Haridwar, on the right bank of River Ganga at the feet of Shivalik ranges, an ancient pilgrim city is one of the holiest places for Hindus. Haridwar is at the point where the river Ganga spreads over the northern plain. It lies at the base of the Shivalik Hills where the Ganga passes through its last gorge and begins a 2000 km journey across the plains. One of the four venues for the Kumbh Mela, a festival held once in twelve years, it is among the seven sacred cities of India. A holy dip at Har-Ki-Pauri is a must for every devotee. Situated at the confluence of the rivers, Chandrabhaga and Ganga, Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. Haridwar has very rich ancient religious and cultural heritage. In the ancient scriptures of India, this place is well known by the name of Mayapur. This city is also well known for many other things apart from the holy river Ganges. Haridwar has privilege of having IIT at Roorkee, formerly known as University of Roorkee, founded in 1847 as a first technical institute of India. The tomb Piran Kaliar of Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious harmony in India which is visited by the people of all religious sects from all over the world. There is another University in the city called Gurukul Kangri Vishva Vidyalaya apart from the head quarter of Uttaranchal State Public Service Commission also being established at Haridwar.
Area : 12.302 sq.km.
Altitude : 294.70 metres.
Temp (deg C) :Summer - Max 35.6 Min 16.9
Winter - Max 28.3 Min 10.6.
Clothing : Summer- Cotton/Tropical; Winter- Woollens.
Season : Throughout the Year.
Languages Spoken :Garhwali, Hindi, and English.
STD Code : 01334
Haridwar is perhaps one of the most easily accessible tourist place of India. From all corners of the country, ways and means are available to reach Haridwar conveniently in shortest time.
By Road : Haridwar is on National Highway no. 45 . The distances in km from some cities are - Delhi-214, Agra-386, Ambala-168, Badrinath-325, Dehradun-52, Kedarnath-250, Saharanpur-81, Nainital-386. Roadways enquiry phone number is 01334-227037
By Railway : Connected with all major cities of India. The major trains are-
2017/2018 Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun (Shatabdi Ex.)
4213/4214 Allahabad-Haridwar-Dehradun (Link ex.)
4711/4712 Sri Ganganagar-Hardwar.
Railway station enquiry no. 131
By Air : The nearest airport is at Jollygrant(Dehradun) 35 Kms. Airport Tel. No. is 0135-2682052
Local transport such as Cycle Rikshaw, Auto Rikshaw, Tonga, Tempo(vikram), Taxi are available for moving inside the city from one place to another. Taxi stand is located just outside the Railway station and opposite the bus stand.
Places Of Interest
Har ki Pauri : This is the heart of Haridwar. It has got its name Har ki Pauri as the Hindu God Hari descended to this place. The glimpses of Ma Ganga have unique significance here. The Hindus regard this Ghat as the most sacred Ghat. It is also famous as Brahm kund. As the name signifies, it is believed that the Hindu God Brahma descended on this place and from that time this place is known as Brahm kund. It is this Brahm kund where every Hindu wishes to take a dip at least once in lifetime to reserve a place in heaven. Har-ki-Pauri is also the scene of a memorable ritual every evening. After sunset, before disciplined ranks of devotees, Aarti is celebrated.
The Ghats : Virtually all devotees who visit Haridwar have a sacramental bath in the river Ganga. Though Har-ki-Pauri is the most popular one, yet there are other bathing ghats too. Bathing ghats, or steps, have been built leading down to the specially diverted waters of the river so that devotees can bathe in safety. Dedicated bathers then immerse themselves off the natural banks of the swift flowing, and often very chill, Ganga.
Maya Devi Temple : The present temple was built in 1943, but the original temple, reputedly, dates back to the 11th century.
Mansa Devi Temple : Atop a hill, namely Mansa Pahar overlooking Haridwar, this temple is dedicated to the goddess who makes wishes true. A ropeway to the heart of town connects it. A view from the cable car is breath taking and the up and down journey is well worth even if you are not a devotee. It is a 5-minute journey each way and the return trip costs Rs. 20. The temple is open from 8 am to noon and again from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Gorakhnath Temple : This is an imposing edifice dedicated to Guru Gorakhnath on the main road leading to Har-ki-Pauri. As might be expected in such an ancient pilgrim centre, Haridwar has temples for all devotees, all shades of religious persuasions under that great umbrella of faith called Hinduism.
Kankhal Temples : Kankhal Temples are 3 km from Haridwar; Kankhal is now a part of the city. There are a number of famous temples here including The Deksheshwar Temple and the Birbhadreshwar Temple.
Daksha Mahadev Temple - 4 kms : The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev is situated in the south Kankhal town .The mythological story about this place is that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva "s first wife ) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted . Therefore she burnt herself in the yagya Kund . This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend .
Chandi Devi Temple : This temple is 6 km. from Haridwar on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat, on the other side of the river Ganga. The story goes that Chanda-Munda the army chief of the demons Shumbh-Nishumbh were killed by Goddess Chandi hence the name Chandi Devi. It also said that Adi Shankaracharya established the original statute of Chandi in 8th century AD. The King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, constructed the temple in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three km trek from the Chandi Ghat. Chandi Devi Temple is now accessible by a ropeway also, by the name of Chandi Devi Udankhatola, which starts near Gauri Shankar Temple. The length of Ropeway is 740 m and height 208 m. There is a dense forest on the other side of the hill inhabited by elephants and other wild animals.
Gurukul Kangri University - 4 Kms : It is situated on the Haridwar-Jwalapur bypass road . It is an old institution known for following a unique system of education in India. The Ved Mandir Museum with archaeological exhibits in display can also be seen.
Bhimgoda Tank : This tank is at a distance of about 1 km from Harki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of his knee.
Sapt Rishi Ashram & Sapt Sarovar - 7 kms : It is said that Ganga had split herself in seven currents at this place so that the Sapt(seven) Rishis worshipping there would not be disturbed.
Parad Shivling - 2 kms : Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Shivling weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are main attractions here.
Piran Kaliar : The tomb Piran Kaliar of Shabir Shahib in Roorkee is a living example of religious harmony in India which is visited by the people of all religious sects from all over the world. "URS" festival is organised every year on the holy dargah in summer.
Other Places of Interest
Parmath Ashram, Canal Centenary Bridge, Guru Gorakhnath Mandir, Ramkrishna Mission, Manav Kalyan Ashram, Anand Mayee Ashram, Sati Kund, Hanuman Mandir, Sri Guru Sri Chandji ka Gurudwara, Sri Ayappa Temple, Bilkeshwar Mahadev, Arya Banprasth Ashram, Gauree Shankar, Gita Bhavan, Neeleshwar Temple, Sadhubela.
RISHIKESH - 24 KMS : Rishikesh is one of the best-located pilgrimage centers along the right bank of the Ganga. The holy river emerging from high mountains not far from here, runs deep and silent through the thickly wooded hills of the terai that straddle this region. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife await here. Not to mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with "munis" and meditation. Today Rishikesh has become a center for learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned Indian methods for mental and physical health. The week-long International Yoga festival which attracts participation from all across the world is held here annually in the month of February on the banks of serene Ganga.
RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK(CHILLA)-10 KMS : Haridwar is also a popular destination for nature and adventure lovers. The Rajaji National Park is about 820 sq. km. in area; attracts wildlife lovers with its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio diversity. Three sanctuaries of the Shivalik range of western U.P. -Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in year 1983It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including tigers, leopard, jungle cat, himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker etc. The river shelters fish in abundance. For further information on the subject, They have got their
SURESHWARI DEVI - 10 KMS : This is a temple of Goddess Durga. Situated in the peaceful forest area of Rajaji National park.
PIRAN KALIER-23 KMS : The "Dargah" of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed "Sabir" on the outskirts of Roorkee town is a worth-visit-place for every visitor. It is situated towards the south of Haridwar. This place is one of the living examples of unity between the Hindu and Muslim religions. Famed for its mystical powers that fulfill the desires of the devout, the Dargah is visited by millions of devotees from all religions from India and abroad. The Urs is celebrated at this Dargah every year, from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day during the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar.
DEHRADUN - 54 KMS : A place liked by many retired civil and defense officers to settle down, now the capital city of newly formed Uttaranchal state is known for many central govt. institutes of national importance and is also a place worth visiting.
KAUDILAYA - 62 KMS : The place is very popular for rafting loving tourists. Known for turbulent white water.
MUSSOORIE - 89 KMS : The queen of hills, the city with Mall is an ideal hill station.
ASHRAMS AND YOGA CENTRES
Shanti Kunj, Parmarth Niketan, Prem Nagar Ashram, Akhandparam Dham, Maa Anand Mai Ashram, Yoga Dham, Arya Nagar, Maha Prabhu Yoga and Natural Medical Centre, Yoga Study Centre.