Haridwar is an ancient city and important Hindu pilgrimage site in North India’s Uttarakhand state, where the River Ganges exits the Himalayan foothills. The largest of several sacred ghats (bathing steps), Har Ki Pauri hosts a nightly Ganga Aarti (river-worshipping ceremony) in which tiny flickering lamps are floated off the steps. Worshipers fill the city during major festivals including the annual Kanwar Mela.
Haridwar has very rich ancient religious and cultural heritage. In the ancient scriptures of India, this place is well known by the name of Mayapur. This city is also well known for many other things apart from the holy river Ganges. "Among the many pilgrimages that dot the length of the Ganga, Haridwar ranks among the most holy in the land " Accroding to Hindu mythology Haridwar was known as Kapilsthan.
PLACES TO SEE
Har ki Pauri
King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred Ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who it is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund). At twilight, golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganga present the most enchanting sight. The imprint of Lord Hari's footprint hallows the riverbank temple here. The ghat is regarded the most sacred and auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the 12 year Kumbh and the 6 year Ardh Kumbh.
Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar
According to legend the Saptarshis (seven sages) were deep in meditation here. The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.
Mansa Devi Temple
The temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated at the top of Bilwa Parwat. The rope-way with its brightly coloured cable cars take devotees to the old hilltop of Mansa Devi.
Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi Devi temple at the top of Neel Parvat on river Ganga's banks was built in1929 A.D. by the King of Kashmir-Suchat Singh. A three kilometers trek from Chandighat, it is believed that the main statue was established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. It is at a distance of six kilometers on Neel Parvat on the other bank of River Ganga.
Maya Devi Temple
This is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar, known as one of the Siddhapethas. Said to be the places where the hearts and navel of Goddess Sati had fallen.
Daksha Mahadev Temple
The ancient temple of Daksha Mahadev stands in the south Kankhal town. Mythology has it that King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva's first wife) performed yagya at this place, but didn't invite Lord Shiva (Mahadev). Feeling insulted, Sati burnt herself in the yagya kund. Provoked by this, the ganas (followers) of Lord Shiva killed King Daksha. Later, Lord Shiva brought him back to life.
Other Places of Interest
Kanva Rishio Ashram; Bilkeshwar Mahadev; PawanDham; Bhooma Niketan; Vaishnav Devi Temple; Bharat Mata Mandir; Doodhadhari Temple; Shahi Gurudwara; Jairam Ashram.