Haridwar (also known as
Hardwar) is a holy city in the state of Uttaranchal in northern
India. Known as the Gateway to the Gods, Haridwar is considered
one of the seven holiest places according to Hindus, as the devas are said to have left their footprints there. Here
pilgrims float diyas on the Ganges, to commemorate their
deceased ancestors. The city also stands as a gateway to three
other important pilgrimage destinations: Rishikesh, Badrinath,
and Kedarnath. In Haridwar you will see a great statue of Shiva
at the fork of the river. If you are there for a short visit, it
is definitely worth to visit the temple on top of the mountain,
with a wonderful view.
Haridwar has very rich ancient religious and cultural heritage.
In the ancient scriptures of India, this place is well known by
the name of Mayapur. This city is also well known for many other
things apart from the holy river Ganges. Haridwar has privilege
of having IIT at Roorkee, formerly known as University of
Roorkee, founded in 1847 as a first technical institute of
India. The city has one of the "navratna PSUs of India" i.e BHEL
(Bharat Heavy Electricals India Ltd.). The tomb Piran Kaliar of
Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious
harmony in India which is visited by the people of all religious
sects from all over the world. There is another University in
the city called Gurukul Kangri Vishva Vidyalaya apart from the
head quarter of Uttaranchal State Public Service Commission also
being established at Haridwar. Besides this, Kumbh fair is
organized at the interval of every 12 years in this city in
which about 1 crore pilgrims from all over the world
Places to See
Mansa Devi Temple (3.5
km) - The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the
top of Bilwa Parwat .Here one statue of the Goddess has three
mouths and five arms while the other statue has eight arms. The
beautiful view of the city can be seen from this place. The
temple can be reached by trolley through ropeway or on foot.
Chandi Devi ( 6 km) - The temple of Chandi Devi atop the
Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga was constructed in
1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir- Suchat Singh . It is a 3 km
trek from Chandighat . Legend has it that the army chief
Chanda-Munda of a local demon King Shumbh- Nishumbha was killed
by goddess Chandi here after which the place got the name Chandi
Devi . It is believed that the main statue was established by
the Adi Shankracharya in 8th century A.D. One can reach here by
Trolley through ropeway or on foot. Ph. no. of 'Udan Khatola'
(Ropeway) is 01334-220324, Time-8.30 AM to 6 PM.
Maya Devi Temple - This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi
the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the
Siddhpeethas. Said to be the place where the heart and navel of
goddess Sati had fallen.
Har ki Paori (1.5 km) - This sacred Ghat was constructed
by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. It is
believed that Bhartrihari eventually came to Haridwar to
meditate by the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother
constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as
Hari-Ki-Pari. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as
Brahmakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the
river Ganga is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during
the Ganga Arti ceremony . Attending the Ganga Arti which is
performed here everyday after sunset is an unforgettable
experience as most of the tourists say.
Gurukul Kangri University ( 4 km) - It is situated on the
Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road . It is an old institution known
for following a unique system of education in India. The Ved
Mandir Museum with archaeological exhibits in display can also
Daksha Mahadev Temple (4
km) - The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in
the south Kankhal town .The mythological story about this place
is that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva 's
first wife ) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did
not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted . Therefore she
burnt herself in the yagya Kund . This incident provoked the
disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but
later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev
temple is thus a tribute to this legend .
Bhimgoda Tank - This tank is at a distance of about 1 km
from Harki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to
Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of
Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Srovar (7 km) - It is said
that Ganga had split herself in seven currents at this place so
that the Sapt(seven) Rishis worshipping there would not be
Parad Shivling (2 km) - Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhasl.
Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are main
HOW TO REACH
By Air - Jollygrant at Dehradhun is the nearest airport
i.e. 35 Kms from Haridwar. It is well connected to the major
cities like Delhi etc. Regular flights are available by Indian
Airlines and Jet Airways.
By Rail - Haridwar is well connected to the major cities of
India with regular and express trains. The major trains are
4309/4310 Ujjain-Haridwar-Dehradun, 2019/2020 Bombay-Haridwar-Dehradun,
4041/4042 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun, 4265/4266 Varanasi to
Haridwar to Dehradun, 3009/3010 Howrah-Haridwar-Dehradun,
2017/2018 Delhi to Haridwar-Dehradun (Shatabdi Ex.),4213/4214
Allahabad-Haridwar-Dehradun , 5005/5006
Gorakhpur-Haridwar-Dehradun, 4711/4712 Sri Ganganagar-Hardwar.
By Road - Haridwar is well connected to the major cities, it
lies on the National Highway no. 45 and road network is good.
The distances in km from some cities are Delhi-214, Agra-386,
Ambala-168, Badrinath-325, Dehradun-52, Kedarnath-250,
Saharanpur-81, Nainital-386. There are regular buses from Delhi
in every 30 minutes. You can take the Delhi Transport
Corporation(DTC) or private deluxe coaches.
WHEN TO GO
Haridwar can be travelled round the year.
Rishikesh is one of the
best located pilgrimage centers along the right bank of the
Ganga. The holy river emerging from high mountains not far from
here, runs deep and silent through the thickly wooded hills of
the Tehri that straddle this region. A breathtaking experience
of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife await here. Not to
mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with
'munis' and meditation. Today Rishikesh has become a center for
learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned
Indian methods for mental and physical health. The week-long
International Yoga festival which attracts participation from
all across the world is held here annually in the month of
February on the banks of serene Ganga.
Rishikesh is also an
important gateway to the Himalayan shrines of Badrinath,
Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Besides, the various yoga
centers located here have elevated this town to a leading
position among the tourist destinations of north India. Apart
from the breathtaking natural beauty, you can take delight in a
number of other highlights that are located here such as Bharat
Mandir, Rishikund, Triveni Ghat, Geeta Bhawan, Lakshman Jhula,
Swarga Ashram and Trayambakeshwar Temple.
All these tourist attractions in Rishikesh are highly
recommended during a tour to this holy place. The search for the
spiritual ends at this place as it is dotted with numerous
spiritual centers that give valuable tips for a healthy living
and purification of mind and soul.
Finding a good accommodation in Rishikesh will not be of much
hassle provided you get booked in advance. Rishikesh is strewn
with a number of hotels and resorts that offer excellent guest
facilities and amenities essential for a contented stay. One of
the leading three star hotels is Ananda in the Himalayas
offering you the comfort and luxury of the modern days. Another
hotel that you can put up in is ‘The Glasshouse’ on the Ganges,
which is highly acclaimed for its services and facilities.
Several resorts are also located here.