Haridwar Quick Information
Summarise the city : Holy Hindu City
Best time to visit (High & peak months) : October to March
Experiences : Spiritual, temples & ashrams
City calling code : +91-133
Recommended no. of days for a tourist : 1-2 days
Best buys : Nothing worth mentioning. One may buy imitation jewellery, sphatik mala, chandan mala and rudraksh mala
Essentials to be carried along : Sun Block, Sun Glasses, Comfortable Cotton wear, woolens for winters (mid November- mid February).
All about the city :
The word Haridwar literally means the ‘gateway to God’. No wonder it is a staple on any pilgrimage or spiritual tour of India. The entire town is dotted with temples and ashrams. Haridwar is also the gateway to the Char Dhams viz Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri (place from where the Ganges originates) and Yamnotri. It along with adjacent town of Rishikesh is a magnet for all those who wish to take a dip into the holy river Ganges or Ganga to purge themselves of all their sins and seek salvation. The river Ganga is the soul of Haridwar, the focal point around which spreads the city. It is first place where the Ganges descends into the plains and hence flows with tremendous force. Every evening a grand aarti is performed to pay obeisance to the river that is revered as a Goddess in India.
Hindu mythology has it – Haridwar is one of the four cities where a few drops of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created. Every 3 years Kumbh Mela is organized at one of these cities. Hence every 12 years Haridwar plays host to the world’s largest congregation of devotees.
PS: Only vegetarian food and non-alcoholic drinks are available in Haridwar.
Haridwar Tourist attractions
|Name (Suggested Time Required To See The Place)||Description||Entrance Charges (If Any) For Foreigner||Close Day (If Any)||Open / Close Time|
|Har-ki-pairi||Har-ki-Pairi (literally ‘footsteps of God’), is supposed to be the precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. According to the Hindu mythology, this is the place where a drop of nectar fell from the churning of the oceans when the world was created. It is said to have been built by king Vikramaditya (1st century BC) in the memory of his brother Bhrithari who meditated on the banks of holy river Ganges. To catch the ghat at its best, be there at dawn or at dusk when huge crowd gathers for the Ganga aarti (prayer). It is one scene that impresses one and all. The priests worship river Ganga with big lamps and people float flowers and candles in a leaf basket in the river downstream.||none||No close days||none|
|Mansa Devi temple||The second most popular place in Haridwar is the Mansa Devi temple. Mansa is derived from the word 'Mansha' which means 'wish'. Hence, the Goddess is supposed to fulfill all the wishes of her devotees. People come with a wish and tie a thread to the branches of the tree in the complex. After fulfillment of the wish they come back again to thank the Goddess and untie the thread. It is propitiously located atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Shivali hills (southernmost Himalayan range). One can hike up 1.5 km or take a cable car to the main shrine. The inner shrine has two deities installed, one with eight arms and the other one three headed with five arms.||none||No close days||8 am to 5 pm, except for lunch closings of 12 pm to 2 pm.|
|Chandi Devi Temple||4 km from Har ki Pairi, this is another Siddhapeeth in Haridwar as it is believed that Goddess Chandi fulfills the wishes of her devotees. Legend has it that once the demon kings Shumbh and Nishumbh expropriated the kingdom of God king of Heaven - Indra. To save heaven, Goddess Parvati assumed the form of Chandi and killed the demons – Chand and Munda (army chiefs of Shumbh and Nishumbh) and thereafter rested on the Neel Parvat where the king of Kashmir Suchat Singh got constructed a temple in 1929. The pilgrims can either take a 5 minutes ropeway ride or a 45 min (3 km) trek to reach the main temple at an altitude of 2900 m. The main idol of Goddess Chanda Devi is said to have been established in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya, the greatest priest of Hindu religion.||none||No close days||6am - 8pm Morning aarti begins at 5:30 am|
|Maya Devi Temple||Along with Mansa Devi and Chandi devi temples, Maya Devi temple forms the triangle of three Siddhapeeths at Haridwar. She is considered the presiding deity of Haridwar. As per Hindu mythology when Goddess Parvati set herself to fire to avenge the insult of her husband Lord Shiva by her father, enraged Shiva carried her dead body across the universe. At the spot of Maya Devi temple the naval and heart of Parvati fell and the place became sacred since then.||none||No close days|
|Bharat Mata Mandir||Bharat Mata is the personification of India in the form of a mother goddess. She is represented as a woman dressed in a saffron-colored sari and holding the flag in one of her hands. Bharat Mata temple is built in reverence to various personalities who have contributed to the building of the nation India. Each of its eight floors has a different theme. There is a huge map of India on a raised platform. One floor houses figures of legendry heroes of India; the other floor has honorary women from India and so on.|
|Neeldhara Pakshi Vihar||Winters make Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar (bird sanctuary) a paradise for bird watchers when besides the local species, Siberian cranes and other migratory birds hit the place. The exact spot to watch the Siberian Crane is around Laljiwala, on the banks of Ganges. Located at the Bhimgoda Barrage of Haridwar, this sanctuary lies on the banks of Ganges and has Shivalik hills in the backdrop a super treat to the eyes. It falls on most of the trekking routes from Haridwar. Also the famous temples of Haridwar like the Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi and Maya Devi are at comfortable distance from the bird sanctuary|
|Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport is about 20 km from Haridwar. But this is not very well connected. Delhi is the major airport near Haridwar.||Haridwar Junction Railway Station, 2 km from Har ki Pairi, is well-connected by train, with frequent trains to Delhi (4-5 hours) and Dehradun (1 hour).||Haridwar is about 200 km from Delhi, the capital of India and is well connected by road and rail network from all parts of India. Rishikesh is 24 km, Dehradun is 64 km, Dev Prayag is 99 km, Mussorie is 85 km, Nanital is 234 km and Chandigarh is 245 km from Haridwar.|
|Name Of Festival||Dates / Month / Year||Festival Details With Link For More Information|
|Kumbh Mela||once in every 12 years; last Kumbh Mela held from 14 Jan - 28 April 2010||It is the world's largest congregation of devotees. The fair sees millions of Hindu devotees & saints of different genres taking a holy dip in river Ganges to purge themselves of all their sins and seek salvation. Legend has it - when amrit kalash (pot of nectar of immortality) was recovered in samudramanthan (churning of primordial sea), the deities & demons fought over it. In this few drops of it fell on the four cities (Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain) where Kumbh Mela is held after every 12 years|
|International Yoga Festival||1 - 7 March||This annual Festival is organized jointly by the Uttarakhand Tourism and Parmarth Niketan Ashram. This festival attracts great yogic authorities from all over the world, who arrive by the banks of the Ganges to demonstrate and explore the major traditions of yoga (hatha, raja, karma, bhakti, mantra, laya and jnana). The International Yoga Festival is open to all, with full accommodation, food and the 7 day Yoga conference program included at the certain composite cost. read more|
|Excursion (Distance In Kms)||Description|
|Rajaji National Park (9 km /30 min)||Rajaji National Park has been named after C Rajgopalachari, a prominent freedom fighter and also second and last Governor General of Independent India. It lies in the foothills of Himalayas and represents Shivalik eco system. Combining three sanctuaries, namely Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji - the Park is spread over the Pauri Garwal, Dehradun and Saharanpur districts of Uttaranchal. It has 23 species of mammals and 315 species of Birds. The park is home of Asian Elephants, Tiger and King Cobra, Panther, Bear, Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, Kakar, Python, Monitor Lizard, Wild Cats and many more. The park has the largest population of Elephants in Uttarakhand. The National Park remains open from 15th Nov. to 15th June every year. Entry Permits are available at each of the gates to the park, and cost INR 40 for Indians and INR 350 for foreigners. Road Fee for vehicle (Light, Heavy): INR 100/500 Elephant ride per person per trip (2.5 hrs.): INR 200 at sunrise and 3 pm only|
|Rishikesh (24 km/ 1hr)||Yoga Capital of the World, Yog City, Teerth Nagri, City of Temples and Ashrams are few of the sobriquets that have now become synonymous with Rishikesh. The short stint of The Beatles in Feb 1968, during which they composed nearly 48 songs (White Album), at now closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram at Rishikesh shot the town to instant fame. The annual International Yoga Festival organized by Parmarth Niketan ashram has catapulted it to the pinnacle of popularity. The possibility of adventure activities add to the versatility of Rishikesh as a tourist destination. The major attractions at Rishikesh include:
|Dehradun (64 km / 1.5 hrs)||The capital of Uttrakhand, Dehradun, too, has many places to flaunt. The major ones are Indian Forest Research Institute Museum, Sahastradhara, Tapkeshwar temple and the great Stupa and Buddha statute.|
Suggested Holidays Including Haridwar
|Holiday Name||No. Of Days||Destinations Covered & Highlights|
|Religions of India||6 days - 5 nights||Delhi - Haridwar - Amritsar - Dharamshala - Jammu (Vaishno Devi)|
|Char Dham Yatra||12 days - 11 nights||Delhi - Haridwar - Barkot - Yamunotri - Harsil - Gangotri - Uttarkashi - Guptkashi - Kedarnath - Joshimath - Badrinath|