Haridwar | Haridwar Travel Guide | Places to visit in hridwar|
One of the holiest pilgrimage centers in India, Haridwar, or ‘Gateway of the Gods’, is the place where the Ganges, the holiest of all Indian rivers, enters the Indo-Gangetic plains. Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Haridwar is a city of temples and ashrams and its holy atmosphere envelops everyone.
Haridwar is one of the four holy Indian cities that host the Kumbh Mela, a holy gathering of millions of Hindu devotees, every 12 years. Ardh Kumbh is organized here every six years. It also organizes the Kanwar Mela every year during the rainy season.
Located in the periphery of Haridwar are the ‘Panch Tirtha’ or five pilgrimages, Gangadwara (Har Ki Pauri), Kushavart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple), and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi). Haridwar also serves as the gateway to the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand.
An ancient city, Haridwar’s roots are deeply steeped in the culture and traditions of the ancient Vedic period, and there are many institutions that impart traditional knowledge of wellness. If you want to know more and experience the ancient methods of healing, there are many certified Ayurvedic clinics in Haridwar that you can visit.
The ashram also offers sessions in Ayurveda, meditation, and yoga. Every morning and evening, the ghats (river banks) of the river Ganga witness the blissful Ganga Aarti, which attracts devotees and tourists.
As the evening ritual becomes more popular, it makes for a mesmerizing sight to watch the river being worshiped with loud and rhythmic chanting and tall lamps, their light illuminating the deep waters. It is a spectacular sight as thousands of small Diyas (earthen lamps) are kept floating on the river.
Legends of Haridwar
The legendary king Bhagirath is said to have brought the river Ganga from heaven to earth to provide salvation to his ancestors. It is also said that Haridwar is sanctified by the presence of three deities; Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The stone set in the upper wall of Har-ki-Pauri is said to have the footprints of Lord Vishnu where the holy Ganga touches it at all times. Devotees believe that after taking a dip in the holy Ganges at Haridwar, they can attain salvation and go to heaven.
Haridwar is also one of the four places; Where Kumbh Mela happens after every twelve years and Ardh Kumbh happens after every six years. It is said that the drops of nectar fell in the Brahmakunda of Har ki Pauri, so it is believed that it is very auspicious to take a dip in the Brahmakunda on this particular day and when Brihaspati (Jupiter) comes in Aquarius. The Mahakumbh Mela is celebrated at Haridwar once every twelve years.
Yet beyond the mystical aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest surviving cities, Haridwar finds mention in ancient Hindu scriptures as it rippled through life and times from the period of the Buddha to the recent British arrival.
Haridwar has not only been the abode of people who are tired in body, mind, and soul, but has also been a center of attraction for many people to learn art science, and culture. Haridwar’s long-standing position as a great source of Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional learning, natural beauty, and lush greenery, all give the city its unique flavor and charm; One of the must-visit stay centers in an explorer of Uttarakhand – a destination for all seasons.
Haridwar is one of the first cities where the Ganges emerges from the mountains and touches the plain. And that’s why the water is absolutely clear and cold. Lush green forests and small ponds add to the natural beauty of this holy land.
Attraction Around The Haridwar
Maya Devi Temple:-
Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Maya in the holy city of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is believed that the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell in the area where the temple stands today and hence it is sometimes called Shakti Peetha.
Mata Mansa Devi Temple:-
Perched atop Bilva Parvat on the Shivalik mountain range, this temple is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage centers in Haridwar. It is dedicated to Goddess Manasa Devi and along with the Chandi Devi and Maya Devi temples, the Temple completes the Siddhapeeth triad. You can either trek for about 3 km or take a ropeway known as ‘Mansa Devi Udankhatola’ to reach the temple.
Chandi Devi Temple:-
Chandi Devi Temple situated on top of Neel Parvat is one of the major tourist attractions of Haridwar. Along with the presiding deity of Goddess Chandi, the temple is one of the Siddha Peethas.
Har ki Pauri:-
Har ki Pauri, meaning ‘Footprints of the Gods’, is one of the most famous ghats of Haridwar and is always buzzing with pilgrims and tourists who come to take a dip in the holy Ganges. The Ganga Aarti that takes place every evening here is mesmerizing. The aarti, performed with huge lamps, is accompanied by the ringing of temple bells, blowing of conch shells, worshiping priests and hundreds of Diyas (lamps), and flowers floating on the river. It is an experience of a lifetime.
One of the most popular destinations in Haridwar, this institute, with a sprawling campus, conducts research in Yoga and Ayurveda and has been propagating Yoga across the world.
Sapt Rishi Ashram:-
The serene Sapta Rishi Ashram, one of the oldest in Haridwar, welcomes devotees seeking peace and spirituality. It also runs a Sanskrit school. It is said to stand at the place where the holy river Ganges divides itself into seven streams.
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar:-
A paradise for bird watchers and trekkers, this forest area offers abundant flora and fauna. Located just 3.5 km from Haridwar, this park attracts thousands of migratory birds in winter.
Daksha Mahadev Temple:-
This Lord Shiva temple is located on the outskirts of Haridwar and is said to have been constructed at the place where King Daksha performed a Yagya (a Hindu fire ritual). According to Hindu mythology, Daksha Prajapati was the father of Sati of Goddess Durga. In the month of Shravan (July-August), it becomes a center of devotees.
Sureshwari Devi Temple:-
Sureshwari Devi is an old Temple in Haridwar. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is located on the outskirts of Haridwar in Ranipur. Located in the peaceful forest area of Rajaji National Park.
Best Things To Do in Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, Spiritual Bath – Dip In Holy Waters:-
Considered one of the most sacred ghats in Haridwar and India, Har Ki Pauri is a revered site and is visited by a large number of devotees and visitors to seek the blessings of the holy Ganges. Har Ki Pauri which literally means ‘Step towards Lord Shiva’, is located in the holy city of Haridwar which is considered one of the seven holiest places in the country.
A dip in the river Ganges here is believed to wash away sins and according to Indian mythology, it is one of the four places where drops of Amrit (‘nectar’) accidentally fell by the celestial bird Garuda. The river is filled with the golden color of the innumerable lamps offered by the devotees floating on the banks of the river.
Ganga Aarti in Haridwar:-
Ganga Aarti is a religious prayer that takes place on the banks of the holy river Ganges at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar. Bringing tourists and devotees from all over the world, it is a ritual of light and sound where priests chant prayers with bowls of fire and ringing of temple bells. Visitors float “Diyas” (small candles) and flowers, surrounded by the chanting of mantras and the reflection of light from the surface of the flowing river, which is said to be blessed by the goddess Ganga.
Believed to have been built by Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar in the 18th century, Kushawart Ghat is considered to be the most sacred and auspicious Ghat in the city. The last rites and rituals of the deceased are performed on the banks of the river including Shraddha rites, after which the devotees take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges.
While you are in Haridwar, do visit one of the newly renovated ghats, Chandighat. On 21st February 2019, The Chandighat River Front Development Project developed under Namami Gange was dedicated to the people in Haridwar and completed months ahead of the actual schedule. A beautiful gift to the holy city, the 41,872-sq-metre ghat has been built in the Chandighat area at Har Ki Pauri on the left bank of the river Ganga. Even though there is no comparison between the religious significance of Brahma Kund and Har Ki Pauri, Naya Ghat with its location, beautiful scenery, and the vast area is attracting a large number of pilgrims and tourists every day.
Shanti Kunj Haridwar:-
Shantikunj is a world-famous ashram and the headquarters of All World Gayatri Parivar (AWGP) located in Haridwar. Academy of Social and Spiritual Awakening This pilgrimage center has shown the right path and given long-lasting happiness to crores of people.
An ideal place that provides training to the masses based on divine spiritual principles, it aims to revive the sage traditions. The development of divinity in mankind is the foremost goal and accepted objective. Shantikunj Ashram has Yagyashala, Gayatri Mata Temple, Akhand Deep, Devatma Himalayan Temple, Temple of ancient sages, and an exhibition of divine culture.
Apart from visiting these places, you can also participate in the daily activities of the ashram. Various training camps are also organized for the upliftment of moral and spiritual values. For those seeking inner peace and divine inspiration, Shanti Kunj is the place.
Pawan Dham, an ancient temple of Haridwar located in Bhagirathi Nagar, Bhupatwala, is a non-profit organization and a revered site among Hindu pilgrims. It is managed and maintained by the Geeta Bhawan Trust Society of Moga. Pawan Dham Temple boasts of intricate architecture, elaborate glass work and sculptures adorned with rich gems and precious stones.
The major attraction of the temple is the magnificent idol of Lord Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Located just 2 km from Haridwar on the Dehradun-Rishikesh road, it is quite easy and convenient to reach Pawan Dham via local transport. The luxurious interiors and divine atmosphere of Pawan Dham attract devotees and it is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Haridwar.
Parad Shivling is a unique religious place located in Harihar Ashram, Haridwar on Kankhal Road. The word Parad Shivling is derived from “Parad” which means mercury and “Shivling” which is a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. Thus, Parad Shivling is also known as Para Shivling, which makes it a sacred pilgrimage site among devotees of Lord Shiva visiting Haridwar.
Another attraction of this temple, also known as Pardeshwar Mahadev Temple, is the Rudraksha tree which has been standing there for decades. People collect Rudraksha from trees and wear it to get rid of problems in their life. The Parad Shivling is made of 151 kg of Pure Mercury which makes it the only one of its kind in the world. Thus, the temple receives an influx of thousands of devotees and pilgrims every year.
Vaishno Devi Temple, Haridwar:-
A replica of the Vaishno Devi Temple in Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi Temple at Haridwar is marked by tunnels and caves that lead to the inner sanctum containing the shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi. There are three deities in the divine temple – Lakshmi, Kali, and Saraswati.
The Vaishno Devi Temple in Haridwar is a frequented site by both religious devotees and nature lovers due to the stunning view of the surrounding landscape. Apart from its architecture and tunnels, this temple bears no resemblance to the original Vaishno Devi temple.
After climbing a flight of steep stairs and crawling through a narrow tunnel, devotees are blessed with the sight of an idol of Maa Vaishno Devi and replicas of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is widely believed that the Vaishno Devi Temple of Haridwar was built in memory of Trikuta, a devotee of Lord Rama. He prayed to her so devoutly that he agreed to marry her in his last earthly carnation. This is also one of the Shakti Peeth Temples.
Swami Vivekanand Park:-
Swami Vivekananda Park Haridwar is one of the few amusement parks in Haridwar located near Har Ki Pauri. The mesmerizing park is triangular in shape and houses lush green lawns and flower beds along with a huge statue of Swami Vivekananda, which is the main attraction of the park.
Another prominent feature of Swami Vivekananda Park is the huge statue of Lord Shiva which is visible even from a distance. Thus, the park is ideal for day picnics and jogging activities. Since Swami Vivekananda Park is located very close to Har Ki Pauri on the banks of the river Ganga, people often come here to enjoy the spectacular view of Har Ki Pauri as well as soak in the serene atmosphere.
The park is clean and well-maintained by the local authorities. Apart from tourists, local people also come to watch the world go by while sitting in Swami Vivekananda Park.
Ashrams in Haridwar:-
A holy city situated on the banks of the Ganges, Haridwar has declared itself as a pilgrimage destination. People from all walks of life come to Haridwar to gain a sense of spirituality and closeness with God and the universe which can be difficult in the hustle and bustle of our growing urban cities.
There are a number of ashrams located all over Haridwar to help pilgrims find peace of mind and the spirituality they come to Haridwar ashrams in search of. The ashrams in Haridwar are not to be missed as they contain the essence of the city – a calmness that helps you let go of all your burdens.
Attend the Famous Fair of Kumbh Mela:-
Haridwar in Uttarakhand is an important pilgrimage city for Hindus. The place is a complete escape from the din of city life and a beautiful amalgamation of old and new, brimming with beauty, culture, history, and spirituality. Haridwar is known as the ‘Abode of God’ because of the calmness and natural beauty of the banks of the river Ganges.
The world’s most famous fair – Kumbh Mela is held here once in twelve years. It is a sight that should never be missed. The Haridwar Kumbh Mela has gained international acclaim as “the world’s largest work of faith”. The unwavering faith of lakhs of devotees is mind-blowing.
This spectacle of faith has attracted the curiosity of foreigners as well. Pilgrims come from all walks of life, travel long distances, and endure many physical discomforts just to take a dip in the holy river. While some arrive by packed trains, others come by helicopters and planes. But, what remains common is their tremendous faith.
Nothing can stop the faith of the pilgrims, who celebrate the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar with great pomp and show. It is difficult to fathom the festive atmosphere. It’s real. It’s magical!
One of the most popular cities in India, Dehradun is a city where fascinating history and intriguing mythology meet at the crossroads of this beautiful hill station. Dehradun is situated in the rolling Doon Valley and the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by high mountains and lush green Sal forests.
The city is only 240 km from Delhi. Known for its pleasant weather and beautiful surroundings, the city is the gateway to many popular hill stations like Mussoorie and pilgrimage centers like Haridwar and Rishikesh. Offering a mix of unique landscapes and modern amenities, bustling Dehradun is a golden city to visit for both business and leisure.
Once a retirement haven, today it buzzes with excitement, yet manages to maintain its laid-back atmosphere. Unique cafes and lounges are adjacent to heritage monuments and markets.
The education hub of northern India, the city is home to prestigious institutions like Welham and The Doon School, many of the country’s biggest personalities have studied in the city such as former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Olympian Abhinav Bindra and renowned author Amitav Ghosh.
The Indian Military Academy is also located here. Said to have been founded by Sikh Guru Ram Rai in 1675, the city is also known as the abode of Dronacharya, the famous teacher of the epic Mahabharata. Interesting history and intriguing mythology intersect at the crossroads of this beautiful city, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country.
The city of Rishikesh is situated on the banks of one of the holiest Indian rivers, the Ganges, in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The natural beauty of Rishikesh is due to its location in the foothills of the lofty Garhwal Himalayas. The picturesque city hangs between stunning riverside promenades, verdant forests, lush green mountains, and clear blue skies, giving it a surreal look.
The city is synonymous with its grand temples, customs, architectural marvels, and yoga ashrams. Every temple here, be it Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Raghunath Temple, or the 13-story Trimbakeshwar Temple, has its own beautiful story that attracts people from all over the world. The twin Ram and Lakshman Jhula are architectural masterpieces in their own right.
These suspension bridges span more than 750 feet over the Ganges. There are many ashrams here that take people into the spiritual world of ancient forms of yoga, meditation, and Vipassana to purify their souls and de-stress. Rishikesh also has its share of offbeat and adventurous activities.
If you’re not enjoying the adrenaline rush of white water rafting, available up to grade 6, you can spend time enjoying amazing experiences like cliff jumping, kayaking, body surfing, and more. Patna Falls and Neer Garhi Falls etc. are picturesque waterfalls here. It’s perfect for an escape into the raw wilderness of nature. If you are the spiritual type, then you cannot miss attending the wonderful view of Maha Aarti.
Rajaji Tiger Reserve | Rajaji National Park:-
The Rajaji National Park is about 820 sq. km. in the area; attracts wildlife lovers with its pristine scenic beauty and rich biodiversity. The park has been created in 1983 by the amalgamation of three sanctuaries – Rajaji Sanctuary and National park (est. 1948) Motichur sanctuary (est. 1964) and Chilla sanctuary (est. 1977) and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983. On 20 April 2015, its name has been changed to Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker, tigers, leopards, jungle cats, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, samber, cheetal, deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, etc. And the river shelters fish in abundance.
It covers a part of over three districts of Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal. It now becomes the second Tiger Reserve of Uttarakhand after Corbet. Haridwar to Rajaji National Park distance is 11 km.
How To Reach Haridwar
Haridwar is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and the northern states of India. Luxury and normal buses to Haridwar are easily available from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate and Meerut. Buses and Taxis to Haridwar are available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, etc. Haridwar is situated on National Highway 58 which connects Badrinath. National Highway 74 originates from Haridwar and connects it to Kashipur, Pilibhit Kichha, Nagina, and Bareilly.
The main railway station serving the area is the Haridwar Railway Station. It is well connected by a railway network with major destinations of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Dehradun, etc. Trains keep coming and going from Haridwar Railway Station.
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Haridwar located at a distance of 37 km. Taxis are easily available from Jolly Grant Airport to Haridwar. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights.
NOTE:- If you have any other queries you can visit the gov official website of Uttarakhand Tourism.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Haridwar
What is the story behind Haridwar?
If one goes by Hindu mythology, Haridwar dates back to the time when Brahma was creating the world. The gods and demons churned the ocean for the pot of nectar and while Garuda was carrying the pot, a few drops fell at this spot, making it a place for eternal salvation.
What is the other name of Haridwar?
Haridwar is also known as Teerth Nagri.
Does Ganga aarti happen every day in Haridwar?
Every day in the evening aarti starts from 06:00 pm – 07:00 pm and in the morning it starts from 5:30 am to 6:30 am at Har Ki Pauri. Many people visit Har Ki Pauri for Ganga aarti.
Why Ganga Aarti is so famous?
Ganga Aarti is perhaps the most important event related to the holy river. It involves the chanting of hymns, fire, flowers, and more. The idea is to show gratitude and respect to the river, and ask for its blessings