Haridwar City Guide
Haridwar (also known as Hardwar) is the holy capital of India. It is situated in the Uttaranchal state. It represents the point where the famous holy river Ganga reaches the plain. It is also known for its rich and cultural heritage. Hindus consider it as the most holy place in India, as they believe that Hindu gods have left their footprints there.
The city also has three important pilgrimage destinations: Rishikesh, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. There are several temples and ashrams in haridwar. Most of the visitor’s in haridwar are temporary, sadhus or foreigners who are in search of spiritual sustenance. Many tourists flock to haridwar because of the spiritual delights it offers.
Places to visit
Mansa Devi Temple
This temple is located at the top of Bilwa Parvat. It is dedicated to the Goddess Mansa Devi (a form of Shakti). The Powerful statue of the goddess is depicted with her having three mouths and five arms. It is believed that the Goddess fulfils all the wishes of a sincere devotee. On the top of the hill, there are many shops where coconuts, fruits, marigold garlands and incense sticks are available. These things are offered to the Goddess. Also one can easily reach Mansa Devi Temple by taking local Buses, rickshaws, Tongas or by hiring taxis from Haridwar.
The temple of Chandi Devi is situated atop the Neel parvat on the other bank of river Ganga and was constructed 1929 by the king of Kashmir-Suchat singh. The pilgrims can visit the temple by the ropeway in around 5 minutes while the steep climb by steps takes over 45 minutes. The main image at Chandidevi temple is said to have been installed by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century A.D.
Bharat Mata Temple
This temple is situated at Varanasi and is the only temple dedicated to Bharat Mata. It is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus. The Bharat Mata temple was built by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936.The statue of Bharat mata is built in marble.
Har Ki Pauri
It is a major pilgrimage attraction in Haridwar. It was built by king Vikamaditya to commemorate the descending of Ganga after years of difficult prayers and fasting done by his ancestor Bhagirathi.
Every evening thousands of locals, pilgrims and tourists gather on its banks to perform, watch and admire the evening aarti, the praise sung in respect of the holiest of all rivers, River Ganga. This place is famous and auspicious that no one wants to miss it. Floral tributes and lit up diyas floating on the Ganges is the most enchanting sight one gets at this ghat.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar:-
It is the most frequently visited site in haridwar. Sapt Rishi Ashram is an ancient ashram famous for having hosted seven (sapt) sages (rishis), namely, Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam.
Hindus believe that when the sages sat here to meditate, they were disturbed by the thunderous waters of the Ganges. To continue with their meditation in peace, they trapped the River Ganges. Later, the Ganga split herself into seven small streams to avoid any interruption to the meditating sages. Hence, the Sapt Rishi Ashram came to be known as Sapt Sarovar, meaning seven streams. It is 5 km away from Har ki Puri.
This is the holy place where the wife of Lord Shiva, Mata Sati is believed to have done the ritual of self-immolation. The ghat here is thus famous today as Sati Kund.
Rajaji National Park / Chila Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Rajaji National Park, Uttaranchal/ Uttarakhand are spread over an area of 820.42 SQ. K.M. It is a home of 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 river in the park houses large number of fishes and fauna in the wate. rThe majestic Ganges flows through the National Park for a distance of 24km, besides the innumerable streams and brooks making it rich and diverse. It offers ample opportunities to nature lovers.
Things to do in Haridwar
1. Visit all the famous temples and ashrams
2. Take boat rides in the river Ganga
3. Shop at Qazi Sadullahpura.
4. Shop for famous sarees & dress materials from Varansai.
Shopping in Haridwar
However shops in Haridwar have some interesting things to offer to the tourist. The main shopping centers are Moti bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur and Kankhal. You can also check out the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram. Here you will find a range of handicraft decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewellery, then you can choose from a variety of imitation ones which make good fashion accessory. You will also find neatly and intricately carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs.