Aaochale ( Let's Go )
Haridwar is a holy city located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated at the foothills of the Shivalik Range and is considered one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism. The city is situated on the banks of the river Ganges and is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. The name “Haridwar” is derived from two Sanskrit words – “Hari” meaning God and “Dwar” meaning Gateway, which translates to “Gateway to God”.
Haridwar is steeped in mythology and legend, with many Hindu scriptures mentioning the city as a place of great spiritual significance. According to legend, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva visited Haridwar in ancient times, and it is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges at Haridwar can cleanse one’s sins and lead to salvation.
Apart from its religious significance, Haridwar is also known for its rich cultural heritage and history. The city has been ruled by several dynasties in the past, including the Mauryas, the Guptas, and the Mughals. It was also an important center for learning and education in ancient times, with several ashrams and schools established here.
Today, Haridwar is a bustling city that attracts thousands of tourists every year. The city is home to several ancient temples, ashrams, and ghats, all of which are steeped in history and mythology.
Who Should Visit Haridwar
Haridwar is a city that has something for everyone. It is a significant religious destination for Hindus and a popular spot for tourists looking to experience the culture and traditions of India. Here are the different types of people who should visit Haridwar:
Spiritual Seekers: Haridwar is a hub of Hindu spirituality and is considered one of the seven holiest places in India. The city is home to several ancient temples and ghats, including Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, and Chandi Devi Temple. The city is also known for the Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years and attracts millions of devotees.
Adventure Enthusiasts: Haridwar is an excellent destination for adventure enthusiasts, with activities like river rafting, bungee jumping, and trekking available. Rishikesh, located just 20 km from Haridwar, is also known for its adventure sports and is a popular spot for white water rafting.
Haridwar is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes and is located at the foothills of the Himalayas. Visitors can take a cable car ride to the top of the Mansa Devi Temple for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding hills. The Rajaji National Park, located just a short distance from Haridwar, is also an excellent place to spot wildlife like tigers, leopards, and elephants.
History Buffs: Haridwar is a city steeped in history, with references to it dating back to the Vedic period. The city is home to several ancient temples, including the famous Maya Devi Temple, which is said to be one of the oldest temples in India. The city also has a rich cultural heritage, with several museums and art galleries showcasing the history and traditions of the region.
Haridwar is famous for its street food and is a great destination for foodies. Visitors can indulge in local delicacies like kachoris, chaat, and lassi. The city is also home to several vegetarian restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines like North Indian, South Indian, and Gujarati.
Overall, Haridwar is an ideal destination for anyone looking to experience the rich culture, history, and spirituality of India.
Best Time To Visit Haridwar
Haridwar experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. The best time to visit Haridwar depends on the purpose of the visit and personal preferences. Here is a breakdown of the seasons and the best time to visit Haridwar:
Summer (March to June): Summer is the peak tourist season in Haridwar, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 45°C. The weather is hot and humid, but this is the best time to visit for adventure enthusiasts as it is the ideal time for river rafting and trekking. The famous Kumbh Mela, which attracts millions of devotees, is also held in haridwar
Monsoon (July to September): The monsoon season in Haridwar brings heavy rainfall and landslides, making it difficult to travel. However, the surroundings become lush green and the water levels of the Ganges rise, making it a beautiful sight to behold.
Winter (October to February): Winter is the best time to visit Haridwar for those who prefer cooler temperatures. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 6°C to 23°C. This is also the best time to visit for spiritual seekers as the city is less crowded, and the famous Ganga Aarti is a beautiful sight to behold.
Overall, the best time to visit Haridwar depends on personal preferences and the purpose of the visit. Summer is the peak tourist season, and the best time for adventure enthusiasts, while winter is ideal for spiritual seekers and those who prefer cooler temperatures. Monsoon season is not recommended for traveling due to heavy rainfall and landslides.
How to Reach Haridwar
Haridwar is a well-connected city in Uttarakhand, and it is easily accessible by air, rail, and road. Here is how to reach Haridwar:
By Air: The nearest airport to Haridwar is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 36 km away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Haridwar.
By Train: Haridwar is well-connected by rail to major cities in India. The Haridwar Railway Station is located in the heart of the city, and there are regular trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and other major cities. The Dehradun Shatabdi Express is a popular train that connects Delhi to Haridwar.
By Road: Haridwar is well-connected by road, and there are regular buses from Delhi, Dehradun, and other nearby cities. You can also hire a taxi or drive to Haridwar. The distance between Delhi and Haridwar is approximately 220 km, and the journey takes around 5-6 hours.
Once you reach Haridwar, you can explore the city by foot or hire a taxi or auto-rickshaw to get around. The city is relatively small and easy to navigate, with most of the tourist attractions located in the central part of the city.
What To Do in Haridwar
Haridwar is a holy city and a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. Here are some of the top things to do in Haridwar:
Take a dip in the holy Ganges:
Haridwar is known for its ghats (steps leading to the river) along the Ganges, where pilgrims come to take a dip and wash away their sins. You can also take a dip in the holy river and experience the spiritual cleansing.
Attend the Ganga Aarti:
The Ganga Aarti is a famous ritual that takes place every evening at the Har Ki Pauri ghat. It is a mesmerizing sight to see the priests offering prayers to the Ganges, with diyas (lamps) floating on the river.
Visit the temples: Haridwar is home to many temples, including the Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, and Maya Devi Temple. You can explore these temples and witness the elaborate rituals and traditions.
Explore the ashrams: Haridwar is also known for its ashrams, which are centers for spiritual practice and meditation. Some of the popular ashrams in Haridwar include the Parmarth Niketan, Shantikunj, and Sapt Rishi Ashram.
Take a cable car to the hilltop: You can take a cable car ride to the top of the Mansa Devi Temple and enjoy panoramic views of Haridwar and the surrounding hills.
Explore the markets: Haridwar has many bustling markets, including the Bara Bazaar and Moti Bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs, clothing, and local handicrafts.
Overall, Haridwar is a vibrant city with a rich cultural and religious heritage. It is an ideal destination for spiritual seekers and those interested in Indian culture and traditions.
Places to explore in and around Haridwar
Haridwar is a city in Uttarakhand, India that is considered to be one of the holiest places in Hinduism. It is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and is surrounded by scenic beauty. Apart from its spiritual and religious significance, Haridwar has many interesting places to explore. Some of the places to visit in and around Haridwar are:
Har Ki Pauri:
This is a sacred ghat on the banks of the river Ganga and is considered to be the most important landmark of Haridwar. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of Har Ki Pauri washes away all sins.
Chandi Devi Temple:
This temple is situated on top of a hill and can be reached by a cable car or a trek. It is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, who is believed to have killed the demon king Chanda-Munda.
Mansa Devi Temple:
This temple is also located on a hill and can be reached by a cable car or a trek. It is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi, who is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees.
Bharat Mata Mandir:
This temple is dedicated to Mother India and has a unique architecture that depicts the country’s history, culture, and beauty.
Daksha Mahadev Temple:
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be the place where his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati performed a yagna.
Shanti Kunj: It is a spiritual and cultural academy that focuses on the upliftment of human life and is a popular place for meditation and yoga.
Rajaji National Park: This national park is located on the outskirts of Haridwar and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and deer.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: This temple is situated on top of a hill and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Rishikesh: This holy city is located just 25 km from Haridwar and is famous for its spiritual significance and adventure sports like white water rafting, bungee jumping, and camping.
Dehradun: The capital city of Uttarakhand is located around 50 km from Haridwar and offers a mix of history, culture, and nature. Some of the popular places to visit in Dehradun are Robber’s Cave, Sahastradhara, and Tapkeshwar Temple.
These are just a few of the many places to explore in and around Haridwar. The city and its surroundings offer a mix of spirituality, adventure, and nature, making it an ideal destination for all kinds of travelers.
Before You Travel
If you are planning to travel to Haridwar, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and hassle-free trip:
Weather: The weather in Haridwar can be unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you leave. During the summer months, the temperatures can rise to uncomfortable levels, while the winter months can be quite chilly. Be prepared for the weather conditions and pack accordingly.
Clothing: Haridwar is a holy city, so it is important to dress modestly, especially if you plan to visit any of the temples or attend any religious events. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or shorts and tank tops. It is also advisable to wear comfortable shoes as you may need to walk on uneven surfaces.
Transportation: Haridwar can be quite crowded during peak season, so it is important to plan your transportation in advance. If you are travelling by car, make sure to book your taxi or rental car in advance. If you plan to use public transportation, be prepared for long waits and crowded buses.
Health: It is advisable to carry basic medications with you, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Drink only bottled water and avoid street food to prevent any stomach issues. If you have any health concerns, consult your doctor before travelling.
Local customs: Haridwar is a religious destination, so it is important to respect the local customs and traditions. Avoid smoking or drinking in public places, and do not litter. If you are attending any religious events, be aware of the customs and dress appropriately.
Safety: Like any other tourist destination, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables safe. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place. If you are travelling alone, it is advisable to stay in a reputable hotel and avoid going out alone at night.
Here are some don’ts to keep in mind while traveling to Haridwar:
Don’t litter: Haridwar is a holy city, and it is important to respect the environment. Don’t litter the streets or the river banks. Use dustbins provided in the city and encourage others to do the same.
Don’t bathe in the river at inappropriate places: The Ganges is considered sacred in Haridwar, and there are designated ghats for bathing. Don’t bathe in the river at inappropriate places, as it can cause inconvenience to the locals and also pose a danger to your safety.
Don’t wear revealing clothes: Haridwar is a conservative city, and it is best to dress modestly, especially while visiting temples or attending religious ceremonies. Avoid wearing revealing clothes, shorts, or sleeveless tops.
Don’t consume non-vegetarian food or alcohol: Haridwar is a vegetarian city, and non-vegetarian food is not readily available. Also, alcohol is strictly prohibited in the city.
Don’t participate in any unethical or illegal activities: Haridwar is a holy city, and it is important to maintain its sanctity. Don’t indulge in any unethical or illegal activities, such as drugs, prostitution, or gambling.
Don’t disrespect local customs and traditions: Haridwar is a culturally rich city, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Don’t disrespect the local culture or offend religious sentiments.
Don’t engage in any aggressive behavior: Haridwar is a peaceful city, and any aggressive behavior or arguments can lead to a disturbance in the city’s environment. Keep calm and maintain a peaceful demeanor.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Haridwar.