Haridwar

Lord Shiva at Haridwar
Haridwar or Hardwar is a holy town located in Uttarakhand and is also the municipal board in the Haridwar District of Uttarakhand. The term 'Haridwar' means 'Dwar of Hari' or the Gateway to God. Haridwar is also regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. River Ganga, after traveling for 253 kms. from it source at Gaumukh enters the Indo Gangetic Plain for the first time at Haridwar. This is the reason what gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwara as this is the place where the Ganges meets the plains.


Haridwar is located at the right side of the bank of River Ganga. It is associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It is also the venue for the Kumbh Mela, which is held every twelve years. It is a strong belief that the mind and soul can be cleansed by visiting Haridwar. Haridwar brings in people in large numbers to participate in the Kumbh Mela, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela which comes once every six years.

Haridwar also finds its mention in the Hindu scriptures, because it is one of the oldest cities of India today. It is also one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains and touches the plains. This is the reason why the water of the river is crystal clear and so cool. The ghats look magnificent during the evenings as thousands of diyas and flowers float in the water, illuminating it. It is also interesting to note that one of two major dams on the river Ganga, the Bhimgoda Dam, is located here. It was built during the 1840s to divert the waters of Ganga to the Upper Ganges Canal. 

Tourist Attractions

Chila Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated at a distance of just 10 kms. from Haridwar, the Chila Wildlife sanctuary is a part of the Rajaji National Park and it houses some rare species Himalayan flora and fauna. However, the sanctuary remains closed for tourists from June 15 to November 15 each year.
Chila Wildlife Sanctuary

Kanva Rishi Ashram: The Kanva Rishi Ashram is located at a distance of 42 kms. from Haridwar. It lies along the forested road towards Kotdwar. The Malini River flows along side the Kanva Rishi Ashram.
Kanva Rishi Ashram

Neel Kantha: This s a temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated at a height of 1,700 metres, it takes about 4 hours on foot to reach from Rishikesh. Legends have it that this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison that was churned out of the cosmic ocean. The Shivratri fair that is held here, each year is a famous festival, all over India.
Neel Kantha

Rishikesh: The town of Rishikesh is considered as the ashram capital of Hindus, much like the same way as Haridwar is considered as the town of temples. Located about 28 kms. from Haridwar, Rishikesh is a sacred spot where the great sage Rabhya performed penance. At present, Rishikesh is a centre of Vedic yogic, herbal medication and meditation studies. Many ashrams are located along the eastern bank of the river. The surrounding of the place is very quiet and serene while the river is beautiful and the air has a fragrance of freshness in it.
Rishikesh

Sapta Rishi Ashram: The Sapta Rishi Ashram is located very close to the main Haridwar town. It is a very important excursion spot for the tourists visiting Haridwar. According to legends, Sapta Rishi is believed to be the meditation ground of the seven sages, namely; Kashyap, Vashit, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jaindayani, Bhardwaj and Gautam. Legends also have it that since the holy river Ganga did not want to disturb the sages in their meditation, so she split herself into seven streams.
Sapta Rishi Ashram

Triveni Ghat: The Triveni Ghat is an important bathing ghat for the tourists visiting Haridwar. People come to worship the river and use milk and diyas for the same. Priests perform religious rites after sunset and set floating lamps on the water, which marks the Aarti.
Triveni Ghat

Har Ki Pauri: This is a sacred ghat which was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari who came to Haridwar to meditate. This place is also called Brahmakund. It is one of the most important ghats by the river Ganga. Every devotee makes it a point to take a holy dip here, for sure.
Har Ki Pauri

Places to See Near Haridwar

Following are the excursions around Haridwar that any tourist visiting Haridwar must make it a point to visit:

Rishikesh: Located among the right bank of the River Ganga, Rishikesh is one of the best known pilgrimage centres. The holy River Ganga emerges from Haridwar and runs through the thickly wooded hills of Tehri and passes through Rishikesh. This holy town presents a beautiful and breathtaking view of the natural beauty, apart from the undiscovered wildlife that abounds here. It has become a centre for learning and research in yoga and meditation. There is also the week long International Yoga festival which happens here, and attracts scores of people from around the world annually.
Rishikesh

Rajaji National Park: For nature and wildlife lovers, there is the Rajaji National Park that is located close-by. Rajaji National Park is about 820 sq.kms. in area. It also attracts wildlife lovers because of its magnificent beauty and the wildlife diversity. The Rajaji National Park has 23 species of mammals and 315 species of plants. It is not uncommon to see a herd of wild elephants roaming around in the jungle. Even other animals like leopards, Himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, chital, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, sloth beer, king cobra and jungle cats are visible here.
Rajaji National Park

Piran Kalier: Piran Kalier is the dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed Sabri, and is located on the outskirts of Roorkee town. It is located towards the southern side of Haridwar. This place stands testament to the unity of the Hindu and Muslim religions. The dargah is visited each year by millions of devotees from all regions, both from India and abroad. It is believed that the dargah has powers that fulfill the desires of the devotee.
Piran Kalier

Sureshwari Devi: The Sureshwari Devi temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is located in the forest area of Rajaji National Park.
Sureshwari Devi

Dehradun: Dehradun is a very famous tourist spot. It is also a place where many retired civil and defense officers like to settle down. Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand and is known because many Government institutions of national importance are located here. It is situated in the Doon valley and is surrounded by the Himalayas in the north, and the Shivalik hills in the south. It is a place which must be visited if someone is visiting Haridwar.
Dehradun

Kodiyala: Kodiyala is a very popular destination for tourists who love adventure sports, like rafting. It is also known for turbulent white waves.
Kodiyala

Mussoorie: Mussoorie, the queen of hills is located near Haridwar. It is an ideal hill station for many tourists who want to get away from the heat of the plains. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayan ranges and is popularly known as the Queen of the Hills. There is another town near to Mussoorie called Landour which includes a military cantonment and is considered part of the 'Greater Mussoorie'. It is located at an altitude of 2000 metres and is surrounded by green hills and different species of flora and fauna.
Mussoorie
Mussoorie
Must Visit Har ki Pauri, Sapt Rishi Ashram, Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Maya Devi  Temple, Daksha Mahadev Temple
Climate Hot during summers and cold during winters.
Ideal Time October to March
Languages Garhwali, Hindi and English
Festival Kumbh fair, Kavad Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, Ganga Dashara, Gughal Mela
Haridwar STD Code 01334

Shopping in Haridwar

The holy city of Haridwar is one of the most known pilgrimage centers in India. People from all over the world come to this sacred city to take a holy dip in the water of River Ganga. Though shopping is not quite of interest to the tourist because of being a pilgrimage destination, but Haridwar does have some interesting things to offer to the tourist.

The main shopping centers at Haridwar are Moto Bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalpur and Kankhal. One can also pay a visit to the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram.

In the emporiums, one can find a range of beautifully designed handicrafts and decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewelery though, then you can choose from a variety of imitation jewelery which actually make quite good fashion accessory.

In Haridwar, one can also find some beautifully detailed carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs. Not only idols, there are many kitchen set toys also available, made from stone.

Haridwar Weather

Haridwar is located in Uttarakhand along the foothills of the Shivalik hill ranges. The climate and weather of Haridwar is affected by its close proximity to the Himalayan ranges, especially during the winter months. Haridwar experiences extreme type of climate, the summers being too hot and the winters being too cold.

During the summer season, the weather in Haridwar can be quite uncomfortable. The summer generally lasts from April to June or mid July. It witnesses scorching heat and the temperature can easily touch or even cross the 40 degree Celsius mark. However, the summer nights are pretty comfortable with temperatures staying at about the 16 degree Celsius mark. A dip in the holy Ganges is the perfect way to beat the heat.

The winters in Haridwar are quite cold and chilly. The temperature can fall to as low as 3-4 degree Celsius. The winter season in Haridwar lasts from the month of October to February and the water of the Ganges during this time is extremely cold and chilly. As a result of the chill, mist also forms which adds to the scenic beauty of the place.

The monsoon in Haridwar lasts from July till the month of September and it brings respite after the scorching summer season. However, during the monsoon season, the river also overflows and the currents increase significantly. During the monsoon season, it is advisable not to take a dip in the holy Ganges as the banks can become extremely slippery. 

How to Reach Haridwar

Haridwar is a very important religious and holy place, located in Uttarakhand. It is very well connected through road with most of the major cities.

By Air: The nearest airport from Haridwar is Jolly Grant, located in Dehradun. However, it is much more convenient to use road or railways to Delhi and then take a flight from there to Haridwar.

By Rail: Haridwar is very well connected with almost all the cities of India by trains.

By Road: The National Highway 45 (NH-45) crosses the city of Haridwar and links it with Delhi and other cities as well.
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