Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology. Ganga, the holy river of the Hindus enters the plains from here. Haridwar's scenic beauty is a blend of height and plains, the air echoes the sounds of chanting mantras. The city abounds in temples of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Haridwar has a lot of spiritual retreats or Ashrams carrying on the lineage of providing the way to body soul perfection via various yoga and meditative techniques.
Haridwar is about 200 kms from Delhi, the capital of India and is well connected by road and rail network from all parts of India.
Places in Haridwar
Chandi Devi ( 6 km)
The temple of Chandi Devi atop the Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganga was constructed in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir- Suchat Singh . It is a 3 km trek from Chandighat . Legend has it that the army chief Chanda-Munda of a local demon King Shumbh- 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 Shankracharya in 8th century A.D. One can reach here by Trolley through ropeway or on foot. Ph. no. of 'Udan Khatola' (Ropeway) is 01334-220324, Time-8.30 AM to 6 PM.
Maya Devi Temple
This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhpeethas. Said to be the place where the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen.
Har ki Paori (1.5 km)
This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. It is believed that Bhartrihari eventually came to Haridwar to meditate by the banks of holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Hari-Ki-Pari. 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 . Attending the Ganga Arti which is performed here everyday after sunset is an unforgettable experience as most of the tourists say.
Gurukul Kangri University ( 4 km)
It is situated on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road . It is an old institution known for following a unique system of education in India. The Ved Mandir Museum with archaeological exhibits in display can also be seen.
Mansa Devi Temple (3.5 km)
The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat .Here one statue of the Goddess has three mouths and five arms while the other statue has eight arms. The beautiful view of the city can be seen from this place. The temple can be reached by trolley through ropeway or on foot.
Daksha Mahadev Temple (4 km)
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south Kankhal town .The mythological story about this place is that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva 's 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 .
This tank is at a distance of about 1 km from Harki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of his knee.
Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Srovar (7 km)
It is said that Ganga had split herself in seven currents at this place so that the Sapt(seven) Rishis worshipping there would not be disturbed.
Parad Shivling (2 km)
Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhasl. Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are main attractions here.
Rishikesh is one of the best located pilgrimage centers along the right bank of the Ganga. The holy river emerging from high mountains not far from here, runs deep and silent through the thickly wooded hills of the Tehri that straddle this region. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife await here. Not to mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with 'munis' and meditation.
Today Rishikesh has become a center for learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned Indian methods for mental and physical health. The week-long International Yoga festival which attracts participation from all across the world is held here annually in the month of February on the banks of serene Ganga.
Rajaji National Park
Haridwar is also a popular destination for nature and adventure lovers. The Rajaji National Park is about 820 sq. km. in area; attracts wildlife lovers with its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio diversity. Three sanctuaries of the Shivalik range of western U.P. -Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in year 1983It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species.
One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including tigers, leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker etc. The river shelters fish in abundance. For further information on the subject, one may contact the Director's office, 5/1 Ansari Marg, Dehradun-248001, Phone no. 0135-621669. They have got their website too-
The 'Dargah' of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed 'Sabir' on the outskirts of Roorkee town is a worth-visit-place for every visitor. It is situated towards the south of Haridwar. This place is one of the living examples of unity between the Hindu and Muslim religions. Famed for its mystical powers that fulfill the desires of the devout, the Dargah is visited by millions of devotees from all religions from India and abroad. The Urs is celebrated at this Dargah every year, from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day during the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar.
This is a temple of Goddess Durga. Situated in the peaceful forest area of Rajaji National park.
A place liked by many retired civil and defense officers to settle down, now the capital city of newly formed Uttaranchal state is known for many central govt. institutes of national importance and is also a place worth visiting.
The place is very popular for rafting loving tourists. Known for turbulent white water.
The queen of hills, the city with Mall is an ideal hill station.
The tomb Piran Kaliar of Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious harmony in India which is visited by the people of all religious sects from all over the world. 'URS' festival is organised every year on the holy dargah in summer.
Distances of major tourist destinations from Haridwar are
Rishikesh - 24 kms, Kedarnanth - 241 kms, Corbett National Park - 180 kms, Gangotri - 250 kms, Deharadun - 55 kms, Nanital - 320 kms, Badrinath - 288 kms, Mussourie - 87 kms, Yamunotri - 250 kms, Roorkee - 29 kms, Ranikhet - 325 kms.
Haridwar is located in the north Indian state of Uttaranchal at a distance of 214 kms from Delhi.
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant in Dehradun, but it is preferable to take a flight to Delhi and then take a bus or train route to Haridwar.
The major pilgrimage center of Haridwar is well connected by trains to almost all the major cities in India. In fact, trains are the major source of the tourist inflow to Haridwar.
The National Highway no. 45 crosses the city of Haridwar, so it is connected to other cities of the state as well as those in the other states too. The excellent road network links Haridwar with Delhi for a smooth and comfortable travel journey.