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One of India’s holiest cities, Haridwar, also known as the “Gateway to God,” is renowned for offering relief from the never-ending cycle of rebirth and death. As the priests ignite lamps and the tourists offer prayers, the Ganga arati is a sight to behold. You can see how devoted to religion India is by going to Haridwar!
According to Hindu Mythology, King Bhagiratha took the help of Lord Shiva to bring the Ganga River to earth so that he could send his ancestors to heaven. Lord Shiva released Ganga in Haridwar from his hair. Lord Vishnu left his footprints at Har Ki Pauri, which is a major attraction of Haridwar today.
Nearest Airport: Dehradun
How to reach:by air / train / road
Famous for: Temples, Ashrams & River Ganges
Best time to visit: September to June
WHAT TO SEE
Mansa Devi Temple
Har Ki Pauri
Rajaji National Park
Hindus view the Ganga as the holy mother who gives life in the form of water, not just another river. A popular event that takes place in the morning and evening is the Ganga Aarti. While the priests chant the sacred mantras and light fire bowls and three-tiered diyas in their palms, the aarti is a joy to witness in the evenings. During the aarti, the temple’s ringing bells create a blessed and beautiful atmosphere. To create a clean effect, the tourists also get to light diyas and then float them on the Ganges!
The tourist stopover at Haridwar before traveling from Haridwar to KedarnathorHaridwar to Badrinath. The temples and old Havelis carry the rich brilliance of Hindu architecture. Haridwar is amongst the greatest centers of classical art form and music. Festivals, fairs, and yoga form an integral form of Haridwar’s culture.
Places of Interest:
Mansa Devi Temple: The Mansa Devi Temple, sometimes referred to as the “Bilwa Tirth,” is one of the five pilgrimage sites in Haridwar. This well-liked tourist destination honors Mansa Devi, the Hindu Goddess of the Snake. Two sculptures of Mansa Devi can be found in the temple, one with eight arms and the other with five arms and three faces. Tourists must climb 3 kilometers to reach the temple since it is perched on top of the Biswas Parvat, a mountain in the Shivalik Hills, and a piece of the Himalayas’ southernmost range. To get to the temple, guests who have trouble walking can use Mansa Devi Udankhatola, a cable car service.
Har Ki Pauri: Being one of the top tourist attractions in Haridwar, the Har Ki Pauri means “Footsteps of God.” It is the sacred ghat where the river Ganga touches the plains after flowing through the Himalayan ranges. Millions of visitors flock to this divine ghat at dawn to take a spiritual dip in the river during the Ganga Arati. The scene of the ghat getting lightened by the glittering beams of the three-tiered lamps of fire in the priests’ hands is a mesmerizing scene to watch. The devotees also get to float thousands of diyas on the waters of River Ganga, making it look even more graceful. Lord Vishnu’s footprint imprinted on a wall is one of the prime attractions for tourists during the daytime.
Rajaji National Park: Known for its rich biodiversity and stunning scenic beauty, Rajaji National Park is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Created by the amalgamation of Uttarakhand’s three sanctuaries namely, Chila, Rajaji, and Motichur, it is home to tigers, elephants, leopards, ghorals, deers, and many other animals. Spread over an area of over 820.42 sq km, Rajaji National Park represents the vegetation of various distinct zones and forest types like riverine forests, sal forests, broad-leaved mixed forests, grassy, and scrubland. Having over 315 bird species and 23 mammal species, the national park is full of nature’s bounties!
Where to Stay:
Being a well-known pilgrimage place for worshipping the holy River Ganga, Haridwar is a beautiful city in Uttarakhand that you should visit. The river Ganga travels from the foothills of the Himalayas and covers Rishikesh and Haridwar on its way to other cities before mixing into the delta basin. It attracts people from different places in the world to take the sacred bath in the River Ganga. As it hosts tourists from different parts of the world, tourists can find diverse types of hotels in Haridwar as per their preferences. Some of the best hotels are:-
Amatra By The Ganges: It offers comfortable guest rooms and an infinity pool with a steam room. It also features a spa that offers a variety of spa and massage treatments.
Haveli Hari Ganga: Built in a heritage building, it offers boutique accommodation with private balconies to all its guests. Other specialties include a rooftop café with scenic views, a spa, a private bathing ghat, and meditation rooms.
Ganga Lahri: The non-smoking rooms of this hotel feature classic Indian fabrics and furnishings. Every room has a TV, tea/coffee-making facilities and a private bathroom with shower facilities.
Radisson Blu Haridwar: Being a 5-star hotel, it has modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and a Tv with a flat-screen. It gives tourists five dining options and 24-hour room service.
Ambrosia Sarovar Portico: It offers air-conditioned guest rooms with a minibar, tea/coffee-making facilities, and a TV with flat-screen and satellite channels. The bathroom of the room comes with a shower and complimentary toiletries.