Haridwar, also known as Hardwar is a divine city located in the state of Uttaranchal in Northern India. This place is known as the Gateway to the Gods and is among the seven holiest places of Hindu religion as God and Goddess are said to have left their footprints here. This holy city also serves as the gateway to the three sacred religious destinations of India i.e. Rishikesh, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. Etymologically the word Haridwar is derived from the Sanskrit word which means Dwara of Hari or Gateway to God, 'Hari' meaning god and 'dwar' meaning gate.
According to the Hindu mythology this is among the four holy places where drops of the elixir of immortality spilled out from the pitcher. This religious incident makes it a holy land for hosting the Kumbh Mela which is held at an interval of four, six and twelve years. The Holy River Ganga after flowing for 253 kilometers from its source at Gaumukh, at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plain of North India at Haridwar which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadw?ra, the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.
Tourist Attractions in Haridwar
Har ki Paori
This temple is located 1.5 km from the city and was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihar. Here one can see the footprints of Lord Vishnu in the temple adjacent to the ghat.
Maya Devi Temple
This temple is one of the known Siddhpeethas of India which is dedicated to the Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. According to Hindu mythology it is the place where the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen.
Mansa Devi Temple
This is the most sacred temple of this place which is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. Here one of the statues of the deity has three mouths and five arms while the other one has eight arms. It is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat where devotees can reach via rope-way cable cars. This place offers a bird's eye view of the city.
The temple of Chandi Devi is located 6 km from the city center atop the Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga. This beautiful temple was built in 1929 A.D. by Suchat Singh, the King of Kashmir.
This tank is located at a distance of about 1 km from Har ki Paori. According to the Hindu mythology it is said that when the Pandavas were on their way to the Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim(one of the Pandavas) made this tank with the blow of his knee.
It is situated 2 km from Haridwar in Harihar Ashram, Kankhasl. This place is famous for Shivling which is about 150 kg in weight and Rudraksha trees.
Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Srovar
It is located 7 km from Har Ki Pouri.? It is said that River Ganga had split herself in seven currents at this place so that the Sapt (seven) Rishis (Sages) worshiping there don't get disturbed.
The place is known for turbulent water which makes it popular for water rafting.
How to Reach Haridwar
Haridwar is the district headquarter and it has good connectivity with the other towns of the district and the states of India. It can be reach by.
Road:Haridwar is located on National Highway no. 45 which makes it well connected to all the major cities and other parts of the India viz. Delhi (214 km), Agra (386 km), Ambala (168 km), Badrinath (325 km), Dehradun (52 km), Kedarnath (250 km), Saharanpur (81 km), Nainital (286 km).
Rail: It is connected with all the important cities of India via rail viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritsar, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc.
Air: The nearest airport is located 41 km from Haridwar in Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala near Dehradun.
Best Time to Visit
Haridwar can be visited round the year, but the best time to visit is between October to March during the winter season.
Where to Eat
There are several good restaurants in Haridwar which serve delicious pure vegetarian food. Varieties of lip smacking sweets are also an important part of Haridwar cuisine.
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