Haridwar Travel Information
Blessed by the presence of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, the three major Hindu Gods, the temple town of Haridwar is considered as one of the most sacred Hindu places in India. With a backdrop of beautiful Himalayan mountains, the lush green forests and the fast-moving river add charm to this holy city. Haridwar is a pilgrimage destination for millions of Hindu people who come from across India and even outside India to take a dip into the holy water of the river Ganges. It is widely believed that all sins of a person will be washed away after taking a dip in the river’s holy water at Haridwar. The city also attracts foreign nationals who come to Haridwar to closely experience the complex Hindu culture, with its beautiful rituals and ancient wisdom.
Places To See In Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri
This popular ghat on the banks of River Ganges in Haridwar is considered one of the most sacred Hindu sites. It is believed to have been visited by Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu during the Vedic period. Constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother, Bhartrihari, it is considered to be the exact place where the holy river Ganges descends from the mountains into the plains. It is the site for the beautiful Ganga Aarti ceremony every evening.
River Ganges is worshipped by Hindu people in India for supporting life and livelihood of the people since time immemorial. Every evening, the sacred ghat on the Ganges river called Har-ki-Pauri, turns into a site of great devotion as hundreds of devotees and priests gather together for prayers, offering diyas (lamps) and marigold flowers to the holy river which then float and light up the river. Chanting Vedic rhyms with the devotees and listening to divine music turns ceremonious Ganga Arti into a surreal experience.
Numerous tiny stalls selling variety of goods like shawls, glass bangles and cane baskets line this beautiful and colourful market called Bara Bazaar. Pleasant smell of prasaad (food offered to Gods during prayers) and mouth watering food engulfs you as you shop for spiritual paraphernalia in this market located on the banks of the river Ganga.
Mansa Devi Temple
Located at the top of Shivalik Hill, the Mansa Devi temple is dedicated to the wife of Nag(Snake) king Vasuki, Goddess Mansa Devi who is believed to fulfil all wishes of devotees visiting her temple. With its location at the top of a hill, the temple offers a commanding view of Haridwar. Devotees of the Goddess tie a sacred thread to an ancient tree in the temple premises as make their wishes. Once the wishes are fulfilled, he/she returns to Mansa Devi temple in Haridwar to remove these threads.
Chandi Devi Temple
Built by king Suchat Singh of Kasmir in 1929, the temple of Chandi Devi sits atop the Neel Parvat which is a 3 kilometer trek from ChandiGhat. It is the considered to be the site where Goddess Chandi Devi defeated the demon king Shumbhu-Nishumbha. The temple is now accessible via a ropeway which begins near Gauri Shanker Temple and offers a panoramic view of the city.
How To Reach Haridwar
Nearest airport to Haridwar is in Dehradun (Jolly Grant Airport) and is connected to Delhi by direct flight.
The railway station at Haridwar is well connected to all major cities in India and is therefore a convenient mode of transport to reach Haridwar.However, it is very difficult to get train tickets unless booked couple of months in advance owing to the large crowds travelling to Haridwar for Kumbh Mela festival.
Haridwar is connected to all major cities in India via national highways and can therefore be easily reached easily by cars and coaches.
Situated in North India, Haridwar enjoys typical humid sub-tropical climate. Winter season ranges from November to February. Owing to its location at the bank of Ganges river, temperature in Haridwar dip to 2℃ during nights but hovers around 30℃ during the day owing to clear skies and direct sunlight. It doesn’t snow in Haridwar but a dense fog, especially in the month of January is common. While from April to July, it is Summer Season in Haridwar and temperatures range from 20℃ to 40℃.
Visitors should respect local codes of dress and behavior. The Indian subcontinent is conservative, so women should avoid wearing shorts, mini-skirts and bare backed dresses. Pants are acceptable. Women should wear long pants or skirts to the ankles, Punjabi outfits or Saris. No short skirts or shorts are allowed. Women must be fully clothed when they bathe in the Ganges. They will not be allowed to wear swimsuits. Carry lightweight clothes that can be laundered easily.
During January / February, you will need light woolens, sweaters, a light jacket or wool wrap. Dress in layers, so that you can strip down during the warmer days.