Uttarakhand is a beautiful state in northern India with a rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Haridwar is just one of the many popular tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. Haridwar is said to be the gateway to the Char Dham Yatra, which is a pilgrimage to the four holy shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.
There are numerous temples, ashrams, and ghats in Haridwar one of the seven holiest places in HinduismHaridwar Uttrakhand is famous for the Kumbh Mela, which is the biggest religious gathering in the entire world. The city is also known for its colorful festivals, which includes the Haridwar Mahakumbh, Ganga Dussehra, and Diwali.
In this article you will get to know more about Haridwar, Its History, etymology, Things to do in Haridwar, Places to visit and much more about the city.
Haridwar is a city located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is known for its religious and cultural significance. There is a belief that taking a dip in the Ganges River in Haridwar will wash away one’s sins and provide spiritual cleansing. As its name implies, Haridwar is the “Gateway to God.”
The city has a rich history, and has been mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Mahabharata and the Skanda Purana. It was an essential center of learning and religion during the medieval period, and was ruled by various dynasties over the centuries.
Millions of devotees visit Haridwar every year, making it a popular pilgrimage destination.The city is home to number of temples and ashrams, including the Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, and the Har Ki Pauri ghat, which is considered the most sacred ghat in Haridwar.
Kumbh Mela, which is one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, is also held in the city every 12 years.Apart from its religious significance, Haridwar is also known for its natural beauty, with the Ganges River and the surrounding hills providing a picturesque setting.
The city is also home to various wildlife sanctuaries, including the Rajaji National Park and the Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, which are known for their rich biodiversity.Haridwar is also known for its local handicrafts, which include hand-woven textiles, brassware, and wooden handicrafts.
The city is easily accessible by road, rail, and air, and is well-connected to other major cities in India. Overall, Haridwar is a fascinating and culturally rich city that attracts a diverse range of visitors, from spiritual seekers to nature enthusiasts.
Haridwar has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times. It is believed that the city was mentioned in the Mahabharata, one of the most vital texts in Hinduism. According to legend, the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata, visited Haridwar during their pilgrimage to the Himalayas.
In the medieval period, Haridwar was an important center of learning and religion. It was ruled by many dynasties, including the Mauryas, the Guptas, and the Mughals. The city was also an important center of the Nath tradition of Hinduism, which emphasized the practice of yoga and meditation.
During the British period, Haridwar became an important center of trade and commerce, as well as a famous tourist destination. Many British officials and travelers visited the city to experience its natural beauty and cultural significance.
The state of Uttar Pradesh gained independence from the British Empire in 1947, and Haridwar became a part of it. As part of Uttarakhand’s newly created state, it was incorporated in 2000.
Today, Haridwar Uttrakhand is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in India. It is visited by millions of devotees every year, who come to take a dip in the Ganges River and seek spiritual purification.
The city is also known for its colorful festivals, including the Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years and is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Overall, Haridwar’s long and rich history has left it with a unique cultural and spiritual heritage that continues to attract visitors from all over the world.
Etymology of Haridwar
The name “Haridwar” is derived from two Sanskrit words: “Hari” and “Dwar”. “Hari” means Lord Vishnu, who is considered one of the three main deities in Hinduism, and “Dwar” means gate. Accordingly, Haridwar is referred to as “The Gateway to Lord Vishnu”.
According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism, and it is believed that Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva had visited the city in ancient times. The city is also associated with the Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years and is considered one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
The name “Haridwar” has been used to refer to the city since ancient times. The city was mentioned in the Skanda Purana, one of the most important Hindu texts, which describes the importance of taking a dip in the Ganges River in Haridwar for spiritual purification.
Overall, the name “Haridwar” reflects the city’s importance as a gateway to the spirit
Things to do in Haridwar
Haridwar offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors such as:-
Take a dip in the Ganges River
Taking a dip in the Ganges River is one of the most popular and sacred activities to do in Haridwar. The river Ganges, also known as the Ganga, is considered to be the holiest river in India and is worshipped by millions of Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, taking a bath in the Ganges can purify one’s soul and wash away all sins.
This is the most famous ghat in Haridwar, and is believed to be the spot where Lord Vishnu left his footprint. It is a popular spot for evening aarti which is considered to be a Hindu ritual of worship, and offers a stunning view of the river.
Explore the temples
Haridwar is home to numerous temples, including the Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, and Maya Devi Temple. These temples are not only spiritually significant, but also offer stunning architecture and views of the city.
Attend the evening aarti
The evening aarti at Har Ki Pauri is a must-see event in Haridwar. The ritual involves the offering of lamps to the river, and is accompanied by devotional music and chanting.
Visit the Kumbh Mela
The Kumbh Mela Haridwar is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, and is held every 12 years in Haridwar. It is a unique opportunity to witness the devotion of millions of pilgrims from all over India.
Go on a wildlife safari
Haridwar is home to several wildlife sanctuaries, including the Rajaji National Park and the Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary. Visitors can go on a wildlife safari to see animals like elephants, tigers, and deer.
Explore the local markets
Haridwar is famous for its local handicrafts, including hand-woven textiles, brassware, and wooden handicrafts. Visitors can explore the local markets to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
Haridwar is a city with a rich spiritual and religious heritage, and as such, it is home to many astrologers and astrology-related practices. In Haridwar, there are many renowned astrology centers and astrologers who provide various astrology services like horoscope analysis, palmistry, gemstone recommendation, and Vedic astrology.
Overall, Haridwar offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for visitors, from spiritual and cultural activities to natural beauty and wildlife.
Places to visit in Haridwar
Haridwar is a city of spiritual and cultural significance, with many places of interest for visitors as follows:
Har Ki Pauri is a famous ghat (stepped bank) situated on the banks of the river Ganges in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the most important landmarks in the city, and is considered to be one of the holiest places in Hinduism. Every evening, a ceremony called the Ganga Aarti is performed at Har Ki Pauri, in which devotees light lamps and offer prayers to the river Ganges.
Chandi Devi Temple
This is a hilltop temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi, which is accessible by a cable car ride or a trek. It is situated on top of Neel Parvat, a hill on the banks of the river Ganges. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple is located on top of the Bilwa Parvat hill and is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. To reach the temple, one can take a cable car or hike up the hill. The temple is visited by a large number of devotees, especially during the Navratri festival.
Maya Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple is one of the oldest and most important temples in Haridwar, dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The temple is located in the heart of the city and is believed to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva, fell. The temple is also known for its ancient architecture and beautiful carvings.
Bharat Mata Mandir
This is a unique temple dedicated to Mother India, with a map of India made of marble. It was built in 1983 and is located near the Sapt Rishi Ashram. The temple has eight floors, each of which represents a different theme, including freedom fighters, saints, and mythological heroes. The top floor has a statue of Bharat Mata, which is made of brass and is the main attraction of the temple.
This is a spiritual center that offers yoga and meditation classes, and is also known for its research on spiritual and holistic healing. The ashram is dedicated to the revival of ancient Indian wisdom and traditions, and offers various programs and courses on spirituality, yoga, and meditation. It is considered to be a hub of spiritual and intellectual activity, and attracts people from all over India and abroad.
Sapt Rishi Ashram
Sapt Rishi Ashram is a beautiful and serene ashram located on the banks of the river Ganges, about 5 kilometers from Haridwar. The ashram is named after the seven sages who are believed to have meditated here in ancient times. It is a peaceful place for meditation and contemplation, and offers a chance to connect with nature and the divine.
Rajaji National Park
This is a wildlife sanctuary located on the outskirts of Haridwar, known for its rich flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, and leopards. The park is located approximately 10 km away from the city of Haridwar, which is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in northern India.
Overall, Haridwar is a city with a rich spiritual and cultural heritage, and visitors can enjoy a range of experiences, from temple visits to nature walks and wildlife safaris.
How to reach Haridwar by Bus, Train and Air
Haridwar is a popular destination in India and is well-connected to major cities and towns by bus, train, and air.
Haridwar is well-connected to many cities in North India by road. There are regular bus services from various cities like Delhi, Agra, Rishikesh, and Dehradun. The bus journey from Delhi to Haridwar takes around 6-7 hours. There are various buses that run between Delhi and Haridwar.
Haridwar is an important railway junction and is well-connected to major cities and towns in India. There are many trains from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore. The Haridwar Railway Station is located in the city center, and the train journey from Delhi to Haridwar takes around 4-5 hours.
The nearest airport to Haridwar is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is around 35 km away. There are several flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and other major cities to Dehradun. From the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Haridwar.
All in all Haridwar is well-connected to major cities and towns in India by bus, train, and air, making it an easily accessible destination for visitors.
Places near Haridwar
Rishikesh is a holy city located about 20 km from Haridwar. Known as the “Yoga Capital of the World”, Rishikesh is a spiritual town located on the banks of the river Ganges. It is famous for its serene atmosphere, yoga ashrams, and adventure sports like white water rafting, bungee jumping, and camping.
Kedarnath is a Hindu pilgrimage site located in the Himalayas,distance between hardiwar to kedarnath is 240 km. It is known for its ancient Kedarnath Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and stunning natural beauty.
Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand, about 56 km from Haridwar. It is known for its pleasant weather, picturesque views, and attractions like Robber’s Cave, Sahastradhara, and Mindrolling Monastery.
Mussoorie is a popular hill station located about 77 km from Rishikesh. It is known for its scenic beauty, waterfalls, and adventure activities like trekking and paragliding. Mussoorie is famous for its stunning views of the Himalayas, lush green valleys, and colonial architecture.
Nainital is a beautiful hill station & distance, between haridwar to Nainital is 275 km. It is known for its serene Naini Lake, snow-capped Himalayan peaks, and attractions like Naina Devi Temple and Tiffin Top. A beautiful hill station surrounded by mountains, Nainital is known for its serene lakes, lush green forests, and scenic views. It is a popular destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and honeymooners.
Sonprayag is a small town located about 233 km from Haridwar. It is known for its picturesque views, natural beauty, and is the starting point of the trek to Kedarnath.You can easily get various Haridwar to sonprayag bus as well.
Gangotri is a Hindu pilgrimage site located in the Garhwal Himalayas, about 288 km from Haridwar. It is known for its ancient Gangotri Temple, and the origin of the river Ganges.
Generally, there are many beautiful and scenic destinations near Haridwar that are worth exploring for their natural beauty, adventure sports, and cultural significance.
Haridwar is a holy city located in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The temple is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and is considered one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism. Aside from its natural beauty and cultural heritage, the city is known for its spiritual significance.
Beside from its religious significance, Haridwar is also a famous destination for adventure sports such as trekking, rafting, and camping. The city is surrounded by lush green hills, and the river Ganges flows through it, providing ample opportunities for nature lovers to explore and enjoy the beauty of the region.
In conclusion, Haridwar is a must-visit destination in Uttarakhand for those seeking a spiritual and cultural experience. The city offers a unique blend of ancient traditions, natural beauty, and adventure sports, making it a perfect destination for all kinds of travelers.