Haridwar is one of the seven holiest cities in India, situated in Uttarakhand. It is located where the sacred river Ganga enters the Indo-Gangetic plains for the first time. Dotted with temples, ashr (Read More)ams and narrow lanes across the city, Haridwar is a famous Hindu temple town where millions of devotees come to take a dip in the holy Ganges.

Here is the list of 19 Things to Do in Haridwar

1. Evening Prayers at Har Ki Pauri

Evening Prayers at Har Ki Pauri
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Regarded as one of the most sacred Ghats in Haridwar and India, Har Ki Pauri is a revered landmark and is visited by devotees and visitors in large numbers seeking the blessings of Holy Ganga by offering their prayers. Har Ki Pauri which literally translates to 'Steps to Lord Shiva'  is considered one of the seven holiest places in the country. A dip in the river Ganges here is believed to wash away one's sins.

2. Be a Part of Ganga Aarti

Be a Part of Ganga Aarti
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Ganga Aarti is a religious prayer that takes place at the bank of the sacred river Ganga at the Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar. Bringing in tourists and devotees from all over the world, it is a ritual of light and sound where the priests perform prayers with bowls of fire and the ringing of the temple bells. Visitors float "diyas" (small candles) and flowers, surrounded by the chanting of the mantras.

Timings : Aarti timings: 5:30 AM - 6:30 and 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

3. Take a Dip in the Holy Waters at Kushavarta Ghat

Take a Dip in the Holy Waters at Kushavarta Ghat

Believed to have been constructed in the 18th century by the Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar, Kushavarta Ghat is considered the most sacred and auspicious ghat of the city. The final rites and rituals of the deceased are performed at the banks of the river including the Shraddha rites, after which the devotees take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges.

4. Visit Chandi Devi Temple

Visit Chandi Devi Temple
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The Chandi Devi Temple of Haridwar is a charming temple dedicated to the Chanda Devi Goddess, perched on the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik Hills. The Chandi Devi Mandir, also known as Neel Parvat Teerth, is one of the five pilgrimages of Haridwar and is also known as Siddha Peetha, a place where devotees worship to fulfil their desire. Because of its location, the Chandi Devi temple is also a preferred choice for trekking tourists.

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5. Ayurvedic Treatment at Patanjali Yogpeeth

 Ayurvedic Treatment at Patanjali Yogpeeth

Patanjali Yogpeeth is a medical and research institute in Yoga and Ayurveda, located in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. It is also renowned as one of the largest yoga institutes in India as well as in the world. The institute is named after Rishi Patanjali, who is acclaimed for the invention of Yoga and is Baba Ramdev's flagship project. If one is interested in Ayurveda and Yoga, it is one of the finest places to visit in Haridwar.

6. Rafting in Rishikesh

Rafting in Rishikesh
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Rafting in Rishikesh particularly is hands down the best; one could endeavour in India. From the gifted natural circumstances to the top professional assistance, the place has just the best to offer. There are some certified operators, whose safety arrangements are well in place, and there are customised packages for camping and rafting at Rishikesh. The peak season sees Rishikesh pretty crowded, so you can keep a check over that detail when you are planning.

7. Visit Shanti Kunj Ashram

Visit Shanti Kunj Ashram

Shantikunj is a world-renowned ashram and the headquarter of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) located in Haridwar. An academy for social and spiritual awakening, this pilgrimage centre has shown the right path and given long-lasting happiness to crores of people. An ideal place that imparts training to the masses based on divine spiritual principles, it aims for the revival of Rishi traditions.

8. Gorgeous Idol of Lord Krishna at Pawan Dham

 Gorgeous Idol of Lord Krishna at Pawan Dham

Pawan Dham, an ancient temple in Haridwar located at Bhagirathi Nagar, Bhupatwala, is a non-profit organization and a revered site among Hindu pilgrims. The Pawan Dham temple boasts intricate architecture, and elaborate glasswork and houses idols adorned in rich jewels and precious stones. The major highlight of the temple is the gorgeous idol of Lord Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Geeta to Arjun.

9. Shelter for Pilgrims at Bhuma Niketan

Shelter for Pilgrims at Bhuma Niketan

Situated on the Saptasarovar Marg, Bhuma Niketan is a popular pilgrim spot in Haridwar. The shrine houses magnificent idols of several gods and goddesses. However, the highlight of the temple are the sculptures of Shiva and Parvati adorning the entrance gates of the shrine. Bhuma Niketan is surrounded by water fountains and green lawns and serves both as a temple and a shelter for the visiting pilgrims.

10. Parad Shivling - Made out of Pure Mercury

Parad Shivling - Made out of Pure Mercury

Parad Shivlinga is a unique religious site housed in Harihar Ashram, Haridwar on the Kankhal Road. The word Parad Shivlinga is derived from "Parad" meaning mercury and "Shivling" which is a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. Thus, Parad Shivling is also known as the Mercury Shivling, making it a holy pilgrimage site among the devotees of Lord Shiva visiting Haridwar.

11. Stunning Views from Vaishno Devi Temple

Stunning Views from Vaishno Devi Temple
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A replica of the Vaishno Devi temple in Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi Temple of Haridwar is marked by tunnels and caves that lead to the inner sanctum containing the shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi. The divine temple houses three deities - Lakshmi, Kaali and Saraswati. The Vaishno Devi Temple in Haridwar is a frequently visited site, both by religious devotees and nature lovers because of the stunning views.

12. Ropeway Ride to Mansa Devi Temple

Ropeway Ride to Mansa Devi Temple
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The Mansa Devi Temple is a famous temple in Haridwar in Uttarakhand that is dedicated to the goddess Mansa Devi, who is considered to be a form of Shakti and is believed to have emerged from Lord Shiva's mind. The temple is also popularly known as Bilwa Tirth and is perched on the top of the Bilwa Parvat in the Sivalik Hills.

Timings : 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Closed for lunch at 2:00 PM),

13. Shop at Bara Bazar

Shop at Bara Bazar
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The Bada Bazar in Haridwar is a bustling lane market filled with religious trinkets and other paraphernalia for the local, as well as, the foreign tourists visiting the holy city in great number. This market is mainly known for shopping of Rudraksha and ayurvedic medicines. The Bara Bazar is also a great place to shop for wooden items and handicrafts and munch on the delicious Peda (a sweet made from milk) sold in huge quantity here.

14. Bird-watching at Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

Bird-watching at Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is situated at Bhimgoda Barrage in Haridwar and has a rich flora and fauna. A popular tourist spot, the site offers rare bird watching opportunities and a panoramic view of the Shivaliks in the backdrop. The place is famous for its unrealistically beautiful locales and is a must visit if you are in the area.

15. A Day Picnic at Swami Vivekanand Park

A Day Picnic at Swami Vivekanand Park

Swami Vivekanand Park is one of the few amusement parks in Haridwar located near Har ki Pauri. The mesmerising park is triangular in shape and boasts of lush green lawns and flowering beds along with housing a massive statue of Swami Vivekananda which is the highlight of the park. This park is, thus, ideal for day picnics and jogging activities.

16. Scared Water at Bhimgoda Tank

Scared Water at Bhimgoda Tank

Bhimgoda Tank is a sacred water tank situated near Birla Ghat in Haridwar. The tank is named after Bhima - one of the five Pandava brothers. The tank is refurbished with the water of the Ganges and is surrounded by well-groomed lush gardens. The locale is also beautified with water fountains and flower beds and hence is a popular tourist spot.

17. Go Temple Hopping

Go Temple Hopping

Set along the holy river Ganga flowing through the city, the temples in Haridwar around the ghats are major tourist attractions. Being the gateway to the four pilgrimages, Haridwar is one of the venues for the Kumbha Mela too. It is among the seven sacred cities of India. It is an arch to Lord Shiva. Har ki Pauri or the footsteps of Lord Shiva is considered the most sacred place in Haridwar.

18. Find Peace of Mind at Asharams

Find Peace of Mind at Asharams

Haridwar has proclaimed itself as a pilgrimage haven. People from all walks of life visit Haridwar to attain a sense of spirituality and closeness to God and the Universe which can be difficult in the hustle-bustle of our developing urban cities. A lot of ashrams are located across Haridwar to help pilgrims find peace in their minds and the spirituality that they come looking for in the ashrams in Haridwar.

19. Attend the Famous Fair of Kumbh Mela

Attend the Famous Fair of Kumbh Mela

Haridwar in Uttarakhand is an important pilgrimage town for the Hindus. The place is a perfect escape from the cacophony of urban life and a beautiful amalgamation of old and new, replete with beauty, culture, history and spirituality. The world's most famous fair, Kumbh Mela, is celebrated here once in twelve years.

This post was published by Avneet Kang

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