21 Jul 2023
The name "Haridwar" is derived from two words - "Hari," which means Lord Vishnu (a major deity in Hinduism), and "Dwar," which means gateway. Therefore, Haridwar is often referred to as the "Gateway to God."
Spots and Religious sites of Haridwar include:
Har Ki Pauri: This is the most famous ghat (bathing steps) on the Ganges River in Haridwar. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters here can wash away one's sins.
Chandi Devi Temple: Located atop the Neel Parvat hill, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, a form of Goddess Parvati. Visitors can reach the temple by a ropeway or by trekking.
Mansa Devi Temple: Situated on Bilwa Parvat hill, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi, another form of Goddess Parvati. It is also accessible by a ropeway or by climbing the hill on foot.
Daksha Mahadev Temple: This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be the place where a great yajna (a sacred ritual) was performed by King Daksha, who was the father of Goddess Sati (Shiva's first wife).
Bharat Mata Mandir: Unlike traditional temples, this unique multi-story temple is dedicated to Mother India and showcases a relief map of the country instead of any deity.
Ganga Aarti: Every evening, a captivating Ganga Aarti ceremony takes place at Har Ki Pauri, where priests offer prayers to the river with oil lamps and incense, accompanied by chanting and devotional songs.
Aside from its religious significance, Haridwar also attracts tourists for its vibrant markets, local handicrafts, and Ayurvedic treatments. The city sees a significant influx of pilgrims and travelers, especially during the annual Kumbh Mela, a massive Hindu festival that occurs every 12 years and is rotated among four cities, including Haridwar.