines in India. There is no shortage of accommodation options in Haridwar as there are many types of accommodation available depending on his budget. Many luxury hotels and resorts are available with all modern amenities and facilities. Semi deluxe and budget guesthouses with limited facilities are available all over Haridwar.
As it’s a prominent place for tourists and travellers, there are many restaurants and eateries in Haridwar. However, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are banned in Haridwar because it is a place of religious significance. Luxury hotels offer a wide variety of cuisine in their in-house restaurants. Many local restaurants throughout Haridwar cater to vegetarian cuisine.
The following is a list of some of the most famous and favourite places :
Haridwar is a living example of a historic city that has not been removed by the tides of time. The town is mentioned in many Hindu texts, texts, and books from Buddha’s time to the British occupation. Haridwar was ruled by the Mauryan Empire (322-185 BC) and the Kushan Empire (1st to 3rd centuries).
In the Archaeological Survey, it was found that between 1700 BCE and 1200 BCE, the terra culture flourished in Haridwar. References are also found in the travel journals of the famous ancient explorers of Haridwar. During King Harshavardhan(590AD-647AD), a Chinese traveller named Hsuan Tsang visited India in 626 A.D. He named Haridwar as ‘Mo-yu-lo’ and mentions that there is a temple called ‘Gangadwara’ on the north side of Mo-yu-lo. Haridwar was also referred to as the Capital of Shiva by an English traveller named Thomas Coryat, who visited the city during the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1596-1627). In 1886, the city was first connected to the railways through Laksarbranch line. In 2000, Haridwar became part of theDistrict of Uttarakhand and was formed as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh.
According to Hindu mythology, During Samundra Manthan, drops of Amrit or Elixir that carried Boon of immortality were spilt accidentally at four places: Ujjain, Nashik, and Allahabad (now Prayagraj), and Haridwar. Hindu Pilgrimages Kumbh Mela and Maha Kumbh Mela are celebrated once in three years and once in 12 years in one of four places respectively. It is believed that Bramha Kund, which is located at Har ki Pauri is the place where drops of elixir fell.
Hari Ki Pauri is a popular tourist destination located on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar. This is the stage of witnessing the daily Aarti ritual and welcoming the people who have come to the shores for Aarti.
Mansa Devi Temple is one of Haridwar’s most visited temples and is located on the Shivalik slope. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi who is believed to fulfil the wishes of the visitors. Building sacred ropes around a standing tree inside the Mansa Devi temple is a gathering of lovers.
Chandi Devi Temple, perched on the top of the Neel Hill, is one of Haridwar’s important tourist attractions and is a symbol of devotion to Chandi Devi. It is an important religious site in the town. The main temple is located at the top of the hill.
The temple is located in the southern part of the town of Kankhal in Haridwar, built by Rani Dhankaur in 1810 AD. Daksha Mahadev Temple is where Daksha performed a Yagna (Hindu ritual of bringing divine beings and looking for their gifts).
Tirupati Balaji Mandir is one of the holiest temples. The temple is located at a proximity of 4.5 km from Hari Ki Pauri on the Haridwar-Rishikesh Road. Following the Dravidian Architecture style, it is known to be an important pilgrimage centre for devotees where they stand to get a glimpse of the revered deity. Also known as the Tirupati Balaji Temple, it is a significant pilgrimage centre located in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.