No spiritual journey can ever be considered complete without a visit to Haridwar, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Literally meaning 'the abode of Lord Vishnu', Haridwar, located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, is a land of legends and myths. Considered as one of the seven holiest cities in India, Haridwar sees millions of people flock to it every year to pay their respects to the Lord, or to wash away their sins. However, with the passage of time, Haridwar has evolved from being a mere religious city to a multifaceted cultural and spiritual centre, and only after exploring Haridwar will you realize that there is a lot more to the city than just visiting temples and taking a dip in the holy Har ki Pauri. Haridwar has a perennial mystical air around i, and is the perfect holiday option for anyone seeking spiritual connection as well as a chance to indulge in and get closer to nature.
Har Ki Pauri is, of course, the most visited place in Haridwar. Har ki Pauri is essentially a ghat built by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother, and the location is thronged by devotees all year round. Every evening, as the sun goes down, the Ganga aarti is performed at the ghat, turning the place into a glittering, sensory spectacle. With flaming torches and ringing bells wherever you look, the evening aarti at Har ki Pauri is a mesmerising event that should in no way be missed out on. Other ghats in Haridwar that you can visit are the Gau ghat and the Vishnu Ghat.
A place of historical significance in Haridwar is the Bhimgoda Kund/Tank. Situated a short distance away from Har ki Pauri, legend has it that the Pandavas stopped to drink water in Haridwar on their way to the Himalayas, and Bhimgoda was the place where Bhim drew water using just his knee, thus giving birth to its name. It is a famous tourist attraction in Haridwar and draws intrigued visitors all year round.
Haridwar has a plethora of temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. The most famous of these temples include the Mansa Devi temple, the Maya Devi temple, the Chandi Devi temple, the Bharat Mata temple, and the Anandamayi Ashram. A lot of these temples are located on hilltops and offer stunning views of the entire city.
A very popular tourist attraction in Haridwar is the Rajaji Tiger Reserve and National Park, which is spread out over an area of 1000 square kilometres and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Another attraction that nature lovers will enjoy is the Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar, which is a natural park renowned for being an excellent spot for bird-watching. If you’re lucky (and on time), you might even catch a glimpse of the Siberian Crane inside the park!
Haridwar is renowned for its street food trail, and some of the must-try dishes include kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala and the aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale.
Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free
I visited holy city Haridwar around two years back. Despite not being a very religious person, I took a dip in the river Ganga, as it seemed the best way to beat the heat! We shopped a lot from the local market which is famous for its low-priced woollens. However only vegetarian food is available in the city which might be a turndown for hardcore non-vegetarians like me. Evenings were well spent watching the beautiful arati and the floating lamps and flowers in the river. We also drove to Rishikesh from Haridwar and spent a day there to see the Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula. However the best part for me was the ropeway ride to Mansa Devi Temple. It was thrilling and offered a lovely view of the entire city!
Haridwar is famous for its temples and ghats where pilgrims bathe to relieve themselves of their sins and achieve salvation. The Jairam Ashram and the Kanva Rishi Ashram are places where one can go to hear narratives of the Hindu legacy, other than a tour to the numerous temples that fill Haridwar with their chants and colours. The city celebrates its own religious and spiritual significance in a number of festivals that attract a huge number of people. These include the Kumbh Mela, whose grandeur can be witnessed only once in 12 years, Ganga Dusshera, Kavad Mela and Somvati Amavasya mela. The city is also famous for its Yoga and Ayurvedic treatments.
The winter temperatures at Haridwar may drop to -2 degrees, so make sure to be equipped with many warm clothes. Haridwar is a purely vegetarian city which provides a wide variety of food items. Do try out the dishes served by the Chotiwalas. If you are planning to visit Haridwar during Dussehra, make sure to witness how the locals partially dry the Ganga canal and restore its water on Bhai Duj. This is done in accordance to the belief that Ganga Maa departs for her father’s abode on the day Dussehra and returns on Bhai Duj. The local markets mostly sell items of devotion and artificial jewellery. Apart from that, you will also get garments and CDs of devotional songs. During peak seasons, this holy city is quite crowded and it is suggested that you make sure that your belongings are safe. From Haridwar, you can also visit Mussoorie, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Delhi.
One of the seven holy cities of Hindu the place is truly pure and pious. The holy river Ganga flows through it and is the main tourist attraction. Apart from River Ganga the place is also believed to be of high religious importance because it is believed that during Samudra Manthan a few drops of Amrit was spilled here.
The place is really crowded. Many devotees come regularly here and place can get really cramped. Also while bathing in River Ganga many people end up drowning.
The place is a must visit for people who love Hindu Mythology. Also, people with love for religion and gods should definitely visit this place. It is believed in Hindu religion that if any individual desires to wash away their sins then that individual must take a dip in the holy river, Ganga. The place is for yoga lovers too.
Bathing in River Ganga is one of the must-do lists of every Hindu. Haridwar is considered as one of the holiest cities in India. The city is well known because it is the primary area from where river Ganga emerges. The city is known to reaffirm every devotee's wandering faith in God. Bathing in river Ganga not only gives a sense of purity but also is a starting point for many. Many people believe that one dip in the holy river and all your sins get washed away.
In every 12 years in Haridwar, Kumbh Ka Mela is organised. This is a mass Hindu devotee gathering in Haridwar. The number of people is in millions. The gathering is one of the most peaceful gatherings and is also considered as the World’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims. People take a dip, light lanterns and diyas and pray to gods and goddesses. It is one of the most religious gatherings in India. This mela is considered as one of the holy rituals of Hindus. The mela also has many games, shops, eating facility, rides and much more.
Haridwar, known as the ‘doorway for the gods’ is a city located in the state of Uttarakhand and is home to the famous Ganga river. According to ancient stories, the city came to be when a drop of Amrit, a potion for immortality being made by the gods and demons together, fell on the earth. Haridwar was one of the four sites where the Amrit was spilt. This city has a very interesting and rich mythological background. It is considered to be one of the holiest places in India. The city was first mentioned in the scriptures of the Mauryan empire in 322-185 B.C and then of in the travelogue written by Hiuan Tsang in the 629 A.D. Emperor Akbar, kept jars of the water from River Ganga and drank from it during his travels as the water of the river was said to grant immortality. Raja Maan Singh laid the foundation of the Haridwar that exists today. He built two dams on the Ganga river which severely affect the course of the river.
Har ki Pauri is a ghat located on the banks of River Ganga. Har is the name of Lord Shiva and Pauri means footstep. During the Vedic period, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu were said to have visited this place. There are footsteps of Lord Vishnu that are embedded in a stone wall there. Hence, this place holds a great religious importance and is visited by pilgrims from all around the country.
Death rites are carried out in the city of Haridwar as it is a holy site. Immersing the ashes of the deceased in the river Ganga is said to grant them an entry into heaven. Hence, many people visit Haridwar to carry out death rituals for their deceased family members. Due to this, the Pandits who carry out this rituals, started keeping a record of the family's trees gotra, marriages and other crucial information. With this, intricate genealogical information of families was recorded over centuries and has now become a source through which one can track history of their family.
Day 1 - After reaching Haridwar, go to the Holy River Ganga for a dip. After that enjoy the Desi breakfast and go to Mansa Devi temple. The goddess is very famous as it is believed that she grants wishes. You should also visit Maya Devi temple and Chandi Dev temple. After that, in the evening you should visit Har ki Pauri Ghat. It is very well known holy bank of river Ganga. During sunset every day, Ganga aarti is performed here and you should not miss it. Day 2 - Beginning with another holy dip in river Ganga start your day by visiting the beautiful ashrams in Haridwar. Shanti Kunj Ashram is built in a beautiful garden where many spiritual activities are organised for the purity of souls. From there you can go to Patanjali Yogpeeth for stretching of your body by doing yoga. The trips to ashrams can be life changing for many. Haridwar is known for yoga practice and for finding inner peace. Day 3 - You can explore the adventurous side of yours. Haridwar also hosts activities like trekking, bird watching, river rafting and much more. Rajaji National Park is another major attraction here for having a large population of elephants and tigers. In the evening, you can enjoy the famous aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale and Kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala. The desi cuisine is better than any other place.
Haridwar's platter is dominated by vegetarian North Indian food, you will not run out of choices to flatter your appetite with South-Indian, Bengali, Chinese, Continental food as well as an elaborate and delicious assortment of delicacies, forming a staple meal, 'Thali', which is popular all over.
Other than the mouthwatering Chole Bhature, delicious Dosas and lip-smacking Indian Chinese food that the town offers, what you just cannot miss is the rich, colorful street food, which has some of the best preparations of the city. It is from the streets, that Haridwar gets its most popular and delicious items that almost define the food here. Don't miss the popular Aloo Puri, Kachori, Lassi, Parathas and a huge variety of traditional sweets.
This depends on how long you are visiting for. Check out the Places to Visit tab above to see the various places of interest in Haridwar. The map section will show you the location of these places, and you can plan your trip accordingly. The wildlife sanctuary is away from the main city, so you will have to allocate your time accordingly.