In the words of the first Prime - Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru,” The Ganga to me is the symbol of India’s memorable past which has been flowing into the present and continues to flow towards the ocean of future”.
The city of Ganges, Haridwar is a holy district in the state of Uttarakhand and is serving as one of the most loved pilgrimage destination for Hinduism followers since history.
The holy river Ganga travels for about 253 kilometers from its very source at the Gaumukh that is at the edge of the glacier of Gangotri. Later, it enters the region of north – India through Indo – Gangetic Planes for first time at the city of Haridwar, from where the ancient name of the city was derived that is, Gangadwara.
One of the seven most sacred places in the nation, the city of Haridwar enjoys the visit of numerous pilgrims daily to attain ‘Moksha’ and feel the serenity of this pious land. With time the city of Haridwar has grown not just as a spiritual playground but also a key location for practicing yoga, cultural and traditional activities and a perfect school for people who want to learn the ancient language ‘Sanskrit’.
In the words of the first Prime - Minister of India Pt. One of the oldest city of India, Haridwar has its mention in various historical books that are known as ‘Upanishads’ and ‘Purana ‘s. Haridwar is mentioned in these books with different names like Gangadwara, Mayapuri and Kapilasthana. The name of the city is Haridwar, which means the doorway to God. The city is equally important to the followers of Lord Shiva (Har) and also the followers of Lord Vishnu (Hari). Hence, the city is named after both the god’s that is Hardwar and Haridwar. Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 6 years in this sacred city with extreme bustle.
In the mythically renowned book of Hindus, Mahabharata the city has its mention in the pages of the chapter ‘vanaparva chapter’. This chapter tells a tale about Sage Dhaumya and Yudhisthira, where the sage tells the eldest Pandava about the ‘tirthas’ (pilgrimages) of India that also included the city of Ganges, Haridwar. The next mention in the ancient stories is when the Famed King sat at meditation to bring down the holy river Ganges from the heaven to the Earth to purify the souls of his sixty thousand ancestors in the SATYA YUGA. Later in the time of dates and pre- historic times it is noted that the city was ruled by the Maurya and Kushana empires.
A very well known Chinese traveler whose name was Huan Tsang mentioned the city of Haridwar in his travel diary that dates back to about 629 AD. Then in the late 13th century in the year 1399 there was a Turkish Invader who came to India and found out the city of Haridwar and was successful in invading the holy city. Later, in the 16th century when it was the rule of the Mughals in the nation there was a book written during Akbar’s reign that named ‘Ain- e – Akbari’. In this book the city was named as Mayapuri. The foremost noted evidence of the present day name Haridwar comes by a Nobel named Thomas Coryant, during the rule of the Mughal Ruler Jahangir’ (son of Akbar).
After the arrival of British’s in the time of 18th century, two main dams were built, principally the Bhimgoda Dam in the year 1840. Later in the year 1868, the 'Haridwar Union Municipality' was constructed, which also included then villages named ‘Mayapur’ and ‘Kankhal’. The first railway track in Haridwar was constructed by the British in the year 1886 that was extended to the city of Dehradun by the year 1900. The first specimen of concurrent civilization is the industrial section of BHEL that is Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited; which is also known as the ‘Navratna PSU’. It was earlier in the state of Uttar Pradesh; and now is the part of newly formed state of Uttarakhand since the November of 2000. This holy city of Haridwar is one of the oldest cities in India and is a land where people have lived since ages and written a vast history to make the present of this town look beautiful and mesmerizing.
The best time to visit the city of Haridwar is all the time of the year. There is no such time as ‘ideal’ when you are coming to visit the holy temples of the town. The city is also guarded by mountains by its side hence, making the towns weather pleasant all the time throughout the year.
Haridwar is a city that is a hub of travelers and pilgrims throughout the year. Hence, by no chance we can even think that the place is sans Hotels, resorts or Inns. Haridwar is loaded with them and they are also in any and all kinds of category be it Luxury, budget, high - class or even very cheap stays like Dharamshala and guest houses for all kind of men and women travelling to the town either very rich or not so well to do.You can also find Hotels and resorts in the city that offer you with the yoga retreats that is been taken care by the yoga trainers. Services like swimming pool, gym area, spa, kid’s zone, dining area etc can also be found.
Ideal duration to spend in Haridwar is all upon your wish as it is a place of spirituality, Sanskrit and yoga learning’s that would take your own sweet time and could not be bounded in a limit.
However, if you are in the town to just visit the places 2 days span is more than enough for you to enjoy the city completely. You can also choose our weekend plan to Haridwar fom the capital city, New Delhi and enjoy the town completely in the particular span with all the great amenities that would be provided to you.
Haridwar is a place where one can notably find various cultural and spiritual festivals. One among them and the most famous one is the Purna Kumbh Mela that takes place every 12 years and is also considered as the humanities biggest fair that counted to about 70 million in 2013. The festival keeps rotating in the cities of Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik. The next will take place in the year 2022.
Other famous festivals that are celebrated in the city are: Baisakhi, The Kanwar Mela, Somwati Amavasya, Kartik Purnima and the daily celebration of the grand Ganges Arti and few more.
Haridwar is a place that is arming the feelings of culture and tradition within itself and hence the shopping in the city also demarcates to the things that are of spiritual background like the small idol of the god’s and goddesses, a can filled with the pure Ganges Water, spiritual books, worshiping material and more.
You can also find various handcrafted materials in the city. In Addition do not forget to buy the Indian Bangles made of glass and plastic that would decorate your hands with vibrant colors. Bara Bazaar is a place most loved by the visitors in the city of Haridwar.
The Ghat (river bank) was built by ‘Vikramaditya’ in the loving memory of his brother and since then this place is the most loved attraction for people coming to the city.
This is one place in the city of Haridwar that is the most loved and visited place. The serene view of the holy river Ganges and the steps by its side makes anyone and everyone fall in love with its old construction and enormous beauty. The boating session and the evening Ganga Arti are the best attraction in the city of Haridwar. The evening Arti could just not be missed as the beauty it elongates is beyond words.
After the Arti people lit Dias (candles) in the river and it looks mesmerizingly gorgeous in the night light.
This amazing temple was built by Swami Satyamitranand Giri. The temple is dedicated to Mother India and is an 8 storied huge building by the side of the holy river Ganges in the city of Haridwar.
The first floor is having a huge idol of Mother India. The second is dotted with the great heroes of India and mythological past. The third consists of idols of the women who have shown immense power and are idols to many like Radha, Draupadi, Ahilya, Anusuya, Maitri, Gargi Mira and Savitri. The forth step of the temple is dedicated to various religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism etc.
The fifth floor is the room to the paintings of great saints and is also known as ‘sant Mandir’. On the sixth you will be finding different forms of goddess Shakti and her perils. The floor seventh is dedicated to the avatars of Lord Vishnu. And the last floor is dedicated to lord Shiva. This temple is only one of its kinds in the nation.
It is said that the main deity in this temple was established by the saint named Adi Shankarcharaya in that the time of 8thcentury.
Originally built by great King Suchat Singh, Chandi Devi Temple of Haridwar is elevated on the Neel Parvat (hill). One has to reach the temple he has to trek for 3 kilometers from Chandi Ghat or one also has the option of the cable car. According to the old stories, this is the same place where the Goddess Chandi killed the demons named Chanda-Munda, who were the chief men of from the army of the demon Kings ‘Shumba’ and ‘Nishumba’.
The great temple is presiding on the Bilwa Parvat (hill) and the name of the temple is ‘Mansa Devi’. It is considerably one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Haridwar and can easily be reached by the medium of cable car.
This huge temple is dedicated to the Goddess Mansa (the deity who fulfills the wishes of people) and it has two major idols of the Goddess in the prime temple complex; one, which has three faces and five arms in total, while the other idol has eight arms. Reason for the temple being so popular is the splendid view from the cable car that takes a person to the temple premises.
It is about 5 kilometers away from the city of Haridwar; Sapt Rishi Ashram is one place that is loved by every tourist from across the world. This ashram is a place where people stop by as it is a place that is famous for learning the ancient language of Sanskrit.
This place named the ‘Sapt Rishi Ashram’ is named so because it is the place where the seven great sages whose names are: Kashyapa, Gautama, Jamadagi, Vishwamitra, Vashisht ,Bhardwaja and Atri once meditated as per the legends.
It is even believed that the Pandavas while going to the great Himalaya crossed this holy place when on the way. The ashram is very near from the bank of the holy river Ganga and is a beautiful place for clicking some amazing pictures.
Shantikunj is the main headquarters of the spiritual as well as the social unit of the ‘All World Gayathri Pariwar’ (briefed as-AWGP). It was established in the year1971 at the city of, Haridwar.
It later emerged as a center of the worldwide movement of the movement named ‘Yug Nirman Yojana’ (it is a movement for the reconstruction of this era) for moral and spiritual reformation of the golden Indian heritage.
It is situated at the banks of the holy river Ganga and is in between the wide ranges of the Shivalik Mountains of the great Himalayas. This place is loved by people who are interested in Indian heritage and as well as yoga sessions.
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