Holy Places In India - Haridwar

Haridwar is a holy city in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand and is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus. It is controlled by the Municipal Corporation Board. It is a very ancient city. Haridwar is one of the seven sacred sites of the Hindus. Traveling 253 km from its source Gomukh (Gangotri glacier), situated at an altitude of 3139 meters, the Ganges river enters the plains at Haridwar, hence Haridwar is also known as 'Gangadwar'; Which means the place where Gangaji enters the plains. Haridwar means "Gate of Hari (God)".


According to later Hindu religious stories, Haridwar is the place where a few drops of nectar accidentally fell from the pitcher when Dhanvantari was carrying the pit after the sea churning. It is noteworthy that the story related to Kumbh or Maha Kumbh is not mentioned in any Purana. It has been mentioned in project form itself. Therefore, the form of the story has also been different. It is believed that drops of nectar fell at four places. Those places are: - Ujjain, Haridwar, Nashik and Prayag. Mahakumbh is held every 12th year in turn at these four places. After three years of Maha Kumbh at one place, Maha Kumbh is organized at another place. In this way, in the twelfth year a cycle is completed and then the time of Mahakumbh comes in the first place. Crores of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world gather here to celebrate this ceremony and bathe in the scriptures etc. on the banks of river Ganges.


According to one belief, the place where drops of nectar fell is considered to be Brahma Kunda on Har Ki Pauri. 'Har ki Pauri' is considered the most sacred ghat in Haridwar and batches of devotees and pilgrims from all over India come here to bathe on the occasion of festivals or holy days. Taking a bath here is considered to attain salvation.


Haridwar is a very ancient pilgrimage as a pilgrimage but it is not very ancient as a city. The name Haridwar has also become prevalent in the later mythological period. In the Mahabharata, it has only been called 'Gangadwar'. It is described in the Puranas as Gangadwar, Mayakshetra, Mayatirtha, Saptasrota and Kubjamrak. In ancient times, it was also called 'Kapila' after the name of Kapilmuni. It is said that here was the Tapovan of Kapil Muni. According to the legend, Bhagiratha, who was the great-grandson of Suryavanshi King Sagara (an ancestor of Sri Ram), gave Gangaji the salvation of his 70,000 ancestors after years of penance in Satyuga and Kapil brought to earth to free him from the curse of the sage. Probably the first use of the name 'Haridwar' is in Padmapurana.


TOURIST PLACES IN HARIDWAR


HAR KI POURI


The most sacred ghat of Har Ki Pauri is Brahmakund. Aarti performed at Har ki Pauri of Ganga Devi in the evening is an important experience for any visitor. A prodigy of vowels and colors is seen after the ceremony when pilgrims pour the burning diyas on the river to comfort the souls of their ancestors. Thousands of people from all over the world take care to be present in this prayer during their Haridwar yatra. Sati was consumed here. It is believed that Lord Shiva was praised at this place of Haridwar for the fulfillment of Yajna after the destruction of Daksha-Yajna and after the destruction of Lord Shiva. Later the legend spread that there are footprints of Lord Vishnu here. Actually that trail is nowhere, but the glory of this place is prevalent to the extent of extreme. 'Har ki Pauri' is the main place of Haridwar. People mainly come here to bathe. According to another popular belief, it is said that Lord Vishnu came here on earth. Due to the feet of Lord Vishnu on the earth, this place was called 'Hari ki Paadi' which has colloquially become 'Hari ki Pauri'. It is considered to be the heartland of Haridwar.

MATA CHANDI DEVI


This famous temple of Mata Chandi Devi sits on the eastern side of the Ganges River on the summit of 'Nil Parbat' of Shivalik Range. This temple was built by Raja Suchat Singh of Kashmir in 1929 AD. According to a legend of Skanda Purana, Chandi-mund, the commander of the local demon kings Shumbha-Nishumbha, was killed here by the goddess Chandi; After which the place was named Chandi Devi. It is believed that the main statue was founded by Adi Shankaracharya in the eighth century. The temple is located at a distance of 3 km from Chandighat. Climbing here is harder than Mansa Devi, but many famous temples are seen in both the climbing and landing routes here. Now with the introduction of the ropeway trolley facility, most of the passengers go here with ease, but have to face long queues. Apart from the grand temple of Mata Chandi Devi, there is also a temple of Santoshi Mata on the other side. Along with this, the temple of Anjana Devi, the mother of Hanuman ji and the temple of Hanuman ji is also built. The natural beauty of this place is worth visiting. The peacocks can be seen in close proximity to the walk.

MANASA DEVI TEMPLE


The temple of Mansa Devi is situated on a mountain peak in the Shivalik range, usually towards the west from Har Ki Paidi. Mansa Devi literally means the Goddess who fulfills the desire (Mansa) of the mind. The main temple has two statues, the first with three faces and five arms and the second with eight arms. The ropeway trolley facility has already been started to reach Mansa Devi's temple and many passengers enjoy the journey through it to the temple, but this system has to wait for a long time. Apart from this, the walking route to the temple of Mansa Devi is also very easy. The climb here is normal. After 187 stairs from the road, about 1 kilometer long paved road has been constructed, on which children and old people, besides young people, reach the temple easily after stopping for some time. The joy of this journey is special. From this route, Har ki Paadi, the Ganges stream and the Ganges mainland (Niladhara) near Nil Parvat and the collected views of Haridwar city leave their own unique effect on the minds of the audience. If you take a walk in the Ganges and take a bath in the Ganges on this morning, then there will be no memory of tiredness and what to say about the cheerfulness of the mind! However, due to religious considerations, people often visit here after Ganga-bath.

MAYA DEVI 


This ancient temple of Maya Devi (the presiding deity of Haridwar), possibly built in the 11th century, is considered a Siddhpeetha. It is called the navel of Goddess Sati and the place of falling of the heart. It is one of the few ancient temples that still stand with Narayani Shila and Bhairav Temple.

VAISHO DEVI


One can easily go to Vaishno Devi temple by auto from Bhimgoda, about 1 km from Har Ki Paidi, by foot or by auto-rickshaw. There is a grand temple of Vaishno Devi here. Due to the immense fame of the famous Vaishno Devi of Jammu, this temple has tried to imitate Vaishno Devi's cave. This grand temple enters from the left. The attempt has been made to give natural form to the sacred cave. An attempt has been made to maintain the inaccessibility of the route, although there is no difficulty in deciding the path of the cave. Yes, two-three men should not go alone. The long way to the winding cave, rising from the left, reaches the statue of Goddess Vaishno Devi. At the same time, three pindi are also seen. This temple has also gained considerable fame.

BHARATMATA TEMPLE


Bharatmata Temple is just ahead of Vaishno Devi Temple. This multi-storeyed temple has been built by Swami Satyamitrananda Giri. It was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. This unique temple of its kind is quite famous. Multifunctional images of India have been designed through sculptures and paintings on its various floors, such as the Shur Temple, the Mother Temple, the Saint Temple, the Shakti Temple, and the Bharat Darshan. Above is Vishnu temple and above all Shiva temple. For travelers coming to Haridwar, the vision of Bharat Mata temple gives a different and better feeling and the inspiration of patriotism comes spontaneously.


SAPTARSHI ASHRAM


Saptarshi Ashram can be reached easily by proceeding by auto from 'Bharat Mata Mandir'. On going here, the unique natural image of the Ganges divided into the Sapta streams on the right side of the road is visible. It is said that the Saptarishis had done penance here and the Ganga was swept away in front of them by dividing them into seven streams in order not to disturb their tenacity. The beauty of the small natural stream of the Ganges is inherently visible in the floods as innumerable pieces of stones that broke from the mountain. 'Saptarshi Ashram' has been constructed on the other side of the road here. The main temple here is of Shiva and in its circumambulation small temples of Sapta Rishis are visible. The place is full of natural beauty. The unbroken fire is ignited and at some distance, there are seven huts named after the Saptarishis, in which the people of the ashram live.

SHANTIKUNJ


Shantikunj, the main center of the Gayatri family, founded by the well-known Manishi Sriram Sharma Acharya, is another site for religious-spiritual activities in the modern era divided into several subdivisions connected to each other in the vast enclosure en route from Haridwar to Rishikesh. The well-constructed construction and the best arrangement definitely fascinates the minds of visitors and tourists of all categories. The institute also deals with the publication of books written by Shri Ram Sharma Acharya and magazines running with his inspiration. Research work also continues under this institute. For travelers going to Haridwar, Haridwar-Yatra cannot be considered perfect without visiting this institution, such an experience is often experienced by every traveler who comes here.

KANKHAL


Kankhal, called the suburb of Haridwar, is located 3 km south of Haridwar. There is a wide population and market here. Kankhal is the oldest pilgrimage of Haridwar among populated pilgrimage centers. Its name is clearly mentioned in various Puranas. The stream brought from the mainstream of the Ganges to 'Har ki Paidi' is reunited in the Kankhal. Along with the Mahabharata, the Ganga is considered a special virtue in Kankhal in many Puranas. Therefore, there is a special significance of Ganga-bathing here. It was in Kankhal itself that Daksha performed the yajna, it is shown in the above mentioned description. The Shivaas had destroyed this yajna. There is a large temple of Daksheshwar Mahadev at the said site.


PARADA SHIVLING TEMPLE


Near the Sriharihari temple in Kankhal is the temple of Parade Shivling in the south-west. It was inaugurated by former President Giani Zail Singh on 8 March 1986. There is a 151 kg Parade Shivling built from Parad. There is a huge tree of Rudraksha in the courtyard of the temple, on which many fruits of Rudraksha are kept, on seeing this, the tourists experience awe-inspiring cheerfulness.

KALPAVRIKSHA


Kalpavriksha forest has been planted by Haritrishi Vijaypal Baghel near Nakshatra Vatika situated in Kankhal of Devbhumi Haridwar. Although the tree of Devalok Kalpataru (Parijat) is being planted at all pilgrimage sites, but this is the only forest developed on earth as Kalpavriksha forest, where devotees from all over the world visit the Kalpavriksha and fulfill their wishes.

PATANJALI 


Located in Kankhal on the Delhi-Haridwar highway, Patanjali Yoga Peeth is possibly the largest yoga ashram worldwide. The institute is the flagship project of Rishi Ramdev and the center conducts research on Yoga and Ayurveda. Patanjali Yoga Peeth is spread over vast acres of land and is divided into two campuses. Patanjali products manufactured from here are sent to every corner of the country. After coming to Haridwar, Patanjali Yoga Peeth is definitely a must see. From here you can also get various information related to health and yoga.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR
The nearest airport to Haridwar is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. This airport is at a distance of 41 km from Haridwar. Tourists can fly to Dehradun from Mumbai or Delhi. After this, Haridwar can be reached from the airport by taxi or bus.


BY TRAIN
Haridwar has its own railway station which is connected to many parts of India. The station is connected to many other cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dehradun, Varanasi, Puri and Kochi. You can reach Haridwar by express trains.


BY ROAD
Haridwar can be reached very easily by road from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. State transport buses are connected by these routes. Let us tell you that Haridwar is 222 kilometers away from Delhi and you can reach here after completing the bus journey for a total of five to six hours.

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