Haridwar is situated at an altitude of 294 m and one of the seven holy cities of Hindus. The name Haridwar means the Dwar of Hari or the Door of Lord Vishnu. In Haridwar, the Vishnu’s footprint is placed on the banks of the holy river giving it its sanctity. Haridwar is situated at the base of the Shiwalik hills and on the west banks of the river Ganga. The River Ganga passes through its last gorge and begins a 2,000 km journey across the plains of UP, Bihar and W Bengal to the Bay of Bengal. The wealth of Haridwar attracted the attention of Timur who sacked it in 1399 during his bloodthirsty foray into North India. Various episodes from the Mahabharata were set here.
History of Haridwar
According to the Archaeological findings it has been proved that terracotta culture had an existence here during 1700 B.C. and 1800 B.C. The chronicles of a renowned Chinese traveler Huan Tsang acknowledge this region as “Mo Yu Lo” at the time of 629 AD. The next was the Turkish invader Timur Lang on 13th January 1399 and Marched here with military force to show occupation of the Haridwar city. At this area the sage Dhaumya says Yudhisthira about the pilgrimages (Tirthas) of India including Haridwar. Afterwards in the Satya Yuga it is very popular that the King Bhagiratha brought the holy River Ganga to Earth to purify the spirits of his 60,000 relatives.
Mythology of Haridwar
As per the Hindu mythology, during the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean, the precious drops of elixir or Amrit which carried the boon of immortality were accidentally spilled at four sites i.e. Ujjain, Nasik, Allahabad, and Haridwar. To commemorate this event, Kumbh Mela, and Maha Kumbh Mela, the mass Hindu pilgrimages of faith is celebrated once in three years and once in 12 years at one of the four places respectively. It is believed that Brahma Kund situated at Har Ki Pauri is the place where the drops of elixir fell.
Festivals in Haridwar
Haridwar receives thousands of pilgrims every year and the numbers of pilgrims increases to almost 100,000 when the birth of the river (Dikhanti) is celebrated in spring. The Kumbha Mela is also held here in the month of April. During the Kumbha Mela, the thousands of devotees gather at the confined area near Har ki Pauri to bath in the waters.
Places to See in Haridwar
Being a revered religious destination, majority of the sightseeing locations at Haridwar have religious connotations. There are various temples and ashrams that can be visited in and around Haridwar. Kankhal is another town near Haridwar which is known for its religious significance. Mansa Devi Temple and Chandi Devi Temple are visited by thousands of devotees.
There are 30 tourist spots in Haridwar where travellers can spent their leisure time. Here you will find list of all the Haridwar sightseeing options which you must visit and plan your itinerary accordingly. Explore the hidden gems of Haridwar through this well-researched list, learn about the most happening places, things to do, famous picnic spots for a memorable vacation in Haridwar.
Shantikunj- Shantikunj is a world-renowned ashram and headquarters of all World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), located in Haridwar. Established in 1971 by Pandit Sriram Sharma Acharya, Shantikunj is a major attraction in Haridwar.
Ganga Aarti- Haridwar is famous for its Har ki Pauri and its Ganga Aarti. Ganga aarti means worship of Ganga. Lots of people visit this place for Ganga aarti everyday at 06:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Daily).
Sri Santosh Puri Ashram– This ashram is founded by Baba Santosh Puri in 1978. After that Babaji got Samadhi in the Kumbha Mela but his German spouse handles the dealings of the ashram, they provide teaching facilities in yoga.
Parad Shivlinga- Parad Shivlinga is located at a distance of 6 km from Haridwar. The name of Parad Shivlinga is derived from ‘parad’ meaning mercury and ‘Shivalinga’ that symbolizes Lord Shiva.
How to reach Haridwar
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, situated about 16kms from Rishikesh.
By Rail: There is a branch line from Haridwar to Rishikesh.
By Road: Haridwar is connected by road to Rishikesh, Dehra Dun, Delhi and Mussoorie and various other parts of the country.