As Uttarakhand’s holiest city, Haridwar translates into Gateway to Gods. Aptly named, this small city opens the doors of Dev Bhoomi of Uttarakhand, and forms the auspicious point from where the mighty Ganges descends to the plains. An ancient city and a Hindu pilgrimage, Haridwar offers religious experiences that touches your spiritual soul.
Divinely-soaked temples and Ashrams, flocks of devote, and the presence of river Ganges- all turns this city into a storyteller where every corner exudes fables of an ancient religion. The city is an amazing religious escapade where countless of pilgrims set out to the Ganges to cleanse themselves of their past sins and attain Moksha. The atmosphere in the city takes a festive turn in the evening when the Ganga Aarti is performed at the famous Har-ki-Paidi Ghat. The breeze gets filled with a dramatic sense of asceticism as the Holy Ganges gets idolised with numerous religious offerings and devotional singing. The presence of hilltop Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi temples adds up to the city’s religious quotient turning Haridwar into a ‘divine residency.’
A paradise for explorers of religiosity, Haridwar acts as an assorted version of Indian culture and civilization. Go ahead and get soaked with divinity!
One can visit the city at any time of the year as the weather remains pleasant all the time.
Untouched by the glam of commercialisation, Haridwar takes pride in its natural marvels. Picturesque landscapes, spellbinding natural sceneries and reflection of mythic legends- all conspire to form this religious town that has divinity tucked in its every nook and corner. Come, witness a mix of nature and spirituality, and take home a wonderful experience.
Har- ki- Paidi
Har-ki-Paidi becomes a slice of a religious paradise for devotees with its famous Ganga Aarti. The river comes alive in its unabashed glory with the unique patterns formed by various earthen diyas as religious offerings from the pilgrims. The best time to visit the place is either early in the morning or at dusk. If you want to make a donation, it is best to give it to organisations taking care of the processions over there rather than to priests asking for it.
Mansa Devi & Chandi Devi Temples
Among the plethora of temples in Haridwar, the famous hilltop temple of Mansa Devi (goddess of wish-fulfilment) is quite famous. A visit to this temple is made exciting by the cable-car route one has to take to reach there. You can further extend your trip to experience more divinity by visiting the famous Chanda Devi temple. In both the cases just remember two things- Beware of the notorious monkeys on your way up hill and keep your cameras on hold as photography is strictly prohibited in the temple premises.
Exploring the local cuisine of any tourist destination is an unavoidable part of any travelling expedition. If you are a kind of traveller for whom the local food acts as a gateway to explore the local culture, then you are at the right place. Right from mouth-watering Jalebi served with hot Badaam milk to Lassi topped with a thick layer of Malai, various eateries and Halwai joints in Haridwar are famous for their authentic food. Let your calories worries get burned and try the famous Matka Kulfi or Falooda Kulfi, to give your taste buds an exciting and delicious break!
Hoshiyar Puri- Established in 1937, this traditional restaurant is quite popular among the locals of Haridwars. The restaurant is best for its authentic Indian dishes like dal Makhani, Aloo gobhi, Lachcha paratha and kheer. For tourists, with demanding taste buds for Indian flavours and spice, the restaurant is a must try in Haridwar.
Chotiwala- Guarded by a mascot resembling the figures of a conventional Bania or sahukars of Bollywood movies, Chotiwala chain of restaurants hold a brand value in Haridwar and its nearby areas. Popular for its variety of cuisines, it is best known for its authentic Indian dishes that render a feel of an explosion of flavours in your mouth.
Big Ben Restaurant- Surprising as it may sound; Haridwar does have a restaurant on in the name of London’s Big Ben! The restaurant offers some amazing food with a neat and clean ambience. It is a good choice for breakfast as it offers some very good tea and coffee.
Haveli Hari Ganga Restaurant- The restaurant at this classy heritage hotel has a traditional visual appeal. Make sure you don’t end your trip to Haridwar without tasting its trademark “thalis” and buffet dinners.
Since pilgrim places in Haridwar have linkage with Vedic myths and scriptures, the place has a divine significance. As a religious pilgrimage, it hosts the largest religious gathering in India- Kumbh and the Mahakumbh.
Dating back to the Vedic times, Haridwar was one of those places which were blessed to have received one of the four drops of nectar of immortality that emerged from the battle between Gods and Demi-gods. Supremely big and auspicious, it is adorned with the ritual of bathing in the Holy Ganges. During these auspicious days you will find religious devotees gathering together fighting for a single dip in the river.
A massive religious fair, the event speaks for the cultural diversity of India as people from all religions assemble here to seek salvation. On one hand to be a part of this religious congregation could be a bit of a hassle. But on the other hand, being there makes you to come to terms with your spiritual self.
Colourful stalls, utmost dedication, peace with oneself- all this and much more can be experienced by being a part of this event. The rhythmic sound of chanting mantras and mesmerizing tunes of Aarti forms a transcendental backdrop. No matter the vastness and charisma of this event, being a part of this Kumbh Mela will surely make alive the God in you.
If you think that Haridwar is only about temples and ashrams, then you are definitely wrong! There are some popular shopping hubs selling beautiful items catering to a wide range of shopping tastes. Situated at the Upper Road of Haridwar, the marketplace is lined with shops selling religious items including Pooja Samagri, copper and brass utensils, sweets, glass bangles, cane baskets, pickles and a variety of Ayurvedic products. So, with pure bliss and divinity in your heart, explore these markets for some unusual items!
Bara Bazaar- A range of gift items avalaible in the Jawalpur market can be best souvenirs to be stored in your backpack. Bara Bazaar is the best place for spiritual tourists to buy Rudraksh seeds (don’t get tricked by the fake ones), Ayurvedic Churans, a range of sweets and Ayurvedic medicines. You should not leave this without laying your hands on the famous Pedas sold by many sweet shops. Do remember to apply your price negotiating skills!
Handicrafts Emporium- If interested in spending your savings on some traditional art and crafts, the state government emporiums perfectly fit your choice. These emporiums are stocked with an exotic range of handicrafts items including jewellery, precious stones, religious CDs and DVDs, and Yoga books.
You can find a lot of staying options in Haridwar ranging from budget hotels to five-star luxury hotels. The busiest time of the year is the Chaar Dhaam Yatra season from April to November. One can get a discount ranging between 20 % and 50 %. Being an important religious pilgrimage, it is flocked with tourists from all over the country. Come here and explore yourself, a destination that takes you on a religious ride to discover yourself. Haridwar has numerous staying options in its kitty. The best idea is to choose according to your taste and budget.
Hotel Radisson Blu- A five star hotel, Hotel Radisson Blu offers nothing but luxury to its customers. Equipped with modern amenities like modern spa treatments, outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and so on, the hotel has everything catering to your over-the-top demands. Its multi-cuisine restaurant will definitely make your stay worthwhile.
Address: 5 star hotel Address Plot No C-1, Sector 12 Haridwar
Ganga Lahiri Restaurant- The restaurant, without being an out way on your pockets, offers world-class staying facilities including non-smoking rooms furnished with Indian decorations and fabrics.
The hotel is at a distance of 1.5 km from Haridwar Railway Station and 4 km from Chandivi Temple. The Jolly Grant Airport in is located at a distance of 35 km.
Address: Gau Ghat, Har ki Pauri Haridwar
Ambrosia Sarovar Portico- A 4 star hotel, Ambrosia Sarovar Portico is a premium hotel having 70 air-conditioned fully furnished rooms featuring minibars. Equipped with many facilities like recreation, spa and dining, the hotel is one of the best options to enjoy your stay in Haridwar.
Address: Bahadrabad, Business District
Frequented by visitors in search of spirituality, the city is busy welcomes each of them with equal warmth and hospitality. To serve them, it has a convenient network of transportation system. Cycles rickshaws are avalaible at an affordable price of 10 for short distances and 30 for longer ones. Vikram run to and fro across the city at a reasonable fare of 10. Also, private taxis can be hired for a full day sight-seeing.
Reaching by Air- the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun serves as the nearest airport for Haridwar which is at a distance of 35 km from the main city. It has flight connectivity with the major metropolitan cities in India.
Reaching by Rail- The railway station is located in Haridwar main city and has direct rail connectivity with cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai etc. It comes under the northern zone of Indian Railways.
Reaching by Road- A road trip to Haridwar would be an exciting journey as it has efficient highway connectivity with major cities from the plains below. The NH-45, NH-58 and NH-78 link it to the major cities of Delhi, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Badrinath, Kashipur etc.