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EXPLORE HARIDWAR

Haridwar, literally means 'The gateway to the Gods'. It's the place where the river Ganga descends to the plain. A Gateway to the four pilgrimage of Uttarakhand, Haridwar is variously mentioned as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokshadwar in the ancient Hindu scriptures and epics. A major Shaktipeeth from time immemorial, the place is believed to have both sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This is why the place has been a ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul. The Kumbh Mela, happening once every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela (Coming once every six years) are big draws.

Haridwar is very much associated with the legends in Hindu philosophy. In order to purge the earth of its sins, it is said the a king named Bhagirath brought river Ganga from heaven to earth. Haridwar is also very popular among both foreign and indigenous tourists because of the different types of alternative treatment facility that it provides. Interestingly enough more and more people are turning towards Ayurveda and Yoga. In Haridwar, you will get some excellent Ayurveda and Yoga institute. The city of Haridwar is only 10 km away from Rajaji National Park. If you are a wildlife lover or a die-hard adventure maniac, make sure that you visit this wonderful place. Situated in the state of Uttarakhand, the city is easily accessible by air, road and rail. Haridwar is only 214 km from Delhi and 386 km from Agra. If you wish to journey by car, it will not take more than just a few hours to reach here. Haridwar also has a railway station and is well connected by rail. The nearest airport is just 35 km away at Dehradun. If you are planning to spend a vacation away from the din and bustle of daily life, this is the place where you should be.

Haridwar located in the foothills of the Himalayas, represents the point where the Ganga reaches the plains. Haridwar is an ancient pilgrimage site, held in reverence for centuries. The Chinese pilgrim Hyuen Tsang who visited India in the first millennium CE, describes Haridwar as Mayura, on the eastern banks of the Ganges. Several temples and ashrams dot this town and a visit to Haridwar is like stepping into a totally different world. Legend has it that Bhagirath, brought the Ganges into the earth, and into this point where his ancestors were burnt to ashes by the curse of the sage Kapila. Kapilastaan, a spot in Haridwar is pointed to as Kapila's hermitage. Haridwar was once known as Gangadwar. Haridwar (and Rishikesh) represents the gateway to the Himalayan pilgrimage shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath. The pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrines begins only when the sun reaches the zodiac sign of Aries. Haridwar is also the site of celebration of the Kumbh Mela, once in twelve years, when Jupiter transits to the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

The five sacred bathing spots in Haridwar are Gangadwar, Kankhal, Nila Parvat, Bilwa Teerth and Kusavarta. The main ghat at Haridwar is known as Hari-ki-Pauri (known for a footprint of Vishnu on a stone in a wall). Nearby is the Gangadwar temple, the most important of the several temples that dot this town. The Ganga Aarti which is celebrated at 7 pm each night, is a spectacular sight, when the aarti ceremony is performed at all temples in Haridwar at the same instant (see image above). Hundreds throng to the ghats at Hari-ki-Pauri to participate in this festival. Offerings of lamps and flowers are made to the river immediately following this ceremony and it is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river. Near Haridwar are the towns of Mayapuri and Kankhal. Kankhal houses the Daksheswara temple, said to be the site of Daksha's yagna, which was destroyed by Shiva.

Places to Visit >>

Har Ki Pauri :
Also known as Har ki Pauri, it is the centre of attraction in the pilgrimage town of Haridwar. Devotees gather here to take a holy dip in the Ganges and to offer prayers. The celebration Ganga Aarti is a sight to behold here for tourists.

The aarti ceremony takes place here every evening at 7 pm. As the river Ganga is worshipped, hundreds of diyas are set afloat along the river. According to Hindu mythology, Har ki Pairiis the place where a drop of the nectar fell from the moiling oceans, when the world came into existence.

Mansa Devi :
One of the most visited temples in Haridwar, Mansa Devi Mandir occupies a place on top of the Shivalik hills. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi, believed to fulfill the wishes of those who visit here.

It is a tradition with the devotees to tie sacred threads around the tree that stands within the premises of the Mansa Devi temple. From the temple, one can have heart stirring views of the Haridwar town. Along with Chandi Devi temple and the Maya Devi temple, it completes the Siddhapeeth Triangle.

Chandi Devi :
The temple stands in dedication to Goddess Chandi. One of the most ancient in the country, the temple can be reached either by a ropeway ride or by undertaking a steep climb, that takes up around 45 minutes.

The rituals at the temple begin as early as 4 am in the morning. Visitors are required to strictly follow the dress code before entering the premises of the Chandi Devi temple.

Daksha Mahadev Temple :
The temple is situated towards the south of the Kankhal town. Built by Queen Dhankaur in AD 1810, the Daksha Mahadev Temple is the site where Daksha performed a yagna (a Hindu ritual to invoke gods and seek their blessings).

In the Hindu mythology, Daksha Prajapati is the father of Sati, the spouse of Lord Shiva. The temple is just a few minutes drive from the railway station.

Maya Devi :
Dedicated to goddess Maya Devi, the temple is a major attraction for all visitors to Haridwar.

The temple is counted as one of the shaktipithas in India. According to the Hindu mythology, it is the place where the heart and navel of goddess Sati fell down, while Lord Shiva was carrying her burnt body. Numerous festivals are held at the Maya Devi temple in keeping with the customs and traditions.

Kumbh Mela :
Lakhs of tourists arrive in Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela, held at the interval of every twelve years. Devotees and pilgrims arrive here to purify their sould by taking a holy dip in the divine water of the Ganges.

The highly revered Kumbh Mela begins when the plante Jupiter enters Aquarious and the Sun enters Aries.

Parad Shivling :
The mythological site is located in the historical town of Kankhal, at 6 km from the town of Haridwar.

The Parad Shivling remains enshrined inside the premises of the Harihar Ashram in Kankhal. Weighing 150 kg, the shivling is major pilgrimage site for Shaivites. Devotees worship the shivling to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.









 

 

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