Haridwar is situated at a height of 314 meters from the sea level between Shivalik Hills in the north and north east and the Ganges River in the south. It is an ancient city and important Hindu pilgrimage site in north India’s Uttarakhand state where the river Ganges Har Ki Pauri hosts a mighty Aarti (river worshipping ceremony) in which tiny flickering lamps are floated off the steps. Worshippers fill the city during major festivals including the annual Kanwar Mela. Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places where millions of pilgrims and devotees visit the place wash away their sins to attain moksha.
It came under the rule of the Mauryan Empire and later under the Kushan Empire. Archaeological findings have proved that Terra Cotta culture existed in this region since the BCE’s. The very first modern era evidence is found in the accounts of Huein Tsang. In the ancient times the town was also referred as Ganga Dwara the place where the Ganges descends to the plains.
It is the head-quarter and the largest city of the district. The city has developed beyond its religious importance. It resents a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and development. It is additionally a passage indicating the Chaar Dhaam. Haridwar stands as the gateway to Lord Vishnu. It is a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey. Therefore the name is Haridwar. Ganga Aarti at Har ki Pauri, Chandi Devi Mandir, Mansa Devi Temple, Shiv Murti, Ropeway to Chanda Devi are few of the soul touching places which should not be missed while visiting Haridwar.
Haridwar has a rich, ancient, religious and cultural heritage. It still has many Haveli’s and Mansions bearing exquisite murals and intricate stone work. It is an abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit. Haridwar is also a centre of attraction for learning various arts, science and culture. It’s a great source of Ayurvedic medicines and Herbal remedies and is home to the unique Gurukul (School of Traditional Education).
Haridwar is referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokshadwar in ancient writings. Someone in quest for peace and spirituality Haridwar is the best place to head. One can do temple hopping, stroll along the river banks, have a holy dip in the Ganges or enjoy the serene atmosphere of the heavenly place. Haridwar offers some of the most interesting and well- crafted items, carved stone idols, beads, copper and brass puja utensils, glass bangles, cane baskets and jewellery are some of the most popular buying items. Bara Bazaar, Government Handloom and Handicraft Emporium, Moti Bazaar, Kankhal, Jwalapur are some of the market places in and around Haridwar which gives you the glimpse of the varied and rooted culture of the place.
Haridwar has always acted as the centre of Hindu religion and mysticism. Site of many religious festivals like Purna Kumbh Mela, Baisakhi, Kanwar Mela, Somvati Amavasya, Kartik Purnima gives you a glimpse of a colourful and fascinating city. The spiritual beauty of the city leaves no heart untouched ever.