Haridwar : The Sacred City
The holy city of Haridwar is located right at the spot where the majestic River Ganga leaves the embrace of the Himalayan Mountains for the plains. It is not only the most sacred city in Uttarakhand but also India.
Haridwar is one of the most sacred sites of the Hindus and the religion has irrevocably shaped the culture and the beauty of the area. Home to hundreds of temples, the city reverberates with the entrancing music created by chants, prayers and bells at prayer times. Every evening, the banks of the River Ganga get lit up with thousands of flickering flames during the evening prayers. The tranquil waters reflect the shining yellow lights creating a mesmerizing sight.
How to Get There
By Air :
Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport of Haridwar which is 35 km away from Haridwar. Regular flights at the airport are available.
By Rail :
Haridwar railway station is well connected to all major cities and towns of India
By Road :
Haridwar is well connected by National Highway no. 45, no. 58 to all major cities and towns of India. Distance from other places; Delhi: 210 km, Nainital: 235 km, Dehradun: 53 km,Mussoorie: 85 km, Rishikesh: 25 km, Rudraprayag: 165 km, Chopta: 225 km, Auli: 290 km
Har Ki Pauri
If you have ever seen a picture of Haridwar, chances are, you have seen Har Ki Pauri. The enchanting ghat is the most important one in Haridwar. Here, you can take a long dip in the holy waters of the Ganga River. According to Hindu legends, none other than Lord Vishnu visited this area and his footprints are still left here. Every evening the area is flooded with pilgrims for prayer. A musical orchestra of bells ring out and torches are lit on leaf baskets which are then let to wander down the river.
Chandi Devi Temple
Built in the year 1929, the Chandi Devi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Chandi. It is believed that the idol of the goddess was installed much earlier. It was possibly installed in the 8th century by none other than Adi Shankaracharya. The temple can be accessed by ropeways which allow you to get some excellent views of the surrounding area. If you want you can even trek across the hill on which the temple is situated to get a different kind of enjoyment.
Mansa Devi Temple
The glorious Mansa Devi Temple is located on top of a small hill called the Bilwa Parvat. Goddess Mansa is worshipped here and she can fulfill the wishes of her true devotees. You can use the ropeways to reach the place but a much better experience can be enjoyed by trekking across the hill. There are quite a few sights to be enjoyed here.
The Vishnu Ghat is another important Ghat in Haridwar. According to the legends of the Hindu religion, Lord Vishnu had once taken a bath near this spot. That has given rise to the name. Pilgrims take a dip in the holy waters of the River Ganga here to cleanse their souls of their sins. The view is spectacular as well.
Maya Devi Temple
Dating way back to the 11th century, the Maya Devi Temple is a sight to behold. It is one of the oldest temples in Haridwar and looks quite beautiful. This ancient temple is used to worship the manifestations of Shakti, the feminine aspect of the cosmos according to the Hindu religion. Inside you will find idols of the goddesses Kali and Kamakhya apart from the goddess Maya.
The stunning Pavan Dham is an artistic achievement. The entire temple has been crafted using glass. There are many fascinating sculptures here which glitter under the lights. Even the idols look fantastic. Pavan Dham is a one of a kind experience.
Vaishno Devi Temple
The spectacular Vaishno Devi Temple has been created painstakingly to look just like the original one at Jammu. Even the path that leads to the temple has been carved to give the same feel as the one you will have at Jammu. Tunnels and caves have been added to give the same feel to the pilgrims.