If you want to experience the dripping grace and divinity of this creation, then do consider traveling to Haridwar - one amongst the seven holy cities of our country.
Located on the banks of the pure and graceful Ganga, the charm of this travel getaway is simply unbeatable. And as it is dotted and sprinkled with temples, ashrams, and narrow lanes throughout, the fun for any spiritual seeker just doubles visiting here.
It is believed that taking a dip here in the holy waters can relieve any person of their sins and help them tread on the path of their sadhana (spiritual practice).
With the onset of the evening, Haridwar gets to witness the famous Ganga Aarti at the Ghats where thousands of devotees come together for praying. Once in every twelve years, Haridwar also witnesses the great Kumbh Mela wherein thousands and lakhs of Hindu devotees come to participate. It is also known as the largest human gathering on the planet.
Best Time to Visit Haridwar
However, if you want to travel to Haridwar as a tourist then the best time to visit here would be between the months of October and February. During this time, the temperature is pleasant and chilly compared to the summer season.
History of Haridwar
Mythologically, Haridwar has also been named a doorway for the gods. If we are to believe the ancient stories, then this city emerged when a drop of elixir (Amrit) that was made by the Gods and demons together fell on Earth.
Haridwar has also been mentioned in the scriptures of the Mauryan Empire in 322-185 B.C. and after the Mauryan Empire, it came under the rulership of the Kushan dynasty. Interestingly, Haridwar also finds its mention in records of the famous Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang in 629 A.D.
If we refer to the scriptures then, Haridwar has been mentioned by many names several times - like Kapilasthana (because at one point, Maharishi Kapila had his ashram here), Gangadwara and Mayapuri.
Major Attractions in and Around Haridwar
1. Ganga Aarti in Haridwar
This is a set of prayers and rituals performed with great reverence on the banks of River Ganga. The natural charm of the aarti and the whole atmosphere created by the temple bells and the holy smoke is such that it often manages to attract tourists from all over the world.
2. Har Ki Pauri
This is regarded as one of the most sacred Ghats situated in Haridwar. It is also one of the most revered landmarks visited by devotees to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, as the name Har Ki Pauri literally translates into the Steps to Lord Shiva.
3. Chanda Devi Temple
This is again one of the most charming spiritual places to visit in India. It is also known as Neel Parvat Teerth and is considered to be the five pilgrimage centers of Haridwar itself. It is said that if a devotee comes here with all his heart and pray while doing their sadhana, all their wishes and desires get fulfilled.
4. Mansa Devi Temple
Dedicated to Mansa Devi, who is considered to be Shakti herself, this temple is quite famous in Haridwar. The word Mansa means wish and as the meaning suggests, it is believed that if done sincerely, every devotee’s heartfelt wish is fulfilled here for sure. Perhaps this is one major reason why hundreds and thousands of devotees flock here on a yearly basis to offer their prayers and do the darshan of the Devi. And as it is sited on the Bilwa Parvat, this temple is sometimes also referred to as the Bilwa Tirth.
How to Reach Haridwar
Haridwar is an amazing spiritual city located in Uttarakhand at a distance of about 220, 1,623, 1,473, 2,336 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check the details on how you can reach Haridwar by the following means of public transportation.
The nearest domestic airport is the Jolly Grant Airport (DED) aka Dehradun Airport, located 30-35 km away. And the nearest international airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi. The Jolly Grant Airport kick-started its operations in 2008. To reach here, it is advised to take connecting flights from Delhi or Chandigarh.
From the airport, you will need to book a taxi or take some other means of local conveyance to reach your destination in Haridwar.
From Delhi - Board IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air India flights from Indira Gandhi International Airport
From Chandigarh - Board Air India, SpiceJet flights from Chandigarh Airport
From Amritsar - Board SpiceJet, IndiGo, Air India flights from Amritsar Airport
List of flights available from different Indian cities to Dehradun
To travel via train, you will need to deboard at Haridwar Railway Station (HW). It falls under the Moradabad division of the Northern Railway zone and has good connectivity with other Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad. From the station, you can easily book a taxi or get some other means of public transport to reach your destination.
Haridwar is also well connected with other cities via well-maintained road networks. On an annual basis, a lot of devotees travel here using roads as their mode of transportation. If residing in nearby regions then consider booking a taxi, interstate/private buses, or travel here by your own vehicle. Majorly the National Highway 58 connects Haridwar with regions like Meerut, Ghaziabad, Roorkee, and others.
Q. What is the best time to visit Haridwar?
A. The best time to visit Haridwar is between October and April when the weather is pleasant.
Q. What are the top places to visit in Haridwar?
A. Some of the top places to visit in Haridwar include -
Har Ki Pauri
Mansa Devi Temple
Chandi Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple
Q. How to reach Haridwar?
A. Haridwar can be reached by air, road, and train. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which has flights from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. It is also well connected by trains and buses.