Har Ki Pauri is the one of the most sacred Ghats in Haridwar and the only place where all the spiritual activities takes place. The ghat is reckoned to have been built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Brithari in the 1st century BC. Literal meaning of the term 'Har Ki Pauri'- "Har" means "Lord Shiva", Ki" means "of" and "Pauri" means "steps". Priest of the nearby temples says that during the Vedic times, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu believed to have visited Brahmakund in Har Ki Pauri. The Ghat got its name from the foot imprint of the Lord Vishnu, the imprints of the same are present on one of the stones of the Ghat. In geographical terms, Haridwar is the place where river Ganges descends from the Gangotri glacier to the Indo-Gangetic plains of North India. Har Ki Pauri remains busy during the Ardh Kumbh Mela, Vaisakhi festival, Kanwar Yatra, and Magh Mela. Also, it is one of the four incredible sites in India that hosts the Kumbh Mela, during which millions bathe in the Ganga River.
According to the quotes of the incredible legends, there was a horrible battle between Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Devils), for the nectar (Amrit) urn, which was extracted out of the Manthan of Sheer Sagar. Seeing this terrifying battle, Lord Vishnu guise himself as beautiful women and charmed the Asurs to obtain the urn, which contains the nectar, for Devas. When Asurs got to know the actual truth of the beautiful women, they ran after Lord Vishnu to chase the Urn. While chasing the Urn from Vishnu, few drop of nectar fell out at a place, which is now called Brahma Kund at Har-ki-Pauri. After knowing about the cultural significance of this place, King Vikramaditya built it in the 1st century in the memory of his brother, Bharthari, who used to meditate here on the bank of Ganges.
One of the main attractions for people on a spiritual tour to Uttrakhand, Har ki Pauri is the everlasting landmark of Haridwar. Currently, Har ki Pauri is a cemented platform on the bank of river Ganges and often remains flooded with sadhus, sanayasis, beggars, priest and devotees, waiting for the religious bath. The nectar-filled the Ganges that flows through the Har ki Pauri is believed to have some powers, which can cleanse body and soul of ‘sinners’.
Also, people visit Har ki Pauri to perform the rites and rituals that are related to the demise of a loved one. Some even come to offer to the Ganges, the first hair of their newborns.
Main Attraction- Evening Aarti
Evening Ganga Aarti is the most stunning part of the Har ki Pauri. The sights of the priest with large bowls of fire, devotees on the other side and sound of gongs, makes it a sight to behold for the rest of the life. During the evening Aarti, devotees float earthen lamps in the Ganges, creating a spectacular unmatched scene.
Nearby Hark Pauri area, there are eateries where delicious vegetarian food is served, without garlic and onion. Tourists who are looking for a stay in Haridwar can book accommodation at the hotels nearby the Harki Pauri area.