Haridwar-Rishikesh is one of the holy places of Hindus. It has a lot to visit besides temples. Know some places only.
Haridwar is one of the few religious places in India. ‘Haridwar‘ means Hari, the gate of God. It is also known as Mayapuri and Moksdwar. There are 5 shrines of Uttarakhand called Panch Tirtha. These are Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi, Ghat and Kankhal. The Ganga Aarti on Har Ki Pauri is of great importance to Hindus. Haridwar is the entry point to visit Chardham, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The ancient belief that this is one of the four places where the drop of nectar fell during the churning of the sea.
Har ki Pauri
It is believed that Vishnu was the first to stage here. Hari ki Pauri means Hari’s feet. The Ganga Aarti here has great significance for Hindus. In 1910, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya started the Ganga Aarti here. Every day there is Ganga Aarti on Har Ki Pauri, once in the morning (sunrise, 5.30 to 6.30) and once in the evening (sunset, 6.00 to 7.00). If you want to sit at the ghat and see the grand form of Aarti, then arrive at the Ghat at least one hour before the evening Arti. The Ganga Aarti is performed by the Pandits here. You can also donate a lamp in Ganga after Aarti. The sight of bells and the flow of thousands of lamps flowing after the aarti during the evening aarti on the banks of the Ganges is very beautiful. This place is also famous for bathing the Ganges. Everyday 5 to 10 thousand devotees come here to take a bath in the Ganges. During Makar Sankranti, Shivratri, Baisakhi and Somavati Amavasya and other holidays, this number reaches 30 thousand at this ghat.
Har Ki Pauri is in the middle of the city. From here there is a path to the local market where you can enjoy local fruits and dishes. There are 2-3 bridges on which you can walk far on foot. Some hotels are on the banks of the ghat from where you will have to walk only a few minutes for Ganga Aarti.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple is situated on the Bilwa mountain. It is a famous Siddh Peetha. It can be reached by trekking about 3 km from Har Ki Pauri or via ropeway (Mansa Devi Udankhatola). The ropeway leads to a height of 178 meters to reach the temple. The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm. Mansa Devi is considered as a form of Parvati ji. The beautiful view of the Ganges River and Haridwar is available from here. It is said that the vows sought here are fulfilled. Devotees weave a thread on a tree located here and upon completion of recognition, come to open the thread.
Chandi Devi Temple
It is a Siddh Peetha situated on the Nile Mountains. It is built on a mountain at an altitude of 2900 meters, where you can trek 4 km or go from Ropeway (Chandi Devi Udankhatola). Har Ki Pauri offers packages for Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi. This temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya (700 – 820 AD). Chandi Devi is considered as a form of Parvati. It is said that Shumbha-Nishumbha wanted to marry the goddess but after the goddess refused, he sent his two demons Chand-mund to fight the goddess. The goddess produced the powerful goddess Chandika to fight them. Chandika Devi killed Chand-mund and then Shumbha-Nishumbha. This war took place on the Neil mountain, so this temple was built here.
Daksha Mahadev, Kankhal
Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple is located in Kankhal, 6 km from Haridwar. It was built by Rani Dhankaur in 1810. It was rebuilt in 1962. It is said that King Daksha’s daughter Sati married Shivji against his will. Once Daksha called all the gods in organizing a big yagna but did not call Shiva. Due to which, Sati gave her sacrifice in the same yagna. Angered by this, Shivji sent his warriors and beheaded King Daksha. The temple was built in place of Yagya.
It is the confluence of three holy rivers, Jamuna, Ganga and Saraswati. Hence it is called Triveni Sangam. Here is the Triveni Ghat. It is said that bathing here removes all the problems. Every evening here devotees pour lamps into the Ganges. Thousands of devotees come here to attain salvation and bathe in the Ganges in the morning or evening. It is also a famous place for Pindadan. In the evening, there is Ganga ji’s Maha Aarti. It is 24 km from Haridwar. Geeta Mandir and Lakshmi Temple are nearby from Triveni Ghat, where one can take boat rides to go.
Vaishno Devi Temple
Vaishno Devi Temple located in Katra is a sacred place for Hindus. Its replica has been made in Haridwar. Although, this temple is only 10 years old, but like the Vaishno Devi temple, it also has caves. Taxis and buses are available from Haridwar to get here. The temple is 5 km from here and takes 10 minutes.
how to go
Jolly Grant Airport, 41 km away, is the nearest airport to Dehradun-Haridwar. It has flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad. Haridwar to Dehradun is connected by buses and trains. One can reach here by private or shared taxi.
There are many trains from Delhi to Dehradun which can get you here in 8-9 hours. Express trains run from Dehradun Express, Mussoorie Express and many cities.
The road from Delhi to Haridwar is 222 km which is a 5-6 hour car ride. If you are coming by bus, then you can take a rickshaw or auto from Haridwar bus stand and go to Har ki Pauri and other tourist places. Avoid road trips at festivals and holidays as traffic jams are the problem on this highway.
For roadways information call here 01334-227037
Where to stay
Hotel Hari Ganga and Hotel Ganga Lahiri are good options that will cost between 5000-7000 / day. Apart from this, if you want to stop at Har Ki Pauri with a good view of the Ganges, then Hotel Aditya is an economic option. A room is available here at 3000-4000 / day and Har Ki Pauri is a few minutes walk from here.
Where to eat
It does not sell non-veg and liquor. The restaurant at the peak of Har Ki Pauri is very famous. Apart from this, Brijwasi Sweet Wala and Gujarati Restaurant are also good places to eat.