Religious Holidays In Haridwar

0 Posted by - May 25, 2009 - Indian Holidays, Pilgrimage

Har Ki Pauri - HaridwarHaridwar is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places. Haridwar is situated on the right side of the bank of the holy Ganga, and is the point where the river spreads over the northern plains.. Haridwar or ‘Gateway to Gods’ is also known by the names of Mayapuri, Kapila and Gangadwar. . It is also one of the four venues for the Kumbh Mela, held in its magnitude every twelve years. Essentially a religious centre which holds promise of salvation for devotees, Haridwar is also a centre of herbal medicine, and traditional studies at Gurukul Kangri.

The Gateway of Four Pilgrimages

Haridwar is considered as the gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttrakhand region, The Ganga leaves the mountains and enters the plains with Hardwar being the first major town on the plains. Though the Ganges does not lose its rapids completely nevertheless it becomes very quite and calm here. The water is clean and people prefer taking bath on the numerous ghats built on the river shores. It is said that taking bath here purifies the soul and opens the way for the ultimate freedom, Nirvana

It is believed that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three Gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Devout believers feel that they will attain salvation and go to heaven after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar. Haridwar is also one of the four venues of the Kumbh Mela (occurring after a rotation of every twelve Years) and Ardh Kumbh (after every six years). According to mythology drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell in to the Brahmharidwar37kund of Har-Ki-Pairi, therefore a dip in the Brahmakund on this particular day is considered very auspicious.

Haridwar has not only remained the abode of the holy men and saints but also served as a center of attraction for many, for learning the arts, science and culture. Haridwar is not only religiously important but also has industrial importance as it has one of the biggest industrial clusters of Uttaranchal- SIDCUL. Haridwar also has one of the most prestigious engineering institutes of India- the Roorkee University (now an IIT).

Haridwar has since ages been a source of Ayurvedic medicines and has been providing herbal remedies. Hardwar one of the first towns to be developed on Ganges is still lush and green with forest and trees. With Rajaji Park in the vicinity Hardwar has also been the destination for the wildlife and nature lovers. The city acquires a unique charm in the evening when the ghats become breath taking beautiful with thousands of Diyas and Marigold floating in the waters of Ganges. About three and half lakh People reside in this city. Hindi, Punjabi, Garhwali and English are the main Languages of Communication.


Rajaji National Park
The Rajaji National Park is around 10 km from Haridwar. It’s an ideal destination for wild life and adventure lovers. It has 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. One may watch a herd of elephants roaming majestically in the jungle or may find oneself excited by wildlife of many kinds including tigers, leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan yellow throated marten, samber, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, langoor, ghural, sloth beer, king cobra, woodpecker etc

Rishikesh is another popular Hindu pilgrimage center located along the right bank of the River Ganga. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife wait at Rishikesh. Main attractions at Rishikesh are the Ghats, temples, Ashrams and Laxman Jhoola. Rishikesh is also a center for learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned Indian methods for mental and physical health. The weeklong International Yoga festival, that attracts participation from all across the world, is held here.haridwar-rishikesh

Dehradun is the capital of Uttaranchal state. It is an important and popular tourist destination of North India. The climate and location of Dehradun makes it a popular tourist destination. Mussoorie, the queen of hills and many nearby places attract a large number of tourists from different parts.

Area : 12.302 sq. km.

Population : 3,48,142 (1991 census)

Altitude : 294.70 meters above sea level.

Season : Round the year.

Clothing : Summer – Cottons; Winter – Woollens

Language : Hindi & English

Local Transport : Taxis, Tongas, Tempos, Buses, Cycle-Rikshaws, Auto-Rickshaws

STD Code : 0133

It is located on the foot hills of Shivaliks and on the banks of River Ganga. This major pilgrimage center is well connected by trains to all the major towns of India. In fact trains bring the major load of pilgrims and tourist inflow to Haridwar. Haridwar is located at a height of almost 300 meters . One Should never expect any sort of pleasant high altitude climate here. During the summers the temperature usually hangs around 40 degrees but winters sees the mercury dipping as low as six degrees. So neither of the seasons are suitable or ideal for tourists to venture in Haridwar. The monsoons further add to the miseries of the visitors.

Pilgrimage Attractions in Haridwar

Har Ki Pauri

ilight creates an impression of a stars being brought in the river water. During the day time the ghat is full of Pandas and Pujaris who sometime extract big money from the visitor. Avoid them if you can.

The ghat is also full of beggars, they not only create trouble for the visitor but also make the place dirty. There are many hotels, guest houses and temples on this ghat.

Chandi Devi
This temple is on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat which is on the other side of the river Ganga. The temple was constructed by the King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three km trek from the Chandi Ghat.

The story goes that Chanda-Munda the army chief of the demons Shumbh-Nishumbh were killed by Goddess Chandi hence the name Chandi devi. It also said that the original statute of Chandi was established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. Now a rope way has been built which takes you to the top. Chandi devi is six kilometer from the main town of Haridwar.

Mansa Devi
This temple is also located on top of a hill called the Bilwa Parvat. The temple can be reached by the rope way or one can take the normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives you an excellent view of Haridwar. The temple is surrounded by many shops and you have to follow the line to have a glimpse of the goddess. One of the goddess has three mouths and six arms while another has eight arms. The trolly ropeway route to Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi, is very exciting.

Daksha Mahadev Temple
Four kms from Haridwar is a town called Kankhal. Mythology says that the king of this place King Daksha Prajapati performed a yagya. His daughter, Sati was married to Lord Shiva. But Daksha was not happy with this marriage and did not invite Shiva-Sati in the Yagya.

But Sati came and was insulted by her father. She could not take the insult and burnt herself in the yagya kund. On hearing this the followers of Shiva killed Daksha. But later Mahadeo (Shiva) brought Daksha to life. The Daksha temple is an attribute to this legend. This place is one of the five sacred places in Haridwar.

Sapt Rishi
At one place Ganga divides herself into seven small streams. This place is known as the Sapt Rishi and provides a very pleasing sight.

Maya Devi
It is one of the Shaktipeeths in India. This ancient temple of Maya Devi is also the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife Sati, who had burnt her self to keep the honour of her husband, then the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place. Fairs and Festivals.

Ardh Kumbh
Though all the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh which attracts the mind of any tourist to this place. The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and the last Ardh Kumbha of this century ended this year. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges during the Kumbh gives you Moksha or Nirvana.

People gather in huge number to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are Saints, Naga Sadhus, Politicians almost every one is here. The city is overflowing with people. If going to Haridwar during the Ardh Kumbh then avoid the over crowded ghats. Every there are reports of stampedes and the various factions or Akharas of Sadhus clash with each other. Ensure your accommodation well in advance if going during the Kumbh.

Kavand Mela
Ten days before Shivteras, during the Hindu months of Shravan & Phalgun, corresponding to the months of July and August, thousands of devotees throng Haridwar, all the way walking bare feet, to collect holy waters of the river Ganga. Then they carry it back to their hometown & offer it at the local Shiv Temple. Colorful shops spring up and Haridwar resounds to the chanting of hymns.

Rishikesh is one of the best located pilgrimage centers along the right bank of the Ganga. The holy river emerging from high mountains not far from here, runs deep and silent through the thickly wooded hills of the Tehri that straddle this region. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife await here. Not to mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with ‘munis’ and meditation. Today Rishikesh has become a center for learning and research in yoga and meditation- the renowned Indian methods for mental and physical health. The week-long International Yoga festival which attracts participation from all across the world is held here annually in the month of February on the banks of serene Ganga.

How to Get there

In the region Air Services are available only upto Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.

The Railways have a station at Haridwar. This major pilgrimage center has been well connected by trains to all the major towns of India. In fact trains bring the major load of pilgrims and tourist inflow to Haridwar.

The National Highway No – 45 crosses through the city so it is connected to other cities of the State as well as other towns in India in an efficient manner. There are buses available from Delhi to this place. The state transport has ordinary as well as deluxe and semi-deluxe buses on this route for long distance travel. There are private buses avaialable too, which willtake you to nearby places and some of these private deluxe buses run on the long distance routes.

Distances of major tourist destinations from Haridwar are :

Rishikesh – 24 kms, Kedarnanth – 241 kms, Corbett National Park – 180 kms, Gangotri – 250 kms, Deharadun – 55 kms, Nanital – 320 kms, Badrinath – 288 kms, Mussourie – 87 kms, Yamunotri – 250 kms, Roorkee – 29 kms, Ranikhet – 325 kms.

Image Gallery Of Haridwar

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