Located where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayas after flowing for over 250 kilometers from its origin in the Gangotri glacier, Haridwaristhe holiest Hindu city in Uttarakhandand a rapidly developing industrial township. Pilgrims flock here to bathe in the holy Gangesriverespecially during the pilgrimage season from May to October. The annual Magh Mela is conducted at Haridwar during whichthe river comes alive with flickering flames as floating offerings are released onto the Ganges every evening.Khumbh Mela comes to Haridwar every 12 years drawing more than half a million pilgrims whilethe Ardha Kumbha Mela is organized every six years.

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The name Haridwar literally translates to “Gateway to God”.Haridwar is kind of an entry pointto the four holy temples namely Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath and hence the name. The name can also be traced to several mythological links attached to the city.Haridwar is not only a religious center but also a center for arts and culture. It is a great source of Ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies. Haridwar has always been a place of interest for researchers as it is one of the oldest living cities in India and has numerous temples with interesting legacies.

History

Archaeological findings have proved that terracotta culture existed in Haridwar during 1700 and 1800 BC. Haridwar was ruled by several dynasties right from the Maurya Empire from 322 BCE to 185 BCE and Kushan Empireto the kingdom of the King Harshvardhan in 649 AD and later by the Mughals in the 16th century. The city was also invaded by Timur Lang, a Turkish King on January 13, 1399. During the reign of Jehangir in the 18th century, Haridwar was a port city widely used by ships of East India Company.

Travel Information

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Haridwar is 230 km from Delhi, 25 km from Rishikesh, 110 km from Mussoorie and 55 Km from Dehradun and can be visited throughout the year. Haridwar city is spread over 12.3 sq km. Its Altitude is 315 meters from sea level. Hindi, Garhwali and English are the major languages in Haridwar. Non vegetarian food and alcohol is strictly prohibited in Haridwar. Auto rickshawsare the best transport option within city. Cotton clothes should be preferred in summer and woolen clothes in winter. Photography and Shoes are strictly not allowed inside temples or ashrams.

Things to Do

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There are tons of things to do at Haridwar. You can attend the Ganga Aarti, the Ganges ceremony at Har Ki Pauri or learn Yoga at one of itsnumerous ashrams. Meditation in Haridwar is highly satisfying and rewarding as there are many places with amazing surroundings for meditation. The daily Haridwar walk organized by Haridwar Rishikesh Tourism is a unique way to experience the culture and the everyday life atHaridwar. Hinduism Lectures by Gurus and Ashram visits are fast becoming popular in Haridwar.Haridwar is an amazing place for Spiritual shopping. Haridwar has beautiful surroundings of hills, river and jungle area and is sure to thrill biking or cycling enthusiasts.