Haridwar is a city in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It literally translates as the “Gateway to God”, and is one of the holiest Hindu places in India, and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries.
Located on the banks of the River Ganga, at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
Things To Do In Haridwar
To the north of the center, this is Haridwar’s focal point, where devotees gather to bathe and worship on the Ganges. According to legend, this is where a drop of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created, and a stone wall has Vishnu’s footprint.
Each evening around 19:00,(17:45 in winter) thousands gather and worship the river Goddess by putting diyas (floating lamps) in the river.
You may be asked to make a donation if you linger near the ghats.
Beware of con artists posing as officials. If you would like to make a donation there are boxes at the center of the ghats around the light poles.
Maya Devi Mandir
Located on the upper road, Maya Devi temple is one of the 51 original “shakti peeths” and its the presiding deity of Haridwar. It is from this temple Haridwar derives its other name “Mayapur”.
Chandi Devi Mandir
A temple dedicated to Chand Devi on the Neel Parval. It was built in 1929 by the then King of Kashmir. The deity was said to have been installed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. A cable car is available for the long journey.
Mansa Devi Mandir
Located at top of the hill near the center of town. Can be reached by cable car or by a road that gently winds uphill (about 2 km), starting from Railway Rd. The temple is aesthetically not particularly noteworthy, but the view of Haridwar from here is grand.
Note: Expect to queue to board the cable car and once more to enter the temple: despite some rudimentary attempts at crowd control, the crowds of jostling devotees can make this a pretty intense experience.
Rajiji National Park
Spend a day out in Rajiji National Park walking around the park you can spot elephant, leopard, and deer. The bird life is prolific here and there is a large elephant population.
The 5-hour tour can be done during mid-afternoon or early morning. It is spread over the foothills of the Himalayas and Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri.
Sureshwari Devi Temple
Located outside of Haridwar and within the Rajaji National Park, this serene and religious site is a place to see. Permission to enter this site is required from forest rangers.
Bharat Mata Mandir
Located 5 km north of the center, this temple is dedicated to Mother India. Half temple, half nation building, this mandir has seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths.
Learn Yoga in Ashram
Patanajali Yog Peeth is a center of Ayurveda and Yoga activities in Haridwar. It is built as a tribute to Maharishi Patanjali, who significantly contributed to the invention of Yoga.
This ashram is operated under the supervision of Swami Ramdev, who has been promoting Yoga all over the world.
Divya Yog Mandir Trust University
Located 16 km from Haridwar, it’s founded by Baba Ramdev.
A Hindu man performing Puja (worship) in Haridwar
Located 6 km from the Haridwar Railway Station, you can enroll into a 9 days Personality Development Camp which covers Yoga, Yagna, Meditation, Prayer, Motivational Seminar, Workshops, Singing, and the art of living. Registration required.
Sunrise over the River Ganga
- During festivals, especially the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar is packed to bursting and beyond. Stampedes are a regular occurrence, with over 50 killed in 1986, 21 killed in 2003 and 5 killed in 2010
- Alcohol is strictly banned in Haridwar. So don’t get trapped in any illegal alcohol consumption as no one wants to end his journey in prison
- Similar to other holy places, Haridwar has a significant number of beggars and charlatans. Watch out for the motives of Sadhus trying to offer some one-to-one tutoring in return of money
- Beware of wild monkeys which may attack anytime to grab food from your hands
- Be watchful of cow dung when you are walking in the dark, as the roads can be full of cow dung
Street shops in Haridwar
- Rishikesh – popular with backpackers; literally meaning Lord of Senses, Rishikesh stands for Lord Vishnu and the city is blessed with the holy river, the Ganges
- Sapta Rishi Ashram – a few km from Haridwar, the ashram is believed to have been the meditation ground of seven sages
- Yamunotri – the source of River Yamuna
June 21, 2019 9:33 am
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