Haridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. It’s also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to sage Kapil’s curse. The penance was answered and the river
Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva’s locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their ancestors.
Best Season / Best time to visit
The climate of this holy religious place is temperate all through the year, but the best time is from October to April.
Winter (October-February) is little chilly with minimum night temperature of about 6°C. The day temperature in winter never crosses 30°C, making the season pleasant and sunny. Karthik Poornima is celebrated in November.
Summer (March-May) has a temperature band of 18°C to 40°C. This is a good time for enjoying festivals like Ramnavmi and Buddha Purnima
Monsoon (June-September) receives moderate rainfall and humidity increases, making day activities a challenge. Haridwar hosts many religious festivals as a place of religious significance. Kanwar Mela (July) and Diwali (October) are some festivals celebrated here with much festivities. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people attends Kanwar Mela in July. It can be visited anytime of the year, monsoon can make commuting difficult.
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-Nishumbh, 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
It is at this place that Ganges is believed to have divided itself into seven small streams to not to disturb the Sapt (seven) Rishis meditating and worshipping here.
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.
This is the holy place where the wife of Lord Shiva, Mata Sati is believed to have done the ritual of self-immolation. The ghat here is thus famous today as Sati Kund.
Rajaji Tiger Reserve / Chila Wildlife Sanctuary
The Rajaji National Park, spread over an area of 240 sq km, houses the Chila 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 Chila 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.
HOW TO VISIT
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 35 km. Deccan Airlines services from Delhi. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (220 km)
Connected with all important cities of India viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritsar, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc..
Major trains are:
4309 / 4310 Ujjain-Haridwar-Dehradun.
2019 / 2020 Bombay-Haridwar-Dehradun.
4041 / 4042 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun.
4265 / 4266 Varanasi-Haridwar-Dehradun.
3009 / 3010 Howrah-Haridwar-Dehradun.
2017 / 2018 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun.
Haridwar on National Highway no. 58 is well connected to all major cities and other parts of the state viz. Delhi (224 km), Agra (396 km), Ambala (172 km), Badrinath (325 km), Dehradun (52 km), Kedarnath (250 km), Saharanpur (81 km), Nainital (286 km).
Local Transport Services :
Private bus services, tempos (vikrams), auto rickshaws, tongas, cycle-rickshaws and taxis.