India >> Uttaranchal >> Haridwar Travel Guide

Haridwar Hotels and Travel Guide

Haridwar, "Gateway to the abode of gods" blessed by the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva nestles on the banks of River Ganga. Renowned for the "Maha Kumbh Mela" appearing every 12 years and the Ardh (half) Kumbh performed every six years fortunately beautifies India drawing a number of pilgrims and devotees to commemorate this divine event. Haridwar also provides plenty to learn. "Among the many pilgrimages that dot the length of the Ganga, Haridwar ranks among the most holy in the land " Accroding to Hindu mythology Haridwar was known as Kapilsthan.

Lagend has it that the ancestors of Raja Bhagirath, were consumed by fire at this spot following a cused of rishi Kapil. For their salvation Raja Bhhagirath requested the ganga to descend on Earth. Haridwar is also famous by the names of gangadwar, Mokshadwar, Tapovan and Mayapuri. It is at Haridwar that the Ganga finaly energes into the northern plains. The Kumbh and the Ardh Kumbh melas also take place here every 12 th & 6th year.


SHOPPING:

Haridwar is one of the four sites where the great Kumbh Mela takes place every twelve years. Haridwar has since ages been a source of Ayurvedic treatments and has been providing herbal remedies. Haridwar offers you some good handicraft items which can be kept as decorative pieces or can be used as gift items. Markets surround the temples and the Ghats.

CLIMATE:
Haridwar is situated at a height of almost 300 meters above sea level and the temperature usually hovers around 40°C during summers. Winters see the mercury dipping to as low as 6°C.

Haridwar is situated at a height of almost 300 meters above sea level and the temperature usually hovers around 40°C during summers. Winters see the mercury dipping to as low as 6°C. The best season to visit Haridwar is between October to March during winter.

EXCURSIONS:

Haridwar has a number of interesting sites that you can include in your excursion. Rishikesh, around 28 km off Haridwar, is at the base of the Himalayas and it is where the Ganges comes down to the plains from the hills. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife awaits here. Not to mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with sages and meditation.

The Daksh Mahadev Temple is an ancient shrine situated to the south of Kankhal town. This temple was constructed by Queen Dhankaur in AD 1810. Kankhal has several other temples and ashrams too.

The Sapt Rishi Ashram is situated along the Haridwar-Rishikesh road. The Ganges flows in seven streams in front of this Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar. The Kanva Rishi Ashram is situated around 42 km from Haridwar. The ashram is on the banks of the Malini River along the forest road to Kotdwar.

Kumbha Mela - Haridwar
Kumbha Mela - Haridwar


Har Ki Pauri Ghat - Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri Ghat - Haridwar


Chandi Devi Temple - Haridwar
Chandi Devi Temple - Haridwar

The Chila Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the Rajaji National Park, covers an area of around 240 sq. km. It has 23 species of mammals and 315 fauna species. Lucky tourists can catch glimpses of elephants, tigers, leopards, jungle cats, Himalayan yellow throated martens, sambers, chitals, barking dears, wild boars, langurs, ghurals, sloth bears, king cobras, woodpeckers, etc. Fishing in the river there is allowed with permits only.

The Triveni ghat is an interesting place to be at dawn, when people make offerings of milk to the river and feed the fish. After sunset, priests set floating lamps on the water during the Aarti ceremony.

Attractions and Places to Visit in Haridwar

Beauty Point: On the Mansa Devi temple road, about two kms. from Haridwar is a vantage point with wonderful views of Haridwar and its forested surroundings. This place is called the beauty point, as the sight of the surrounding is very exciting and enthralling.

Bhimgoda Kund: Legend has it that while the Pandavas were here, Bhim with one blow of his horse’s hoof drew water from the rocks at this spot. It is about half a km upstream from Hari-ki-Pairi Ghat.

Chandi Devi (6 km. from Haridwar): This temple is on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat, on the other side of the river Ganga. The story goes that Chanda-Munda the army chief of the demons Shumbh-Nishumbh were killed by Goddess Chandi hence the name Chandi Devi. It also said that Adi Shankaracharya established the original statute of Chandi in 8th century AD.

Chilla Park: The Chila Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the Rajaji National Park is a popular destination for nature and adventure lovers. The pristine scenic beauty and rich biodiversity attracts wildlife lovers from India and abroad and has 23 species of mammals and about 315 avifauna species. Fishing in the river there is allowed with permits only.

Daksha Mahadev Temple: This temple is an ancient shrine located at Kankhal, and is one of the five sacred places around Haridwar. It is associated with Sati, the spouse of Lord Shiva who immolated herself to preserve his honour on being insulted by her father, King Daksha Prajapati. This incident provoked the disciples of Mahadev and killed King Daksha. But later Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. The temple is an attribute to this legend.

Deoprayag: Deoprayag is 95 kms from Haridwar and is the most sacred Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers in the vast network of tributaries that form the Ganges. It is from Deoprayag that the river starts taking the name Ganga.

Gurukul Kangri University: Situated on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road this is a center of learning where education is imparted in the traditional Indian way. Swami Shardha Nandji Maharaj, founder of Arya Samaj movement in India, founded this and within the precincts of the University is the Veda Mandir, housing many archaeological exhibits.

Har Ki Pauri Ghat: Also known as Brahmakund, this ghat is one of the most sacred ghats in India. People say that Vikramaditya built this ghat in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. In the evening a Maha Aarti is performed on this ghat and the floral diyas that float on the ghat in the twilight creates an impression of stars being brought in the river water.

Manasa Devi: Situated on the Vilwa Parvat, this temple can be reached on foot, by road, or through the ropeway. The top of the hill gives an excellent view of Haridwar. It is a Shrine dedicated to Mansa Devi, wife of the Nag King Vasuki.

Maya Devi: This ancient temple of Maya Devi is also the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar and is one of the Shaktipeeths in India. It is said that the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place, when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife Sati, who had burnt her self to keep the honour of her husband.

Mussoorie: The queen of hill stations is about 89 kms from Haridwar and the salubrious climate and deep woods make it an ideal hill station. The name, Mussoorie, derives its name from plants of ‘Mussoorie’, found in abundance here. After its discovery, this place gradually developed as a center of education, business, tourism and beauty.

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar: This is an excellent point to watch for migratory birds and during the winter season, fascinating birds, especially the Siberian Crane can be seen around Laljiwala on the banks of the river Ganga.

Piran Kalier: On the outskirts of Roorkee is the Dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahmed "Sabir’, located 23 kms South of Haridwar. This Dargah is famed for its mystical powers and is visited in large numbers both by Hindus and Muslims and in fact this place is a living example of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Sapta Rishi Ashram: The Ganges flows in seven streams in front of this Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar. It is said that Saptrishis (Seven sages) trapped the Ganga and agreed to release the River on King Bhagirathps request. The Ashram commemorates the event.

How to Reach Haridwar

Air : The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant in Dehradun, but it is preferable to take a flight to Delhi and then take a bus or train route to Haridwar.

Rail :
The major pilgrimage center of Haridwar is well connected by trains to almost all the major cities in India. In fact, trains are the major source of the tourist inflow to Haridwar.

Road :
The National Highway no. 45 crosses the city of Haridwar, so it is connected to other cities of the state as well as those in the other states too. The excellent road network links Haridwar with Delhi for a smooth and comfortable travel journey.


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