Famous For: As a site of pilgrims and many other tourists attraction, Haridwar provides many tourist spots. Such as –
Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Anandamayi Ashram, Shanti Kunj, Gau Ghat, Vishnu Ghat, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar (Bird Sanctuary), Rajaji National Park, Swami Vivekanand Park, Bara Bazaar, Bhuma Niketan Temple, Kushavarta Ghat, Bharat Mata Temple, Birla Ghat, Bhimagoda Tank, Gauri Shankar Mahadev Temple, Fun Valley Water Park, Adbhut Mandir, Daksh Prajapati Mandir, Vaishno Devi Temple, Patanjali Yogpeeth Haridwar, Pawan Dham, Bilkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Crystal World, Doodhadhari Barfani Temple etc.
Major Attractions: Har Ki Pauri, Chandi Devi Temple, Rajaji National Park, Patanjali Youpeeth, Fun Valley Water Park, Pawan Dham, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar (Bird Sanctuary).
Ideal Visit Time: The best time to visit Haridwar is from October to February when the weather is pleasant. However, Haridwar experiences a moderate climate throughout the year, allowing the devotees to take part in different ceremonies and rituals.
Haridwar, also spelled Hardwar, is a city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. It is the second largest city in the state and the largest in the district. This famous city is located on the right bank of the river Ganges at the foot of the Shivalik Range. Haridwar is considered as one of the holy places of Hindus. Various important religious ceremonies are held here and it serves as the gateway to several prominent places of worship.
The most notable and festive event is the Kumbh Mela. It is celebrated in Haridwar every 12 years. During the Kumbh Mela, pilgrims, devotees and tourists gather at Haridwar in the hope of attaining some merit. Devotees believe that bathing in the river Ganges with worship removes sins. So, millions of devotees from all over the country gathered to officially bathe on the banks of the river Ganges.
Now, let’s talk about some major attractive places of Haridwar below:
Har Ki Pauri
It is recognized as one of the holy ghats of Haridwar and India. Har Ki Pauri is a place of reverence and attracts a large number of fans and visitors. Devotees pray and seek the blessings of the holy Ganges. Har ki pauri, which literally means ‘Steps to Lord Shiva’. It is a sacred place, which is considered as one of the seven holiest places in the country. A dip in the river Ganges here is believed to wash away one’s sins and according to the Indian mythology, it is one of the four places where the drops of elixir (‘Amrit’) were accidentally spilled by the celestial bird Garuda. The river is filled in a golden hue of countless diyas offered by devotees floating along the river.
The purity of the Ganges, which flows through the Hari Ki Pauri Himalayas, is always filled with calm air. It is a beacon for spectators in the evenings. With the abundance of temples on the banks of the river, lit candles and offerings floating across the Dia River are offered, giving mesmerizing views. It is believed that Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited this place in Vedic times. The huge footprints on the stone wall are said to belong to Lord Vishnu.
Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi Devi Temple at Haridwar is a beautiful temple dedicated to the Goddess Chanda, located across the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik hills. Chandi Devi Temple, also known as “Neel Parvat Teerth (Blue Mountain Pilgrimage)”. It is one of the five popular pilgrimages in Haridwar and is also known as “Siddha Peetha”, where devotees worship to fulfill their desires. Due to the location of the temple, it is a favorite place for trekking tourists. You can reach Zenith of the temple via a ropeway, which is enjoyable and the view is extremely pleasing.
You will be able to get the best view of the historical beauty of Chandi Devi Temple on the way up. With the beautiful greenery view of all around, you will definitely feel a kind of divine feeling around you. As one of the oldest and most revered temples in Haridwar, the shrine is visited by innumerable pilgrims throughout the year. The Chandi Devi Temple is a must-see during the festival.
Rajaji National Park
Encompassing the Shivalik mountain ranges, Rajaji National Park is abundantly rich in flora and fauna and proves a great holiday destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Famous for its wildlife, especially for tigers and elephants, Rajaji National Park has recently received the status of a Tiger Reserve by the Government of India. This national park spreads over 3 districts of Uttarakhand including Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal. This area is also enriched with valuable fossils which date back to as old as 10 million years old.
The forest is popular for Sal, Teak and other trees. It is really exciting to explore the amazing diversity of the Himalayas, including jeep safaris or elephant safaris conducted by the forest department. The 34 km jungle track is a major attraction here. Here you will find Asian Elephants, Tigers, King Cobras, Panthers, Bears, Chitals, Sambars, Wild Boars, Crows, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, Wild Cats etc.
Patanjali Yogpeeth is a renowned medical and research institute of yoga and ayurveda located in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. It is known as one of the largest yoga institutes in India as well as in the world. The institute is named after Rishi Patanjali, who is acclaimed for his discovery of yoga. If you’re interested in Ayurveda and Yoga, this is one of the best places to visit in Haridwar. The Institute was established in 2006 for teaching Ayurveda, making Ayurvedic medicines, practicing yoga and research. Millions of people visit Patanjali Yoga for Ayurvedic treatment and medicine. It manages the “Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust” in the UK (United Kingdom).
In addition to Ayurvedic treatment, there are dedicated laboratories for study and research, canteens, ATMs and residential accommodation. It conducts welfare activities in the areas of healthcare, education and other socio-economic activities.
Fun Valley Water Park
This park is about 21 km away from the city center. Fun Valley is a gorgeous water park nestled in the valley of Haridwar. It offers close to 21 thrilling water rides, roller coasters, aqua dancing, DJ etc. In addition to that, it has an amusement park which boasts of a plethora of adventure activities to give you an adrenaline rush. It is so existing for young generation.
Pawan Dham, an ancient temple at Haridwar in Bhagirathi Nagar, Bhupatwala, is a non-profit organization and a revered place among Hindu pilgrims. It is located near the city. It is managed by Geeta Bhawan Trust Society of Moga. The idol of the house decorated with the intricate artwork of the Pawan Dham temple, elaborate glass work, rich gems and precious stones easily attracts the tourists.
The main attraction of the temple is the beautiful idol of Lord Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Geeta to Arjuna. This ancient Dham is located just 2 km from Haridwar, on the Dehradun-Rishikesh road, it is quite easy and convenient to reach Pawan Dham through any means of local transport. The stunning interiors and divine atmosphere of Pawan Dham attract devotees and is one of the most visited pilgrimage shrines in Haridwar.
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar (Bird Sanctuary)
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is situated at Bhimgoda Barrage in Haridwar and has a rich flora and fauna. A popular tourist spot, the site offers rare bird watching opportunities and a panoramic view of the Shivaliks in the backdrop. It is a paradise for the bird watchers and trekkers as it is blessed with wildlife. The place is famous for its unrealistically beautiful locales and is a must visit if you are in the area. Winter is the best season to visit the park as this is when birds surround this area making it a fascinating tourist destination. It brings one in the proximity of nature, allowing to spend peaceful time in the surroundings of the beautiful species of animals and plants.
How To Reach
By Road: Haridwar is well-connected to many cities across India through many highways. National Highway (54) passes through Haridwar, which connects it to Delhi, Muzzafarnagar, Roorkee, Ghaziabad, Meerut and Badrinath. National Highway (74) originates from Haridwar connects it to Kashipur, Pilibhit Kichha, Nagina and Bareilly. Various public and private buses ply through these routes. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is the main public sector transport service. Some of the private agencies include Mahalaxmi Travels, Blue World Tourist Company, Kings Holiday Tours, Crown Travels, AG Holidays, Adventure Booking Center and many more.
By Train: The main railway station serving the area is Haridwar Railway Station. It comes under Northern Railway Zone and it is connected to major cities and tourist destinations in India, such as Delhi, Shimla, Mussoorie, Nainital, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, etc. Some of the trains that pass through this station are Bandra Terminus Haridwar Express, Kochuveli-Haridwar Link Express, Haridwar Mail, Allahabad Haridwar Express, Amritsar Haridwar Jan Shatabdi Express, Haridwar Howrah Kumbha Express and many more.
By Air: Haridwar has no any airport of its own. The nearest airport is in Dehradun, which is about 43 km away from Haridwar. Its name is Jolly Grant Airport. It is a domestic airport that is connected to various cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Chennai and Lucknow. The major airlines serving the airport are Air India Regional, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Ventura AirConnect. After reaching the airport, you can easily hire taxi or cab or take buses to reach Haridwar.