Listed as one of the top seven holy places of India, Haridwar, a city in Uttarkhand, is one of India’s most valued hindu pilgrimages. Situated on the banks of holy ganga and flanked by beautiful Himalayas, it is home to plethora of temples dedicated to different god and goddesses. It has something magnetic which attracts lot devotees towards itself.
The name Haridwar translates to meaning gateway to gods, and is also believed to have been visited by Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu during Vedic period near Har Ki Pauri,.
One of the hosts of Kumbh Mela along with other three cities Haridwar is also said to have received the drop of Amrit or nectar of immortality during the war of Samudra manthan between gods and demons. It is believed that bathing in the holy waters of ganga during Kumbh will wash off your past sins and lead you towards Moksha
Kumbh Mela occurs every 12 years on rotational basis at the four holy locations.Haridwar will be hosting next Kumbh Mela in the year 2021.
Top 7 places to visit in Haridwar
It’s not only the waters of ganga but there’s something special in Haridwar’s air too. A place with so much of richness in its culture and spiritually has so much to offer. Haridwar witness tourists and visitors not only from india but from different parts of the word throughout the year.
Let us explore these amazing places to visit in the holy city of Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri
Have you even been to Haridwar if you haven’t been to Har Ki Paudi? The answer is NO. Har Ki Pauri, meaning Steps of Hari or Lord Vishnu is the fundamental ghat built on the banks of ganga.. It is the most auspicious place where all the prayers are offered to the holy waters of ganga. This place is believed to be visited by Lord shiv and Lord Vishnu personally in the vedic times as an evidence a stone wall has a footprint which is considered to be of Lord Vishnu. Hari Ki Paudi attracts a lot of tourists on daily basis who come all the from different places on Earth to have a dip in the ganga. You will find the place clean and serene. Also for bathing purpose there are proper steps constructed along the course of river which leads towards downstairs, where devotees can bathe in n easy and convenient manner but they are adviced not to get in deep water as the speed of flow of ganga is very high .
Also devotees can perform prayers/ pooja with the help of pandits at the ghat who chants mantras while you perform the rituals.
There is a special spot at Har Ki Paudi where the nectar of immortality was believed to have fallen, at that very place everyday an evening prayer is performed by the head pandit and his subordinates. The view and positive aura of evening prayer is totally mesmerizing – the glowing arti of multi diyas, the chants, mantras, prayers and consistent flow of ganga gives out so much of peace and calm to the minds and souls everyone present there.
Hari Ki Pauri is a must visit place of holy five places to be visited in Haridwar.
Mansa Devi Temple
It would be false to mention that no one has ever visited a temple or pilgrimage without wishes. We as humans do have some wishes which we want should be fulfilled either by prayers or through offering to present it to gods and goddess along with our prayers.
One of the must visit destinations of Haridwar, the Mansa Devi Temple, is located on the Bilwa parvat of the Shivalik Mountains, which is the southernmost range on the Himalayas. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Mansa.
The name Mansa means wishes. It is believed that goddess fulfills all the wishes of her devotee’s sincere prayers who visit the temple with clear heart and mind. The devotees also tie threads on the tree in the vicinity of temple to make their wishes come true. Once all their wishes are fulfilled they visit the temple again to untie these knots of the threads as a gesture of thanking to goddess mansa for fulfilling their wishes.
Since this pilgrimage is on the hills there are different ways to reach here. Either through trek, which is approximately 1.2 kms one way or you could either reach through ropeway called as Mansa Devi Udankhatola. After reaching the temple one will experience the scenic beauty of city of Haridwar with banks of ganga and plains in background. The mansa devi temple is one of the siddhi peeths- Hindu pilgrimages as per Hinduism where all wishes get fulfilled . The other two are Chandi Devi Temple and Maya devi temple.
Chandi Devi Temple
The another siddh peeth or wish fulfilling temple as we may call it – chandi devi temple is located on the neel parvat of shivalik, which is southernmost range of Himalyas. It is also known as Neel Parvat Teerth and alike Mansa Devi Temple, it is one of the Panch Tirth (Five Pilgrimages) Of Haridwar.
The Chandi Devi temple was constructed in the 20th century by then king of Kashmir but the idol inside the temple is considered to be placed since 8th century by one of the legendary priests of Haridwar, Adi Shankaracharya.
The adobe of Chandi Devi is dedicated to the Goddess Chandi who is assumed to be an avatar of Parvati. It is believed that goddess chandi have stayed on the Neel Parvat in order to take some rest hence this temple was built on the very spot where she is believed to have stayed here.
Devotees of goddess chandi devi alike mansa devi temple can reach the temple either through trek which is nearly 3 kms from chandigath, which can be crossed by climbing certain number of steps or they can reach the temple using rope way services which are called Chandi devi udankhatola services.
There is also a belief that Mansa and Chandi are both the forms of Goddess parvati and these reside nearby each that is why these two temples are really near each other. One is at the atop of Neel Parvat and other is at Bilwa Parvat on the shilvalik mountain.
Those who visit Mansa devi temple are also believed to visit Chandi Devi temple.
Bharat Mata Mandir
Situated around 5 kms away from the main city of Haridwar, one of its own kind there is Bharat Mata Temple or Mother India Temple dedicated to our beloved country India.
There is something unique and special about this temple which is why one should visit this without a miss.
The temple’s concept dates to the pre partition era of undivided India. The temple was inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the year 1983. The concept refers to painting of Bharat Mata by famous artist Arabindranath Tagore .
Arabindranath Tagore, nephew of legendary poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore in his painting of Mother India has depicted her as a four armed goddess who is wearing saffron-colored robes and in her each hand she is holding a book, sheaves of rice, a mala, and a white cloth. The main attraction of temple is a huge Indian map denoting the structure of mother India, who is said to stand undivided on the grounds of caste, creed, and religion. The map promotes unity in diversity as its core message.
Further the Bharat Mata temple in all has eight floors .while each floor is unique and has something different to offer, the ground floor is dedicated to the beautiful statue of mother India.
As we know, Haridwar has plethora of temples this one also attracts a huge number of visitors.
Maya Devi Temple
In the ancient times Haridwar was known as Mayapuri. The very name came from the goddess’s Maya’s name who is considered as deity of Adi Shakti of absolute power.Adi Shakti was a form of sati, lord shiv’s first wife.
The maya devi temple is one of the shakti peeth’s of Haridwar. The trio of Siddh peeth gets completed with Maya devi temple. Along with Mansa devi temple and Chandi Devi Temple. The siddh peeth as mentioned before are Hindu pilgrimage where all the wishes of devotees get fulfilled.
Located at 4kms away from Har Ki Pauri the maya devi temple has a significant importance with respect to the city. Believed to be constructed in the 11th century, the shrine has 3 heads and four arms. Maya Devi temple is also on the list of five must visit places of Haridwar, which should not be left behind while one is on pilgrimage to Haridwar
Shri Chintamani Parswanath Jain Temple
Haridwar is an ancient city which is also known for the architecture of its situated temples.
Shri Chintamani Parswanath Jain Temple, one of its kinds, is a two storey beautifully carved jinalaya or jain temple which came into existence by 1990s. Its magnificent architecture is believed to leave an ever lasting impression on one’s mind. Adobe of god Shri Chintamani Prswanath the entire temple is craved in yellow stone which was brought from city of Jaisalmer. The main temple is on the first floor where there is idol of god Shri Chintamani Parshwanath is placed at center. This idol is made up of black stone.
The temple premises are huge and can accommodate around 1000 pilgrims at a time. There is also a meeting room built on the first floor for meditation and prayers. This breath taking temple is just 6kms away from Har Ki Pauri can be accessed through public transportation available in Haridwar.
Must visit Shri Chintamani Parshwanath Temple to experience its positive aura while in Haridwar.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
Listed as one of the five sacred places of Haridwar to be visited by devotees. There is a temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in a small town of Kanhal, which is 4kms away from Haridwar which is named as the Daksheswar Mahadev Temple.
The temple is named after Dasha Prajapati, father of Lord Shiva’s first wife-Sati.The concept of this temple backs to the time when sati gave up her life in the yagna hosted by her father because he had invited all gods but not her beloved husband Lord Shiv. On enquiring about his actions Daksha Prajapati also spoke insulting words about shiv to sati., On hearing the same sati couldn’t take the insults bout her husband from her father. And further decided to give up her life by sacrificing herself in the yagna fires.
The whole story is depicted on the walls of the temple through paintings. The vicinity of temple also has an old banyan tree which is considered very auspicious and acts as a center of attraction for visitors.
Festivals like Navratri and Shivratri are celebrated with much enthusiasm over here as devotee from different place come over to offer prayers to lord shiv. It is also believed that if you pray sincerely then Lord shiv will bless you with all you desire for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Why is Haridwar famous?
Apart from his Holy ganges, Haridwar houses numerous temples and holy spots. Considered as significant pilgrimage in Hinduism Haridwar attracts huge number of devotees from across the world throughout the year who visit here in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Is there Airport in Haridwar?
Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun is nearest airport to Haridwar.Though Haridwar doesn’t have a airport of its own but its well connected to roadways and railways.
How many days are enough for Haridwar?
As many as you want as there is so much to explore in the city of Haridwar.
What is the old name of Haridwar?
Haridwar was formerly known as Mayapuri with reference to Goddess Maya Devi who was a form of Adi Shakti or Absolute Power. There is also a temple- Maya Devi Temple dedicated to the goddess
Which season is best to visit Haridwar?
As haridwar witnessed vistors through the year so any season is best season when you are planning a trip to Haridwar. But also it is recommended to visit here is during the auspicious Kumbh Mela 2021 as bathing in ganga during Kumbh will wash off all the sins of past.
What is famous in Haridwar for shopping?
God idols / statues, rosaries, gem stones, rudraksh, pooja items, ayurvedic medicines, bangles, cane products, handlooms and handicrafts are few items people prefer to shop from Haridwar.