Hailed as one of the holiest places of India, the heavenly abode of Haridwar is tucked at 314 metres above sea level in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This bijou city was formerly known as ‘Gangadwara’ as it is here that river Ganga after completing its 310 km course from its source, Gaumukh enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India.
Haridwar has a welcoming atmosphere and those who visit here experience spiritual as well as mental bliss. There are several holy temples, ashrams, yoga/meditation centres here that are thronged by visitors from different parts of the world. In the past few years, the city has emerged as a developing industrial estate with the setting up of affiliated ancillaries such as SIDCUL and BHEL.
Why Haridwar is a must visit place for the pilgrims
Haridwar that literally suggests the ‘Gateway to Lord Vishnu’ is snuggled on the banks of river Ganga. It is a perfect place to reach out for higher consciousness. This divine city serves as the Gateway to the Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. Also, the ‘Panch Tirth’ or the five pilgrimages are located namely Gangadwara (Har ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi) are located here. The devotees can visit some of the popular Hindu shrines here which give a celestial aura to the city such as the Chandi Devi temple, Maya Devi temple, Piran Kaliyar, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar, Bhimgoda Tank, Bharat Mata Mandir and much more.
Why you must plan a Dehradun to Haridwar trip?
Whether you are a college goer, an elderly person, a Hippie or a group of Hooligans, Haridwar is one such destination which makes your sojourn fulfilling. One can enrapture in the holy spirit of the city, visit the temples, take a holy dip in the pristine water of Ganges or stroll around at the lively marketplace of Haridwar. Don’t forget to be a part of the auspicious Ganga Arti held at Har ki Pauri. You can also have a shopping spree at Bara Bazar, Moti Bazar, Government Handloom & Handicraft Emporium, Kankhal and Jwalapur.
The adventure enthusiasts can either head to the Rajaji National Park, Rishikesh or plan a short trip to Doon Valley and ‘The Queen of Hills’ Mussoorie. If you want more adventure on your platter, then you must visit Tehri where all your dreams will come true as the city hosts an array of adventure and water sports in the colossal Tehri Lake.
Legends related to Haridwar
As per Hindu mythology during the churning of the ocean, the drops of elixir, carrying the boon of immortality were accidently spilled at four places i.e Ujjain, Nasik, Allahabad, and Haridwar. Many Hindus believe that Brahma Kund at Har ki Pauri is the place where the elixir fell. To mark this event, two mass pilgrimages, the Kumbh Mela falling once in 3 years and Maha Kumbh Mela that comes once in 12 years are celebrated at one of these four places.
History of Haridwar ‘The Gateway to Lord Vishnu’
Haridwar has been mentioned in several Hindu texts as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokshadwar citing its existence from the ancient times. The city was also ruled by the Maurya Empire and the Kushan Empire. The famous Chinese traveller, Hsuan Tsang who visited India in 629 A.D. during King Harshavardhan’s rule (590-647) mentioned Haridwar as ‘Mo-yu-lo’.
How to reach Haridwar
Haridwar also spelled as Hardwar or Hari-Dwar is located in the Haridwar district and can be accessed from any part of the country. The travellers can take the Delhi to Haridwar bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Delhi. Haridwar has its own colonial railway station which is well linked with metalled roads. Trains to Delhi and Dehradun are frequent from Haridwar. The nearest air connectivity is Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun. Taxis to Haridwar are easily available from this airport.