Haridwar pronunciation (help·info), also spelled Hardwar, is an ancient city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. According to popular Hindu legend, it was here that Goddess Ganga when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair. The River Ganga, after flowing for 253 kilometres (157 mi) from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier, enters the Gangetic Plain for the first time at Haridwar, which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára.
Haridwar or Hardwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan,Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag (Allahabad) is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbha Mela, which is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar. During the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. Brahma Kund, the spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally, “footsteps of the Lord”) and is considered to be the most sacred ghat of Haridwar. It is also the primary center of the Kanwar pilgrimage, in which millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Śiva shrines.
Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district. Today, the city is developing beyond its religious importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited as well as its affiliated ancillaries.
Haridwar presents a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and development. In the sacred writings it has been differently specified as Kapilsthan, Gangadwar and Mayapuri. It is additionally a passage indicate the Char Dham (the four principle focuses of journey in Uttarakhand viz, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), subsequently, Shaivaites (adherents of Lord Shiva) and Vaishnavites (devotees of Lord Vishnu) call this place Hardwar and Haridwar individually, relating to Har being Shiv and Hari being Vishnu.
- 5 /08 °C
- Starts from Govindghat
Places of interest
This sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya (1st century BC) in memory of his brother Bharthari. It is believed that Bharthari came to Haridwar and meditated on the banks of the holy Ganges. When he died, his brother constructed a Ghat in his name, which later came to be known as Har Ki Pauri. The most sacred ghat within Har Ki Pauri is Brahmakund. The evening prayer (Aarti) at dusk offered to Goddess Ganga at Har Ki Pauri (steps of God Hara or Shiva) is an enchanting experience for any visitor. A spectacle of sound and colour is seen when, after the ceremony, pilgrims float Diyas (floral floats with lamps) and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. Thousands of people from all around the world do make a point to attend this prayer on their visit to Haridwar. A majority of present ghats were largely developed in the 1800s. On the night of Dussehra or a few days before that the Ganga Canal is dried in Haridwar to clean the riverbed. The water is restored on Dewali. It is believed that on Dussera Maa Ganga goes to her father’s house and returns after Bhai Duj or Bhai Phota. It is for this reason that the waters in the Ganga canal in Haridwar are partially dried on the night of Dussehra and the waters are restored on the day of Bhai Duj or Bhai Phota.
Chandi Devi Temple
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, who sits atop the ‘Neel Parvat’ on the eastern bank of the river Ganges. It was constructed in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh. Skanda Purana mentions a legend, in which Chanda-Munda, the Army Chief of a local Demon Kings Shumbha and Nishumbha were 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 Shankaracharya in 8th century A.D. The temple is a 3 km trek from Chandighat and can also be reached through a ropeway.
Mansa Devi Temple
Situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat, the temple of Goddess Mansa Devi, literally meaning the Goddess who fulfills desires (Mansa), is a popular tourist destination, especially because of the cable cars, which offer views of the city.The main temple houses two idols of the Goddess, one with three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms.
Maya Devi Temple
Dating to the 11th century, this ancient temple of Maya Devi, the Adhishthatri Devi (Patron Goddess) of Haridwar, is considered one of the Siddhapithas and is said to be the place where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen. It is one of few ancient temples still standing in Haridwar, along with Narayani Shila temple and Bhairav Temple.
Das Mahavidya temple, Daksheswara Mahadev temple
Ropeway to Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar.
Bholanath Sevashram temple by the Ganges, Haridwar
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev also known as Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple, is situated in the south Kankhal town. According to Hindu texts, King Daksha Prajapati, father of Dakshayani, Lord Shiva’s first wife, performed a yagña, to which he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva. When she arrived uninvited, he was further insulted by the king, seeing which Sati felt infuriated and self-immolated herself in the yagna kund. King Daksha was later killed by the demon Virabhadra, born out of Shiva’s anger. Later the king was brought to life and given a goat’s head by Shiva. Daksha Mahadev temple is a tribute to this legend.
Sati Kund, another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.
Sureshvari Devi Temple
Haridwar from Chilla Range, Rajaji National Park
Temple of Goddess Sureshwari, situated in midst of Rajaji National Park. Serene and religious makes this temple abode of worshipers, saints etc. Located at outskirts of Haridwar in Ranipur and permission from forest rangers is necessary. The location of the temple is beyond the boundary of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Haridwar.
A modern temple, made entirely of glass pieces, Pawan Dham is now a popular tourist destination. The temple complex was constructed by the effort of Swami Vedantanand Maharaj and the institute located there is growing under the leadership of Swami Sahaj Prakash Maharaj. People from Moga in Punjab have put considerable efforts and money to erect this place.
Bharat Mata Mandir
Bharat Mata Mandir is a multi-storey temple dedicated to Bharat Mata (Mother India). Bharat Mata Mandir was inaugurated on 15 May 1983 by Indira Gandhi on the banks of the river Ganges. It is situated adjacent to the Samanvaya Ashram, and stands eight stories tall to a height of 180 feet (55 m). Each floor depicts an era in the Indian history, from the days of Ramayana until India’s independence.
On the first floor is the statue of Bharat Mata. The second floor, Shur Mandir, is dedicated to the well renowned heroes of India. The third floor Matri Mandir is dedicated to the achievements of India’s revered women, such as Radha, Mira, Savitri, Draupadi, Ahilya, Anusuya, Maitri, Gargi etc. The great saints from various religions, including Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism are featured on the fourth floor Sant Mandir. The assembly hall with walls depicting symbolic coexistence of all religions practised in India and paintings portraying history in various provinces, is situated on the fifth floor. The various forms of the Goddess Shakti can be seen on the sixth floor, whilst the seventh floor is devoted to all incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The eighth floor holds the shrine of Lord Shiva from which devotees can gain a view of Himalayas, Haridwar, and the campus of Sapta Sarovar.
The temple was built under the former Shankaracharya Maha-Mandleshwar Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj. Since the inception of the Swami Satyamitranand foundation in 1998, several other branches have been opened, namely in Renukut, Jabalpur, Jodhpur, Indore, and Ahmedabad.
Famous places for shopping is Bara Bazar, Moti Bazar, Upper Road, Ranipur Mor, Jwalapur. Tourists usually buy items of devotion and inexpensive ornaments. There are large number of shops throughout Haridwar where one can buy devotional items ranging from Rudraksha ornaments, Religious pictures and deity statues to music cassettes of remixed devotional songs and bhajans. Garments are other major shopping attraction for locals.
Shri Chintamani Parshwnath Jain Shwetambar Mandir
Shri Chintamani Parshwnath Jain Shwetambar Mandir
This temple was built in 1990 by jain saint Shri Padam Sagar Suri. This temple is built by Jaisalmer stone in Jain architectural style. Moolnayak of this temple is a black colored idol of Chintamani Parshwnath Bhagwan in Padmasan posture. Idols of Shri Parshv Yaksh and Mata Padmawati on both sides of the main idol. There is alson an idol of Rishabhanatha made up of white marble. There is small temple of Shri Ghantakaran Mahavir Ji and charan-paduka’s (foot imprints) near this temple. The temple also has a dharmshala for accommodation of around 1000 pilgrims at a time.
Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust)
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama
This is branch of the worldwide Ramakrishna Movement. The Mission centre was founded in 1901. The Math centre was started in 1980. The Math centre conducts daily worship and bhajans, and fortnightly Ramnam Sankirtan. Celebration of the birthdays of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and some other saints and prophets.
History of Haridwar
Haridwar is a living example of one such historical city that hasn’t been erased by the tides of time. The city has been mentioned in several Hindu texts, scriptures and books from the times of Buddha to the British invasion. It was ruled by the Maurya Empire (322-185 BCE), followed by the Kushan Empire (c. 1st-3rd centuries).
In the Archaeological surveys, it was found that terra cotta culture thrived in Haridwar between 1700 BCE and 1200 BCE. Haridwar also finds its mention in the travel journals of the famous ancient explorers. During King Harshavardhan’s rule (590-647) when Chinese traveller, Hsuan Tsang visited India in 629 A.D., he cited Haridwar as ‘Mo-yu-lo’ and also mentioned that there was a temple called ‘Gangadwara’ which stood in the north of Mo-yu-lo.
During the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1596-1627) Thomas Coryat, an English traveller who visited the city mentioned it as ‘Haridwara’, the capital of Lord Shiva. The city was first connected with railways via Laksar, through branch line in 1886. In 2000, Haridwar became a part of Haridwar district of Uttarakhand which was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh.
Mythology of Haridwar
As per the Hindu mythology, during the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean, the precious drops of elixir or Amrit which carried the boon of immortality were accidentally spilled at four sites i.e Ujjain, Nasik, Allahabad, and Haridwar. To commemorate this event, Kumbh Mela, and Maha Kumbh Mela, the mass Hindu pilgrimages of faith is celebrated once in three years and once in 12 years at one of the four places respectively. It is believed that Brahma Kund situated at Har Ki Pauri is the place where the drops of elixir fell.
Haridwar – The Business Hub and Industrial Town
Haridwar is an ancient city and a Municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. It is also the headquarters and the largest city of Haridwar district. Haridwar showcases a vivid topography, with the mighty Himalayas on one side and the plains on the other. This holy city is emerging as a developing industrial estate as the State Industrial Development of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and other affiliated ancillaries are situated here.
- Ganga Aarti that takes place every evening at Har Ki Paudi is a spectacle to remember. One should not miss this while in Haridwar.
- Photography may be prohibited inside the temple, especially inside sanctum sanctorum. Please abide by the guidelines outlined by temple authorities.
- Haridwar gets overcrowded, especially during the Kumbh Mela. Special care should be taken in that time to avoid getting into large crowds and taking bridges on the river Ganges.
What is Haridwar famous for?
Haridwar is famous among tourist as Pilgrimage.
Haridwar is recommended destination for Couples, Foreigners, Groups, Solo.
Haridwar is popular destination for following activities/ interests – Business Hub, Char Dham Yatra Route, Do Dham Ytar, Pilgrimage, Ropeways, Temples, Weekend Getaway.
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