Haridwar is a beautiful city on the banks of Ganga in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal valley, and one of India’s seven holiest sites. Haridwar is a famous Hindu temple town dotted with temples, ashrams, and narrow lanes where millions of devotees come to take a dip in the holy Ganges. A dip in the sacred har ki puri is said to cleanse all your sins.
Haridwar is home to the famous Ganga aarti rites, where hundreds of pilgrims assemble to pray to the river every evening. Furthermore, every twelve years, Haridwar hosts a mega-gathering during the world-famous Kumbh Mela, which attracts millions of visitors from across the country. Aside from its religious significance, Haridwar is now emerging as a multifaceted cultural and spiritual center. Kashyap Kachoriwala’s kachoris and Mohan Ji Puriwale’s aloo puri are two must-try dishes.
Best Time: October – February
“हरि का द्वार हो या हरिद्वार हो दोनों जगह भाग्यशाली मनुष्य ही पहुँचते हैं|”
Places To Visit In Haridwar
GANGA AARTI, HARIDWAR
“Experience the tranquility of nature and sanctified river Ganga with the evening aarti at dusk.”
Ganga Aarti is a religious prayer performed on the banks of the sacred river Ganga at Haridwar’s Har Ki Pauri ghat. With priests reciting prayers with bowls of fire and temple bells ringing, it is a light and sound ceremony that attracts tourists and worshippers from all over the world. Visitors float “diyas” and flowers in the river, which is supposed to be blessed by the goddess Ganga, while mantras are chanted and lights are reflected off the moving water.
Aarti timings: 5:30 AM – 6:30, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Entry Fee: No entry fee
HAR KI PAURI
“Har ki Pauri- Lord shiva’s steps.”
Har ki puri is a revered landmark visited by a large number of devotees and visitors seeking the blessings of Maa Ganga by delivering their prayers. Har Ki Pauri, which literally translates to “Steps to Lord Shiva,” is located in the holy city of Haridwar, which is one of the country’s seven holiest places.
A plunge in the Ganges is said to wash away one’s sins, and it is one of the four spots where the celestial bird Garuda mistakenly spilled the droplets of elixir(Amrit). The river is gilded with countless diyas offered by devotees floating down the river.
CHANDI DEVI TEMPLE
“The Devi energy is there within all of us, not somewhere else.”
The Haridwar Chanda Devi temple, nestled on the Shivalik’s hills Neel Parvat, is a lovely temple devoted to the Chanda Devi goddess. The Chandi Devi Mandir, also known as Neel Parvat Teerth, is one of Haridwar’s five pilgrimages and a Siddha Peetha, a place where devotees worship to fulfill their desires.
The Chandi Devi temple is also a popular destination for trekking tourists due to its location. A ropeway can also be used to reach the temple’s zenith, from which the view is breathtaking.
Timing: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK
“Sit back and experience a spectacular bumpy ride amidst the nature and wildlife at Rajaji national park.”
Rajaji National Park, known for its wildlife, particularly tigers and elephants, was recently designated a Tiger Reserve by the Government of India. This national park, named in honor of C. Rajagopalachari, spans three districts in Uttarakhand: Dehradun, Haridwar, and Pauri Garhwal. This area is also rich in valuable fossils dating back as far as 10 million years. Sal, Teak, and other shrubs are popular in the forest area.
The 34 km jungle track is a major attraction here, and you should explore the wilderness and rich diversity of Himalayan lives here with a Jeep Safari or Elephant Safari organized by the Forest Department. Asian elephants, tiger and King Kobra, panther, bear, chital, sambar, wild boar, Kakar, python, monitor lizard, and wild cats all can be sighted.
MANSA DEVI TEMPLE
“All your desires will be fulfilled by Devi Mata.”
The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a revered Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is about 7 kilometers from Swarg Ashram and is located in the Pauri Garhwal region. It is one of the most popular Shiva temples in the world, with devotees traveling from all over the world to visit.
Another way to get here is through Lakshman Jhula. You could also take a taxi there for a reasonable price. Pilgrims bring Ganga water to this temple.
Image Source: Google