Haridwar is a famous pilgrimage place in northern region of India in Uttarakhand. Hari is one of the names of Lord Vishnu, Har means Lord Shiva and dwar means door, so Haridwar means a gateway to Lord. Haridwar is situated on the banks of sacred river Ganges. People are very religious in India and Haridwar is also visited by hundreds and thousands of devotees every month. Haridwar is a city of Temples.There are many temples and ghats in Haridwar. Haridwar also gets Kumbh mela(fair) every twelve years and Ardh Kumbh mela every six years. People from all over India come to take holy bath in Ganges especially during the time when the melas are organised.
Ghats and Temples in Haridwar
Ghat is an Indian word which means series of steps near a river or a pond. There are many ghats in Haridwar – Har ki Pauri, Subhash ghat, Gau ghat and Ashti Prawah ghat. Har Ki Pauri is the main ghat here.People come here to take dip in Holy Ganges. Its other name is Brahmakund. Har ki paudi means steps of God. Every month hundreds and thousands of devotees come here to take bath in the holy Ganges. It is believed that after taking bath in sacred Ganges their sins will get vanished and they will attain Salvation. There are many temples on this ghat. Also everyday in the evening a Mahaarti (prayer) is performed, devotees gather on the ghat during this time to attend the aarti. The sound of bhajans and aarti’s (spiritual prayers and songs) gives peace to the mind. The view in the evening becomes magnificent when the lit diyas (earthern lamps) float on the top of river.
Chanda Devi Temple, Mansadevi Mandir, Pawan Dham Temple, Vaishno devi temple, Bharatmata Mandir are some of the temples in Haridwar. Chanda devi temple and mansa devi temple is situated on Hills.If you want to visit these temples you have to either trek or take a cable car.
There are many attractive places surrounding Haridwar- Rishikesh, Nanital, Dehradun, Mussorie, Corbett National park; the list is endless.
Uttarakhand is stated as Devbhoomi (land of God).For devotees the Char Dham yatra Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri starts from here.
Though Haridwar can be visited any time of the year but the best time is from April to October. There are many places to stay in Haridwar depending upon your budget. Hotels, lodges, guesthouses, Dharamshalas many options are available to the devotees. Most of these hotels, dharamshalas are conveniently located near the ghats, temples and market area.
Also reaching here is not at all difficult. You can come here by air, train or road. The nearest airport to Haridwar is Jolly grant in Dehradun. Haridwar also have a train station. Train journey is most preferred to reach here.
Some people visit Haridwar to immerse the ashes of their deceased relative’s.In India one of the rite of death ceremony is that the ashes of the deceased is immersed in some river so that their soul will rest in peace. Generally in North part of India these ceremonies are performed in Haridwar because river Ganges is the holiest river in India. This rite is performed at Asthi Prawah Ghat.