Haridwar Pilgrimage


Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest pilgrimage destinations of Hindu religion. A place of pilgrimage since time immemorial, Haridwar is situated on the foothills of Himalayas. The holy pilgrimage destination now lies in the newly carved state of Uttaranchal in northern India. Also known as ‘Gateway to the Gods’, Hindu mythology proclaims that Gods have left their footprints in Haridwar. There is a great mention of Haridwar in the ancient Hindu religious scriptures. Ancient traveller Hyuen Tsang praises Haridwar as mayura (peacock) on the eastern banks of the Ganges. With uncountable temples, ashrams and ghats, holy Haridwar takes tourists to a mystical world of spirituality.

It may also be mentioned that Kumbh fair is organised in Haridwar at an interval of every 12 years. Lakhs of pilgrims from all over India and abroad come to participate in the Kumbh. In ancient scriptures, Haridwar has been mentioned as Mayapur. Haridwar also represents the point where river Ganga reaches the plains.

Climate
River Ganga and the snow clad Himalayas have a soothing effect on the climate of Haridwar. Though summers can be hot with temperatures rising upto 40 degrees, Haridwar is largely immune from the kind of sweltering heat the rest of northern India experiences. Winter nights can be very chilly with temperatures dropping close to 0 degrees. Haridwar receives good rainfall during the monsoon season.

Attractions in Haridwar
Temple at Har ki Pauri Ghat, Haridwar Har Ki Pauri : Also known as Brahmakund, Har Ki Pauri is one of the most sacred ghats of Haridwar. Many religious rituals are performed on this ghat by devotees. The one thing that devotees do not miss is a holy dip in the ghat waters which is believed to rid them of all past sins. Legend has it that this ghat was built by Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. The Ghat is always illuminated in the evening during a Maha Aarti performed on this ghat. This is a spectacular sight which tourists must not miss.

Mansa Devi : Mansa Devi is one of the most visited temples of Haridwar. Perched on top of the Bilwa Parvat, tourists can reach the temple through ropeways. A nice way of combining spirituality with adventure! Most devotees also trek to the top of the temple.From the top of Bilwa Parvat, a splendid view of Haridwar is available.

Daksha Mahadev Temple : One of the most ancient temples of Haridwar is the Daksha Mahadev temple. The temple is also regarded as one of the five sacred places of Haridwar. Religious rituals are carried out very strictly in the temple.

Maya Devi : At the famous Maya Devi temple, the goddess is worshipped as an embodiment of power or shakti. The temple is one of the saktipeeths of India. According to ancient scriptures, when Lord Shiva was carrying his burnt wife Sati, the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place.

Vaishno Devi temple : The temple dedicated to Vaishnoo Devi is the newest of Haridwar temples. The temple is a true replica of the original Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu & Kashmir. Devotees visit the temple in large numbers.

Bharat Mata Temple : Unlike the ancient temples of Haridwar dedicated to religious deities, this temple pays tribute to the heroes who played a pivotal role in securing India's independence and laying her foundations. It is a huge eight storey building. The temple was founded by Swami Satyamitranand Giri.

Sapt Rishi : The best place to offer prayers to holy river Ganges in Haridwar is Sapt Rishi. This is the point where river Ganga divides herself into seven small streams.The beauty of the place is breathtaking.

Excursion places near Haridwar

Temple at Rishikesh Rishikesh : Rishikesh is another holy pilgrimage place near Haridwar having many big and small temples. It is located at the confluence of rivers Ganga and Chandrabhaga. Rishikesh is also called the ashram capital of Hinduism. Rishikesh is also a hub of yoga, meditation and ayurvedic treatments. These activities are promoted by numerous ashrams of Rishikesh located in serene surroundings. The place is at a distance of 28 kms from Haridwar.

Triveni Ghat : The Triveni Ghat is a sacred bathing ghat located few kilometres away from Haridwar. After sunset, many rituals are performed on the ghats. Earthen lamps are set floating on the water to mark the aarti ceremony.


Chila Wildlife Sanctuary : Situated at a distance of 10 kms from Haridwar, Chila Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some rare varieties of Himalayan flora and fauna. The sanctuary brings some diversity to the pilgrimage centre of Haridwar.


Climate
River Ganga and the snow clad Himalayas have a soothing effect on the climate of Haridwar. Though summers can be hot with temperatures rising upto 40 degrees, Haridwar is largely immune from the kind of sweltering heat the rest of northern India experiences. Winter nights can be very chilly with temperatures dropping close to 0 degrees. Haridwar receives good rainfall during the monsoon season.
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Best Time to Visit
Anytime during the year

How to Reach

Air : Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun is the nearest landing facility from Haridwar at a distance of 41 kms. There are flights to Jolly Grant from Delhi and a few other destinations.

Rail : Haridwar is well connected to the rest of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh with rail network.


Road : Deluxe bus services regularly operate to Haridwar from Delhi and most destinations of Uttar Pradesh. National highway 45 connects Haridwar with the rest of India. The holy town is at a distance of 214 kms from national capital of Delhi.

Shopping in Haridwar
Shopping in Haridwar is also a delightful experience. The main market place is a long, winding street free of all vehicular traffic. The tiny but attractive shops on both sides of the road are full of religious items like bead necklaces, clay images of gods and goddesses, Shiva lingams, sacred texts and ritual designs. Other items include shells, pearls, bangles, chains, ear and nose rings.