In Hindu mythology Lord Vishnu is known as Hari &c Shiva as Har. Dwar means gate, and it is for this reason that this place is known as Hardwar or Haridwar, as the gateway to the Four Shrines /Dhams of Uttaranchal. Mentioned as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokhsadawar in the ancient scriptures & epic. Haridwar always remained as a major Shaktipeeth for the devotees. Legend has placed Gods footprints on the bank of holy river giving the town its sanctity and has left an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu. Haridwar is the point where the Gangas emerges from the Himalayas to begin its progress across the plains.
Haridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. Itís also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to sage Kapilís 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 salvation of their ancestors.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant at Dehradun. The Shatabdi Express & tra from Mumbai, Delhi & Kolkata se Haridwar. See Dehradun Section Rail on pg.l46 for more details. Computerised reservation facility is available at railway station 131,427369 Mon-Sat 0800-1350 hrs & 1400 - 2000 hrs. Sunday 0800-1350 hrs.
Haridwar on the national highway no. 45 is well connected to Delhi (214 km) and other parts of the state and towns in North India. Dehradun about 52 km is about a two hours drive &: Delhi is about 5 hours drive away. Rishikesh is only 22 km. There are ordinary &c express bus services at very regular intervals (30 mins) for Delhi, Rishikesh & Dehradun. Deluxe coaches operate to & from Delhi, Jaipur in Rajasthan & Chandigarh. There is bus service to Shimla, Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet, Saharanpur (81 km) Ambala (168 km).
Bus stand Haridwar - 427037. Bus service to the centres of Garhwal like Uttarkashi, Joshimath, Tehri, Kedarnath, Badrinath is operated by GMOU from a bus stand 1/2 km further down on Delhi road - 426886, 425719. The Taxi Union office is directly opposite the bus stand ē427338. One can get taxi for Rajaji National Park &: for all other motorable routes. Rates are negotiable and for popular destinations there is very little scope to bargain. Share taxi service is occasionally available for Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie & some times to Rajaji National Park. The taxi service can also be availed of from private agents in Haridwar.
Local Transport : Auto Rickshaw, Tonga (Horse Cart), Cycle Rickshaw are available and the rates are negotiable. Tempo (Vikram) ply on fixed routes & rates are fixed point to point. Taxis are available on fixed rates for hire.
Excursion of HARIDWAR
MAA Chandi devi
Locatedd atop Neel Parvat, Chandidevi temple is one of the most ancient temples of north India. This is a sldhpeeth. The main deity is said to have been installed in the 8th century by Adishankaracharya. According to the legends, in ancient times, demon kings Shumb and Nishumb had captured the kingdom of Lord Indra and thrown out gods from heaven. After intense prayers by the gods, incarnation of power and strength, Chandidevi appeared from the body cells of Goddess Parvati and killed Shumb and Nishumb. There after Chandidevi is said to have rested for a while at the temple location. 200 mtrs away from the Maa Chandidevi temple, the Temple of Anjanidevi, mother of God Ha-numan is located.
Maa Chandidevi has been fulfilling wishes of its devotees for thousand of years. For the comfortable 'darshan' of Maa Chandidevi Sidhpeeth Maa Chandidevi Udan Khotala operational since 1997 at Najibabad Road in Hardwar and is at a distance of only 4 km from the bus stand and Railway Station. By Udan Khotala it takes apporximately 5 minutes to reach the temple at the Hill top whereas the steep climb takes more than an hour. For the comfort of pilgrims amenities like Pure cold drinking water, Toilets, Refreshment Counters, Landscaped gardens, First aid facilities, Resting areas, Car parking, CCTV etc. are available.
MAA Mansadevi Hardwar Temple is one of the most important temples of the North India and is the most important destination along with Har Ki Pauri in Hardwar. Goddess Mansadevi is the daughter of Saint Kashyap. She was born from his mind and therefore become famous by the name 'Mansadevi'. 'Mansa' also means wishes. Mansadevi therefore is known as the wish fulfilling goddess. Devotees visiting the temple tie threads on a sacred tree near the temple seeking blessings of the goddess for fullfillment of their wishes. They return to untie a thread from the same free once their wishes are fulfilled.
Located on top of the Shivalik hills, Mansadevi temple is one of the most ancient and Famous Sidhpeeths (holy places were one's wishes gets fulfilled). In the temple one idol of the goddess has three faces and five arms while the other has eight arms.
For the comfortable 'darshan' of Maa Mansadevi, Maa Mansadevi Udan Khatota operational since 1981 and is situated on the upper road in Hardwar at a distance of 2 Kms from the Bustand and Railway Station. By Udan Khatola it takes apporximately 4 minutes to reach the temple at the Hill top while the stee~ttim~by steps takes about 45 minutes.
Besides other amenities A.C. Package bus service for to and fro transport to Maa Chandidevi Sidhpeeth is available near Maa Mansadevi Udan Khatola. Besides being the most safe, enjoyable and zero pollution mode of transportation our Udan Khatola is also the most economical as compared other ropeways of similar length in India and Abroad.
Ardh Kumbha Mela
Though all the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety, it is the Ardh Kumbh and 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. Mythology states 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, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Since then devotees converge to commemorate this divine event.
The Ardh Kumbh is held every six years and then after six years Kumbh Mela is held. It is said that a holy dip in the river Ganges during the Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh gives you Moksha or Nirvana. People gather in huge numbers to take the holy dip during these holy days. There are saints, naga sadhus, politicians, almost every one is there. The city is overflowing with people. If going to Haridwar during the Kubh or Ardh Kumbh then avoid the over crowded ghats. Every time 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.
Ten days before Shivteras (during the months of Shravan and Phagun) thousands of devotees throng to Haridwar to collect holy waters of the river Ganga. Then they carry it back to their hometown and offer it at the local Shiv temple. Colourful shops spring up and Haridwar resounds to the chanting of hymns
Daksha Mahadev Mandir
This temple is an ancient shrine located at Kankhal, and is one of the five sacred places around Haridwar. It is associated with Sati, the spouse of Lord Shiva who immolated herself to preserve his honour on being insulted by her father, King Daksha Prajapati. This incident provoked the disciples of Mahadev and killed King Daksha. But later Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. The temple is an attribute to this legend. Daksha Mahadev Temple is also known as Shri Daksheshwar temple. It has a gilded image of a serpent symbolising Shiva.
The sacred ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. The golden reflection of floral diyas in the river Ganges is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga's aarti ceremony at the ghat.