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Uttarakhand: Haridwar or Hardwar
Haridwar is the seat of Hinduism, and gateway to a number of exotic tourist destinations and pilgrimage points. The main importance of Haridwar is the Har-ki-Pauri ghat, and it is ideal to stay on the Ghat or near to it, while you are in Hardwar.
The entire region is vegetarian, which means you will not get any non vegetarian food.
It was reffered to as Mayapuri in the Puranas and Kapilavastu even before that.
Situated at a height of 293 meters, Haridwar has very hot summers and cool winters. Hindus believe that a bath in the ghat of Har Ki Pauri will resolve you of all your sins, and hence tourists abound round the year. It is also a favorite place for last rites. However, the flow of water is stopped from Dussehera to Diwali for cleaning up of the Ganges. Avoid this span to visit the place.
The Kumbh Mela is also held every 12 years here. The Ardh Kumbh happens every 6 years. There are so many visitors at this time that the whole city collapses. Unless you want to attend the event, keep away at this time too. Find more about Kumbh Mela at TheHolidaySpot.com
The Ganges at the Har Ki Pauri ghat is the chief attraction of Haridwar. Every evening, there is a grand Ganga Aarti, along with people floating lighted diyas on miniature leaf made boats. The whole scene is beautiful and unique. Refer to our correspondent's pictures for a glimpse of the scenes.
There are other places to visit too. Check out the Mansa Devi Mandir on the adjoining Mansa hill. You can either trek up, or take the ropeway. The view from the temple of Hardwar and the river Ganges is awesome. There is a refreshment stall too, at the premise. Check out the pictures below.
Chandi Mandir: The Chandi temple is on the other side, on top of another hillock call Neal Pahar. The dam on the Ganges can be clearly viewed from this hillock. Here also, you can choose to trek up, or take the ropeway.
Konkhol: Keep at least half a day if not a full day for visiting the Konkhol area. The whole area is dotted with prominent ashrams and major temples. Visit the Maa Anandamayee's ashram, where you will find the Akhand Jyoti. Also visit the Harihar ashram, where you will be able to see a rudraksh tree, and a Shiva Lingam made of Mercury. Photos are provided below.
The Daksha Prajapati temple: One of the largest temple of Haridwar, it is a must visit for all Hindus that come here. The river Ganga flows by the temple. It is the place where King Daksha had performed Yajna and Sati had died as her father did not invite his son in law Shiva. The temple is opposite to Harihar ashram. The temple has the Dus Avatar idols.
There are many other temples in Kankhal as well, namely the Durga mandir, Jagatguru Ashram, Mritunjay temple, Ardh narishwar temple etc.
Pawan Dham: Situated 5 kilometers north of Haridwar, towards Rishikesh, it has deities from the Hindu religion. The epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana can also be seen enacted by moving models. Nearby is Bharat Mata mandir. Take the lift to the 7th floor, and gradually come down, checking out all the floors on foot.
There would be a host of other places too, like Bhimgoda tank, Saptarshi ashram, Sapt Sarovar etc.
The best way to travel in Haridwar is to hire a car or a Vikram on contract.
For details on traveling, you can contact Mr. Adesh Marwari, who is available at the reception of Hotel Teerth, on Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Hotel Teerth is also the best place to stay in Haridwar.
Rajaji National Park and Chilla Sanctuary: This is possibly the best tourist attraction of Haridwar. A reserve forest on the slope of the Himalayas. It is connectedto the Korbett national park. Gates are there from Rishikesh as well as from Haridwar. However, the Chilla gate is the most popular.
Now Chilla tourist complex comprises of the Hydel project and Dam. It is the main attraction of the place. Safaris are available at the gate, but you will have to reach early in the morning, if you want to spot wild life. The flora and Fauna is of a wide variety. There are elephants, Nilgai, panthar, tigers, sambars, peacocks and different types of birds.
You can also choose to stay at the Forest rest house and GMVN's rest house. Contact 01382 – 266697, Manager, Chilla Tourist Complex.
Vindebasini: Situated 14 kilometers from Chilla, on top of a mountain, is a hamlet called Vindebasini. The two rivers Vinde dhara and Nildhara flows by. There are no places to stay here, neither are there many shops. Visit and come back before evening.
There are conducted tours from Haridwar to the Char Dhams for Hindus. Contact
Tourist Bureau, Lattarao Bridge, Hardwar. Phone: 224240 or 09412998507
Though you can travel to Hardwar round the year, the best time to visit is between October and March.
How to reach: It is well connected by railways from all parts of the country. Buses also ply to Haridwar from all the neighboring states. Dehradun and Delhi are the nearest airports. Check our transport links for more details.
Where to stay: Hotel Teerth is the best place to stay here. There are numerous other hotels too. Just check our hotel booking links below for rates, pictures and online booking.
Chilla Sanctuary Daksha Prajapati Temple Ganga Aarti
Maha Mrittunjay Temple Manasa Temple Nilgai at Chilla
Sunrise at Har ki Pauri View from Manasa Temple