Haridwar is one of the holiest cities in India. Since times immemorial Haridwar has remained the spiritual axis for millions of Hindus across the globe. Hindus come here in large numbers to offer prayers, perform rituals and take a holy dip in the Ganga river. It is a year-round destination that is popular with both pilgrims and foreign tourists. Most of the top attractions of Haridwar are located close to each other. Below are the top attractions of Haridwar.
1. Take A Holy Dip In Ganga
The devotees do not leave Haridwar without taking a holy dip in the Brahmakund which is located in Har Ki Paudi ghats. Irrespective of how cold the water is, the devotees take the holy dip early in the morning as it is considered to be an auspicious time. Brahmakund is considered a sacred place by Hindus.
2. Wash Away Your Sins At Har Ki Pauri
Haridwar is one of the four places where the mega festival Kumbh and Ardhkumbh take place. Har Ki Pauri is one of the 4 places where the divine nectar fell during Samundra Manthan. A mere holy dip in Har Ki Pauri absolves the devotees of all their sins. Even on regular days, this place is buzzing with activity. Pilgrims make a beeline to take the dip here throughout the year.
3. Ganga Aarti – Let Spiritual Coma Engulf You!
You can not come to Haridwar and not participate in Ganga Aarti. Every evening, thousands gather around the Brahmakund to catch a glimpse of the famed Ganga Aarti of Haridwar. The spiritual exercise has attracted both devotees and tourists alike for many years. The visually stunning Ganga Aarti is a sight to behold. The mélange of spiritual mantras, sound of the conch shell and dramatic lamps make for an unforgettable spectacle. Devotees arrive at the ghats one hour before the aarti commences in order to reserve their spot in the much crowded daily event. The old and new temple dedicated to mother Ganga is also popular with the devotees.
4. Meditate And Do Yoga – Heal Yourself
Despite the crowds, it is possible to find a quiet spot on the banks of the holy Ganga river. The place exudes serenity despite its organized chaos and hustle-bustle. The ever-flowing holy Ganga, tall mountains and a cool temperature make Haridwar an apt place to connect with yourself. Thousands every year choose Haridwar as their preferred destination for deep meditation and Yoga under the tutelage of a capable guru. It is popular with both Indians and people from foreign countries, especially the west. You can enroll in a meditation and Yoga program run by Baba Ramdev in Patanjali Ashram.
5. Free Food And Treatments In Shantikunj
Apart from providing free Ayurvedic treatments to those in need, Shantikunj also offers free food daily. Donations are appreciated. Run by all world Gayatri Parivar, Shantikunj is located on the banks of Ganga. It is located 6 kilometers away from Haridwar Railway Station.
6. Go Birdwatching In Neeldhara Bird Sanctuary
Not many know that the nearby Neeldhara Bird Sanctuary is home to many indigenous and migratory birds during winter. It is an apt place for bird-watching and bird photography.
7. Great For Wildlife Enthusiasts
It is an offbeat National Park. The Chandi Devi entry gate is located just 10 kilometers away from Haridwar.
8. Surrender To The Faith On This Temple Trail
There are several big and small temples in Haridwar, especially in Har Ki Pauri region where devotees offer prayers. Some of the main temples you can visit are as below:
Mansa Devi Temple which is located on a hilltop offers astounding views of the Har Ki Pauri and other places of Haridwar from the cable car. You can reach here by foot or by the privately operated cable car which is also known as udan khatola. It is advised to reach early morning in order to avoid the crowds.
Chandi Devi Temple also located on a hilltop, can be accessed via a ropeway as well. The temple offers sweeping views of Haridwar once you arrive at the top. One needs to walk on a few stairs after the ropeway ride finishes. You can buy souvenirs and food from the many makeshift shops located here.
Daksh Mahadev Temple which is located 4 kilometers away from Haridwar, is an important temple. Located next to the Ganga river, this temple is the birthplace of Sati, Lord Shiva’s first wife. Needless to say, devotees take a holy dip here too. Local Pundits help pilgrims perform the pind pooja here.
9. Visit Ashrams
You can also spend some time in an Ashram. Saptrishi Ashram is the most popular one.
10. Shop Till You Drop
There is a lot you can buy from the markets of Haridwar. Jwalapur, Moti Bazaar, Bara Bazaar, and Kankhal are buzzing with activity. You can pick herb rock salt, Ayurvedic medicines, pooja samagri, handicrafts, tea, jewellery, etc. from here.
11. Slip Into A Food Coma
Haridwar is a vegetarian paradise. Whether you dine at the famous Chotiwala or any random eatery near Har Ki Pauri, great taste is assured. The chats, samosas, jalebis, chola bhaturas here are to die for.
12. Indulge In Ayurvedic Treatments
Haridwar is one of the best places for Ayurvedic treatments. Some of the best places to receive impactful Ayurvedic treatments are Aurovalley ashram, Santosh Puri Ashram, and Patanjali Ashram.
Best Time To Visit Haridwar
From March to June, the temperature remains high in Haridwar. Other months have a pleasant climate. Winter (October to February) is the best time to visit Haridwar.
- Take long leisurely walks on the banks of Ganga.
- Strike a conversation with a sadhu (holy man).
- Spend early morning outdoors to avoid crowds.