Ancient Haridwar is one of the seven holiest places in India, and one of the oldest living cities. It’s made up of a fascinating and colorful collection of sadhus (holy men), pundits(Hindu priests), pilgrims, guides, and beggars.

Every evening, the Ganges comes alive with the magic of the aarti (worship with fire), as lamps are lit, prayers are offered, and small candles are floated down the river. For Hindus, a visit to Haridwar is believed to provide liberation from the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

What to see

  1. Chandi Devi: A panoramic view of Haridwar can be enjoyed from the temple of Chandi Devi located on top of Neel Parvat. The temple is a 3 km trek from Chandi Ghat. legend has it that Chanda-Munda the army chief of the local demon king, Shurnbha-Nishumbha, was killed by Goddess Chandi here. There is a dense forest on the other side of the hill inhabited by elephants and other wild animals.

  2. Bharat Mata Temple: This is one of the important temples of Haridwar . It has eight storeys in which the images of cities, heroes and great men are installed.

  3. Shanti Kunj: It is the famous ashram of Gayatri. Followers and pilgrims from far and wide converge here for yoga and natural cures.

  4. Mayadevi Temple: Mayadevi is the Adhishtkatri Devi of Haridwar. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen at this ancient saktipeeth, located to the east of ar-ki-Pairi.

  5. Har-ki-pairi: Har-ki-Pairi is the most important ghat on the river Ganga, at Haridwar,. where a holy dip is a must for every devotee. The Ganga Aarti, performed every evening is a spectacular sight when thousands of lighted lamps are set afloat on the river.

  6. Bhimgoda: Legend has it that while the Pandavas were here, Bhim with one blow of his horse’s hoof drew water from the rocks at this spot.

  7. Mansa Devi Temple: The temple on the top of Bilwa Parvat is dedicated to the Goddess Mansa Devi. A beautiful view of the city can be had from this place. The ropeway carriage operates between Upper Road, near the station and Mansa Devi Temple.

  8. Pawan Dham: The place is famous for its Hanuman Temple decorated with glass pieces.

  9. Vaishno Devi Temple: This newly constructed temple dedicated to the Goddess Vaishno Devi is on the lines of the temple in Jammu.

  10. Gurukul Kangri University: A centre of learning where education is imparted in the traditional Indian way. Within the precincts of the University is the Ved Mandir which houses many archaeological exhibits. Other places of interest include Parmarth Niketan, Shanti Kunj, Doodhadhari Temple, Vilveshwar Mahadev Temple and Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar.

  11. ASHRAMS: Shanti Kunj; Parmarth Niketan; Prem Nagar Ashram; Akhandparam Dham; Maa Anand Mai Ashram.

  12. YOGA CENTRES: Yogadham, Arya Nagar; Ram Mulakh Durbar, Kankhal; Maha Prabhu Yoga and Natural Medical Centre; Yoga Study Centre.

Getting There

Air: Nearest airport is at Jolly Grant, Dehradun 35 km.

Rail: Haridwar is well connected to major cities in India.

Road: Haridwar on highway No. 45, is connected by well maintained roads to Agra 386 km, Ambala 168 km, Badrinath 320 km, Dehradun 52 km, Delhi 214 km, Gangotri 282 km, Kedarnath 250 km, Meerut 141 km, Mussoorie 90 km, Nainital 386 km, Saharanpur 81 km, Yamotri 255 km.

General information

Area: 12.302 sq. km. Altitude: 294.70 mts STD Code: 0133

Excursions

  1. Daksh Mahadev Temple: The ancient temple of Daksh Mahadev is situated in the south of Kankhal town. This temple was constructed by Queen Dhankaur in 181 0 AD. Kankhal has several temples and ashrams.

  2. Sapt Rishi Ashram: The Ganga flows in seven streams in front of this Ashram, hence this place is also called Sapt Sarovar.

  3. Kanva Rishi Ashram: 42 km. The ashram is situated on the banks of the Malini river along the forest road to Kotdwar.

  4. Chila Wildlife Sanctuary: Chila Wildlife Sanctuary, part of Rajaji National Park, covers an area of around 240 sq. km. It is open for tourists between 15 November and 15 June.

  5. Piran Kaliyar: 23 km away the Dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahmed “Sabir”, lies on the outskirts of Roorkee. It is revered by Muslims and Hindus alike.