Haridwar is one of the holiest pilgrimage places of Uttarakhand. Its very name is sacred and means 'Gateway to the Supreme Lord'. Haridwar stands on the banks of the holiest of Indian rivers – River Ganga, and there are many ghats on which you can sit and bathe in the holy river waters. One can get an idea of just how holy Haridwar just by seeing the various temples and ashrams. And the Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021 is the best way to see the spiritual power of this place. But Haridwar is also a picturesque place. It boasts of the lofty peaks of Garhwal Himalayas, the gently flowing Ganga, deep forests teeming with wildlife, adventure activities and so much more. So let's look at all the places you can visit in Haridwar on your upcoming tour:
Legends have it that it was in Har ki Pauri that drops of amrit or the holy nectar fell from the pitcher while it was being carried away on its celestial path by Garuda. And it is in Har ki Pauri that the Ganges first touches the plains after it thunders down the lofty Himalayan Mountains. This ghat was made centuries ago by King Vikramaditya and even today, it is being used by millions of devotees to purify from sin. Har ki Pauri is also famous for its Ganga Aarti in the morning and evenings.
Perched atop Bilwa Parwat, Mansa Devi Temple is one of the most visited temples in Haridwar. This temple is famous for granting wishes of devotees, and the main deity, Goddess Mansa Devi, is believed to grant wishes of all those who visit this temple. Devotees can walk up the steps leading to the temple, or trek up the hill to reach the temple. But the ropeway to the main temple is the main attraction and is the easiest option to reach the temple.
This temple is also situated atop a small hill, Neel Parvat, and the ropeway ride to this temple is the best way to reach it. You can hike up the mountain and see the natural beauty of the place. Together with Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple is believed to be a Siddha Peetha, or the one which grants the wishes of its devotees. It is one of the oldest temples in Haridwar, and Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have installed the main idol back in the 8th century.
A very famous temple that you must visit in Haridwar is Maya Devi Temple. Maya Devi Temple was built back in the 11th century and is one of the oldest temples of Haridwar. This temple is said to be the one after which Haridwar, earlier called Mayapuri, was named after. According to mythology, it is at Maya Devi Temple is built at the spot where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell.
According to mythology, Daksh Madadev Temple is built at the place where Daksh Prajapati is supposed to have performed a yagna, which resulted in a series of events that led to Sati burning herself in the yagna kunda. It is a very famous temple and is situated at Kankhal which is close to Haridwar. Mahashivratri and Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021 are the best times when you should visit this temple.
This temple is not dedicated to any god or goddess but to Mother India herself. It has 8 floors and every floor has a specific theme on which the floor is dedicated. There are themes based on freedom fighters, great Indian saints, Indian religions, and many others. The ground floor has a large floor size map of India and a statue of Bharat Mata. Bharat Mata Mandir is most unique of all the temples you will see in Haridwar during your visit to Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021.
Another popular temple that tourists visit in Haridwar is Vaishno Devi Temple. The temple architecture of this temple is what is most interesting. There are stairs, tunnels, and caves, built artificially, and they lead to the interiors of this temple. Inside there are idols of Goddess Vaishno Devi. It is built as a replica of the more famous Vaishno Devi Temple near Jammu.
One of the best places that you must visit during the Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021 is Patanjali Yogpeeth. It is one of the greatest yoga institutes of India and Baba Ramdev set up this institute for the propagation of Yoga and Ayurveda. Patanjali Yogpeeth is named after Patanjali, the great Indian sage whose ancient works on Yoga Sutras is regarded as the foundation of modern Yoga practices. Patanjali Yogpeeth is spread over a vast area, and inside there is a hospital, research center, residential complex, canteen, shops, clinics and much more.
Located close to Har ki Pauri, Swami Vivekanand Park is a tranquil place that a tourist will love to come for some peace. It is a green garden with flowering plants, landscaped lawns, trees, jogging tracks. It has large statues of Swami Vivekananda and Lord Shiva. Swami Vivekanand Park is one of those places where you can sit peacefully for some time away from the noisy crowds of the river ghats.
You will not see the crowds like the ones at Har ki Pauri at Vishnu Ghat. It is just for this reason that many come here to take a dip in the holy Ganga. It is a relatively clean ghat and one of the many ghats that you will see in Haridwar. Vishnu Ghat is named after Lord Vishnu, who along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva forms the holy trinity of Hindu gods. There are many good hotels, restaurants around Vishnu Ghat and you can refresh yourself after taking a dip in River Ganga.
If you want to see what an ashram means in Hindu culture, you must come to Sapt Rishi Ashram during your visit to the upcoming Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021. It is a peaceful place where, according to legend, River Ganga split herself into seven streams so that the roaring sounds of gushing water may not disturb the seven great sages. There is plenty of greenery around, and a Sanskrit school, a residential complex, and free food is given to visitors.
This cluster of temples is dedicated to Shri Ram, Sita, and Laxman. It is one of the best temples that you can visit during your trip to Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021. The temple complex is very peaceful and serene. White marble construction of these temples makes them look milky white and evenings is the best time to visit Doodhadhari Barfani Temple. Inside there is a cowshed (gaushala) and even a hospital. Lassi is given as prasad in this temple and is quite a favorite with visitors.
In Haridwar, there are temples and more temples, but Pawan Dham will take your breath away with its artistic interiors. Inside Pawan Dham, there are many idols of Hindu gods and goddesses. All these are studded with precious stones and are made of colored mirror and glasswork. You will find wall paintings depicting chapters from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and other mythological tales.
Many places in Haridwar can surprise you with their charms. Harihar Ashram is certainly one of them. Inside Harihar Ashram, there is Parad Shivlinga, which is completely made of Mercury, and it's an astonishing 150 kg weight. An even surprising thing about this Parad Shivlinga is that it does not melt under sunlight or heat. It's very popular with devotees and is believed to have miraculous healing powers. A Rudraksh tree is in the same Ashram from which you can pluck out Rudraksh and wear it to have a healthy life.
In a land of Ashrams and Ghats, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar comes as a big relief from the jostling crowds that come to bathe in the holy Ganga at Haridwar. Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is a scenic place and there is abundant greenery in this place. If you like wildlife and birds, then you will enjoy coming to this place. And you can come here for picnics too, and to spend some time in the tranquil environs of this place.
It will take you approximately 40 minutes to drive from Haridwar to arrive at Rajaji National Park in Haridwar. It is one of the best places in Haridwar to see wild animals and go on a wildlife safari into the jungle. If you are lucky you will see so many creatures in their natural habitat like leopards, wild boar, elephants, python, migratory birds, reptiles, snakes and other species. Jeep Safaris and Elephant Safaris are available for tourists who want to view these animals from close range. Rajaji National Park, without a doubt, is one of those places that will leave an everlasting memory of Haridwar in every tourist's mind.