Haridwar is a city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. The River Ganges, after flowing for 253 kilometres (157 mi) from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India for the first time at Haridwar,which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára. Haridwar is the place where people from across the India visit for pilgrimage and to take a holy dip into the holy river Ganges. Haridwar is an ancient city & it is one of the most sacred cities in India. The diverse nature of the Hindu religion has attracted foreign visitors from all around the world.
Foreigners always attracted to Haridwar because here they can closely experience India's complex culture, various Hindu rituals and the ancient civilization.
Haridwar 30 kms from Rishikesh & 90 kms from Mussoorie & 220 kms from Delhi.
Haridwar is one of the primary areas where river Ganges emerges from the mountains & enters to the plain areas. Lush green forests and crystal clear water of river Ganges & background of mountains create the charming beauty of this holy city. In the evening ghats looks beautiful as hundreds of diyas (lamps) and marigold flowers float and light up the river Ganges. The Rajaji National Park is just 10 kms from Haridwar. Its an ideal destination for wild life and adventure lovers. "Agar apne paap dhone hai to Haridwar mein Gangaji ki dubki lagao" (If you want to purify yourselves take a holy dip in the water of river Ganges at Haridwar. All your sins will be purified). This is most common thing which you can hear about Haridwar in all over India.
PLACES TO VISIT
Hari Ki Pauri:
Hari ki Pauri is one of the most sacred bathing ghat in India. Har Ki Pauri is 02 kms far from the Haridwar Railway Station. Har means God & Pauri means foot prints. Har Ki Pauri means footprints of God. It is believed that Lord Vishnu came here in ancient time & also there is a stone where his footprints are still there on the stone wall. Har Ki Pauri is also main place for holy bath during the Kumbh Mela. Hindu people believe that if you take a holy dip (bath) here river Ganges will wash all you sins. Everyday there is ceremony called Ganga Aarti is organized here. Ceremony is dedicated to River Ganga which is constantly providing life in the form of her water to people. Ganga Aarti is widely visited by thousands of people everyday (Mostly in evening).
Mansa Devi Temple:
Mansa Devi Temple is dedicated to goddess Mansa Devi. Goddess is also known as Maa Mansa Devi. It is believed that Mansa Devi was emerged from the mind of great Sage Kashyapa. Mansa means wish & the goddess fulfills the wishes so the Goddess is known as Mansa Devi. The temple is situated at bilva Parvat (Mountain). Rope way (Cable car) is also available here. The pilgrims can reach the temple by 03 ways. 1. By normal trek (1.5km one way) 2. By steps (480 steps approx) 3. By cable car (ropeway) (5 Minutes ride).
Chandi Devi Temple:
Chandi Devi temple is dedicated to goddess Chandi Devi. Chadi Devi Temple is located at the height of 208 meters at Neel Parvat & it is 4 kms far from the Haridwar Railway Station. It is believed that here Goddess Parvati (Wife of lord Shiva) had killed demon Chand & Mund in ancient times. So the Goddess is known as Chandi Devi. Chandi Devi Temple is also one of the siddh peeths in haridwar along with Mansa Devi & Maya Devi Temple. Temple can be reached by two ways. 1. By trek (03 km one way) 2. By Cable Car (ropeway) (10 Minutes ride). There is also Anjani Temple which is 500 meter far from here & can be reached by trek.
Genealogy Registers is also known as family tree registers. This is Indian tradition maintained by only a few Brahmin Pundits (priests) in Haridwar. Being holy region Haridwar is visited by millions of people every year. Many of them have family priest here who maintain their family details in “Vahi.” These priests are found near Har Ki Pauri area.
Jain Temple in new attraction in Haridwar. The temple was built in 1990s & it is chief attraction for Jain religion. This temple is situated on the Rishikesh Highway of Haridwar. The temple complex has been built in amazing Jain architectural manner with Jaisalmer stone. Temple is dedicated to Shri Chintamani Parshwnath Bhagwan. There is also idol of Shri Aadinath Bhagwan.
Shantikunj Ashram is one of the biggest & most popular ashrams in Haridwar. Shantikunj is also known as Gayatri Parivar world wide. Ashram has hundreds of rooms for devotees. Shantikunj Ashram is always busy in various social & spiritual activities during a day. Worth to visit if you want to learn about Ashrams.
Gurukula Kangri University:
Also known as Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya. This university is located 07 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station. University has very good archeological museum. Museum is mainly focused on history, culture & archeology. Gurukul Kangri University was founded in 1902. University is widely known for its traditional Indian teaching (Gurukula System).
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar(Bird santuary):
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is heaven for bird lovers; Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is located four kms far from Hardwar near Bhimgoda Tank. Siberian cranes and some other migratory birds visit here in winter season.
Daksheswara Mahadev Temple:
Daksheswara Mahadev Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva (Mahadev). It is also known as Daksha temple or Daksha Mandir. King Daksha was father of Mata Sati (First wife of Lord Shiva). This temple is situated in town named Kankhal which is 04 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station. The temple is one of the most famous & ancient temples in Haridwar. Millions of pilgrims come here at Maha Shivaratri festival.
Maya Devi Temple:
Maya Devi temple is one of the most famous temple in Haridwar. In ancient time Haridwar was also known as Mayapuri because Maya Devi is the Adhisthatri devi (Ishta Devi) of Haridwar. It is also one of the shakti peeths in Haridwar. You can enjoy the evening temple ceremony (temple Arti) in temple. It temple is situated in central area of Haridwar.
Bilkeshwar Mahadev Mandir:
Bilkeshwar Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva & his wife Goddess Parwati. It temple is situated at Bilva parvat near bilkeswar colony Haridwar. Mythology is described (Skanda purana). Ancient Gauri kund (Bathing place of Goddess Parwati) is located 500 meters far from the Bilkeshwar temple. Bilkeshwar Mahadev Mandir is 02 kms far from Haridwar Bus stand.
Bharat Mata Mandir:
Bharat Mata Mandir is dedicated to India. Here India is imagined as a mother (Bharat mata). Bharat Mata Mandir or Mother India Temple is situated near Sapt Rishi Ashram around 04 kms far from Haridwar. The complex has 08 floors. Each floor has idols of various gods, goddesses, kings, leaders & revolutionists. It was inaugurated in 1983 by the late India Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarover:
Sapt Rishi Ashram is located 04 kms far from Haridwar. According to mythology seven great sages meditated here. River Ganges has divided herself in seven parts due to disturbance to the sages. Seven sages were Kashyapa, Vashistha, Gautam, Jamadagni, Vishwamitra, Bhardwaja & Atri. Sapt Rishi Ashram was founded in 1943.
Sureshvari Devi Temple:
Sureshvari Devi Temple (Sureshwari) is very old temple in Haridwar. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga (Shakti). This temple is inside Rajaji National Park & located in serene atmosphere out side Haridwar. Temple is visited by devotees as well as nature lovers. Permission is required of forest officers for visiting the temple.
Hari Har Temple (Parad Shivling):
Parad Shivling is part of Hari Har temple. This temple is dedicated to God Shiva. Parad Shivling was made from mercury. Mercury Shivling has weight of 150kgs. Rudraksha tree & Maha Mrityunjaya Temple are also other interesting places inside Hari har Temple complex. The temple is also known Parad shivlinga Temple & Mrityunjaya Mandir. The temple is situated in kankhal area & it is 03 kms far from the Haridwar railway station.
Doodhadhari Barfani Temple:
Doodhadhari Barfani Temple was built by using white marble. Doodhadhari Barfani Mandir is part of Doodhadhari Barfani Baba Ashram. Doodhadhari Temple is located 06 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station. The temple is one of the most beautiful temple in Haridwar. There are two main temples are there inside complex, Temple of Lord Ram & his wife Sita & Temple of lord Hanuman.
Anandamayi Maa Ashram:
Anandamayi Ma Ashram is also known as Maa Ananda Mayi Ashram. This ashram is located in Kankhal area and it is 05 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station. Ashram is dedicated to Sri Ananda Mayi Maa, well known spiritual leader.
Pawan Dham Temple:
Pawan Dham temple is situated Just 02 km from Hari Ki Pauri & 04 km from Haridwar railway station. This is new attraction in Haridwar. You can see most beautiful work of glass & mirrors inside the temple.
Bhimgoda tank is situated 4 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station. According to mythology this tank was created by Bhim (Ancient Character) Bhimgoda Tank is just 1 kms far from famous Har Ki Pauri.
Patanjali Yogpeeth is famous ashram & Yoga institute. Under the flagship of Baba Ramdev Patanjali Yogpeeth is famous for treatment, research & development in Yoga & Ayurveda. Ashram is located 22 kms far from Haridwar Railway Station at Delhi – Haridwar Highway.
HOW TO GET HERE
Haridwar railway station is a major station well connected to all major cities in India. Tourists can take trains from Delhi (Dehradun Shatabdi), Kolkata (Doon Exp), Mumbai (Dehradun Exp) and Chennai (Ddn Mas Exp), Bhopal (Hw Ltt Ac Sf) along with various other cities in the country.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about just 20 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Haridwar city, which cost about Rs 400. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 200 km away. Delhi airport is well connected to most of the domestic airports and foreign airports.
Haridwar is well connected by tourist bus services and state owned bus services. All cities in and around Haridwar are connected by state buses. Many deluxe buses are available at a regular interval from Delhi to Haridwar with a fare less than Rs 500 per head. Buses are also available from Jaipur (Rs 300), Jodhpur (Rs 500), Dehradun (Rs 250), Shimla (Rs 1,000) and many other cities located close to it.