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Garhwal Region
Haridwar

HaridwarHaridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarakhand. It's also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila's curse. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors.

Geographically and geologically, Haridwar, lying at the feet of Shiva’s hills, i.e., Shivaliks, in Uttarakhand. It is believed drops of the nectar churned out from the world-ocean fell at four places – Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik. Haridwar is situated on the right side of the bank of the holy Ganga, and is the point where the river spreads over the northern plains. Associated with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, Haridwar is among the seven sacred cities of India. It is also one of the four venues for the Kumbh Mela, held in its magnitude every twelve years. Essentially a religious centre which holds promise of salvation for devotees, Haridwar is also a centre of herbal medicine, and traditional studies at Gurukul Kangri. There are many places of scenic beauty on the outskirts of the town.

Area: 12,302 sq.kms.
Altitude: 294.7 mts.
Temperature :
Summer: 40.9-15.6 Degree Cel.
Winter: 16.6-06 Degree Cel.
Clothing:
Summer: Cotton &Tropical.
Winter: Woolen

Pilgrimage

Har ki Pauri

King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred Ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who it is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund). At twilight, golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganga present the most enchanting sight. The imprint of Lord Hari’s footprint hallows the riverbank temple here. The ghat is regarded the most sacred and auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the 12 year Kumbh and the 6 year Ardh Kumbh.

Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar
According to legend the Saptarshis (seven sages) were deep in meditation here. The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.

Mansa Devi TempleChandi Devi Temple
The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat. The rope-way with its brightly coloured cable cars take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.

Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi Devi temple at the top of Neel Parvat on river Ganga's banks was built in 1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir-Suchat Singh. A three kilometers trek from Chandighat, it is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. It is at a distance of six kilometers on Neel Parvat on the other bank of River Ganga.

Maya Devi Temple
This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar, known as one of the Siddhapethas. Said to be the places where the hearts and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.

Daksha Mahadev Temple
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev stands in the south Kankhal town. Mythology has it that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife) performed yagya at this place, but didn’t invite Lord Shiva (Mahadev). Feeling insulted, Sati burnt herself in the yagya kund. Provoked by this, the ganas (followers) of Lord Shiva killed King Daksha. Later, Lord Shiva brought him back to life.

Other Places of Interest
Kanva Rishio Ashram; Bilkeshwar Mahadev; PawanDham; Bhooma Niketan; Vaishnav Devi Temple; Bharat Mata Mandir; Doodhadhari Temple; Shahi Gurudwara; Jairam Ashram.

Fair & Festivals

Ardh Kumbh & Kumbh Mela
Though all the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh & Kumbh Mela which attracts the mind of any tourist to this place.
The history of Kumbh Mela dates back to the creation of the Universe legends. Mythologicals state that the Gods and the Demons once churned the ocean to retrieve the Kumbh (pot) containing nectar of immortality (Amrit). As Dhanvantri, the divine healer appeared with the Kumbh containing nectar in her palms. A great fight followed between the Gods and the Demons to wrist the pitcher. During the fierce battle in the sky, a few drops of nector fell at four different places, Prayag, Hardwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Since then devotees converge to commemorate this divine event.

The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and than after six years Kumbh Mela is held. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges during the Kumbh & Ardh Kumbh gives you Moksha or Nirvana. People gather in huge number to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are Saints, Naga Sadhus, Politicians almost every one is here. The city is overflowing with people. If going to Hardwar during the Kubh or Ardh Kumbh then avoid the over crowded ghats. Every there are reports of stampedes and the various factions or Akharas of Sadhus clash with each other. Ensure your accommodation well in advance if going during the Kumbh.

Kavand Mela
Ten days before Shivteras (during the months of Shravan & Phagun) thousands of devotees throng to Hardwar to collect holy waters of the river Ganga. Then they carry it back to their hometown & offer it at the local Shiv temple. Colourful shops spring up and Hardwar resounds to the chanting of hymns.

Travel Info:

By Air
The nearest Airport is Jollygrant, BhaniaWala, Dehradun (41kms). Vayudoot services from Delhi.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (220kms)
By Rail
Connected with all important Cities of India viz., Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Howrah, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain, Amritser, Dehradun, Lucknow, etc.
By Road
Hardwar on National Highway no.45 is will connected to all major cities and other parts of the state viz. Delhi (214 kms.), Agra (386 kms.), Ambala (168 kms.), Badrinath (325 kms.), Dehradun (52 kms.), Kedarnath (250 kms.), Saharanpur (81 kms.), Nainital (286 kms.)
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