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Har Ki Pauri

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Time Required: 3-4 hours

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Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar Overview

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 number seeking the blessings of Holy Ganga by offering their prayers. Har Ki Pauri which literally translates to 'Steps to Lord Shiva' is situated in the holy city of Haridwar which is considered as one of the seven holiest places in the country. A dip in the river Ganges here is believed to wash away one's sins and according to the Indian mythology, it is one of the four places where the drops of elixir ('Amrit') were accidentally spilled by the celestial bird Garuda. The river is filled in a golden hue of countless diyas offered by devotees floating along the river.

Har Ki Paudi is the place where River Ganga flowing through the Himalayas touches the plains for the first time. Oozing serenity and calm all the time, it is the evening time at Har Ki Pauri that is most cherished by its visitors. With a plethora of temples at the river bank, offerings are made with lighted candles and diyas floating across the river, an enchanting sight to behold. The chanting of mantras and prayers with sages meditating exudes spiritual vibes and is an experience of a lifetime. The sound of gongs in the background takes one to an entirely different world. Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the place in Vedic times. The large footprints on a stone wall are said to belong to Lord Vishnu.

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The Aarti offered to River Ganga is witnessed by thousands. Priests, clad all in white holding large fire bowls, chanting of mantras and the sound of gongs coming out of the temples give Har Ki Pauri a supernatural vibe. Ganga Aarti takes place between 05:30 to 06:30 in the morning and between 06:00 to 07:00 in the evening.

Priests selected by the Ganga Sabha conduct the proceedings of the aarti. Ganga Sabha is an NGO that runs the morning and evening aartis at Har Ki Pauri and also helps the government in the management and cleanliness of the ghats. For the best view of the Aarti, sit on the ghats on the opposite side of the temples. You may also sit on an island style ghat named 'Malviya Dweep'. More than three thousand people attend the Aarti daily and the numbers go up on weekends. The ceremony is started with the chanting of a Sanskrit poem, 'Ganga Lahari', written by Pandit Jagannath followed with the grand Aarti. 

The sacred ghat is more than twenty centuries old and the construction is credited to King Vikramaditya. Har Ki Pauri was built in the memory of King Vikramaditya's brother, Bharati who meditated here on the banks of River Ganga.The exact spot where the evening and morning aarti take place is known as 'Brahmakund', it is believed that the drops of 'amrit' fell over that spot.

The ghats at Har ki Pauri have undergone severe extensions and renovations in years with the place attracting tourists in large numbers. The first extension was done in 1938 by Hargyan Singh Katara, a Zamindar from Agra in Uttar Pradesh and then again in 1986. Legendary king Bhagirath is believed to have brought the river Ganga from heaven to earth. Local legend states that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three eternal Gods; Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

Har Ki Pauri is also known for the huge gathering of devotees and pilgrims for the festival of Kumbh Mela that is held here once every twelve years and Ardh Kumbh Mela that takes place every six years. Kumbh Mela is assumed as the largest gathering of pilgrims in the entire world. 

Festival of Vaisakhi, also attended by people in large number, is a huge harvest festival which takes place in April every year. Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated by thousands of people when the entire ghat is covered in lights and devotees offers diyas to the holy river. 'Chhath' festival, an east indian festival to celebrate the Sun god also takes place with great fervour. 

The best time to visit Har Ki Pauri is during the summer months i.e. from March till June end. One might want to avoid the winter season (October - February) as it gets quite chilly.

Make sure not to miss the evening aarti, which is considered as the most cherished time of the day by devotees. The river current is extremely strong and one should never cross the barricades while taking a dip.

Located in the center of the city, Har ki Pauri is easily accessible by shared or booked auto rickshaws which are the best way to commute in the city.
Haridwar Railway Station is the nearest railway station approximately three kilometers away while Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport.

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Har Ki Pauri Reviews

9 months ago by Ashutosh Gupta

Please add puri sabji at Mohan ji puri wale in front of Har ki pauri in wht to eat ssection , belive me puri sabji from his shop is awesome, you can find the difference just visiting his shop, there are dozen of other shops but all others are empty except this one

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