Haridwar – The Gateway to the Land of the Gods
Haridwar is a holy city located in the northern state of India – Uttarakhand. Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Haridwar is one of Hinduism’s seven most sacred places in India. The city also hosts the Kumbh Mela once every 12 years. Along with its spiritual importance, the city is also known for its spectacular beauty and tourist attractions. As a spiritual center, Haridwar has many bathing ghats, Temples, Ashrams, and Dharamshalas. Haridwar is the main gate to start the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand, from where the journey to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath Dham begins.
Haridwar means “the gateway of gods.” In other words, it is the main abode of Lord Hari (Vishnu). The city is Gateway for Kedarnath Yatra and Famous Char Dham Pilgrimage. The mythological name of this city is “Maya” or “Mayapuri.” During the Samudra Manthan, there was a war between demons and the deities over “nectar.” At that same time, some of the drops of nectar fell on this land, after which it became popular. And now, it is believed once every 12 years that nectar is available again on the occasion of “Kumbha.”
The best time to visit Haridwar is during the winter and spring months, between October and April. During this time, the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing and other activities near Haridwar. July to September is the rainy season in north India, and getting around can be hard. So avoid visiting during this time. Also, May and June can be quite hot, with temperatures reaching almost 40 °C, making it difficult to explore the city.
More on Haridwar Weather & Temperature!
“Har ki Pauri” is the holy Ghat in Haridwar, dedicated to the footprints of “Lord Shiva” and “Lord Vishnu.” During the Kumbh, the Ghat is believed to be more auspicious, and many devotees visit here for a bath. The Ghat resounds every evening with Ganga Aarti and worship of the Ganges. This Ghat is also very helpful for yoga and meditation and is full of spiritual aura.
Vishnu Ghat is another holy ghat of Haridwar, located 4 km from the other side of Har Ki Pauri. It is one of the most important ghats of the city and is a popular place for Hindu pilgrims to take a dip in the river Ganges. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Hari, the Ghat is surrounded by several Hindu temples and Ashrams.
Mansa Devi Temple is a famous temple dedicated to “Goddess Mansa.” Located 4.5 km from Har Ki Pauri, Mansa devi temple is famous for its ropeway ride. From there, one can see panoramic views of the entire Haridwar city. Goddess Mansa fulfills the wishes of those who worship her with a true heart. Every year, the temple is filled with thousands of devotees from every corner of India.
Located on Neel Parvat, Chandi devi is a beautiful temple in the Shivalik Hills of Haridwar. The temple is dedicated to the “Chandika” devi form of “Goddess Durga” or Parvati. One can reach this temple by cable car. Also, this temple is one of the famous Siddha Peetha in Uttarakhand.
Rajaji National Park is the second most popular National Park in Uttarakhand after Jim Corbett. It is located in the foothills of Haridwar, an area spread across 820.5 sq km. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, and bird species. For wildlife enthusiasts, Rajaji is a great spot for witnessing wildlife. Tourists can take advantage of the jeep safari and elephant safari organized here.
Haridwar is famous for its temples and yoga ashrams. The city has several ashrams and yoga peethas. These yoga ashrams provide the best environment to learn yoga for every beginner. Auroville, Santosh Puri, and Patanjali are some of the prestigious yoga ashrams in Haridwar.
Ganga Aarti is a daily religious ceremony performed in various ghats of Haridwar. Ganga is considered a sacred river in India, and people like to worship her. The Ganga Aarti is performed between 6:30- 7:00 every evening. The aarti is performed by a group of priests, who fill the Ghat with a spiritual aura by chanting hymns and mantras. Many devotees and tourists get attracted to this aura.
A dip into the holy river Ganges is commonly referred to as the spiritual bath in Haridwar. People believe this dip into the river Ganges is the door to freedom from all sins. And bathing here will cleanse the soul and washes away all the sins. Taking a dip in the Ganges before worshiping in temples or participating in other religious activities is a must in Haridwar.
Jungle Safari is the best way for visitors to explore the park and its wildlife. The park is home to various animals, including elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, and bird species. Jungle Safari allows you to see and observe the wildlife from close quarters. Motichur Gate, Raipur Gate, Jhilmil Gate, and Chilla Gate are the main gates of Jungle Safari in Haridwar.
Haridwar is a spiritual city famous for its abundance of Hindu temples. From the ghats of the river Ganga to the small hills of Haridwar, you will find temples everywhere. Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi, Pawan Dham, Bharat Mata, Maya Devi, Chanda Devi, Parmeshwar Mahadev, and Lal Mata are some of the top temples in Haridwar.
Located 26 km from Haridwar, Rishikesh is a great destination for camping in India. There are two popular camping locations in Rishikesh : Shivpuri & Neelkanth Road. Camping in rishikesh is a great adventure for solo traveller, families and couples. However, one can enjoy jungle camping, riverside camping and mountain camping in Rishikesh.
If you are fond of indulging in adventure activities, rafting will be special. A rafting fair is held in Rishikesh itself, in which a large number of tourists are ready to take part. Unlike camping, rafting will take you on a journey to a world of adventure. Destinations like Shivpuri and Kaudiyala host this game. Explore more on Rishikesh Rafting.
Haridwar offers many stay options, including Hotels, Guesthouses, Resorts, Ashrams, and Dharamshala.
By Train:- Haridwar Junction is a major railway station in Haridwar, which is well-connected to major cities in India. You can reach Haridwar by train from Delhi, Moradabad, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, and other major cities.
By Bus:- Haridwar is well connected by road buses to major cities in Uttarakhand and neighboring states. Buses constantly run between Haridwar and Delhi, Moradabad, Lucknow, Kangra, Chandigarh, and Dehradun.
By Air:- The nearest airport to Haridwar is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 35 km from Haridwar. You can reach Haridwar directly from Jolly Grant Airport by hiring a taxi and other vehicles.
By Car:- Haridwar is well connected by road and is easily accessible from major cities in the region by hiring taxis or driving your car.
Haridwar is one of Hinduism’s seven most sacred places, which is said to be the gateway to the Himalayas. It is famous for the Maha Kumbh, which takes place once in 12 years, where devotees from all over the world visit this holy land.
You can reach Haridwar by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Dehradun Airport, located about 35 km from Haridwar. And the nearest railway station is Haridwar Junction, just 2 km from the city center. Also, just 500 meters from Haridwar Railway Station, you’ll find Haridwar ISBT.
“Har ki Pauri” means “feet of the Lord,” which refers to the Ghat called Har ki Pauri in Haridwar. It is said that Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva left their footprints on a stone block at this place, making it a holy site for Hindus.
Har Ki Pauri is a sacred ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar. It is considered the holiest Ghat of Haridwar, and it is from here that the Ganga enters the plains. It is also the site of the famous Ganga Aarti ceremony.
The months between October and April are best for visiting Haridwar. During this time, the weather is pleasant and calm.
Ganga Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual in which lamps are lit, and offerings are made to the river Ganges. It is a daily ceremony in the evening at Har Ki Pauri and is a popular attraction for tourists.
Haridwar is considered very safe for tourists, but it is always advised to be aware of your surroundings. It is also recommended to pay attention to your belongings, especially during the Kumbh Mela.
Guest houses, lodges, and hotels are available in Haridwar, ranging from INR 500 to 2000 rupees per room. These stay options cater to budget travelers visiting Haridwar.