Haridwar is another of the Holy cities of India. It is of immense importance in Hindu pilgrim circle. The town has been mentioned in the Hindu mythology and is associated with Lord Vishnu. The name of the city itself means Adobe of Vishnu. The city is considered to be one of the holiest places and is a part of the Sapt Puri circle of pilgrimage. Other than mythological and religious importance the city also has archaeological and historic importance. Haridwar is one of the ancient cities of India.
Haridwar is popular for the Khumbh Mela which is organised once in 12 years. It is considered to be the oldest and the biggest fair of India. It is visited by thousands of people everytime it is put up. The fair is also a part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. The first organisation of the fair has a mythological context. It is not sure how the fair is.
WHAT TO SEE
The region has a unique and diversified culture owing to the diverse ethnicities of the people living here. The people of the region are well versed in Hindi, Bhoti, English, Garhwali and other languages. The region has rich forms of dances Langvir Nritya, Barada Nati Hurka Baul Jhumaila, Chholiya and others. The people of the region well know the art of playing Dhol, Dholki, Daur, Thali, Turri and others. Spirit worship is an integral part of dance and music here, Jagar is one of the most popular of such worships. The ballad songs of the region are equally famous.
Where to go
Har ki puri is the main attraction and is visited by pilgrims and tourists equally. It in the bank of river Ganga and is considered to be a sacred place. It is considered that one dip in the Ganges would relieve a person of all the sins committed. As much it is considered sacred the place has a historical importance. The Ghat is said to be built by King Vikramadtya in 1st c CE. The place is also the precise spot where Ganga completes her journey through mountains and lies of the plain flat land.
Chandi Devi temple is considered to be one of the most sacred temples in Uttarakhand. It is dedicated to Devi Chandi and thus the name. Chandi Devi is said to be the incarnation of Goddess Paravati. The temple can be reached by trekking for 3 kms. There are several stories and legends associated with the temple. There are several small temples nearby that one can visit.
Doodhadhari Barfani Temple is a popular place in Haridwar. The temple is situated in the premises of Doodhadhari Barfani Baba Ashram. The architecture of the place is mesmerising and the main reason for attraction. There are several temples within the temple complex dedicated to various Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Rajaji National park is a frequented place by tourists. The park covers an area of 820 sp kms across Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal districts. The place is a home to wide range of fauna. There are over 300 species of birds that can be spotted here. There is a significant population of reptiles too. The region is drained by several rivers making it a home to wide range of Aqua fauna too.
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is an amazing place to visit in Haridwar. The place attracts tourists and pilgrims. The place is a paradise for bird watchers. The place is so popular among the birds too that the Siberian Cranes make it a point to migrate here in winter months. Seeing flocks of different species f birds is a treat to eyes.
Other places to visit include Mansa Devi temple, Daksha Mahadev temple, Parad Shivling, Pavan Dham, Gau ghat, Vaishno Devi Temple (replica) and several others.
What to eat
Wheat is a staple food of the region. The region has good vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The people of Uttarakhand eat coarse grain food but even that is worth having. The spice mix and preparation for food is different here and yet the food has good taste. A crop by the name of Jhingora is quite popular in the region. It is buckwheat and dishes made of it taste quite delicious. Food here is cooked in desi ghee and mustard oil making it quite healthy. Even the sweets of Uttarakhand like Bal Mithai, Gulgula and others are quite famous.
How to reach
The airport at Jolly Grand is the closest to Haridwar. From here regular bus services are available to reach Haridwar. Taxi is also available from the airport to reach Haridwar.
The railway station at Haridwar is well connected to rest of the country. There are regular trains to Haridwar from Dehradun, Rishikesh, Delhi, Kolkata and other towns and cities of the country.
Haridwar is well connected to the nearby towns and cities like Gangotri, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Musoorie and others via road. Regular bus services from nearby towns and cities are there to reach Haridwar. Taxi is also available to reach the town.