Haridwar – the gate to Himalaya
Haridwar as the name sounds in mind has the same meaning in terms of geographical location. It is a city of temples and bells lauded with chants of priests and meditation on the bank of the holy river Ganga.
Why Haridwar is famous
Haridwar is literally acting as a gate to the Himalayan heights as one entering from plains of Northern India. The city is located on the bank of mighty river Ganga and most of the temples and shrines are located along the bank of the river itself. This religious city has also importance because river Ganga enters the plains the first time after its origin in Gangotri glacier in Himalaya. The city is famous for its religious value for Hindu Religion people and also its name is found to be mentioned in holy scriptures of the religion.
How to reach Haridwar:
Haridwar is district headquarters in Uttrakhand state, so it is well connected to the major parts of India and can be easily accessed. The city is located at the banks of river Ganga which has religious importance for Hindus.
Haridwar city is an important destination for the Hindu religion and having a wide connecting network with the other main parts of the nation mainly Dehradun, Chandigarh, and Delhi. The city is having a sound network of road, rail and air travel with the major metropolis of India. So traveler can arrive at Haridwar by taking up any suitable medium out of Air/Rail/Road at any time throughout the year.
Flight to Haridwar:
Haridwar city has no Airport but Jolly grant airport in Dehradun is nearest to Haridwar and the airport is stationed at an equidistance of 35 Km from three major destinations namely Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun. Paid taxis/ state transport is easily available from the airport to Haridwar and one can reach here.
Jolly grant airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights but the traveler must check the schedule of flights prior to planning a trip to Haridwar. Tickets for the flights can be books by individual flight operators online application or at the ticket counters offline.
Train to Haridwar:
Haridwar city is flourished in tourism and one major reason for the same is the availability of train services to and from Haridwar to the major metropolis of the nation on a regular basis. Haridwar has a majestic railway station with good rail traffic on a daily basis with Indian Railway Station code- HW. Trains usually take 4-5 hours from Delhi to reach Haridwar and 1 hour from Dehradun to Haridwar.
There are some passenger trains also running from Haridwar to Rishikesh as well, but buses for Rishikesh from Haridwar are faster and frequent. The railway station is just 2 km from iconic Har ki Pauri and within walking distance from major hotels.
The list of trains in image is subjected to change and there are many trains from other cities as well so it is advised to go through the official website of the Indian Railway for prior bookings and search for trains.
Road to Haridwar:
Haridwar is well connected with the main cities around it with an excellent network of roads and bridges. Haridwar also acts as a gateway to the Shivalik range of Himalaya for the travelers who go in exploration of the majestic beauty of the youngest mountains in the world through this route.
Haridwar is located at a distance of 207 Km from Delhi and 199 km from Chandigarh. Haridwar can be reached by using Taxi/ private vehicle/ state transport from major cities like Chandigarh, Delhi, and Dehradun easily. Normal state transport and Volvo/Luxury buses are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate in Delhi to Haridwar on regular intervals throughout the day and night.
Things to do in Haridwar:
Being a venerated spiritual city, you will find that the greater part of the locations at Haridwar having religious connotations. There are various temples and ashrams that can be visited in and around Haridwar.
Kankhal is another town just 3 miles from Haridwar which is known for its religious significance. Kankhal has many ashrams and temples which are being visited by devotees regularly. It is believed that Kankhal was the winter capital of Lord Shiva while Kurukshetra was his winter capital.
This town also found its mention in epic write Mahabharat and Vayu Purana as well. Kankhal also has its name included in other famous travelers’ accounts and or among them was Sister Nivedita. People tend to visit the religious shrines stationed here and offer their prayers to Mata Ganga in the evening time. The famous temple in Kankhal is Daksh Mahadev Temple where it is believed that Lord Shiva is residing in the form of Shivalinga.
Har ki Pauri:
Har ki Paudi is a major landmark place and a famous ghat on the banks of river Ganga in Haridwar. A center place of attraction among devotees in Haridwar, Har ki Paudi is believed to be the place of exit of holy river Ganga from the mountains. World-famous Ganga Aarti takes place in the Brahmkund area of Har ki Padi, a sacred spot where it is believed that the nectar (Amrit) fell on earth. The biggest fairs of Hindu’s like Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh also takes place at Har ki Paudi.
King Vikramaditya constructed the sacred bathing ghats here at Har ki Paudi in memory of his brother, Bhatrihari who had come here to meditate in Haridwar. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu had visited Brahmkund in Har ki Paudi and a stone wall also has a large footprint which is believed to belonged to Lord Vishnu. A large number of devotees take a holy dip every day at river Ganga Aarti is performed by the Priests and the devotees at sunrise and sunset every day.
The grand procession of aarti attracts a lot of devotees and tourists who come to witness the high priests clad in white who chant hymns towards the revered river. For the best view of Ganga aarti and to have a good spot for comfortable stay one must be at the location 30-40 minutes prior to the commencement of aarti. Timings of aarti depend on the timing of sunrise and sunset on that particular day and usually, it takes place between 5.30-6.30 AM and 6-7 PM.
Mansa Devi Temple:
Mansa Devi completes the trio of Sidhpeeth in Haridwar with Chandi Devi and Maya Devi. The inner shrine of the temple has two idols that are worshipped by the devotees. Mansa Devi temple is located on Bilwa parvat such that it faces towards Chandi Devi temple on Neel parvat.
Mansa Devi temple is located on the top of Neel parvat at a distance of 3 km by pedestrian way from Har ki Paudi. There is also a facility of ropeway available from the city to the temple which is known by Udankhatola at a nominal price. Temple remains open from 8 AM to 5 PM every day.
Chandi Devi Temple:
Chandi Devi temple is a holy temple located on a hilltop of Neel Parvat near Haridwar. Goddess Chandi is being worshipped here as presiding deity of the temple and believed to be a sidhpeeth where desire gets fulfilled. Temple is located at a distance of 4 km from Haridwar at an altitude of 2900 meters and remains open from 6 AM to 8 PM. It is believed that idol was established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th AD and the present structure of the temple was constructed by King of Kashmir Suchan Singh.
As per Hindu mythology, two demons Shubh-Nishumbh captured the kingdom of Lord Indra. Attracted by the beauty of Goddess Parvati, demon Shumbh wished to marry her. After his refusal, Shumbh sent his two chiefs to fight with Parvati. The goddess created Chandika, a powerful goddess to kill demons. Chandika killed all demons including Shumbh and Nishumbh in a battle on Neel Parvat and later, Chandi Devi temple was built on that place.
Temple can be reached by steep trekking to the hilltop of Neel Parvat or alternatively can go for ropeway facility.
Shantikunj is a world-renowned ashram and headquarter of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), located in Haridwar and was established by Pandit Sriram Sharma Acharya in 1971 serves as a major attraction among the tourists visiting in search of spirituality. Shantikunj s located at a distance of 4.5 Km from Har ki Paudi and there are no entry fees to explore it which takes one hour in the exploration of the whole campus minimum.
It has now emerged as an epicenter of spiritual and moral regeneration. Gayatri pariwar has now many followers all over the followed and Shantikunj is visited by many eminent personalities across the culture and religions like Dalai Lama, Murari Bapu, etc. Shantikunj is working towards national integration and awakening of cultural, ethical, moral, and spiritual values of people.
This place offers teaching, training, and education about spiritual and moral enlightenment in humans. The complex also houses Brahmvarchas Shodh Sansthan a research institute and Dev Sanskrit Visvidalaya, a university. It also provides free ayurvedic treatment for the needy ones.
Visitors are given two days of permission to stay on campus provided they have to attend all the daily activities into campus and stay arrangements is free and no reservation required prior. Accommodation consists of single and double rooms with all basic amenities and provided with only vegetarian meals.
Activities here include studies of Bhagavad Gita, Upanishad, Hindi and Sanskrit, daily bhajan, and aarti with the functions of community marriages occasionally.
Patanjali Yogpeeth is a medical and research institute in yoga and Ayurveda and it becoming a popular spot to visit for ayurvedic treatment and medication. It is located at a distance of 15 km from Haridwar on Roorkee road. So one can reach here either by Roorkee or Haridwar using a taxi/bus. The nearest railway station to the Patanjali yogpeeth is Haridwar junction at 17 km.
Yogpeeth was established in 2006 by yoga guru Ramdev and named after Maharshi Patanjali who believed to be the inventor of Yoga. Yogpeeth offers various services in the fields of Yoga and meditation like treatment in the hospital through Ayurveda, laboratories, research centers. The campus also houses Patanjali university and residential colony and can be visited any time of the day.
Chilla wildlife sanctuary is spread over 249km2 and is nestled on the east banks of river Ganga. Sanctuary was established in 1977 and was combined with Rajaji in the year 1983 to create Rajaji National Park. Located in close vicinity of Haridwar at a distance of just 10km on NH58 from Haridwar to Rishikesh and it showcases varied wildlife such as elephants, tigers, bears, small cats, and playful birds. The visitors can easily spot deers, wild boars, sambhar, the grey langoors, red rhesus macaque, the barking deer, peacocks, quails, hornbills, hawks, falcons, and vultures in this sanctuary.
Tourists can enjoy the adventurous safari which takes around 2.5 hours in completing the circuit exhibiting the wilderness and the beautiful landscapes. Safari passes through the Mundal, Mithwali, and Khara and one can enjoy thrilling elephant rides which are possible only in the morning and evening.
Forest rest house in the national park is situated on NH58 just after the long bridge over river Ganga and offers a pleasurable stay amidst the natural surroundings. The national park can be visited between November to June and it is very easily accessible via road to Haridwar city and Rishikesh as well.
Rajaji National Park
It is gifted with immaculate beauty covering an area of 820km2 on the edge of Doon Valley. It is located in the close vicinity of Haridwar at just a 10 km distance from a city on NH58. Park was established in 1996 and it houses 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. It is a safe heaven for panther, bear, chital, elephant, tiger, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, python, monitor, lizard, etc.
Hotels in Haridwar
In the city, you can find the number of Hotels/Guesthouses and can select based on your comfort level. (Must try to reside in Homestay if possible at some distance from the city). I will not recommend names but surely you can check out Good Hotels starting from 5 stars to deluxe one on any of the apps or websites. There are ways how to Book a cheap hotel in any destination and these are quite easy if you can plan the same in advance and if your trip goes as per plan. The majority of hotels are located around Har ki Pauri and at Rishikesh road so you must drive accordingly.
Shopping in Haridwar
Haridwar is famous for its religious significance so you can find articles related to this easily in the market near Har ki Pauri. If you want shopping malls and Theaters then you must head towards Rishikesh Road where all the facilities can be traced and explored.
Time for Food in Haridwar
There are many good restaurants in the city where you can enjoy all types of Indian Food. Maximum of Hotels and restaurants are clustered around Har ki Pauri and at Rishikesh road. you must taste flavored Kulfi, Mulberry Khomcha, and Kulhad wala Milk out there in Haridwar.
Services Available in Haridwar
1. Mobile network —— yes of most of the operators
2. Bank/ATM —————-yes
3. Hospital —————— Yes
4. Pharmacy/Medicals ——Yes
5. Restaurants ————-Yes
6. Bars —————————Yes Liquor shop is also available
7. Automobile/Vehicle Repair ——Yes
8. Courier facility ——Yes
9. Massage & Spa plus Saloons. ——Yes
10. Police Station ——Yes
11. Parking space —– yes at selected locations
12 Fuel Station —– yes,
🙆🙆Planning a trip of week-long or more than that you can follow–
Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Dehradun – Mussorie – Delhi
Nearby Destinations to Haridwar:-
* Rishikesh 20 Km
* Dehradun 40 Km
* Landsdowne 104 Km
* Auli 283 Km
* Mussorie 85Km
💭💭Worth to mention (please note):-
* Don’t throw Plastic and spoil the beauty of the city
* Please left this beauty for our next generation to enjoy as well
* Carry sufficient Cash in hand which will save you from some situations where no card facility exists
* Try to taste local foods wherever you go
* Be polite with serving staff
* If time and your will permit please help locals to collect garbages thrown over there by visitors like us so that we can think to plan same destination again
💘💘At the end don’t forget
* To take your Camera + addition batteries + memory cards to allow you to capture memorable moments forever without any glitches.
* Wherever need please hire local guides
* Try to enjoy the time there and don’t just keep clicking images unnecessary.