Overview of Haridwar: Har Har Gange
Haridwar, often known as the ‘Gateway to Gods,’ is a district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and one of the holiest pilgrimages in India. Hari and Dwar are two terms that make up Haridwar. God is Hari, and Dwar is Dwar. After flowing 250 kilometres (Km) from its source in Gaumukh, the Ganges joins the plains of northern India at Haridwar (Gangotri Glacier). Haridwar, located in the Himalayan foothills, is a city of temples and ashrams with a religious atmosphere that envelopes everyone. Every 12 years, the Kumbh Mela, a devout gathering of millions of Hindu devotees, takes place in Haridwar, one of four sacred Indian towns. Every six years, the Ardh Kumbh is held here. Every year during the rainy season, it also hosts the Kanwar mela. Haridwar serves as a gateway to the Chardham. It is also stated that the presence of the three primary Hindu Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar, blesses Haridwar. With all of these legendary associations, it’s no surprise that Haridwar is sometimes referred to as the ‘gateway to god’.
Haridwar is a historic city with profound roots in ancient Vedic culture and customs, and there are various institutes here that teach traditional health expertise. The Ganga aarti, which attracts devotees and visitors, takes place every morning and evening on the ghats (stepped sides of a river). The night time ritual is more popular, and it’s a mesmerising sight to witness the river being revered with loud and rhythmic chants and towering lamps, their lights shining brightly on the darkening waters. Thousands of little diyas (earthen lights) are put adrift on the river, creating a beautiful spectacle.
History of Haridwar
The presence of terracotta culture in Haridwar during the year 1700 BC has been shown by archaeological finds. between 1800 BC and 1800 BC From the time of Buddha through the coming of the British, and even now in the twenty-first century, Haridwar has been on people’s minds. According to historical sources, Haridwar was controlled by the Maurya Empire from 322 BC until 185 BC, and then by the Kushan Empire. Huan Tsang, a well-known Chinese traveller, visited India in 629 AD. In his travel log, he mentions Haridwar. Haridwar was a part of King Harshvardhan’s dominion during the time (590 AD to 647 AD). On January 13, 1399, Timur Lang (1336–1405), a Turkish King, conquered the city. Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the first Sikh Guru, bathed in ‘Kushwan Ghat’ on Baisakhi Day. Mughals ruled Haridwar later in the 16th century, and rulers like Akbar and Jehangir imprinted their dominance here. Akbar drank water from the Ganges River gathered from Haridwar, which he named “the water of immortality,” according to the Ain-e-Akbari Mughal Emperor.
According to the Skanda Purana’s Kedarkhand (Chapter 111), the old great King Shwet undertook protracted penance on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar. The Brahma was happy with his dedication and blessed the location, saying that it would be a wonderful area, blessed by all gods, and that bathing here would be highly beneficial to believers. Bhratuhari, Raja Vikramaditya’s brother, has also performed penance here. King Vikramaditya erected a “Paudi (pawadi)”/Steps in his honour, which became known as Har Ki Paudi or Har-Ki-Pauri. Aside from these two, Guru Datatrey has also spent a significant amount of time in meditation here. Haridwar is referred to as Mayapur, Kapilsthan, Mokshdwar, or Gangadwar in several ancient Indian texts (Purans, Upanishads, and Mahabharata). Great sage Dhaumya described Haridwar (Gangadwar) as a prominent pilgrimage place to Yudhisthira in the Mahabharata.
Nectar (Amrit), one of the fourteen priceless jewels that emerged from the sea churning (Samundra Manthan), is said to have been strewn at 12 locations throughout the universe. Only four of the twelve locations are on earth, with eight in heaven and eight on earth. One of the four spots where Amrit was poured on earth was Har-Ki-Pauri near Haridwar. As a result, the Khumbh Mela, which takes place every 12 years in Haridwar, attracts almost half a million pilgrims.
Lord Shiva’s sorrowful Tandava Nrutya (dance of destruction) led to Lord Vishnu dismembering Sati’s body, with the various parts scattered over India. Pilgrims think that by taking a sacred bath in the Ganges at Haridwar, they can gain salvation and enter paradise.
Geography of Haridwar
Haridwar lies 314 metres above sea level, nestled between the Shivalik Hills to the north and northeast and the Ganges River to the south. The Ganges River flows via a succession of channels called aits that are isolated from one another and are mostly forested. Ranipur Rao, Pathri Rao, Ravi Rao, Harnaui Rao, Begham Nadi, etc. are other small seasonal streams. The area is heavily wooded, and Rajaji National Park is located inside its borders, making it a great location for wildlife and adventure enthusiasts.
Things to do in Haridwar
Ganga Aarti (Ganges Ceremony), Meditation in Haridwar, Haridwar Walk, Yoga in Haridwar, Holy Dip at Ganges, Ashram visit, Astrology in Haridwar (Palmistry)
Major attractions in Haridwar
Har-Ki-Pauri, Mansa Devii temple, Chandi Devi Temple, Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar, Daksh Mahadev Temple and Sati Kund, Patanjali Yogapeeth, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidylaya
Climate and weather in Haridwar
The Himalayas encircle the region, which is subject to the climatic conditions of the western Himalayas. The weather is warm and bright during the day, with chilly evenings.
Summer (April to June)
The temperature in Haridwar fluctuates from 35°C to 45°C throughout the summer months. Summer is pleasant and moderate, with plenty of rain in the monsoon.
Mansoon (July to September)
The mansoon season lasts from July to September, and most activities are halted owing to the torrential rains. August is the wettest month of the year. The weather is nice and mild throughout the months of October and November.
Winter (October to March)
In the winter, the temperature ranges from 10°C to 30°C. Haridwar’s weather is often unpredictable. During this time, woollen clothing is required.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport to Haridwar is Jolly Grant Airport, which is 37 Km away. From Jolly Grant Airport to Haridwar, taxis are readily available.
By Train: Haridwar Railway Station is the area’s primary railway station.
By Road: Haridwar is well connected to major Uttarakhand and northern Indian locations via motorable highways. From Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate and Meerut, luxury and regular buses to Haridwar are readily accessible. Haridwar lies on the National Highway 58, which links Badrinath and Haridwar. Haridwar is the starting point for National Highway 74, which connects it to Kashipur, Pilibhit Kichha, Nagina, and Bareilly.
Many ashrams and hotels are available in Haridwar.
Some other key points about Rishikesh
Why is Haridwar famous for?
Haridwar, located along the holy Ganga, is known for its temples and ghats, where visitors bathe to wash away their sins and gain redemption.
What is the famous thing of Haridwar?
Mansa Devi Temple is one of Haridwar’s most well-known tourist sites, and it may be reached via cable car. The temple is devoted to Goddess Mansa (the goddess who grants desires), and in the main temple, there are two primary idols of the Goddess: one with three mouths and five arms, and the other with eight arms.
Is Haridwar and Haridwar same?
Rishikesh, on the other hand, is blessed by nature and is positioned beside the raging Ganges at a higher height. Haridwar is located in the tranquilly of the Ganga.
Is Haridwar safe at night?
So, it is pretty safe travelling to Haridwar in a personal vehicle in the day as well as in the night. However, common sense is always important to keep oneself out of troubles. As a result, it is rather safe to go to Haridwar in a personal vehicle both during the day and at night. Common sense, on the other hand, is essential for staying out of danger.
Which God is present in Haridwar?
The presence of three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, is considered to have sanctified Haridwar. Lord Vishnu is claimed to have left his imprint on the stone embedded on the upper wall of Har-Ki-Pauri, which is constantly touched by the Holy Ganga.
How can I go to Kedarnath from Haridwar?
You may also get to Kedarnath via bus from Haridwar. The distance between Haridwar and Kedarnath is around 125 Km, and buses take approximately 5 hours to complete the journey.
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