Places to Visit in Haridwar, Uttarakhand
‘The gates to the lord Hari’ is one of the major pilgrimage of Hindus. You must have heard about Kumbh Mela, isn’t it? Kumbh is observed every 12th year at Prayag, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. Devotees from all over the world come here to pray, worship and confess their sins with the dip in the divine Ganges – ‘Mother Ganga’.
The famous ‘Char Dham Yatra’ starts from Haridwar all the way to Badrinath and Kedarnath in Himalayas. Here is a look at the places to visit in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Haridwar is the city in the state of Uttarakhand (India) situated at the foothills of Shivalik hill range, at the height of 249.7 meters from the sea level. This is the place from where Ganga launches itself from the hills to the planes of north India after its 261 Kms travel from Gangotri.
If you are planning to visit Haridwar, please reserve two days and if you have one extra day, I would recommend to include Rishikesh in your itinerary as you would not like to skip another beautiful city with grand ghats and yoga ashrams. To make your job easier here is the list of places to visit in Haridwar:-
Har ki Paudi
Har ki Paudi means ‘Steps of lord Vishnu’. It is common belief that drops of Amrit fell in to the kund of ‘Har Ki Paudi’, therefore it is considered that a dip at the ghats of har ki paudi is very auspicious.
Har ki paudi was constructed by king Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhrarti-hari. Evening Ganga aarti with lamps, bells and drums at the bank is mesmerizing experience for anyone. This ghat is around 2 Km from railways station and you can easily hire a cycle rickshaw to reach here. Most of the attractions are nearby Har ki Paudi.
Chandi Devi Mandir
This is Goddess Chandi’s temple which was constructed by King Suchat Singh at the top of Neel hill. It is believed that goddess Durga in her warrior avatar had killed demon ‘Chanda’ ‘Munda’. Chandi mandir is connected with cable car. It is advisable to buy a combo ticket from any travel agent in the main market area which has entry passed, to and fro ‘udan-khatola’ rides and shuttle bus services from Mansa Devi to Chandi Devi Temple and return. It is very convenient and will save lot of time.
Mansa Devi Mandir
The goddess who fulfills the wishes (mansa) of her devotees. This is the major temple of Haridwar, situated at the top of Bilwa hill opposite to Neel hill. This Temple is also well connected with rope way known as ‘Udan-khatola’. Most of the people take Udan-khatola than climbing the stairs uphill because not only it saves from fatigue but also gives magnificent and full view of Ganga and surroundings.
Maya Devi Mandir
It is one of the siddhapeeth and believed that heart of goddess Parvati (Sati) had fallen here. It is interesting to know that Haridwar was known as ‘Mayapuri’ in ancient times. This beautiful temple is near Birla Ghat.
Lord Shiva Statue
You cannot not ignore the 100 feet tall massive statue of lord Shiva in Vivekananda Park on haridwar Rishikesh highway. It also one of the largest Shiva statues in India.
It is believed that Pandavas had taken here a break to quench their thirst while travelling to Himalayas.
Lord Bhim had broken a rock with his foot (goda) to extract drinking water out of it, that’s why it is known as Bhim-goda. It is around 1 Km from Har ki Paudi.
Bharat Mata Mandir
This is a modern multistorey temple dedicated to Mother India, constructed under the supervision of Shankaracharya Satyamitranand. Each floor of the temple tells the story of different era of India from Dwaparyuga to Kalyuga. This temple is near Motichur (Bhupatwala) area.
Sapta Rishi Ashram
Seven great sages of Hindu mythology namely Vishwamitra, Vashistha, Kashyap, Atri, Bhardwaj, Jamdagni and Gautama rishi had meditated here.
Gayatri Parivar established by Pt. ShriRam Sharma is managed from here.
Patanjali Yoga Peeth
Head-Ashram of modern yoga guru Baba Ramdev. People from all over the world come here for Ayurvedic treatment and yoga education.
Gurukul Kangri University
Famous university established in 1902 and known for its science, engineering, philosophy, Sanskrit and Vedic education.
Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalava
Established and managed by Gayatri Pariwar, teaches yoga, Indian culture, alternative therapy and theology.
Haridwar is well connected with Delhi and Dehradun. You may take bus or train; nearest airport is Jolly Grant which have flight connectivity with Delhi. People do visit here around the year, if you are planning to visit in winters please ensure to have enough woolens.
There are plenty of hotels and lodges in various budgets. It is advisable to choose a hotel near Har ki Paudi as you can quickly go for bath and aarti darshan at the ghat whenever you wish. In peak season, you should prefer to do advance booking of hotels.
There are many restaurants on station road, also known as Upper road which serve strictly vegetarian food. While you are in Haridwar don’t forget to taste the yummy kachori and halwa at Mohan Poori.
You can head next to Rishikesh for a day trip, it is only 20 Kms from Haridwar. Attractions like Ram Jhula, Lakshaman Jhula and many more are waiting for you there. You may also take a local bus from Haridwar bus stand to Rishikesh or hire taxi for full day trip of Rishikesh.