A haven for the nature lovers, Haridwar presents the true image of Indian culture and civilization. Haridwar means ‘Gateway to Gods’. The devotees of Lord Shiva(Har) and followers of Lord Vishnu(Hari) pronounce this place Hardwar and Haridwar respectively. It marks the entrance to the Dev Bhoomi and Char Dham (Four main centres of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand) viz. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The pilgrims from all parts of India come to this pristine place and take a bath in the holy waters of River Ganga. It is the entry point of River Ganga from the mountains to the plain areas. The emerald forests and crystal clear water of river Ganges with mountains at the backdrop makes this sacred spot enormously beautiful.
Places to see in Haridwar: With extravagant natural beauty, this scenic location is gifted with some exclusive sight seeing spots. These include:
Har ki Pauri
Also called Brahmakund, this site is believed to be the place where divine nectar fell from the pitcher. This forms the chief attractions of Haridwar. This is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela which is celebrated in 12 years. Large number of devotees comes especially to Haridwar to take a holy dip in the Ganga River. At twilight, when evening aarti is performed the reflection of the golden diyas that keep floating on the river offers an enchanting view of the ghat to the visitors. This sacred Ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar.
Chandi Devi Temple
Situated on the top of the Neel Parvat, Chandi Temple was built in 1929 by Suchat Singh, the King of Kashmir. The temple can be reached after a 3km trek from Chandi Ghat. The main statue of Chandi Devi Temple is said to be established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century. Cable car has also been introduced upto Chandi Devi Temple.
Maya Devi Temple
According to the myth, it is here that the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was taking her corpse. Maya Devi Temple is regarded as one of the Siddhapeeth’s. This ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar.
Mansa Devi Temple
The Mansa Devi temple rests on the top of the Bilwa Parwat and it is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. The temple can be reached either by a ropeway that carries pilgrims to the temple or on foot. A statue of the Goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. The temple affords bird’s eye view of Haridwar.
Sapta Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar
This is believed the place of meditation of the seven sages. Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam were the seven rishis. Ganga split herself into seven streams to avoid any disturbance to their meditation.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
This ancient Daksha Mahadev Temple (Daksheswara Mahadev Temple) is located in the south Kankhal, a sacred town just 3km from Haridwar and has Lord Shiva as its residing deity. According to mythology, this temple is supposed to have been the site of a yagna conducted by Daksha.
It is said that this tank was constructed by Bhima, one of the Pandava brother of the famous epic Mahabharata, while they were going to Himalayas through Haridwar.
Bharat Mata Mandir
5 km north of the center. Dedicated to Mother India, this is half temple, half nation building exercise, with seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths.
Ma Anandamayee Ashram
Located at Kankhal, the samadhi of Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee (Anandamayi) is situated here and this is also the Head Office of the revered organisation.
Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Parad Shivling (Mercury Shivling) weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.
Situated in shravan nath nagar of the town near railway station, this is the main ashram of Ramanand Sampraday in Haridwar. Mahant Bhagwan Das is the chief of this ashram.
Shantikunj is the headquarter of famous spiritual and social organisation All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) established by Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya. It is located at a distance of 6 Kilometers from Haridwar railway station towards Rishikesh/Dehradun on NH58. At the bank of the holy Ganges and between the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, its also a place of attraction for tourists as well as seekers of spiritual guidance.
Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust)
Patanajli yogpeeth is situated on Haridwar – Delhi Highway. This is a yoga institution and research center of Swami Ramdev. Thousands of people come here for yoga and other purpose here. This is one of the best place in Haridwar to see
Another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.
Rajaji National Park
The Park spans over an area of 820sqkms on the edge of the Doon Valley and is dotted with immense natural beauty. It is situated around 10kms from Haridwar. Rajaji National Park was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. It is a safe haven for panther, bear, chital, elephant, tiger, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, python, monitor lizard etc. Elephant Safari is also available at Chilla and Dholkand.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Thousands of devotees visit Neelkanth Mahadev every month throughout the year. It is situated on the summit of the mountain across the sacred Ganga River. According to mythology this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during ‘Sagar Manthan’ which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva. It is situated 66kms from Dehradun city.
Haridwar has several other beautifully made Ashrams and temples holding significance, such as Shanti Kunj, Jairam Ashram, Bhuma Niketan, Bharat Mata Mandir, Vaishnav Devi Temple, Radha Krishan temple, Shravan Nath Math, Pawan Dham, Doodhadari temple, Bilkeshwar Mahadev temple, Shahi Gurudwara, Parmarth Ashram, Prem Nagar Ashram, Ma Anand Mai Ashram etc. All of these places are worth seeing.
Nearby attractions around Haridwar: You can also make excursions to places like:
23 km from Haridwar towards its southern part on the outskirts of Roorkee town, Piran Kalier is a place that every tourist in Haridwar must visit. It is actually the ‘dargah’ of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed ‘Sabir’. This place is famous for its sacred aura and mystical powers. It is visited with due regard by Hindus and Muslims alike. During the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar, Urs, a colorful festival, is celebrated here from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day.
Having a distance of 95 km approximately, from Haridwar, Deoprayag is the confluence point of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, with a chain of vast tributaries, and forming Ganges. It is only from Deoprayag that the sacred river starts being called Ganga. At a height of 2700 feet above sea level, it is a sacred pilgrimage centre and is considered the second most divine confluence centre in India, next only to Prayag. One of the famous temples here is the Raghunath Temple, which is considered as one of the 108 most important temples in India.
Kanva Rishi Ashram
One of the popular excursions from Haridwar, the Kanva Rishi Ashram, is located at a distance of approximately 42 km. It is built on the banks of river Malini, on the way to Kotdwar. The path to this ashram is along a dense forest, providing an exciting experience for the adventure-lovers. This is a serene place, in the lap of nature, away from the hush-bush of cities.
Things to do in Haridwar: Do take a dip in the pure waters of river Ganga at Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Enjoy the tasty street food in Haridwar. This divine city is populated with temples worth a visit to pay homage. Be a part of the evening arti at Har ki Pauri. Shop the knick-knacks here including religious beads, prayer items, clothing, bangles, etc. You can be a part of the famous Kumbha Mela held once in 3 years, for a whole month from January to February.
Best time to visit Haridwar: Haridwar can be visited throughout the year. However the best time to visit Haridwar depends on your purpose to visit the place. A number of popular festivals like Ram Navami, Buddha Purnima and Karthika Purnima are held mostly in the months of March, April, May and November. The sacred Kumbha mela attracting thousands of devotees from all of India are held in every 3 years.
How to go ?
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about just 20 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Haridwar city. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 200 km away. Delhi airport is well connected to most of the domestic airports and foreign airports.
Haridwar railway station is a major station well connected to all major cities in India. Tourists can take trains from Delhi (Dehradun Shatabdi), Kolkata (Doon Exp), Mumbai (Dehradun Exp) and Chennai (Ddn Mas Exp), Bhopal (Hw Ltt Ac Sf) along with various other cities in the country.
Haridwar is well connected by tourist bus services and state owned bus services. All cities in and around Haridwar are connected by state buses. Many deluxe buses are available at a regular interval from Delhi to Haridwar. Buses are also available from Jaipur (Rs 300), Jodhpur (Rs 500), Dehradun (Rs 250), Shimla (Rs 1,000) and many other cities located close to it.
Where to stay ?
Haridwar is a very popular tourist destination dotted with numerous hotels and resorts. Some options are:
Rahi Motel (GMVN): +91-0133-4226430, 4228686
Alpana Hotel: +91-0133-4226430, 4228686, 4224567 Website: www.alpanahotels.com
The Haveli Hari Ganga: +91-011- 4652 0000 Website: www.havelihariganga.com
Hotel Mansarover International:+91-01334-226501 , 266014 Website: www.hotelmansaroverinternational.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.