Things to do in Haridwar – A complete Travel Guide

Things to do in Haridwar – A Complete Travel Guide

Haridwar, situated in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, is a city steeped in spirituality and rich cultural heritage. Nestled along the banks of the holy Ganges River, Haridwar is not just a destination; it’s an experience that leaves an indelible mark on the soul of every traveler.

Table of Contents

  1. Things to do in Haridwar
  2. Ghats in Haridwar
  3. Things to do in Haridwar Temples
  4. Other Famous Temples to Visit in Haridwar
  5. Places to Visit in Haridwar
  6. Places to Visit Near Haridwar
  7. Places to Eat
  8. History & Facts about Haridwar
  9. Interesting Facts
  10. How to Reach
  11. Best Time to Visit
  12. Places to Stay

Things to do in Haridwar

  1. Attend the Ganga Aarti: Witness the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremony at the Har Ki Pauri ghat, where priests offer prayers to the river with oil lamps and incense, creating a mystical ambiance.
  2. Take a Dip in the Ganges: Participate in the age-old tradition of bathing in the sacred waters of the Ganges to cleanse your soul and seek blessings.
  3. Explore Local Markets: Wander through the bustling streets of Haridwar’s markets like Bara Bazaar and Moti Bazaar, known for their colorful array of handicrafts, religious artifacts, and street food.

Ghats in Haridwar

Haridwar is adorned with numerous ghats along the Ganges, each holding its own significance. Some of the notable ones include Har Ki Pauri, Brahma Kund Ghat, and Gau Ghat, where pilgrims gather for rituals, prayers, and spiritual contemplation.

Things to do in Haridwar Temples

  1. Visit Mansa Devi Temple: Take a cable car ride or hike up to this hilltop temple dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi for panoramic views of Haridwar and the surrounding landscape.
  2. Seek Blessings at Chandi Devi Temple: Situated atop Neel Parvat, Chandi Devi Temple is another revered shrine in Haridwar, accessible via a cable car or a trek through the forest.

Other Famous Temples to Visit in Haridwar

Apart from Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi, Haridwar boasts several other temples worth exploring, such as Maya Devi Temple, Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple, and Bharat Mata Mandir, each steeped in mythological and historical significance.

Places to Visit in Haridwar

  1. Haridwar Ropeway: Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city and the Ganges as you ride the Haridwar Ropeway, connecting the lower station near Mansa Devi Temple to the hilltop.
  2. Rajaji National Park: Embark on a wildlife safari at Rajaji National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and numerous bird species.

Places to Visit Near Haridwar

Explore nearby attractions like Rishikesh, known as the Yoga Capital of the World, and the scenic hill station of Mussoorie, both within a few hours’ drive from Haridwar.

Places to Eat

Indulge in the local cuisine of Haridwar, featuring mouthwatering street food delicacies like kachoris, jalebis, aloo puri, and traditional dishes served at popular eateries like Mohanji Puri Wale and Hoshiyarpuri.

History & Facts about Haridwar

Haridwar holds immense historical and mythological significance, believed to be one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism. It is mentioned in ancient scriptures like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, attracting pilgrims and seekers for centuries.

Interesting Facts

  • Haridwar is known as the gateway to the Char Dham pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
  • The Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, takes place in Haridwar every 12 years, attracting millions of devotees.
  • The city is dotted with ashrams and yoga centers, offering spiritual retreats and meditation sessions for seekers from around the globe.

How to Reach

Haridwar is well-connected by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 35 kilometers away. Haridwar Junction Railway Station is a major railhead, with regular trains from major cities across India.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Haridwar is during the winter months from October to February when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Avoid the monsoon season from July to September due to heavy rainfall and potential flooding.

Places to Stay

Haridwar offers a range of accommodation options catering to all budgets, from budget guesthouses and ashrams to luxury hotels and resorts. Some popular choices include Hotel Ganga Lahari, Hotel Ganga Kinare, and Aalia Resort.

From attending the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti to exploring ancient temples and partaking in adventurous activities, there’s no shortage of things to do in this sacred city. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your visit to Haridwar:

1. Attend the Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri: One of the most iconic experiences in Haridwar is witnessing the Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri. As the sun sets, priests clad in traditional attire perform rituals to worship the Ganges, accompanied by chants and the mesmerizing glow of oil lamps. The atmosphere is charged with spirituality and devotion, making it a truly unforgettable sight.

2. Take a Holy Dip in the Ganges: Join pilgrims from around the world in taking a dip in the sacred waters of the Ganges River. Believed to cleanse the soul of sins and bestow blessings, this ritual is an integral part of the Haridwar experience. Head to Har Ki Pauri or other ghats along the riverbank to immerse yourself in the holy waters and feel a sense of rejuvenation.

3. Explore Temples: Haridwar is dotted with numerous temples, each with its own unique history and significance. Visit the Chandi Devi Temple, perched atop Neel Parvat, accessible via a scenic cable car ride. Seek blessings at the Mansa Devi Temple, situated atop Bilwa Parvat, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Other notable temples include the Maya Devi Temple, Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple, and Bharat Mata Mandir.

4. Visit Ashrams and Yoga Centers: Haridwar is renowned as a center for spiritual learning and yoga practice. Explore the various ashrams and yoga centers dotted across the city, offering classes, workshops, and retreats for spiritual seekers and yoga enthusiasts. The Patanjali Yogpeeth, Parmarth Niketan, and Sivananda Ashram are among the most popular destinations for yoga and meditation.

5. Experience Adventure Sports: For adrenaline junkies, Haridwar offers a range of adventure sports amidst its natural beauty. Go white-water rafting on the Ganges, with rapids ranging from mild to challenging, providing an exhilarating experience for adventure enthusiasts. Additionally, you can indulge in activities like bungee jumping, trekking, and wildlife safaris in the nearby Rajaji National Park.

6. Explore Local Markets: Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by exploring the bustling markets of Haridwar. Shop for souvenirs, religious artifacts, and traditional handicrafts at places like Bara Bazaar, Moti Bazaar, and Jwalapur Market. Don’t forget to sample the local street food delicacies, including kachoris, jalebis, and aloo puri, for a true taste of Haridwar.

7. Take a Wildlife Safari: Embark on a thrilling wildlife safari in the nearby Rajaji National Park, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Spot elusive wildlife species such as tigers, elephants, leopards, and exotic bird species amidst the lush greenery of this protected reserve. The park offers jeep safaris, elephant safaris, and nature walks for an immersive wildlife experience.

8. Attend Cultural Events and Festivals: Haridwar comes alive with vibrant cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Plan your visit during major festivals such as the Kumbh Mela, Ardh Kumbh Mela, and Kanwar Yatra to witness grand processions, rituals, and cultural performances. Additionally, various spiritual discourses, yoga festivals, and music concerts are held regularly, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of the city.

Haridwar, with its blend of spirituality, adventure, and cultural heritage, offers a transformative journey for every traveler. Whether you seek solace in its ancient temples, adventure in its rugged landscapes, or spiritual enlightenment along its sacred riverbanks, Haridwar has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags, embark on a soul-stirring journey, and discover the magic of Haridwar – where spirituality meets adventure in perfect harmony.