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{ India Tours } -- { North India Travel Guide } -- { Haridwar }

Haridwar


Ganga Ghat, Haridwar HolidaysBrief
India is most fortunately beautified by the holy city of Haridwar. Associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, Haridwar is among the seven sacred cities of India. The Door of Gods (Hari-dwar) and the Gateway to paradise, it marks the entry of the holy river Ganges into the plains. It is believed that this was one of the four places where the amrit (nectar), which was churned out of the ocean, fell, as it was being carried in a kumbha or pot. Thus the great Kumbh Mela, is held after every 12 years. From this gateway not only do the Himalayas begins, but also people can go to heaven, after having achieved spiritual salvation.

History

Haridwar has innumerable mythological history connected to it. When Raja Shwetu, performed penance here Lord Brahma honoured him with a boon, to make a living place at Brahma-Kunda, which was named Brahmapuri after Bramha. Lord Vishnu set his feet at Har-Ki-Pauri, where the holy Ganges touches the feet of Lord Vishnu all the time and it has been called Haridwar. Due to the indifferent attitude of Daksha Prajapati, towards his daughter Sati, Lord Shiva was indignate, and the reign of Daksha was destroyed. Later pacified by the Gods, Shiva granted sovereignty of that place and was named Daksheswara. Historically, all the above-mentioned facts occurred here, during the ancient ages. In the Middle Ages, the Sanskrit poet Kalidas, poetically and admiringly described the romantic lives joyfully enjoyed here. In the 7th Century, the Chinese tourist, Hsueng Tsang, witnessed the Kumbha Mela and named this city Myeya-La in Chinese, which probably means Maya-Puri. But this place also suffered a heavy devastation and loot between the 14th and 18th century, as Muslims demolished Hindu Temples, plundering the public and burning their homes. In 1924, the greatest flood had caused a terrible havoc.

Culture
Though all the Hindu festivals, are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh, which attracts the mind of any tourist to this place. The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges, during the Kumbh, gives you Moksha or Nirvana. People gather in huge numbers, to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are Saints, Naga Sadhus, Politicians almost every one is here. The city is overflowing with people. If going to Haridwar, during the Ardh Kumbh, then avoid the over crowded ghats. Every day, there are reports of stampedes and the various factions or Akharas of Sadhus, clash with each other. Ensure your accommodation well in advance, if going during the Kumbh.

Climate & Geogaphical Location
Winters are cold and chilly, and summers are warm and sunny. Hardwar in the Uttrakhand region, is located on the foothills of the Shivaliks, on the banks of the River Ganga at an altitude of 294.70 meters above sea level.

How to Reach
Haridwar is well connected by rail, road and air. By air, the nearest airport Jolly Grant is at Dehradoon at 54 km and is connected with flights to Delhi. By rail, Trains connect Haridwar to Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay and other cities enroute. It is an overnight journey from Delhi. By road, the national highway no. 45 crosses through the city connecting it to other cities of the State as well as other towns in India like Delhi, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Shimla, Nainital, Ranikhet, Uttarkashi and Tehri in an efficient manner.

Tourist Places in Haridwar

Daksha Mahadev Temple
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev, is situated in the South of Kankhal town, which is 4 Km from Haridwar. The mythological story about this place, is that king Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shivas first wife) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted. Therefore, she burnt herself in the yagya kund. This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev, who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend.

Chandi Devi Temple
Constructed in 1929 AD by the King of Kashmir - Suchat Singh, the temple of Chandi Devi, atop the Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga, is now accessible by a ropeway, which starts near Gauri Shanker Temple. A 3 km trek from Chandi Ghat, legend has it, that Chanda-Munda the army chief of the local demon king, Shumbha-Nishumbha, was killed by Goddess Chandi here, after which the place got the name Chandi Devi. It is believed, that the main statue was established by the Adi Sankaracharya in 8th Century AD.

Har ki Pauri, Haridwar VacationHar-Ki-Pauri
These sacred ghats are named after the Charan or Footprints of Hari (Vishnu) impressed on a stone, set into the upper wall of the ghats. Constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari, it is believed that Bhartihari eventually came to Haridwar, to meditate by the banks of the holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed the Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri. This sacred bathing ghat, is also known as Brahmakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas, in the river Ganga, is the most enchanting sight in the twilight, during the Ganga Arti Ceremony. It is the most important ghat on the river Ganga, where a holy dip is a must for every devotee.

Mansa Devi Temple
The temple on the top of the Siwalik hills, is dedicated to the Goddess Mansa Devi, who was the daughter of Lord Shiva. This temple, is the tower of Haridwar City, looking down on the city, as a devoted mother looks after her beloved children. Here, one statue of the Goddess has three mouths and five arms while the other statue has eight arms. A beautiful view of the city can be had from this place. The rope way carriage operates between Upper Road, near the station and Mansa Devi Temple. It is believed that whoever worships Goddess Mansa Devi, gets ,their desires fulfilled.

Chila Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary, is a part of Rajaji National Park, and has around 23 species of mammals and 315 species of fauna. The park offers wonderful opportunities for viewing wild animals in their natural habitat. It possesses as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 birds species. The wildlife here includes elephants, tigers, panther, bear, chital, sambar, wild boar, kakar, python, monitor lizard and a wide variety of avian fauna. The park has an exotic range of wildlife, elephants being the most notable. A rare species of the ant eater, is also found here.

Rishikesh .
A small pilgrim town, with scores of ashrams and yoga centres, Rishikesh is also famous for its adventure sports, along the Ganges and trekking in the lower Himalayas. The gateway and the start off point for journeys, to the four famous pilgrims centres of Garhwal - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri, the little town of Rishikesh is the destination for the young and the restless seeking renewal. A holiday destination for cleansing of the mind and the soul, Rishikesh is where the wise ones spent time in devotion, meditation and yoga. Rishikesh is also home to the annual International Yoga Festival held in early February.

Dehradoon
A gateway to the hill stations of Garhwal, the picturesque town of Dehradoon marks the entry for trekkers, mountaineers and adventure sports lovers. Famed for its fruit laden orchards, it is the threshold of a world full of adventure, spiritualism and tranquillity. Nestled cosily in the Shivalik ranges, pilgrims gather here to move on to Rishikesh and Haridwar to begin their Char Dham Yatra to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.

Mussoorie
Mussoorie is a picturesque hill resort, set up during the days of the Raj. A mountain - resort town at the Himalayan foothills, Mussoorie has everything to offer. Trek through the hills or jump over little hills, streams and flowers in the valley or go fishing in the cool streams or proceed for rock climbing or mountaineering if you wish. A cool gateway with vignettes of the colonial era, Mussoorie is snow white in winter and flower-bright in spring. Salubrious and balmy in summer and leaf green and fern-filled in the rains, Mussoorie is a paradise in all seasons.

Others

BEAUTY POINT - On the Mansa Devi temple road, about two kilometer from Haridwar, is a point which provides an excellent view of Haridwar and the near by greenery. This place is called the beauty point, as the sight from here of the surrounding, is very exciting and enthrall.

BHARAT MATA TEMPLE - About 4 Km from Haridwar, the Bharat Mata Temple, is a real beautiful temple, having six floors. The ground floor has the beautiful statue of Bharat Mata. The first floor has the Sant Temple, which has statues of great saints like Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Nanak

BHIMGODA HEADWORKS - The canal which is constructed here, diverts the water of the Ganges into the Bhimgoda Headworks Dam which is worth seeing. It looks magnificient when surplus water is allowed to flow out of the dam as it produces soft foam. Beautiful fountains and toy canals are found here, BHIMGODA TANK - The sacred tank, which is situated at a distance of 1 km from Har-Ki-Pauri is believed to have been excavated by Bhim (the 2nd of the Pandava Brothers) by giving heavy blows with his right knee at this place and therefore this tank is named after him.

Deoprayag VacationDEOPRAYAG - This is again one of the sacred places for the Hindus. At this place the aggressive Alaknanda merges with the gentle flowing Bhagirathi. The place is 95 Km from Haridwar.

GURUKUL KANGRI UNIVERSITY - The Gurukul Kangri University situated at roughly 5 Km away on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road is a centre of learning.

KANGRA MANDIR - On the right-hand side of the bank of the Ganges, by the main road near Har-Ki-Pauri, you will see a magnificient temple erected by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Punjab. The temple has been built with marble stones.

KANVA RISHI ASHRAM - This ashram, 42 Km away from Haridwar, is situated on the banks of the Malini river along the forest road to Kotdwara. It is said that at this place Rishi Kanva lived and Shakuntala spent a few days here. A tourist hut is constructed here.

MAYA DEVI TEMPLE - This temple has the idol of the three headed Durga and the idols of Bhairava and Shiva. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen at this ancient shaktipeeth, located to the east of Har-ki-Pauri. PAWAN DHAM - The place is famous for its Hanuman Mandir, decorated with glass pieces.

SAPT RISHI ASHRAM - Far in the jungles of Sapt Sarovar in the north direction of Haridwar, just 5 Km off the city, this hermitage is situated on the banks of the Ganges River. The Ganga flows in seven streams in front of this Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar. SHANTI KUNJ - It is the famous ashram of Gayatri. Followers and pilgrims from far and wide converge here for yoga and natural cures.

VAISHNO DEVI TEMPLE - The newly constructed temple, dedicated to the Goddess Vaishno Devi, is on the lines of the temple in Jammu.





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