Haridwar About this sound pronunciation also spelled Hardwar is an ancient city in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. The River Ganga, 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 regarded as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag (Allahabad) is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbha Mela, which is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar. During the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. Brahma Kund, the spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally, “footsteps of the Lord”) and is considered to be the most sacred ghat of Haridwar. It is also the primary center of the Kanwar pilgrimage, in which millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Śiva shrines.
Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district. Today, the city is developing beyond its religious importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited as well as its affiliated ancillaries.
A heaven for nature significant others, Haridwar presents a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and development. In the sacred writings it has been differently specified as Kapilsthan, Gangadwar and Mayapuri. It is additionally a passage indicate the Char Dham (the four principle focuses of journey in Uttarakhand viz, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), subsequently, Shaivaites (adherents of Lord Shiva) and Vaishnavites (devotees of Lord Vishnu) call this place Hardwar and Haridwar individually, relating to Har being Shiv and Hari being Vishnu.
Haridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. It’s also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to sage Kapil’s curse. The penance was answered and the river
Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva’s locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their ancestors.
Population: 14,44,213 (2001 census).
Area: 12,302 sq km.
Altitude: 294.7 m.
Season: Round the year. Clothing:
Summers: Cottons and tropical.
Languages: Hindi and English.
Chandigarh to Haridwar 205 km
Delhi to Haridwar 210 km
Shimla Manali to Haridwar 320 km
Lucknow to Haridwar 492 km
Jaipur to Haridwar 505 km
What To See And Do
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where To Stay
Many hotels and Ashrams are available in Haridwar
How To Get Around
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 41 km. Deccan Airlines services from Delhi. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (220 km)
Connected with all important cities of India viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritsar, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc..
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.