Haridwar is a old city of Uttarakhand and important Hindu pilgrimage Uttarakhand state, where the River Ganges exits the Himalayan. The largest of several sacred Ghats Har Ki Pauri hosts a nightly Ganga Aarti (rin which lamps are floated off the steps. Worshipers fill the city during major festivals including the annual Kanwar Mela.
Accessible by cable car or steps, the ornate hilltop temples of Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi views of the plains from opposite sides of the Ganges. Another important pilgrimage temple is Maya Devi by Birla Ghat. Daksheswara Mahadev Temple lies amid havelis sacred ashrams and an ancient banyan tree just south of Haridwar in the town of Kankhal. Near Haridwar, Rajaji National Park in the Shivalik Hills offers jungle safaris to see tigers, elephants, leopards and more than 300 species of birds.
Places to visit in Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri
Har Ki Pauri is a famous ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar in Uttarakhand. This revered place is the major landmark of the holy city of Haridwar. "Har" means "Lord Shiva" who is the god according to salivate Rishav Bagman school of Hindu theology, "Ki" means "of" and "Pauri" means "steps". Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are believed to have visited the Brahmakund in Har Ki Pauri in the Vedic times. There is a large footprint said to belong to Lord Vishnu on a stone wall.
It is believed that it is precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. The ghat is on the west bank of Ganges canal through which the Ganges is diverted just to the north. Har Ki Pauri is also the area where thousands of pilgrims converge and the festivities commence during the Kumbha Mela, which takes place every twelve years, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which takes place every six years. Every day, Har Ki Pauri ghat witnesses hundreds taking a dip in water of the Ganges. The place is considered very auspicious. Over the years the Ghats have undergone major extension and renovation as the crowds increased in subsequent Kumbh Meals.
Each evening at sunset priests perform Ganga Aarti here, when lights are set on the water to drift downstream. A large number of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing its praises. The priests hold large fire bowls in their hands, the gongs in the temples at the Ghat start ringing and the chants flowing out of lips fill the air.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Mansa Devi in the holy city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The temple is located atop the Bylaw Par vat on the Sivalik Hills, the southernmost mountain chain of the Himalayas. The temple, also known as Bylaw Tirth is one of the Panch Tirth within Haridwar.
The temple is known for being the holy abode of Mansa Devi, a form of Shakti and is said to have emerged from the mind of the Lord Shiva. Mansa is regarded as the sister of the Nāga Vasuki. She is also believed to be the daughter of Lord Shiva in his human incarnate. The term Mansa means wish and it is believed that the goddess fulfils all the wishes of a sincere devotee.
There is a folk tale about this, once Mansa, a common girl who was unaware about her complete truth from her guardians decided to meet Lord Shiva and ask him about her truth. To meet Lord Shiva, she sat for Sadhana and after years of spiritual exercise, she got the fortune to meet Lord Shiva and clarify her truth from him. After learning her truth, she attained the powers of goddess of welfare for the world. Devotees who pray to Mansa Devi for fulfilling their wishes tie threads to the branches of a tree located in the temple. Once their wishes are fulfilled, people come back again to the temple to untie the thread from the tree. Goddess Mansa is also offered coconuts, fruits, garlands and incense sticks for prayer.
Mansa Devi Temple is a Siddh Peeth. It is one of three such Peeths located in Haridwar, the other two being Chandi Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple. The inner shrine has two deities, one with eight arms and the other one with three heads and five arms.
Daksheswara Mahadev is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the town of Kankhal, about 4 km from Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. It is named after King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Sati. Daksha is one of the fourteen Prajapatis, creator deities, who preside over procreation and are the protector of life in Hindu mythology.The present temple was built by Queen Dhankaur in 1810 and rebuilt in 1962.
As mentioned in the Mahabharata and other texts of Hinduism, King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Sati, Shiva's first wife, performed yajna at the place where the temple is situated. Although Sati felt insulted when her father did not invite Shiva to the ritual, she attended the yajna. She found that Shiva was being spurned by her father and she burnt herself in the Yajna Kunda itself.
Kankhal is a small colony in Haridwar in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. Mentioned in the Vayu Purana and the Mahabharata as Kanakhala, Kankhal is one of 'Panch Tirth‘within Haridwar, with other spots being Gangadwara , Kushwart , Bylaw Teerth and Neel Par vat .
It is most known for the Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, Maa Anandamoyi Ashram and numerous other ashrams and old houses with exquisite wall paintings built by Hindu pilgrims in the 19th century. In the Vanaparva of the Mahabharat, where sage Dhaumya tells Yudhishthira about the tirthas of India, When the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak (1469–1539), visited Haridwar in 1504 AD, on the Baisakhiday, he went on to visit Kankhal, en route to Kotdwara in Garhwal.
Kankhal also finds mention in the travel accounts of Sister Nivedita (1867–1911), a disciple of Swami Vivekananda, wherein she mentions that long before Haridwar became popular, Kankhal had been a center for education and pilgrimage.
Chandi Devi Temple
Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi Devi in the holy city of Haridwar in the Uttarakhand state of India. The temple is situated atop the Neel Par hvat on the Eastern summit of the Sivalik Hills, the southernmost mountain chain of the Himalayas.
Chandi Devi Temple is highly revered by devotees as a Siddh Peetha which is a place of worship where desires get fulfilled. It is one of three such Peethas located in Haridwar, the other two being Mansa Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple.
The Temple is located at a distance of 4 kilometres from Har ki Pauri. To reach the temple one has to either follow the three kilometre trekking route from Chandighat and reach the shrine by climbing a number of steps or climb the recently introduced rope-way service. The rope-way service known as Chandi Devi Udankhatola was introduced for the benefit of the pilgrims and it caters to the pilgrims also to the nearby located Mansa Devi shrine. The rope-way carries the pilgrims from the lower station located near Gauri Shankar Temple on the Naziabad Road directly to the Chandi Devi Temple located at an altitude of 2,900 metres.
The temple is one of the most ancient temples of India. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple, especially during the festivals of Chandi Chaudas and Navratra and the Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, to seek the blessings of the goddesses who are believed to fulfill their wishes. The temple is a must visit for the pilgrims going to Haridwar.
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Nearest Railway Station
Haridwar railway station from where one can book local taxi at lowest fares for local Sight scene.