A holy city of Haridwar is situated in Haridwar District of Uttaranchal State in India. It literally means Gateway to God. It is regarded as one among the seven holy places to Hindus. It is the place where Ganga River descends to the plains. It has many ghats, temples and other places worth visiting in this city.
Har-ki-Pauri is the major ghat of this city. It was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother King Bhagirathi. This ghat is also called Brahmakund. It is said that Lord Vishnu has left his footprints on the stone here and hence this ghat is named as Har-ki-Puri. The auspicious fair of Hindus, Kumbh Mela, is held at Har-ki-Pauri. This festival is celebrated every three years in four different cities of India. From the ancient times it is said that Kumbh Mela has a power to wash away all the sins of the pilgrims.
The temples of Haridwar include the Chandi Devi Temple, which was constructed on the bank of river Ganga and is dedicated to Goddess Chandi. This temple is accessible by a ropeway from Gauri Shankar Temple. Mansa Devi Temple is situated on Bilwa Parvat. It is dedicated to Goddess Mansa, which means who fulfills the desire. Maya Devi Temple is an ancient temple and considered as one of the siddhapeethas. Chandidevi along with Mansadevi and Mayadevi temple form a Siddhapeeth triangle. Bharat Mata Mandir is a multi storey temple dedicated to Mother India. Each floor wonderfully depicts the stories of Indian History.
Other places in Haridwar include Shanti Kunj, which is the famous ashram of Gayatri. People from far away places converge here for natural cures and yoga. Sapt Rishi Ashram is the place where River Ganga splits into seven streams. It is said that seven great sages meditated at this picturesque place. It is also called as Sapt Sarovar. Located along the forest road to Kotdwar on the banks of Malini River is Kanva Rishi Ashram. Piran Kaliyar is the dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahmed Sabri famed for its power of fulfilling the desires of devotees. Triveni Ghat has pleasant environment at the dawn when pilgrims makes offering of milk to the river and feed fishes. However at dusk, river shines with floating lamps on the water during aarti ceremony. According to mythological story, during Samudra Manthan Lord Shiva drank all the effluent venom due to which his throat turned blue. Hence, Lord Shiva is also called as Neelkanth. Neelkanth Mahadeva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva also stands here. Daksh Mahadev Temple is also an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Apart from these sacred places, there is also a national park in Haridwar. Chila Wildlife Sanctuary located here is a part of Rajaji National Park. It spreads over the area of about 240 square kilometer. The place is blessed with scenic beauty and has variety of species of mammals, reptiles, birds and other fauna. The river in the park is a home to fishes in abundance.
The most important feature of Haridwar is 'Kumbh Mela'. This auspicious fair of Hindus is held at Har-ki-Pauri every three years. It is believed that Kumbh Mela has the power to wash away the sins of the pilgrims visiting here.
Haridwar being such an important pilgrimage center for Hindus, is visited by large number of people every year. It is most crowded during Kumbh Mela festival.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/13