North Indian City Guide - Uttarakhand - Haridwar
As the name suggests in its literal meaning – ‘Gateway to Lord Vishnu’, it becomes one of the holy cities for Hindus and a cultural treat amidst Nature for others. Haridwar is considered one of the seven holy places for Hindus. It is here that River Ganges starts off into the plains after flowing down from Gangothri Glacier.
Haridwar - City Guide
Haridwar is also a special place as according to Hindu mythology it is believed that Amrit, the elixir of immortality fell here along with three other places while being carried Garuda, the celestial bird. This episode is celebrated once in every 12 years. It is called the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, which has millions of devotees, pilgrims and tourists who come to witness the exotic mass gathering.
The place where this takes place is the same as where the elixir is believed to have fallen, called ‘Hari Ki Pauri’ or ‘Lord Vishnu’s footstep’. It is a well demarcated area that also denotes where Lord Vishnu had stepped on.
One must not miss the Arti (ritualistic worship with incenses and lamps) that takes place every morning and evening on the banks here. It is the best way to learn the religious traditions of Hinduism. As the Arti goes on, the river and the sky create a beautiful scene in itself.
One can also visit the ‘Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary’ and ‘Rajaji National Park’ where Jeep Safaris through the forest enables you to see barking deers, grey langurs, spotted deers, sambhar deers, hawks, hornbills, falcons and more. It is small getaway from the crowded area that attracts wildlife enthusiasts and birders.
Also visit to the Doodhadhari Barfani Temple can be different from those that you would find commonly in Haridwar. Constructed out of marble, it can interest people with a bend towards architecture. On the other hand, Bara Bazaar is for people interested in local markets and the local lifestyle of Haridwar. Overall, Haridwar is a small city with its own charm and simplicity that can be experienced in its true essence.
Haridwar remains pleasant during most of the months, owing to its geographical position. However, it is also prone to sudden rainfall though July to September has heavy downpours. Winters are cold with temperatures between 6° C and 16° C which spans from October to March. Summer remains moderate with June as the hottest month and temperature ranges between 20° C and 40° C.
Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Hari Ki Pauri, Rajaji National Park, Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, Doodhadhari Barfani Temple, Bara Bazaar
Best Time to Visit
October to April
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