The place where the Ganges River descends, Haridwar is one of the holiest cities in India. Also pronounced as Hardwar, the city is believed to be the ultimate gateway to the gods. Situated where the Ganges emerges from the mighty Himalayas, Haridwar is visited by a horde of devoted devotees who come down to take a dip in the holy river. For centuries, the city has been a popular pilgrimage site, as well as the visit of hundreds of devotees, culture lovers and tourists. Haridwar vacation packages are selected primarily over the weekend when the populations of neighboring metropolises and other major cities plan to drift into the relaxing atmosphere of Haridwar for comfort and peace. Here we have some of the best tourist places of Haridwar that you must add in your itinerary:
How to Reach:
Haridwar is about 200 km from Delhi and therefore one of the favorite destinations for weekend getaways around Delhi for the population in the national capital. Haridwar is easily accessible because it is well connected with a network of railways and roads from different parts of the country. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun; There is also the Haridwar Junction Rail for easy travel.
Best Time to Visit Haridwar:
The best time to book Haridwar vacation packages is during its festivals and religious fairs. Kumbh Mela and Ardh Mela are two of the region’s most famous fairs during which thousands of devotees, saints, and sages head to Haridwar to take a religious bath in the river. Festivals are colorful and charming, However, this is also the time when hotels stay full and therefore it is always recommended to make reservations in advance.
Top Tourist Places in Haridwar
Hari-Ki Pairi is the focal point of all Haridwar tour packages for most devotees who choose Haridwar excursions to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges River and worship the River Goddess. According to popular legend, this is the place where a drop of eternal nectar had fallen from the stirring of the oceans; Today the banks of the Ganges at Har-Ki-Pairi are dotted with various Hindu temples. Haridwar’s most fascinating sight is the Ganga River Aarti (Worship) Night Ceremony when you can see hundreds of lighted floating lamps floating in the river at the end of the great Aarti.
Mansa Devi Temple:
Located on the top of a hill, the Mansa Devi Temple is one of the holiest temples in the neighborhood. One can reach the temple via the cable car that takes around INR 48 for a round trip. It is one of the most sacred tourist places at Haridwar where devotees gather in huge numbers every year.
Bharat Mata Temple:
Located 5 km north of the center, this temple is another intriguing view of Haridwar. Interestingly, the temple is dedicated to Mother India and is a fascinating symbol of communal harmony as it is open to people of all faiths. It is one of the most sought after and nearest tourist places from Haridwar that you must add in your itinerary.
From temple tours to desert getaways in Rajaji National Park, Haridwar vacation packages have a lot to offer.
Sapt Rishi Ashram:
Located at a distance of 5 km from Har kiPauri, it is the most renowned ashram in Haridwar. According to Hindu mythology, the seven great sages or Sapt-Rishis used to meditate here. It is also said that here the Ganges river was divided into seven streams so as not to disturb their meditation.
Neel DharaPakshiVihar –
This bird sanctuary is located on the main Ganges River (or Neel Dhara) in the Bhimgoda Dam. Located at a distance of 3.5 km from Haridwar, it is a bird watcher’s paradise and home to many migratory birds during the winter season.
Bilkeshwar Mahadev Mandir:
Bilkeshwar Mahadev may be a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is found on top of a hill. It is one of the incredible tourism places in Haridwar that will surely attract you with its natural surroundings.
Bharat Mata Mandir:
Dedicated to the Bharat Mata or Mother India, this is a seven-story multi-story building, housing statues of deities, saints, and secular heroes of all faiths. This is a national place of worship and religion.
Daksha Mahadev Temple:
The Daksha Mahadev Temple is dedicated to King Daksha, the father of Sati, Lord Shiva’s consort. The famous story says that the king once held a Yagya in which he invited his daughter but not her husband as he did not like Shiva. Daksha insulted Shiva and because of this Sati jumped into the sacred fire of the Yagya and gave her life. The temple is dedicated to this incident. Tourist places of Haridwar has its own unique charm and you will witness this fact during every single moment you will spend here.
The incident of Sati burning to death in the Yagya fire when her husband Shiva was insulted is the reason for the origin of this place. The Kund was where the fire burned and Sati gave her life by jumping on it. No wonder, it is listed amongst one of the highly recommended near Haridwar tourist places that you shouldn’t miss at all.
Popular festivals in Haridwar
Kumbh Mela is the most important event among the Haridwar festivals. According to the mythological origin, the divine Amrit, the elixir for immortality, arose in Samudra Manthan or the stirring of the ocean and while the Gods and Demons attempted to flee with their priceless Kumbh or pot, a few drops fell on Haridwar along with Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain make them the places for Kumbh Mela. A sacred dip in the Ganges of Haridwar is believed to free people from the cycle of birth and rebirth, which is why millions of people bathe in Haridwar during this fair in January and February. Kumbh Mela takes place in a 12-year cycle, which is known as Purna Kumbh Mela. Ardh Kumbh Mela marks half of the cycle which is 6 years and Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated periodically after 144 years. The ritual bath in the Ganges is performed publicly followed by a tribute to the Sun.
Holi and Dipawali are also quite popular Haridwar festivals. With the onset of spring, the city of Haridwar is decorated in countless shades during the Holi festival of colors. As winter approaches, Haridwar is embellished with Dipawali, the festival of lights. The Ganges forms the backdrop for these beautiful festivals. Millions of pilgrims visit Haridwar for Amavasya, Purnima and Grahan for a sacred bath in Ganga.
Your Journey Doesn’t End Here
The list of tourist places near to Haridwar is truly endless and you need a sufficient amount of time to cover those. If you are planning to visit places in Haridwar and Rishikesh then don’t forget to check our other travel guides that will offer you all the information.