Haridwar, whose name means "Gateway to God," is one of India's seven holiest cities. It is in the state of Uttarakhand, on the banks of the holy Ganga River. The old city has a number of temples, ashrams, ghats, and other holy places that Hindu pilgrims visit. Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Kankhal, and Kushavarta are some of the best places to visit in Haridwar. They are all part of the Panch Tirths, which means "Five Pilgrimages." During the Maha Kumbh Mela, which happens every 12 years, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which happens every six years, there are many more people in the city than at any other time (held every 6 years).
Places to Visit in Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri
The holy ghat of Har Ki Pauri, which means Lord Shiva's steps, is one of the first places to see in Haridwar. It is on the banks of the Ganga River. In the Vedas, it says that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu came to this place, and there is a big footprint on a wall that is said to be Lord Vishnu's. This is the place where the Ganga River first comes down from the mountains and into the plain. It is also called Gangadwar.
Har Ki Pauri is thought to be the holiest ghat in the whole city. It is believed that the mythical bird Garuda accidentally dropped the elixir Amrit here, and if you swim here, your sins will be washed away. A lot of people come to the ghat at dusk and dawn to watch the Ganga aarti.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple is another popular place to visit in Haridwar. It is on top of the Bilwa Parvat on the Shivalik Hills and is also called the Bilwa Tirth because of where it is. This Siddh Peeth is dedicated to Goddess Mansa, who is thought to be a form of Goddess Shakti and to have been made from Lord Shiva's mind.
It is one of the most revered temples in North India, where people are sure that Goddess Mansa will make all their wishes come true (the name of the deity means wish). You can trek to this temple on top of a hill or take the ropeway, which is one of the things you can't miss in Haridwar.
Temple of Chandi Devi
Goddess Chandi, a form of Goddess Durga, is honoured at the Chandi Devi Temple, which is another Siddh Peeth. Thousands of people go there to get their wishes granted. This temple is on top of Neel Parvat in the Shivalik Hills. In mythology, this is where the goddess killed the demons Chand-Mund and Shumbh-Nishumbh. People think that Kashmir King Suchan Singh built the temple, while Adi Shankaracharya made the idol in the eighth century.
You can hike to the temple or take the ropeway (Chandi Devi Udankhatola), which gives you a view of Haridwar from above. Near this temple is the Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple, which is also a popular place of worship. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kankhal is a small village in Haridwar that is home to the famous Daksha Mahadev Temple and Maa Anandamayi Ashram. It is one of the Panch Tirths. The first one is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and a lot of worshippers go there, especially during the holy month of Sawan. The second is a spiritual centre built in honour of Maa Anandamayi, a Bengali mystic leader.
Kankhal is also home to the holy ghat of Kushavarta, which is one of the Panch Tirths, and the famous Patanjali Yog Peeth, which is probably the largest yoga centre in the world. The unique Parad Shivalinga made from 151 kg of mercury is what makes the Pardeshwar Mahadev Temple in Harihar Ashram on Kankhal Road so well-known.
Maya Devi Temple
The Maya Devi Temple is the last of the three Siddh Peeths in Haridwar. It is dedicated to Goddess Maya, who is the main deity of Haridwar. In honour of her, the city used to be called Mayapuri. Mythological stories say that the temple was built where Goddess Sati's heart and navel fell.
On Har Ki Pauri Ghat, it is one of the oldest temples in the whole country. It was built in the 11th century. Even though hundreds of worshippers go to the temple every day to ask the goddess for her blessings and have their wishes come true, there are a lot more people there during Navratri and Kumbh Mela.
Shantikunj in Haridwar is one of the most popular places in the world for spiritual and moral growth. It is the headquarters of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), which was founded in 1971 and has millions of followers all over the world. Along with spiritual and moral improvement, the centre promotes national unity and cultural and moral values. Shantikunj also has a residential university and a research centre called Brahmavarchas Shodh Sansthan (Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya).
Some of the most famous people in the world, like the Dalai Lama, have been to this must-see place. You can also stay here for free for up to two days, but you have to join in all of their daily activities, like bhajans and aartis, during that time.
Sapt Rishi Ashram
Sapt Rishi Ashram is a popular place to visit in Haridwar. It is on the banks of a river. Along with Hindu followers, a lot of people come to the ashram looking for a quiet place to meditate and do yoga. This place is so quiet and peaceful that even the famous seven sages came here to meditate. This is how it got its name: sapt means seven and rishi means sage.
Myth says that Kashyapa, Vashishta, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja, and Gautam were meditating along the riverbanks when the sound of the river made them stop. They decided to catch the sound of the river instead. Later, Ganga split the flow into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) to reduce the noise of the gushing water.
Bharat Mata Mandir
Bharat Mata Mandir, which means "Mother India Temple" in English, is a unique temple in Haridwar with many floors that is dedicated to patriots and freedom fighters. The 8-story, 180-foot-tall temple was opened by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983. It honours the spirit of unity in diversity, which is really what our great country is all about.
Each of the eight floors has its own theme: Bharat Mata is for Mother India, Shoor Mandir is for Indian heroes, Matru Mandir is for famous women, Sant Mandir is for saints, the Assembly Hall shows how religions can work together, the sixth floor is for Goddess Shakti, the seventh floor is for Lord Vishnu, and the eighth floor is for Lord Shiva.
The Geeta Bhawan Trust Society of Moga runs Pawan Dham, which is an old temple and a social non-profit. Along with the beautiful architecture, interiors, and glasswork, the best parts of this holy site are the beautiful idols that are adorned with precious jewels and stones. The main attraction is a beautiful statue of Lord Krishna preaching to his student Arjun. Because of the intricate mirror and glasswork, the temple is often called the Glass Temple. It is very popular not only with Hindus but also with local and international tourists.
Even though Haridwar doesn't have any high-end shopping malls, the busy Bara Bazar has everything you need. At this busy market, there are many shops that sell religious items, Ayurvedic medicines, wooden items, handicrafts, jewellery, etc. Rudraksha and peda (a type of sweet) are two of the most common things that tourists, including those from other countries, buy.
In addition to shops, there are many restaurants where you can eat hot samosa, kachori-sabji, choley-bhature, and other dishes. Bara Bazar isn't the only local market in Haridwar. You can also visit Moti Bazar, Kankhal Bazar, and Jwalapur Bazar to feel the old-world charm of the city.
You can also visit Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Ganga Temple, Vaishno Devi Temple, Vishnu Ghat, Alaknanda Ghat, Birla Ghat and Gau Ghat. For entertainment, you can visit places like Swami Vivekananda Park, Fun Valley, Crystal World, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajaji National Park and Neel Dhara Bird Sanctuary. Rishikesh is an international tourist destination that is less than an hour's drive from Haridwar. There you can do fun things like white-water rafting and camping. To visit Haridwar, you can rent a car from Bharat Taxi, call +919696000999 to get a cab.
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