The Gateway to God
Haridwar is considered one of the holiest sites for Hindus. Steeped in culture and religion, Haridwar attracts millions of tourists every year. While some come here to wash their sins away, some come here out of sheer awe of the faith that millions have in this holy destination.
Haridwar: Historical background
According to Hindu mythology, when the ocean was churned in search of the nectar of immortality, Garuda or the celestial eagle spilled four drops out of the pitcher while carrying this nectar. One of the spots where the drop fell is known as Haridwar, the holy sanctorum of the Hindu religion. One will find the mention of Haridwar in all ancient Indian scriptures including the Mahabharata. It has been referred to by different names like Kalipasthan, Gandadwar and Mayapuri.
The holy city came under the rule of the great Mauryan Empire and the Kaushan Empire. In his records, Huan Tsang, the Chinese traveler who visited India during the reign of King Harshavardhana, mentions the presence of the holy town of Haridwar. It was also under the rule of the Central Asian ruler Timur Lang. Considered one of the oldest cities, Haridwar finds its mention in every historical record of India that exists.
Haridwar: The religious Sanctorum, the seat of Knowledge and Nature Lovers’ Paradise
Haridwar is counted among the seven holy places in India. The name itself connotes the religious significance of the city. Hari means Lord Vishnu and Dwar means gateway. So, Haridwar is the gateway for millions of devotees to Lord Vishnu. People come here in huge numbers to attain moksha or salvation by taking a plunge in the holy water of river Ganga.
Haridwar is also an area of interest for people who are interested in learning Indian art, culture and sciences. It is home to numerous schools or Ayurveda. One can experience the traditional Gurukul system of schooling, even to this day, in most schools of Haridwar.
Haridwar also attracts nature lovers because of its picturesque location along the banks of Ganga. It is home to rear species of flora and fauna that nature lovers find immense interest in.
Haridwar is one of the centres of the great Kumbh Mela. It takes every 12 years and is the hub of culture and religious sentiments. During this festival, thousands of devotees gather along the banks of River Ganga to take a dip and find their road to salvation. Despite the number of visitors, the Kumbh Mela is considered one of the most peaceful religious gatherings in the world.
Haridwar presents tropical monsoon climate. Therefore, the best time to visit is between February and May, One may want to avoid the months of December and January as the place gets really cold in that season.