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Haridwar
 

Among the many pilgrimages that dot the length of the Ganga, Haridwar ranks among “the Most Holy in the land" According to Hindu mythology Haridwar was known as Kapilsthan. Legend has it that the ancestors of Raja Bhagirath, were consumed by fire at this spot following a curse of Rishi Kapil. For their salvation Raja Bhagirath requested the Ganga to descend on Earth. Haridwar is also famous by the names of Gangadwar Mokshadwar, Tapovan and “Mayapuri. It is at Haridwar that the Ganga finally emerges into the northern plains.

Haridwar - gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttaranchal region, is located on the foot hills of Shivaliks. The Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains with Haridwar being the first major town on the plains. Though the Ganges does not lose its rapids completely nevertheless it becomes very quite and calm here. The water is clean and people prefer taking bath on the numerous ghats built on the river shores. It is said that taking bath here purifies the soul and opens the way for the ultimate freedom, Nirvana.

A Major Shaktipeeth
Haridwar has earned fame as being the place which has been blessed by the trinity of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. It is also one of the major Shaktipeeths. Down the ages, Haridwar has purified the mind, the body and the soul. Not only in spiritual or religious terms Haridwar has come up as a major learning center for arts, science and culture. This place has maintained the Gurukul tradition of teaching. This ancient tradition of teaching has maintained its fervour in Haridwar.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Har Ki Paudi
This is Haridwar's most important bathing spot. Every day thousands of people come over here for taking holy dip in the Ganges. This ghat is also known as Brahmakund. In the evening a Maha Aarti is performed on this ghat. It is an event which is a must, not be missed by any visitor.

PLACES OF INTEREST AROUND HARIDWAR

  • Rishikesh
    24-kms from Haridwar is Rishikesh. This place is known as the Tapo Bhumi or the place for meditation of the Gods. Rishikesh is one of the popular pilgrimage for the Hindus. At this place the Ganges leaves the mountains and prepares herself to begin a long journey through the plains.

    read more about Rishikesh

  • Daksha Mahadev Temple
    4-kms from Haridwar is a town called Kankhal. Mythology says that the king of this place King Daksha Prajapati performed a Yagya. His daughter, Sati was married to Lord Shiva. But Daksha was not happy with this marriage and did not invite Shiva-Sati in the Yagya. But Sati came and was insulted by her father. She could not take the insult and burnt herself in the Yagya-Kund. On hearing this the followers of Shiva killed Daksha. But later Mahadeo (Shiva) brought Daksha to life. The Daksha temple is an attribute to this legend. This place is one of the five sacred places in Haridwar.
    Sapt Rishi
    At one place Ganga divides herself into seven small streams. This place is known as the Sapt Rishi and provides a very pleasing sight.
    Maya Devi
    Maya Devi is one of the Shaktipeeths in India. This ancient temple of Maya Devi is also the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife Sati, who had burnt her self to keep the honour of her husband, then the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place.
    Gurukul Kangri
    This is on the Jwalapur By-pass Road. The Arya Samaj revolutionary, Swamy Shraddanand founded this University. Once upon a time this University was very famous, but now most of the buildings there need to be restored. A museum here houses many ancient sculptures.
    Beauty Point

    On the Mansa Devi temple road, about two kilometer from Haridwar is a point which provides an excellent view of Haridwar and the near by greenery. This place is called the beauty point as the sight from here of the surrounding is very exciting and enthralling.
    Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

    This place is an enchanting bird watching point particularly during the winters. There are various species of birds which can be spotted here. Around Laljiwala on the banks of river Ganges one can expect the Siberian Cranes, which are one of the prized visitor to this Pakshi Vihar.

SHOPPING IN HARIDWAR
Haridwar is a pilgrimage center and visitors come here to visit the temples so as such there is no particular item which can be recommended to be bought here. But Haridwar offers you some good handicraft items which can be kept as decorative pieces or can be used as gift items. In the markets surrounding the temples, one can find jewellery imitations which are very popular among the devotees. The bangles, chains, ear and nose rings are some items which can be bough there.

Look out for Kitchen set toys made from stone. You can also get some items of talk stone. The main shopping centers are Moti Bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur, Kankhal. The Uttar Pradesh Handloom Emporium is near the Bharat Mata temple and the Government Emporium, Gandhi Ashram is near the Haridwar post office.

HOW TO GET THERE

  • Air
    In the region Air Services are available only upto Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.

  • Rail
    There is a railway station at Haridwar. This major pilgrimage center has been well connected by trains to all the major towns of India. In fact trains bring the major load of pilgrims and tourist inflow to Haridwar.

  • Road
    The National Highway No - 45 crosses through the city so it is connected to other cities of the State as well as other towns in India in an efficient manner. There are buses available from Delhi to this place. The state transport has ordinary as well as deluxe and semi-deluxe buses on this route for long distance travel. There are private buses available too, which will take you to nearby places and some of these private deluxe buses run on the long distance routes.

 

 
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