HARIDWAR TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT & TRAVEL GUIDE TO HARIDWAR
Country: India | State: Uttarakhand
#1 of 18 Places to visit in Uttarakhand | #6 of 100 Places to visit in India
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Hours
Nearest City to Haridwar: Dehradun (54 Kms), Delhi City (208 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Haridwar: October to April
Peak Season: November & May to June
At a distance of 26 km from Rishikesh, 54 km from Dehradun, 86 km from Mussoorie, 192 km from Chandigarh, and 208 km from Delhi, Haridwar, or Hardwar is an ancient religious city in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the top places of pilgrimage in India, and among the best places to visit in Uttarakhand.
Situated on the banks of the River Ganges, Haridwar, literally translated as Gateway to God, is one of the seven holiest places for Hindus. It is the place where the river Ganga descends to the plains. It serves as a gateway to the Char Dham destinations of Uttarakhand which are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Haridwar is also one of the well known places to visit near Delhi.
The history of Haridwar dates back to the period of King Vikramaditya, around the 2nd century BC. Haridwar is referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient Hindu texts and epics. The holy city of Haridwar is considered as old as Varanasi and according to legend; gods left their footprints in Haridwar. According to the Samudra Manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik, and Prayag (Allahabad) is one of the four sites where drops of Amrit (nectar) fell while it was being carried by Garuda.
Har-ki-Pauri is one of the most important places to visit in Haridwar where thousands of people take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. It is believed that Prince Bhagirath served self-punishment here to rescue the souls of his ancestors who had died due to the curse of Kapil Muni. His prayers were answered and Ganga started flowing from the locks of Lord Shiva and reviving the sons of King Sagara.
Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple at Bilwa Parvat, Vaishno Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Bhimgoda, Shanti Kunj, Sapt Sarovar, Triveni Ghat, Kanva Rishi Ashram, Chila Wildlife Sanctuary are the must-visit places as part of Haridwar tour packages. Haridwar is also a fast-growing industrial city as well. The city houses Bharat Heavy Electricals India Ltd and also has the first technical institute of India, the University of Roorkee, which is now known by the name of IIT Roorkee.
Haridwar is one of the venues for the famous Kumbh Mela which takes place once every 12 years. Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in Haridwar in 2022. The Ardh Mela is held every six years. Baisakhi, Kanwar Mela, Somwati Amavasya, and Kartik Purnima are the other important festivals celebrated in Haridwar.
Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport, which is about 38 km from Haridwar. Haridwar Railway Station is well connected by train with Delhi, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Puri, Indore, Trivandrum, Ujjain, Madurai, Okha, Saharanpur, Mumbai, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Amritsar, Howrah, and Kathgodam. Haridwar can also be reached by State-run buses that connect to nearby cities as well as New Delhi.
While the town experiences a moderate climate all through the year, the best time to visit Haridwar is between October and March when the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing. If you wish to partake in the festivals of Haridwar then summer is the best season to visit. Ramanavami, Kanwar Mela, and the Kumbh Mela are all celebrated in summer when the day is hot but the evenings are cool. If your only wish is to go sightseeing, then winter is a good time when the sun isn't harsh. Better to avoid visiting Haridwar during the monsoon season as there are landslides and blocked roads due to rains.