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Haridwar - The Destination


Haridwar, the gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttrakhand region, is located in the foothills of the Shivaliks. Situated on the banks of River Ganga, Haridwar in India is the first major town on the plains that Ganga touches. The water is clean and people prefer taking bath on the numerous ghats created on the river shores in Haridwar. A bath here is supposed to cleanse the soul and open the way for the ultimate freedom, Nirvana.

Holidays In Haridwar India

Since ages, Haridwar has been the source of Ayurvedic medicines and has been providing herbal remedies. Haridwar’s longstanding situation as a great resource for Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies as well as its unique Gurukul school of traditional education, the scenic beauty and lush greenery—all give Haridwar, India a unique flavour and charm; a must among the sojourn centres in a discoverer’s itinerary of Western U.P. With the Rajaji Park in the vicinity, Haridwar is also the destination for wildlife and nature lovers.

During any of the popular festivals, you’ll be surprised to see people from all walks gathered in Haridwar - the holy men in saffron, the hopeful devotees, sadhus with their enormous locks and an assorted bunch of people holding all kinds of beads, shells, tridents and trinkets. As the cultural splendor of Haridwar hits you, it doesn’t take much to guess that Haridwar is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in India. It's especially alluring in the evenings as thousands of diyas and marigold flowers float along the ghat during the Ganga aarti and illuminate the Holy waters of Haridwar.

Haridwar is one of the four major centers where the remarkable Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years. The next one is now scheduled for the year 2010. The Mela (Hindi for 'festival') attracts millions of pilgrims from around the country. The whole city of Haridwar explodes into color and festivity as enthusiastic pilgrims descend to the town during this time. Patches of saffron are seen everywhere as sadhus, close to 20,000 of them congregate for one of the biggest religious festivals in the world. They are an awesome sight - bearded, long tangled tresses, wearing huge ash or sandalwood marks on their foreheads and carrying trishuls (tridents).

In and around Haridwar, the Har-Ki-Pauri ghat marks the exact spot where Ganga exits from the highlands. The Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar is regarded as a particularly holy place and is considered to be one of the more sacred ghats in India. Towards dusk, the priests perform a Ganga Aarti (prayer ceremony). One can spot a whole flotilla of lights downstream - little boats made from the leaves of banana and banyan trees. They are then bedecked with flowers and a diya (earthen lamp) is lit and placed in the middle. The floating fire is released into the river. This spectacle of lights in Haridwar is not to be missed.

On the other side of the river is the Neel Parvat (Blue Mountain), a hill, really. It’s home to a temple dedicated to Chandi Devi, built in 1929 by the then King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. On the hill right above the city of Haridwar is another temple dedicated to Mansa Devi (one of the consorts of Shiva).

Breathtakingly beautiful, calm, serene, Haridwar in India is undoubtedly a destination for all seasons.

Haridwar - Facts at a Glance

State : Uttar Pradesh, India
Area : 12.3 sq kms
Temperature : 21°C - 45°C (Summers)
8°C - 25°C (Winters)
Altitude : 30 mts
Language : Hindi, Punjabi, Garhwali, English
Best Season : October-March

History of Haridwar


Haridwar or the ‘Gateway to the Gods’ is one of the seven holiest places of India according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar is situated as the gateway to the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus in India.

Events in Haridwar

Haridwar is the city of festivals. One of the oldest and holiest pilgrim centers of India, is also the place that plays host to around eight to ten million devotees during the Kumbh Melas held in India. The history of the Kumbh Mela dates back to the creation of the Universe and as a show of their faith, Hindus from all over India assemble to take a holy dip in the Ganges in Haridwar. The Kumbh Mela became an important meeting ground for the devout Hindus and its importance has not diminished over the years. Even today, millions of pilgrims from all over the world, from various walks of life, sects and communities, gather at the Kumbh. For most it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You must travel to Haridwar for an unmatchable spiritual experience. MakeMyTrip.com, your trusted travel agency arranges pilgrimage tours to Haridwar and can help you book a wide range of hotels in Haridwar. We are a renowned travel and tours agency of India.

The main rite performed at the mela in Haridwar is the ritual bath. Orthodox Hindus, who give great importance to the performance of ritualistic action, believe that a dip in the sacred waters on the auspicious day will cleanse them and their ancestors back to the eighty-eighth generation, off all evil and sin, thus ensuring their salvation or freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth. Ritual bathing is a public act and is performed in the open and ideally on the banks of a river or stream. The most auspicious day for the ritual bath at Kumbh is on the day of the new moon.

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