The beautiful city of Haridwar is one of the holiest and ancient cities in India. It holds great religious and spiritual importance in the heart of the devotees. It is believed that during Samudra Manthan, a drop of Amrit fell here from the pitcher and that is the main reason why Kumbh Mela is organized after every 12 years in Haridwar. The word Haridwar means the ‘Gate of God’. According to Hindu mythology, Haridwar is the gateway (Dwar) of Lord Vishnu (Hari).The city of Haridwar enjoys an average literacy rate of 70% and its widely spoken regional languages include Hindi. Situated in the lap of the Shivalik ranges, the holy city of Haridwar is a district of Uttarakhand and is popular a holiday destination that draws thousands of tourists throughout the year.
The history of Haridwar dates back to the 1700 and 1800 B.C. The city has witnessed the rise of Buddha and also the arrival of the British in India. Haridwar was under the rule of the Mauryas and Kushanas. The history also states that the city was invaded by a Turkish ruler named Timur Lang in the year 1399. As per Ain-e-Akbari, the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar called the water of the Ganges in Haridwar as ‘the water of immortality’.
Geography of Haridwar
The district of Haridwar is situated in the South Western part of the state of Uttarakhand in India. The geography of this holy land is quite interesting. The city covers an area of approximately 2360 km² and is elevated at a height of 314 meters above the sea level. It is surrounded by the Shivalik range in the North and Northeast and the River Ganges in the South.
Climatic Conditions of Haridwar
The proximity to the Himalayan ranges affects the weather of the place to a great extent. The city of Haridwar is blessed with a climate that ensures hot summer season that extends from April to June and extremely cold winter season that extends from October to February. The monsoon season is accompanied by heavy showers and the season extends from July to September. The average temperature in summer ranges between 25°C – 44°C while the average winter temperature ranges between -2°C – 24°C. It is time to witness wonderful climatic conditions during a stay in this lovely city.
Best Time to Visit Haridwar
Haridwar is one of the most popular holiday destinations that boost the strength of tourism in India. If you are planning to visit this sacred city then surely look for the best time to visit. The months of October to April are deemed as the best time of the year for a trip to Haridwar.
Haridwar Tourism: The Best Tourist Attractions
Haridwar is considered to be one among the seven holiest places for the Hindus because it is rooted in its traditions. Haridwar tourism has flourished over the past years and the fact that religion and ancient culture is so deep rooted in this land; it draws huge number of devotees in form of tourists every year. Well, connectivity of the city to other cities and towns benefits the overall Uttarakhand tourism. Maybe there is no lovers point or romantic places for couples but Haridwar has a beauty of its own and it is mostly known for the holy rituals after death. The following are some of the popular places to visit:
- Bharat Mata Mandir: This place is built to honor India. India is honored as Mother India, hence the name Bharat Mata Mandir. It is situated at a distance of 4 kms far from Haridwar, near the Sapt Rishi Ashram. This place has idols of numerous kings, leaders and revolutionists. Idols of Gods and Goddesses are also found in this complex.
- Daksheswara Mahadev Temple: The ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva where he killed Daksha for his misdeeds. The Parad Shivling made up of Mercury and the RudrakshaTree is the centre of attraction here. This temple is located at a distance of 4 kms from Haridwar near town Kankhal. This temple draws millions of pilgrims every year on the day of the Maha Shivaratri festival and other major festivals.
- Maya Devi Temple: This is one of the renowned temples is located in the central zone of Haridwar and is one among the Shakti Peeths of Haridwar. The temple ceremony which is performed in the evening or the temple Aarti is an example of the brilliance of the famous Haridwar Ki Aarti.
- Chandi Devi Mandir: The temple is at the top of Neel Parvat located at the banks of holy river Ganga. It is the place where Chandi Devi (Goddess) killed the devils named Shumbh and Nisumbh. You can reach to the temple through ropeway or have a 3 kms trek from Chandighat to the temple.
- Piran Kaliyar (Kaliyar Sharif): The place is visited by people all over the world and was built in 13th century by Ibrahim Lodhi. It is the Dargah of Sufi Saint Hazrat Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari who lived in Kaliyar village which is 7 kms from Roorkee. It is the symbol of true devotion in medieval periods.
- Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar: This place is made for the bird watchers as it is the paradise for migratory birds which arrive here during winter seasons.
- Bhimgoda Tank: It is just a kilometer away from Har Ki Pauri. The place has an interesting history and is believed that Prince Bhima, who was a Pandava drew water from rocks by rubbing his knee (Goda) on the ground.
- Mansa Devi Mandir: The temple is situated at the top of Bilwa Parvat and can be reached through cable cars cherishing the beauty of place from sky. It is believed that your every wish is fulfilled here by Goddess Mansa. The temple has two statues of the Goddess, one with eight arms and other with three faces and five arms.
- Har ki Pauri: The holy ghat is among the most sacred ghats in India; it is situated at a distance of 2 Kms from the Haridwar Railway Station. Pilgrims flock to this city to take a dipping in the holy Ganges during the Kumbh Mela. Many devotees come to this place to perform Hindu funeral ceremony customs and Hindu death rites. ‘Har Ki Pauri Arti’ is dedicated to river Ganges for its life supporting gift. The Ganga Aarti is a beautiful sight evoking both devotional and spiritual feelings. It is incredible to watch the Aarti with thousands of people addressing it. The Aarti starts at sharp 6:30 PM.
- Doodhadhari Barfani Temple: The Doodhadari Barfani temple is one of the popular temples and tourist attractions spots in the region. The beautiful construction in white marble leaves you spell bound. The temple is located in the Doodhadhari Barfani Baba Ashram.
- Pawan Dham: It is a temple which is renowned for its beautiful glass work on its wall and gorgeous idols. Pawan Dham is situated at a distance of 2 kms from Haridwar and is a major sightseeing place.
- Sati Kund: The Sati Kund is the site of the ancient Yagna Kund or the sacrificial fire. It is believed to be the tank where Lord Shiva’s wife, Sati put herself on fire. This place holds immense religious and mythological importance.
- Sureshwari Temple: This temple is thought as to be the doorway to the four major pilgrimages in all Uttarakhand districts. The sight of floating lamps on the Ganges in the evening is a breathtaking experience.
- Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar: Situated on the river Ganges in Bhimgoda Barrage, this Bird Sanctuary serves as a home to numerous rare migratory birds during the season of winter. The natural beauty of the places brings in a lot of tourists and environment enthusiasts.
- Anandamayi Maa Ashram: This ashram is dedicated to one of the noted Saint of India, Shri Anandamoyi and is situated in Kanhai. The saint’s Samadhi Shrine is placed at this ashram.
Haridwar has a lot of ashrams where people can feel the real freshness in the air and get peace. Some of the popular ashrams situated at the banks of Ganga River are Sapt Rishi Ashram, Ramanand Ashram, Shanti Kunj, and Patanjali Yogpeeth. You can also visit some places that are not very far away from Haridwar like Rishikesh, Lachhiwala, Chilla, Rajaji National Park, Chamba, Devprayag, Neelkanth Mahadev, Dehradun, and Mussoorie. These places are within 40 kms range from Haridwar.
Popular Fairs (Melas) of Haridwar
- Kumbh Mela: The Kumbh Mela is a world famous fair that draws millions of devotee to this holy land of incredible India. The fair takes place after every 12 years and this holy pilgrimage has millions of devotees taking bath in the holy river.
- Ardh Kumbha Mela: It takes place in Haridwar in every 6 years.
Other important fairs are the Somvati Mela, Ganga Dashara, Kavad Mela and Gughal Mela and all are basically associated with celebrating the holy river in various instances.
Shopping Hunt in Haridwar
The famous shopping spots in Haridwar include the Moti Bazar, Bara Bazar, Ranipur Mor, Upper Road and Jwalapur. A large number of locals and tourists are drawn to these shopping hunts to purchase variety of devotional items, devotional ornaments and handcrafted idols. There are numerous shopping malls as well. You can surely make heavy expenditures during the shopping hunt.
- Bara Bazar: The market is centered on Railway Road, Haridwar. You can buy genuine Rudraksha seeds and different Ayurvedic medicines from here.
- Moti Bazar: The market is near to the Canal Road. You can find different pilgrimage accessories, bangles, brass and copper utensils, metal statues, and other different items here.
- Jwalapur: This market is popular for the variety of sweets it offers to the customers. Also this place had got several restaurants and hotels too.
Interesting Facts about Haridwar
- The city of Haridwar has a deep rooted history that is closely interlinked with religion and spiritualism. The following are some interesting facts about Haridwar:
- It is one among the oldest cities in the country and its origin dates back to the 1700 BC; ancient scriptures Puranas, Mahabharata, etc. has mentioned the city with its different names.
- Haridwar along with Rishikesh are known as the “Twin National Heritage of India” and is one of the best vacation spots.
- Haridwar is a vegetarian city owing to the holy nature of the land.
- An exact replica of the renowned Vaishno Devi Temple is found at Haridwar.
- The main operating branch of Patanjali Yogpeeth namely the Divya Yog Mandir Trust University is situated in Haridwar.
Lodging Facility in Haridwar
The rich cultural history and immense scenic beauty make it the best vacation spot that attracts a major number of tourists that has also affected the hotel industry in a positive way. The choice to select from a vast range of cheap hotels, riverside resorts, Dharamshalas and other lodging facilities provide the tourists to select the best hotel deals and holiday packages for themselves.
Dharamshalas in Haridwar
- Basanti Devi Dharamshala: Shravan Nath Nagar Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Narayani Devi Dharamshala: Bheemgauda Haridwar.
- Dharamshala Asha Devi: Bheemgauda Haridwar.
- Lala Kishanlal Dharamshala: Bhupatwala Haridwar.
- Dhan Devi Khanna Dharamshala: Railway Road Haridwar.
Hotels and Resorts in Haridwar
A well planned trip ensures zero confusion and maximizes the overall travel experience. Plan a great stay in the top notch hotels. There are many riverside resorts as well but no beach resorts. The following list of hotels:
- Radisson Blu Hotel Haridwar: Plot C1, Sector 12, Haridwar.
- Hotel Aditya: Vishnu Ghat, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- The Haveli Hari Ganga Hotel Haridwar: 21, Pilibhit House, Ramghat, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Devnadi Hotel: Niranjani Akhara Marg, Near Safe Parking, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Classic Residency: Jwalapur Road, Near Shankar Aashram, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Higher Educational Institutions in Haridwar
Besides being a popular tourist spot, Haridwar has renowned educational institutions. The remarkable institutions that are spreading knowledge are:
- Ramanand Institute of Pharmacy: Roorkee Haridwar Road, Jwalapur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Mount Litrera Zee School, Haridwar: New four lane highway, behind Raghunath Mall, Near Prithviraj Chauhan PG College, Alipur road, Bahadrabad, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Gurukul Kangari University: Jagjeetpur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- DAV Centenary Public School: Jagjeetpur, Laksar Road, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Doctor Hari Ram Arya Inter College: Daksha Mandir Road, Mayapur, Haridwar.
Hospitals in Haridwar
Accidents are pretty unexpected and Haridwar being a buzzing tourist destination, one can come across any health issue. The best hospitals that will take utmost care are:
- City Hospital: Super Complex, Ranipur More, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama: Mission Road, Off Daksha Mandir road, Kankhal, Mayapur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Ganga Valley Hospital: Bhagwant Puram Colony, Kankhal, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- Metro Hospital & Heart Institute: Plot No. F-1, Sec-6A, SIDCUL, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
- B.H.E.L Main Hospital: BHEL Ranipur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Indian tourism popularized this land of Holy Ganga and we feel ultimate satisfaction when we step in this divine land. Create new stories in life as Haridwar will gift you the utmost experience. Fall in love with the religious beliefs after getting indulged with tourism in Haridwar. From villages to holy places, it is a place where you come to seek peace. You will also enjoy the sightseeing of places as it has much to offer its tourists. Enjoy the Uttarakhand tourism as it has numerous tourist places, however, it may not be the perfect destination for a honeymoon trip. Explore the corners in the newest ways and have a wonderful experience only in Haridwar.