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A Complete Tour Guide To Haridwar

The holy city of Haridwar lies in the course of river Ganga and is considered to be its first encounter when the river meets the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Northern India. Laying on the foothills of Himalayas the city falls in the Indian state of Uttrakhand. Haridwar literally translates to ‘Hari’, one of the names of Lord Vishnu and ‘Dwar’ meaning gates, therefore ‘The gate to Lord Vishnu’. Alternatively, the city is also known as ‘Hardwar’ where ‘Har’ is referred to Lord Shiva and ‘Dwar’ means gate and hence translating to ‘The Gates to Lord Shiva’. Haridwar is considered to be one of the seven holy cities of the Hindu. Being richly blessed with cultural backdrops, the city is a blend of mythology and nature. While the holy river meandering its course through the city, Haridwar is dotted with temples and ghats all over. Drawing devotees in large numbers on daily basis, Haridwar is also considered sacred as it is one of the four destinations that hold Kumbha Mela. It is believed the some drops of the elixir of endlessness of life were spilled here while being carried by the Garuda, the celestial bird. The city of Haridwar is also considered as a gate to the Char Dhams and people dip in the sacred waters of River Ganga here to rectify their sins of previous life along with the present one. The chaotic pilgrim destination is also known as the Devbhoomi or the Land of Gods
hence making the aura of the city dipped in divinity.

Photo by Livefree2013, CC BY-SA 3.0

Climatic Condition

Lying in hilly terrains of Northern India, Haridwar experiences extreme climates. The summer months last from March to mid-June and the temperature can shoot up to 40°C. The fiery heat of the boiling sun is counter balanced by the cool breeze from the river Ganges and hence making the city comparatively cooler. The winter months ranging from November to February can witness a temperature drop of about 6 °C whereas the average temperature remains 17°C during these months. The monsoon brings average rainfall and last from July to September.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Haridwar is from September to April. As the rainy season ends leaving behind the cool calm surroundings and the lush greens on the Shivalik range that is a beautiful contrast to the tranquil blue waters of Ganges. The winters bring a chill in the air that makes Haridwar a perfect place to spend time with self or with family.

Attraction/Thimgs To Do

Haridwar is dotted with a lot of temples, ghats and many mythological stories that dwell in the streets of the city. The famous amongst all is the Har ki Pauri, The steps of Lord Shiva, by which Bharathi, the brother of King Vikramaditya sat and meditated. The Ghat was constructed in his remembrance. Brahmakund is considered to be the most sacred ghat at Har Ki Pauri. The evening aarti held at Har Ki Pauri that is offered to Goddess Ganga is majestic and magical where the waters of the river reflect the dark skies and are lighted up with the reflection of the diyas and the aarti flames. Apart from this, Chanda Devi Temple devoted to Goddess Chandi sits at the peak of Neel Parvat. Mansa Devi is another legendary temple in the city. Sitting atop Bilwa Parvat, this temple is considered to fulfil the wishes of its devotees. The main attraction is the cable car route that takes you to the temple. Maya Devi Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city and it is believed that heart and navel of Goddess Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva fell here. The Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is a utopia to bird watchers as it is a bird sanctuary located by the banks of River Ganga. This bird sanctuary is a destination for many foreign birds during winters. There are also yoga centres and Ayurveda treatment centres in the city for a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment.

How To Reach

Haridwar is well connected with major cities through rail. Trains from central and north India are frequently available although there are rail connects from South India too. Haridwar is also well connected by roads via major cities like Delhi and Bareilly. The nearest airport is a Dehradun which is about 35 km away from Haridwar.

Distance From Major Cities

1. Delhi– 171 km
2. Dehradun– 52 km
3. Bareilly– 251 km
4. Rishikesh– 24 km
5. Agra– 308 km
6. Jaipur– 412 km
7. Chandigarh– 202 km
8. Roorkee– 30 km
9. Meerut– 150 km
10. Kashipur- 114 km
11. Muzaffarnagar– 84 km
12. Mussoorie- 86 km
13. Almora– 286 km
14. Amritsar– 406 km
15. Kanpur– 443 km
16. Gwalior- 514 km
17. Lucknow– 440 km
18. Mumbai– 1317 km
19. Shimla- 160 km
20. Ludhiana– 263 km

Accessibility And Accomodation

While travelling in the city one can easily get cycle-rickshaws or auto-rickshaws. Alternatively, one can travel by their private vehicles. Accommodations are easily available from budget hotels to guest houses and also some good resorts to splurge in luxuriously. It is suggested to pre-book the accommodation because Haridwar is loaded with visitors all year long.

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