Har Ki Pauri
Daksheswara Mahadev Temple (Daksha Mahadev Temple)
Maya Devi Temple
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar (Neeldhara Bird Sanctuary)
Parad Shivling (Mercury Shivalinga)
Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary
Welcome to Haridwar,
Haridwar is an important pilgrimage city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.Haridwar or Hari-dwar in Hindi literally means Gateway to God; Hari is synonymous to God and Dwar means gate! This holy place is a famous religious destination that invites people of various faiths. Haridwar depicts Indian culture and civilization in its full effect. The descent of river Ganga from the mountains into the plains touches Haridwar before moving down other towns. Haridwar opens the doors to Char Dham or four religious centers Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Being of religious significance, it is needless to say that this city hosts religious festivals throughout the year. Some of the well known festivals (mela) are Kumbh mela, Kavad mela, Somvati Amavasya mela and Ganga Dussehra. Haridwar is a treasury of various temples and religious places of interest apart from shopping hubs and wildlife sanctuaries.
The ashram is dedicated to Ma Anandamayi, meaning the blissful mother. The ashram also bears the immortal remains of Anandamayi Maa buried in a samadhi. The ashram complex is located in the mythological town of Kankhal, at a distance of 6 km from Haridwar. The mother was a Bengali Mystic. Visitors from all around the world come here to pay their tribute to the blissful mother, known for her yogic powers.
Bandarpunch (or Bandarpoonch) is a major peak of the Garhwal division of the Himalaya, in the state of Uttaranchal. It literally means "Tail of the monkey" or "Tail of Hanuman" in Hindi. It's a twin peak: Bandarpunch-I (6316m) and Bandarpunch-II (also known as white peak)(6102m) . There is another peak called as Kalanag(6387 m) or Black Peak that is hidden and not visible.
Yamunotri, the source of the river Yamuna, is the western most shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, located on a flank of the Bandarpunch peak .Bandarpunch Glacier is about 12 km long.The Bandarpoonch glacier feeds water to the Yamuna (Feeds Tons river largest tributary of Yamuna) as well as the Ganga,a uniqueness among other Glaciers. The first successful expedition launched in 1950 to Bandarpunch was led by Maj Gen Williams. The peak has been climbed by Legendary Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay.
The Bharat Mata (or Mother India) Mandir/Temple is unique in the sense that it stands in dedication of all the patriots and freedom fighters of the country. Established by Swami Satyamitranand Giri, the temple has the privilege of being inaugurated by the Late Indian prime minister Smt. Indira Gandhi in the year 1983. The temple is also special in the sense that it is built in eight stories, each of which represents a specific theme and is devoted to various legends and deities of India. The eight-storey temple rises up to a height of 180 ft. There is the facility of lift available to take visitors to different floors of the temple.
Haridwar is a treasure trove of sacred tanks. One of these mythological tanks (Kund in Hindi) is the Bhimgoda Tank. The holy tank derives it name from Bhima, a legendary character of the Hindu epic Mahabharat and the second of the five Pandava brothers. The divine sanctity of the site pulls in hordes of devotees from all across India and the world. Located just at 300 m from Har ki Pauri in Haridwar, the Bhimgoda Tank enlivens the glorious scenes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The creation of tank has an interesting legend attached to it.
Legends has it that the sacred tank came into existence when Bhim, one of the five Pandava brothers, hit his knee (Goda in Hindi) against the ground. It happened when the Pandavas were on their way to the Himalayas through Haridwar. When Bhima felt the need for water, he thrusted his knee against the rocks and out flew streams of water. The water of the Ganges flows into this tank. Built here is also a canal that deviates the water of the Ganges into the Bhimgoda Headworks. Travellers also like to see the dam constructed here, aside from eye catching canals and fountains. The dam at Bhimgoda Tank is an architectural feat of the modern day.
The fountains add much to the overall charm of this place. The fountains around Bhimgoda Headworks have been provided with artificial waterfalls. A sweet fragrance spreads all around as these fountains are made to pass through wonderful flower beds. Beautifully laid out gardens that surround the Bhimgoda Tank make the place all the more scenic for travellers.
Chandi Devi Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi Devi in the holy city of Haridwar. The temple is situated atop the Neel Parvat on the Eastern summit of the Sivalik Hills, the southernmost mountain chain of the Himalayas. Chandi Devi Temple was built in 1929 by Suchat Singh in his reign as the King of Kashmir. However, the main murti of Chandi Devi at the temple is said to have been installed in the 8th century by Adi Shankaracharya, one of the greatest priests of Hindu religion. The temple also known as Neel Parvat Teerth is one of the Panch Tirth (Five Pilgrimages) located within Haridwar.
To reach the temple one has to either follow the three kilometre trekking route from Chandighat and reach the shrine by climbing a number of steps or climb the recently introduced rope-way (cable car) service. The rope-way service known as Chandi Devi Udankhatola was introduced for the benefit of the pilgrims and it caters to the pilgrims also to the nearby located Mansa Devi shrine. The rope-way carries the pilgrims from the lower station located near Gauri Shankar Temple on the Nazibabad Road directly to the Chandi Devi Temple located at an altitude of 2,900 metres (9,500 ft). The total length of the ropeway route is about 740 metres (2,430 ft) and height is 208 metres (682 ft). There is a dense forest on the other side of the hill and the ropeway offers scenic views of the Ganga River and Haridwar.
A treat for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the east bank of the Ganga River. Spread across an area of 249 sq km, the wildlife fauna includes elephants, tigers, bears and small cats. This area is mostly inhabited with elephants, apart from a variety of interesting birds.
The best time to visit this place is between November to June. Tours for visiting this wildlife sanctuary can be easily arranged. Those interested in a close encounter with the flora and fauna of nature must make it a point to visit the Chilla Wildlife sanctuary.
Daksheswara Mahadev Temple or Daksha Mahadev temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the town of Kankhal, about 4 km from Haridwar. Named after King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Sati or Dakshayani, Lord Shiva 's first wife. Daksha is one of the fourteen Prajapatis, creator deities, presiding over procreation, and protector of life, in Hindu mythology.
The present temple was built by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 AD and rebuilt in 1962, and is a place of pilgrimage for Shaivaite devotees on Maha Shivaratri. Standing next to the main temple is the Das Mahavidya temple, dedicated to the Mahavidyas, a venue for devotees of Devi to congregate for special pujas, during the Navratri celebrations. Also within the complex, there is a temple dedicated to Ganga. Next to the temple is the Daksha Ghat on the Ganges and close by is the Nileshwar Mahadev Temple.
The temple of Doodhadhari Barfani temple in Haridwar is a big centre of attraction. Not only for its religious significance but for its beautiful construction work as well. The temple is located in the Dudhadhari Barfani Baba Ashram. The temple complex is built in white marble and is treat for eyes. Inside the temple complex, there are other temples as well dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. Of these, the Ram-Sita Mandir and the Hanuman Mandir are worth visiting.
One among the many sacred sights of Haridwar is Gau Ghat. Just like a dip in the holy Ganges, one can experience a feeling of wellness after taking a dip in this Gau Ghat. A dip in this holy river is known to pardon the sin of slaughtering cows.
The Gau Ghat is also known to offer solace to those who have lost their near and dear ones. Offering of rose petals and coconuts ensure peace to the souls of ancestors. A fact not known to many is that the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were immersed in this Ghat.
Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple is another religious site in Haridwar. Located closest to the Chandi Devi temple, this temple is known to represent Lord Shiva. Any religious individual offering prayers with all his devotion gets his wishes fulfilled in this temple.
Gaurishankar Temple is a part of the various religious festivities held throughout the year. Offerings of flowers, coconuts and incense sticks to the deity promise a feeling of solace and satisfaction. The atmosphere in the temple is holy and relaxing. For a sense of well being and to ensure blessings from the Lord himself, it is advised to make a visit to this temple while visiting Haridwar.
Har Ki Pauri is a famous ghat on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar in Uttarakhand state in India. This revered place is the major landmark of the holy city of Haridwar. Literally, "Har" means "Lord Shiva", "ki" means "of" and "paudi" means "steps". Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the Brahmakund in Har ki Paudi in the Vedic times. There is a large footprint said to belong to Lord Vishnu on a stone wall.
It is believed that it is precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. The ghat is on the west bank of Ganga canal through which the Ganges is diverted just to the north. Har ki pauri is also the area where thousands of pilgrims converge and the festivities commence during the Kumbha Mela, which takes place every twelve years, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which takes place every six.
Each evening at sunset priests perform Ganga Aarti here, when lights are set on the water to drift downstream. This is the most amazing and soul touching spectacle. A large number of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing its praises. The priest hold large fire bowls in their hands, the gongs in the temples at the Ghat start ringing and the chants flowing out of lips fill the air. People float earthen diyas, with burning flickers and flowers in them as a symbol of hope and wishes .The golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganga present the most enchanting sight.
All around in Haridwar you find temples, ashrams and ghats and just in the midst of it all is an Islamic shrine, the true picture of India. Sometimes called Peeran Kaliyar, it is the tomb of Baba Sabir Ali, a Muslim Sufi saint, known throughout the Islamic history for his compassion towards human beings and for his miraculous deeds. The shrine of Kaliyar Sharif is located in a small village, at a 30-minute drive from the holy town of Haridwar in the Uttarakhand region.
The Kaliyar Sharif shrine is believed to be 800 years old. Visitors come here to in huge number to pay their tribute, to offer prayer and to seek favour from the sufi saint. It was another saint Qutbe Alam who built the tomb of Baba Aliuddin Ali Ahmed Sabir, locally known as Sabirpia. During Urs Festival, hundreds of devotees and pilgrims arrive here to pray in order to get their wishes fulfilled by the blessings of the saint. The festival takes place at the shine every year in the months of May-June.
Qawwalis are organised at the shrine on an everyday basis. The lovers of sufi music can really look forward to attending one such session. During the sufi musical session, a special spiritual aura surrounds the place. The Qawwali singers sing praises of the saint Sabipia and Allah, who sent him to convey His message to the whole world. At the shrine, langar is cooked in the religious kitchen and is distributed on a daily basis to the need and to those who visit here.
Kali or the Goddess of Time and Change is usually depicted in her fierce form, but is worshipped by devotees all over. Identified as the slayer of demons and supreme mistress of the universe, Goddess Kali is worshipped by many to gain a feeling of liberation and sustenance. Goddess Kali is also the Mother of Destruction.
Kamraj-ki-Kali temple can be approached en route the Chandi Devi temple; the best way to commute is to walk your way to the temple. Located at a distance of about 7 km from the railway station, the Kamraj-ki-Kali temple stands on the Haridwar-Rishikesh highway.
Located at a distance of about 42 km from Haridwar, the Kanva Rishi Ashram is built on the banks of river Malini. This ashram is enroute to Kotdwar and one has to travel through a path along the forest. This is an exciting experience for the adventurous souls!
Of the many ashrams in Haridwar, Kanva Rishi Ashram is a quick getaway from Haridwar, being on the outskirts. Needless to say, a visit to this ashram promises a feeling of peace and security. Away from the disturbing life of the city, the Kanva Rishi Ashram is a treat to nature lovers.
The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 4 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mella is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag, the Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, at four places (Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik). Kumbha Mela is a massive pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges river. It is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Brhaspati (Jupiter) and the sun.
Kumbha is a Sanskrit word for Pitcher (actually a roundish pot with no handles), sometimes referred to as the Kalasha. It is also a zodiac sign in Indian astrology for Aquarius, the sign under which the festival is celebrated, while Mela means 'a gathering' or 'a meet', or simply a fair.
Kushavarta Ghat, built by a Maratha queen Ahilya Bai Holkar, is a religious destination for those wishing to perform the "Shraddha" rites for the departed souls. The beliefs about Kushavarta Ghat are related to a great saint of the ancient period, Dattatreya. Dattatreya was known to have visited this ghat frequently and spent time meditating. History states that it is this ghat where Dattatreya offered his penance by standing on one foot for a thousand years.
Kushavarta Ghat is a usually a crowded place with pilgrims from all over the country coming down to perform religious rites in memory of the ancestors. It is situated about 0.5 km from Har-ki-Pauri.
Mansa Devi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Mansa in the holy city of Haridwar. The temple is located atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills, the southernmost mountain chain of the Himalayas. The temple also known as Bilwa Tirth is one of the Panch Tirth (Five Pilgrimages) within Haridwar. Mansa Devi Temple is a Siddh Peetha which are the places of worship where desires get fulfilled. It is one of three such Peethas located in Haridwar, the other two being Chandi Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple. The inner shrine has two deities installed, one with eight arms and the other one three headed with five arms.
To reach the shrine one has to either follow the trekking route up to this holy shrine or ride on the recently introduced rope-way service. The rope-way service known as "Mansa Devi Udankhatola" was introduced for the benefit of the pilgrims and it caters to the pilgrims also to the nearby located Chandi Devi shrine. The rope-way carries the pilgrims from the lower station directly to the Mansa Devi Temple. The total length of the rope-way is 540 metres (1,770 ft) and the height it covers is 178 metres (584 ft).
Maya Devi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Maya in the holy city of Haridwar. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati fell in the region where the temple stands today and thus it is sometimes referred to as a Shakti Peetha. Goddess Maya is the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. She is a three-headed and four-armed deity who is believed to be an incarnation of Shakti. Haridwar was previously known as Mayapuri in reverence to this deity.
The temple dates back to the eleventh century. It is one of the three ancient temples of Haridwar which are still intact, the other two being Narayana-shila and Bhairava Temple. The inner shrine consists of murtis (icons) of goddesses Maya in the centre, Kali on the left, Kamakhya on the right. There are also two other goddesses who are also forms of Shakti, present in the inner shrine. The temple is located to the east of Har ki Pauri. The temple is visited by many devotees from various parts of the country especially during the Navratra and the Kumbha Mela in Haridwar.
One of the best and busiest shopping areas in Haridwar, Moti Bazaar is situated between the Har-ki-Pauri and the Upper Road. To make your trip to Haridwar worthwhile, make sure you visit Moti Bazaar and shop for religious items such as Rudraksha or sacred beads, Gangajal or water of the holy Ganges stored in a container, precious stones for prosperity, and vermillion to name a few.
Images of deities, food offerings, sacred threads, pickles, and ayurvedic medicines are among the other items that can be purchased. The numbers of tiny shops lined along the streets are best explored on foot.
During your tour to Haridwar, you can also visit the Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar. The place is much popular with tourists as a bird watcher's delight. Not only avid bird watchers, but the spot also welcomes a good number of nature lovers and trekkers. Trekkers, because the Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar occupies a position from where pass various trekking routes of Haridwar. Visiting the place provides travellers an opportunity to be in close contact with nature, spending some quality time among various species of avifauna.
If you like watching migratory birds, you can make a visit to Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar during winters. It is in winters that the park becomes a shelter to a variety of migratory bird species. The Siberian Crane is the biggest attraction for bird watchers here. The exact spot to watch the Siberian Crane is around Laljiwala, on the banks of Ganges. Apart from enjoying the twitter of bird species, you can also enjoy wonderful views of the Shivalik Himalayas from this place.
The Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar provides easy accessibility for tourists and travellers. The sanctuary is just at a distance of 3.5 km from the town of Haridwar. A scenic ride will take you to the birding paradise in a couple of minutes. All the famous temples of Haridwar including the Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi, Daksha Mahadev and Maya Devi are at a short distance from the sanctuary site. At Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar, you can also meet a lot of trekkers and adventure lovers. Before you return from the place, do remember to make a visit to Beauty Point.
The Parad Shivling (also know as Mercury Shivalinga) is a highly significant mythological site of the Hindus. The word Shivalinga is derived from a combination of two words 'shiva' (refers to Lord Shiva) and 'lingam' (a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva). To visit the Parad Shivling, you need to drive to the town of Kankhal, located at a distance of 6 km from the holy town of Haridwar. The shivling is enshrined inside the Harihar Ashram in Kankhal. The purpose behind visiting the Parad Shivling is to seek blessings and favour of Lord Shiva, the supreme god in the Shaiva Hindu tradition. Those who follow this tradition are termed as Shaivites.
The Parad Shivling weighs around 150 kg. Apart from visiting the shivling at the Harihar Ashram, you can also see the Rudraksha tree, another big attraction for devotees. The seed of this mythological tree known as rudraksha are worn by devotees. These seeds are believed to have healing power. These seeds emit a kind of energy as they touch the heart of the person who wears them. It is also believed to do wonders and is worn to achieve growth and prosperity in life.
Frequently visited by tourists and pilgrims, the Pawan Dham Temple in Haridwar is a must-see for all. The temple is counted as one of the most ancient in the town of Haridwar. The structure of the temple reflects wonderful work of art. The temple walls are known for their wonderful glass work and aesthetic design. Even the idols installed inside the temple are very intricately carved. The overall architecture of the Pawan Dham temple represents the rich culture and heritage of India. A visit to the temple is said to instil in visitors a deep sense of purity and gratification.
The temple of Pawan Dham is easily accessible from Haridwar. A drive of just 2 km will take you to this temple. From Har ki Pauri, the biggest attraction in Haridwar, the Pawan Dham temple is located at a diatnce of 3 km. So, you do not need to plan the temple in advance. It is an essential part of your Haridwar pilgrimage tour.
Roorkee is a city in Haridwar district. It is also known for Roorkee Cantonment, one of the country's oldest cantonments, and the headquarters of Bengal Engineer Group (Bengal Sappers) since 1853.
Roorkee is a well known centre of education and research. It is best known for Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (formerly University of Roorkee. It houses many prominent colleges and schools.
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 refrerred 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 Saptarshis) has once meditated. These seven sages (or rishis) include Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam.
Visitors from all parts of the globe hold the ashram in high regard and visit the place to seek spiritual peace and growth. Sages and rishis as well can be seen here, smeared in ashes. A visit to Haridwar without visiting this ashram can also lead to blasphemy. So, do not miss to pay a visit to this ashram during your holidays in Haridwar.
Sati Kund is 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. Sati Kund is actually the site of the Yagna Kund, the sacrificial fire. According to Hindu traditions, it is the tank where Sati (Lord Shiva's wife) put herself to fire. Sati burnt herself in the wake of the insulting demeanor of hes father Daksha Prajapati towards Lord Shiva. This yagna kund is today famously known as Sati Kund. Goddess Sati (also known as Dakshayani) is worshipped particularly by Hindu women to pray for the long lives of their husbands. As per the Hindu mythology, Dakshayani is the first wife of Lord Shiva while Parvati is the second one.
Officially known as Shri Ved Mata Gayatri Trust, Shantkunj is a place of religious discipline and spiritual peace. The institute teaches and trains people on how to live a joyous life and contribute towards social reconstruction. The branches and sub-centres of the institution are not only spread across India but throughout the world. Shantikunj also has the eminence of running free schools and degree colleges in rural areas. The institution has been a regular participant in a variety of relief works around the country. It stands on the Rishikesh Road, at a distance of 6 km from Haridwar Railway Station. Pilgrims come to Shantikunj to learn and practice 'Sanjeevani Vidya', the art of living.
The ancient system of Ayurveda takes on a new meaning at Shantikunj. There are expert Ayurveda physicians who provide free service to the incumbents. As a part of a research, there are around 250 rare medicinal plants have been preserved. The spiritual sanatorium of Shantikunj also offers practical guidance in order to control and connect the body, the mind and the innerself. For visitors, the research institute also organises nine-day spiritual training sessions on how to bring about an assimilation between spiritual science and day-to-day life.
To ease mentally disturbed people from tension, Shantikunj also features a laboratory called Brahmvarchas. The laboratory serves as an effective relief centre for mental patients. It has a proven track record of getting people abandon intoxication, crimes etc. The specific service is extended with a view to curb evil elements of the society including dowry, superstition and illiteracy among others. Shantikunj in Haridwar also has the privilege of being a member of the Natural Calamity Solution Advisory Committee, as appointed by the Indian government.
Shravannath Math or temple is another pious place of significance worth seeing. Pilgrims from all over India make it a point to visit this sacred place of Haridwar throughout the year. Devotees bathing on the ghat, taking a dip in the holy river, pilgrims and saints clad in saffron clothing are all a common sight to watch when in Haridwar. You will find lots of families offering prayers and performing rituals for their near and dear departed souls. Haridwar is a land of ancient temples, and any temple or shrine visited in Haridwar assures you a good experience and ever-lasting memories.
Udan Khatola, or ropeway, is a mode of transport to reach the hill top temples of Haridwar. Also known as the ropeway to Gods, this facility came into effect more than a decade back. You can reach the abode of God in approximately five minutes by Udan Khatola, as against the one hour steep climb/trek.
The Udan Khatola is operational in the area where Chandi Devi temple is located. As you rise in the air once atop the Udan Khatola, you can enjoy the marvelous view from greater heights. The Udan Khatola ride is for the strong hearted and not for those who fear heights.
It is a known fact that Vaishno Devi temple is located in Jammu. Not many know that a replica of the Vaishno Devi temple is present in Haridwar. This temple was recently built and does not fall into the league of ancient temples. Vaishno Devi temple, like any other temples of Haridwar, is visited by large numbers of Devotees throughout the year.
Similar to the temple in Jammu, the path leading to worship Goddess Vaishno Devi is full of tunnels and caves. It is believed that the Goddess blesses only those who truly intend to seek her blessings from the bottom of their hearts.
Vishnu Ghat, named after Lord Vishnu is believed to be the place where Lord Vishnu bathed. Bathing in this ghat, or taking a dip in the holy river, is known to wash away all your sins. A visit to the religious land of Haridwar without taking a dip in the holy river leaves a sense of loss. To get that feeling of contentment and achievement, make sure you splurge into the holy waters.
The entire city of Haridwar depicts the faith in Lord Vishnu. Devotees and tourists from all over the world come down to visit his land and take a dip in the ghats. There are a number of ghats lined up in Haridwar, Vishnu Ghat being one among them.
- Sureshwari Devi Temple, Neelkanth Mahadev, Ram Mandir, Kodiyala, Kanva Rishi Ashram, JaiRam Ashram, Ramanand Ashram etc.