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Haridwar

Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar stands as the gateway Haridwarto the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus.

History
Haridwar or the ‘Gateway to the Gods’ is one of the seven holiest places of India according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar is situated as the gateway to the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus in India.

In the Hindu mythology, Haridwar is known as Kapilsthan. According to the legends, Prince Bhagirath of Suryavanshi clan performed severe penance and Lord Shiva, in response, sent the Ganges cascading into the earth from his matted locks. It was at this place that Prince Bhagirath's ancestors were burnt to ashes by the curse of the sage Kapila. Kapilsthan, a spot in Haridwar is pointed to as Kapila's hermitage. The ancient town is also mentioned in the books of Hieun Tsang the famous Chinese traveller who describes Haridwar as Mayura, on the eastern banks of the Ganges.

Haridwar is also famous for the Kumbh Mela held every twelfth year and Ardh Kumbh held every intervening sixth year when millions of Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the Ganga. The colourful Bara Bazaar and Moti Bazaar on the upper road, north side of the canal, lined with stalls selling images of deities, copper and brass puja utensils, sandalwood rudraksh and an assortment of goods, sweets, glass bangles, cane baskets etc are worth a visit.

Several festivals are celebrated in Haridwar. Haridwar, one of the oldest and holiest pilgrim centers of India, is also the place that plays host to around eight to ten million devotees during the Kumbh melas. The history of the Kumbh Mela dates back to the creation of the Universe and as a show of their faith, Hindus from all over the country assemble to take a holy dip in the Ganges. The Indian city of Haridwar is easily accessible through air, road and rail from the other major Indian cities and states. TouristplacesinIndia can arrange for you all types of transport for your comfortable journey to and in Haridwar and throughout the Indian state of Uttaranchal.

Climate
River Ganga and the snow clad Himalayas have a soothing effect on the climate of Haridwar. Though summers can be hot with temperatures rising upto 40 degrees, Haridwar is largely immune from the kind of sweltering heat the rest of northern India experiences. Winter nights can be very chilly with temperatures dropping close to 0 degrees. Haridwar receives good rainfall during the monsoon season.

How to reach
  • Air
    Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun is the nearest landing facility from Haridwar at a distance of 41 kms. There are flights to Jolly Grant from Delhi and a few other destinations.
  • Rail
    Haridwar is well connected to the rest of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh with rail network.
  • Road
    Deluxe bus services regularly operate to Haridwar from Delhi and most destinations of Uttar Pradesh. National highway 45 connects Haridwar with the rest of India. The holy town is at a distance of 214 kms from national capital of Delhi.


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