|Destination: Haridwar Introduction|
|Destination Type: Holy Places|
Haridwar is situated on the right side of the bank of the holy Gahar-ki-Pauringa, and is the point where the river spreads over the northern plains. Associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, Haridwar is among the seven sacred cities of India. It is also one of the four venues for the Kumbh Mela, held in its magnitude every twelve years. Essentially a religious centre which holds promise of salvation for devotees, Haridwar is also a centre of herbal medicine, and traditional studies at Gurukul Kangri. There are many places of scenic beauty on the outskirts of the town.
IKumbh Melat is said that when the Gods left their footprints on the land of Haridwar, metaphorically they also left an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu – more so, the devout, who would later follow their holy paths all across this blessed land. Haridwar stands as the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttrakhand. Mentioned as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained as a major Shaktipeeth for the devotees. Of such significance is Haridwar in the thought of India’s traditional Hindus that it has earned its sobriquet of honour, `the gateway to the Gods’.
Legend has it that the holy Ganga, the holiest of all rivers, which flows through this sacred city has actually been sanctified by the powerful Trinity of Hindu mythology and the centre of the pantheon – Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
Down the ages, this special importanHar-ki-Paurice of Haridwar as the ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul gained more impetus…and today, manifests into great events that take place here, i.e. the memorable Kumbh Mela which happens once every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which comes once every six years. Yet, beyond the mystic aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another magic spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures as it weaves through the life and time stretching from the period of Buddha to the more recent British advent. Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit, but also served as a centre for attraction for many, for learning the arts, science and culture.
HaKumbahmelaridwar’s longstanding position as a great source for Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional education, the scenic beauty and lush greenery…all give the city a unique flavour and charm; a must among the sojourn centres in a discoverer’s itinerary of Western U.P. – A destination of all seasons.
Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. And that’s why the water is crystal clear and cool. Lush green forests and small ponds adorns the scenic beauty of this holy land. The Rajaji National Park is just 10 kms from Haridwar. It’s an ideal destination for wildlife and adventure lovers.
In the evening the ghats look breathtakingly beautiful, as thousands of diyas and marigold flowers float and illuminate the Holy waters.
HOW TO REACH
Places to visit
By Air : The nearest airport Dehradun & Delhi.
By Rail : Connected with all important cities of India viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritsar, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc..
By Road : Haridwar on National Highway no. 45 is well connected to all major cities and other parts of the state viz. Delhi (214 km), Agra (386 km), Ambala (168 km), Badrinath (325 km), Dehradun (52 km), Kedarnath (250 km), Saharanpur (81 km), Nainital (286 km).
Local Transport Services :Private bus services, tempos (vikrams), auto rickshaws, tongas, cycle-rickshaws and taxis.
Hari Ki Pauri : Hari ki pauri ghat was built by King Vikramaditya to commemorate the descending of Ganga after years of difficult prayers and fasting done by his ancestor Bhagirathi. Lord Vishnu is believed to have left his foot prints on a rock at this ghat. Everyday at twilight the Har ki pauri ghat comes to life with singing prayers and lit up lamps along the Ganges where people in hundreds and thousands view this mesmerizing and cleansing ritual. It is believed that the one who bathes at Har ki pauri gets rid of all sins and completely cleanses their soul. Floral tributes and lit up diyas floating on the Ganges is the most enchanting sight one gets at this ghat.
Chandi Devi : Standing atop the Neel Parvat, the Chandi Devi temple was built in 1929 AD by the king of Kashmir Suchat Singh. It is believed that the main statue of goddess Chandi devi, who killed the demon brothers Shumbh-Nishumbh, was laid here in the 8th century AD by Adi Shankracharya. The Chandi Devi temple can now be reached by a ropeway as well.
Mansa Devi : Situated on the southernmost hill of the Shivalik ranges is the Durga temple called Mansa Devi. One can reach this temple either on foot or by a cable car. Perched on Bilwa Parvat, the temple provides a panoramic view of the Haridwar city with the Ganges flowing in its middle.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar : It is at this place that Ganges is believed to have divided itself into seven small streams to not to disturb the Sapt (seven) Rishis meditating and worshipping here.
Bharat Mata Mandir : It is one of its kind temples in Haridwar and is dedicated to Mother India, tracing its history from the times of Ramayana to present day. This eight storied temple houses the pictures and idols of some of the great Indian men from ancient to present times and pictures of the cities of the country. A must visit to get a sneak preview in to the history and culture of India.
Sati Kund : This is the holy place where the wife of Lord Shiva, Mata Sati is believed to have done the ritual of self-immolation. The ghat here is thus famous today as Sati Kund.
Rajaji National Park / Chila Wildlife Sanctuary : The Rajaji National Park, spread over an area of 240 sq km, houses the Chila wildlife Sanctuary and is situated at a distance of 10 km from Haridwar. Situated on the banks of River Ganges, the sanctuary is a haven for a large number of animals. This biodiversity park boasts of nearly 23 mammals and about 315 fauna species. The river in the park houses large number of fishes and fauna in the water. At Chila you can have the pleasure of spotting leopard, tigers, jungle cat, herd of elephants, wild boar, stags, spotted deer, sloth bear, langur, monkeys, woodpecker, king cobra etc. During the monsoons the park remains closed and otherwise it is open after sunrise and closed after dusk.
Maya Devi Temple :It is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhishtkatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhapeethas. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen at this ancient saktipeeth, located to the east of Har-ki-Pauri.
Bhimgoda :Legend has it that while the Pandavas were here, Bhim with one blow of his horse’s hoof drew water from the rocks at this spot.
Pawan Dham :The place is famous for its Hanuman Mandir decorated with glass pieces.
Vaishno Devi Temple :The newly constructed temple dedicated to the Goddess Vaishno Devi is on the lines of the temple in Jammu.
Gurukul Kangri University :A centre of learning where education is imparted in the traditional Indian way. Within the precincLearning Vedts of the University is the Ved Mandir which houses many archaeological exhibits. It is situated on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road. The Ved Mandir Museum with archaeological exhibits in display can also be seen.
Daksh Mahadev Temple :The ancient temple of Daksh Mahadev is situated in the south of Kankhal town. This temple was constructed by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 AD. Kankhal has several temples and ashrams.
Sapt Rishi Ashram :The Ganga flows in seven streams in front of this Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar.
Kanva Rishi Ashram :42 km. The ashram is situated on the banks of the Malini river along the for