Haridwar is in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is a famous pilgrim center for the Hindus around the world, called ‘The Gateway to God’ or ‘Gateway to Heaven’. Positioned between the Sivalik Hills in the north and the Ganges river in the north east and south, Haridwar inspires people spiritually. Blessings by all the gods of Haridwar – Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwor) – previously known as Kapilsthan and Mayapuri.
For Hindus, it is considered one of the seven most sacred places on earth, Haridwar is one of the four places where ‘uplift of immortality’ has fallen from heaven when there was a feud for the pseudo-pot of the nectar of immortality, the gods and monsters in Har-ki-Pauri, Brahma Kund is a place in Haridwar where immortality is considered to have fallen.
Nasik, Ujjain and Allahabad are the other three places beside Haridwar. Like these places, in every six and 12 years respectively even in Haridwar, Ardh Kumbh and Maha Kumbh Melas invites more than thousands of visitors from all over the globe.
In mythology, this is that King Bhagirath had brought Ganges to Haridwar to protect the spirits of his ancestors cursed by Rishi Kapil. Haridwar is a very ancient city; the famous Chinese passenger Hiuen Tsang has mentioned, who has described Haridwar as Maurya.
Haridwar is also the place from where Ganges River enters the Indo-Gangetic prairies for the first time as mentioned in scriptures. Perhaps, this is the intention that the site is also known as Gangadwar. Haridwar is also the access point of Char Dham – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. A sanctified dip in Ganga is considered very propitious in Haridwar and purifies one of the sins and impurities. The water of the holy river looks brightly and fresh in Haridwar.
In addition to its many bathing ghats, Haridwar is also famous for its many temples – like Varanasi. Some of the many famous temples of Ganga Dwara Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Daksha Mahadev Temple, Vaishno Devi Mandir, and Bharat Mata Mandir Haridwar are worth a visit.
Haridwar is not only a Hindu pilgrim center but also a pilgrim center for Muslims. Piran Kaliyar, also known as Kaliyar Sharif – a very revered dargah of Hazrat Makhdoom Alauddin Ali Sabeer is a pilgrimage site for Muslims and Hindus. It is located only 23 km from Haridwar.
For wildlife and nature lovers, Haridwar is the Rajaji National Park which is home to many varieties of flora and fauna. Area covered by 820 square kilometers, Rajaji National Park is shelter to 23 species of mammals and 315 species of birds.
Haridwar is also famous for its Ayurvedic medicines throughout India. In fact, this place is the best means for these medicines. It is no wonder that this ancient form doctor of alternative treatment makes it a point to go to the place at least once in his life.
How to Reach
Haridwar is 214 km from Delhi, 28 km from Rishikesh and is well linked to rail, air and road. National Highway 45 passes through Haridwar, and therefore, this place is easily accessible beyond all parts of the state and the road. The nearest airport is in Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.