Located at a short distance of just around 20 kilometres by road, Haridwar is one of the most important pilgrim spots in India. The name of the town itself means gateway to god in Sanskrit. Hardwar has been a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey in order to reach Mount Kailash, the eternal abode of Lord Shiva and Badrinath which has a temple of Lord Vishnu and is one among the ‘char dhams’ pilgrimage of the Hindus. In ancient times, the town was also referred to as Gangadwara, the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.
Haridwar is mentioned several times in the ancient texts of the Hindus and has a very important place in the Hindu mythology. Haridwar district covers an area of about 2360 km² and is situated at height of 314 metres from the sea level. One of the most amazing facts about Haridwar is the Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar, the priests or the ‘pundits’ have several handwritten registers which contain detailed family genealogies of various Hindu families with details of all marriages, births and deaths from ones extended joint family which have been passed on for centuries.
The places which can be visited here and are of the prime importance are the ‘Panch Tirth’ (Five Pilgrimages) within Haridwar, are Gangadwara (Har ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat in Kankhal), Bilwa Teerth (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi Temple). There are several other temples and ashrams located in and around the city. Also, alcohol and non-vegetarian food is not permitted in Haridwar.