The gateway of Gods, Haridwar is undoubtedly a
kaleidoscope of Indian civilization and culture.
Being blessed by the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and
Mahesh Haridwar holds immense significance for a
devout Hindu. The numerous temples dedicated to a
host of Hindu gods and goddess is a major puller for
the pilgrims. Haridwar also happens to be an ancient
shakteepeeth thus again attracting lot of ardent
devotees. As it is in Haridwar that the holy Ganges
descends in the planes, a large number of Hindus
come here to take a holy dip. Read on to know more
about the places to visit when in Haridwar.
Places To Visit
Hari Ki Pauri
Hari ki Pauri ghat was built by King Vikramaditya to commemorate the descending of Ganga after years of difficult prayers and fasting done by his ancestor Bhagirathi. Lord Vishnu is believed to have left his foot prints on a rock at this ghat. Everyday at twilight the Har ki Pauri ghat comes to life with singing prayers and lit up lamps along the Ganges where people in hundreds and thousands view this mesmerizing and cleansing ritual. It is believed that the one who bathes at Har ki Pauri gets rid of all sins and completely cleanses their soul. Floral tributes and lit up diyas floating on the Ganges is the most enchanting sight one gets at this ghat.
Standing atop the Neel Parvat, the Chandi Devi temple was built in 1929 AD by the king of Kashmir Suchat Singh. It is believed that the main statue of goddess Chandi devi, who killed the demon brothers Shumbh-Nishumbha, was laid here in the 8th century AD by Adi Shankracharya. The Chandi Devi temple can now be reached by a ropeway as well.
Situated on the southernmost hill of the Shivalik ranges is the Durga temple called Mansa Devi. One can reach this temple either on foot or by a cable car. Perched on Bilwa Parvat, the temple provides a panoramic view of the Haridwar city with the Ganges flowing in its middle.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar
Visiting an ashram in Haridwar is the dream of many, including both devotees as well as tourists. Each ashram has its own mythological significance. Also referred to as Sapt Sarovar, the Sapt Rishi Ashram is a frequently visited site in the holy town of Haridwar. The ancient ashram stands on the Haridwar-Rishikesh Road. If you are visiting Har ki Pauri in Haridwar, you will only need to cover a distance of 5 km to the north to reach the Sapt Rishi Ashram. The word 'Sapt', meaning seven, refers to a legend. According to the Hindu tradition, the ashram is the place where seven sages (known as Saptarishis) has once meditated.
Bharat Mata Mandir
It is one of its kind temples in Haridwar and is dedicated to Mother India, tracing its history from the times of Ramayana to present day. This eight storied temple houses the pictures and idols of some of the great Indian men from ancient to present times and pictures of the cities of the country. A must visit to get a sneak preview in to the history and culture of India.
Apart from being blessed with bountiful supplies of nature, the state of Uttaranchal is also steeped in religious myths and legends. Hindu mythological sites are strewn all over. One of these sacred sites is the Sati Kund ( a holy tank named after Sati, Lord Shiva's consort). The Sati Kund occupies a place at Kankhal, lying at a distance 4 km from the pilgrimage town of Haridwar. The Kankhal region has a number of other mythological sites for travellers to visit. Sati Kund, which commemorated the death of Sati, is one of the most visited here. The town of Kankhal is both popular and historic. The place finds its mention as Kanakhala in the sacred scriptures of the Hindus including the Vayu Purana and the Mahabharata.
Rajaji National Park / Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary
The Rajaji National Park, spread over an area of 240 sq km, houses the Chilla wildlife Sanctuary and is situated at a distance of 10 km from Haridwar. Situated on the banks of River Ganges, the sanctuary is a haven for a large number of animals. This biodiversity park boasts of nearly 23 mammals and about 315 fauna species. The river in the park houses large number of fishes and fauna in the water. At Chilla you can have the pleasure of spotting leopard, tigers, jungle cat, herd of elephants, wild boar, stags, spotted deer, sloth bear, langur, monkeys, woodpecker, king cobra etc. During the monsoons the park remains closed and otherwise it is open after sunrise and closed after dusk.