Haridwar- holy ganga pilgrimage
Holy Ganga river begins its Himalayan sojourn originating at Gaumukh and touching plain topography in Haridwar. It’s regarded as one of the seven holiest places for Hindus in India. As per mythology there are seven pious cities ‘Saptapuri’, namely Haridwar, Mathura, Ayodhya, Nasik, Varanasi, Ujjain and Dwarka. In ancient times there was Samudra manthan or great churning of ocean from where the elixir of immortality was discovered. The pot of the elixir or Amrit was being carried by celestial bird Garuda and few drops spilled over at four places.
To celebrate that occasion after every 12 years a great Kumbh fair is organized. Haridwar is one of the four venues for this mega event when millions take dip in holy waters. It’s wonderful to see people coming from everywhere even western countries and enjoy the wonderful religious festive time.
Interesting fact about Haridwar, the top religious destination of India
Most Hindus go to Haridwar for a dip in Ganga waters, mostly for two reasons, happy reasons or unhappy reasons. Happy reason is when they go for pilgrimage and unhappy reason is when they go to immerse the ashes their dead ones in holy waters of Ganga. Interesting fact is that the Pandas can be found by naming your native place. They are sure to have complete record of your family tree. How they keep the record for centuries is just unbelievable. You must record your visit with them for whatever reason you have come to Haridwar, just to keep your genealogical record in order.
How to reach
Haridwar is accessible from all the places by rail, road and air. Delhi is about 220 km and is well connected by trains and luxury buses by roads. It is connected by air; the nearest airport being Jolly Grant 35 km away.
- Har ki pauri- Literally meaning staircase to God, it’s a Hindu belief that prayers done here for the departed soul gives peace and paves the way to heaven. This is where the prayers, holy dips and charities are done in the memory for the one who has left this perishable and transient world. Besides, Har ki pauri is the central place for people who visit Haridwar. Ganga arti is its unique and amazing sight that is done in the wee hours of morning and after sunset.
- Mansa devi- Located on Bilwa parbat on Shivalik hills is the highly revered temple of Goddess Mansa Devi. Accessible by foot on a pathway, stairs and ropeway which what most adopt to climb up.
- Chandi Devi Temple- Is located on Neel parbat was built in 1929 by King of Kashmir, it’s statue of Goddess is said to be of 8th One must visit when in Haridwar.
- Daksheshwara mahadev temple- 4 km from Haridwar Kankhal is the place where this ancient Shiva temple is located. Its religious and historical connection is very impressive.
- Rishikesh- Rishikesh is a temple city with ashrams and temples all along the Ganga river. 30 km away from Haridwar it’s a place of ultimate peace and spirituality.