- One of the seven sacred cities of India lies in the foot hills of Shivalik ranges, on the right bank of river Ganga.
- According to mythological legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors, who had perished due to saint Kapila’s curse.
- Bhagirath was blessed and the holy river descended on the earth and its water revived the sons of King Sagara.
- Following the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here and pray for the salvation of their ancestors.
- Haridwar is also famous for the ‘Kumbha’ and ‘Ardh Kumbh’ fairs held here once in every 12 and 6 year respectively.
- Millions of devotees flock to the Haridwar during this auspicious occasion and take a dip in the holiest river of India.
- It is said that drops of amrit (nectar) obtained after the ‘Sagar Manthan’ fell at four places – Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik and the Kumbh fair is held at these four sacred sites.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Jolly Grant Airport (DED), Dehradun, 41 kms away from Haridwar town.
- Rail: Dehradun Railway Station, Dehradun, 52 kms away from Haridwar town.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE:
- Har Ki Pauri
- Maya Devi Temple
- Mansa Devi Temple
- Daksha Mahadev Temple
- Chandi Devi Temple
- Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar
- Bharat Mandir
- Triveni Ghat
- Kailash Niketan Temple
- Shatrughan Temple
- Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
- Shivanand Ashram (The Divine Society)
- Rajaji National Park (Chilla)
- Lakshman Jhoola
- Ram Jhoola
ATTRACTIONS OF HARIDWAR
Har Ki Pauri:
- Most sacred ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated here.
- It is also known as Brahamakund and is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela.
- The evening Ganga Aarti is spectacular as a large number of ornate oil lamps (diyas) with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee are offered to Mother Ganga.
Canal Centenary Bridge:
- It affords a panoramic view of the ghats and Ganga canal.
Maya Devi Temple:
- Ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar.
- It is regarded as one of the Siddhapeethas and according to mythology the heart and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen over here.
Mansa Devi Temple:
- It is perched atop the Bilwa Parwat and can be reached by a ropeway or on foot.
- A statue of the goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms.
- The temple commands a fine view of Haridwar.
Daksha Mahadev Temple:
- Ancient Shiva (Mahadev) temple is located in the south Kankhal town.
- It is associated with the legend of goddess Sati.
Chandi Devi Temple:
- Shrine atop Neel Parvat on the banks of Ganga was built by Suchat Singh, the king of Kashmir in 1929, but the main statue is said to be established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century.
- According to a legend Goddess Chandi killed demons Chanda – Munda over here.
- The temple is about 3 kms trek from Chandighat.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar:
- Legendary site is said to be the place where Saptarshis (seven sages) meditated and river Ganga not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND HARIDWAR
Rajaji National Park (Chilla):
- 10 kms away from Haridwar town.
- Pictureque Park covers an area of 820 sq. kms on the edge of the Doon Valley.
- It was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species.
- Key fauna – elephant, tiger, panther, bear, chital, sambar, wild boar, barking deer etc.
- 24 kms away from Haridwar town.
- The ‘place of sages’ is an important pilgrim and spiritual centre set on the right bank of holy Ganga.
- It is surrounded by Shivalik range on three sides and is the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage.
- A large number of people interested in meditation, Yoga week, which attracts participation from all across the world, is held here every year from 2nd to 7th February on the banks of Ganga.
- Temple is dedicated to Bharat, the brother of Lord Ram.
- It lies near the Triveni Ghat and is the oldest temple in Rishikesh.
- Sacred bathing ghat on the banks of Ganga is believed to be the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati River.
- The evening Aarti ceremony here is worth attending.
Kailash Niketan Temple:
- 13 storeyed temple lies near Laxman Jhoola.
- Ancient temple is dedicated to Shatrughan, Lord Ram’s brother.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:
- It is set atop a hill across the Ganga.
- According to Mythological legends, Shiva drank the venom produced during “Sagar Manthan” here, which turned his throat blue and was named Neelkanth.
- Hanging bridge across Ganga is on the way to Badrinath.
- It was originally a jute rope bridge without pillars and was rebuilt with iron ropes in 1889.
- On the side of this famous bridge is the well-known Shri Raghunathji temple dedicated to Lord Ram.
- Hanging bridge similar to Lakshman Jhoola is built between the Shivanand Ashram and the Swargashram.
Shivanand Ashram (The Divine Society):
- Famous spiritual centre was established by Swami Shivanand.
- It imparts lectures on spiritual life and training in meditation and Yoga.