Haridwar

Haridwar is an ancient city located in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. It holds great religious and cultural significance and is one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism. The city is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, where the river leaves the Himalayan foothills and enters the plains.

History Of Haridwar

Ancient Roots: Haridwar’s history can be traced back to ancient times, and it is mentioned in various Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas and the Mahabharata.

Legend of Har Ki Pauri: One of the most significant landmarks in Haridwar is Har Ki Pauri, a ghat on the banks of the Ganges River. According to legend, Lord Vishnu left his footprint on a stone here, making it a sacred spot.

King Vikramaditya’s Connection: The historical king Vikramaditya is said to have constructed the famous bathing ghat, Brahmakund, at Har Ki Pauri in memory of his brother Bhartrihari. The ghat has since become a focal point for pilgrims during the Kumbh Mela.

Mughal Influence: During the Mughal era, Haridwar saw both periods of prosperity and destruction. The Mughal emperor Akbar visited the city and recognized its importance, while Aurangzeb is said to have destroyed several Hindu temples in the region.

Colonial Period: During the British colonial period, Haridwar continued to be a center for Hindu religious practices. The British recognized its significance and made efforts to improve infrastructure and facilities for pilgrims.

Post-Independence Era: After India gained independence in 1947, Haridwar became part of the state of Uttar Pradesh. In 2000, when the new state of Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar became a part of the new state.

Mythology About Haridwar

The name “Haridwar” translates to “Gateway to God,” and the city is considered one of the seven holiest places in Hinduism. Several myths and legends are associated with Haridwar, adding to its spiritual significance. Here are some prominent mythological aspects related to Haridwar:

Ganga Dussehra: One of the most significant festivals celebrated in Haridwar is Ganga Dussehra. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Ganges River descended to the earth on this day. The river is considered sacred, and taking a dip in the Ganges during Ganga Dussehra is believed to wash away sins. Pilgrims gather in large numbers to participate in the festivities and take a holy dip in the river.

King Bhagirath’s Penance: Haridwar is associated with the legend of King Bhagirath, who performed severe penance to bring the Ganges to the earth. It is said that Bhagirath’s ancestors were cursed, and to liberate them, he sought the help of Lord Shiva. Pleased with his penance, Shiva released the Ganges from his hair, and it flowed onto the earth at Haridwar.

Chandi Devi Temple: The Chandi Devi Temple, situated atop the Neel Parvat, is dedicated to Goddess Chandi. According to mythology, it is believed that the temple was built to honor Goddess Chandi, who killed the demon kings Shumbha and Nishumbha. The temple is accessible by a cable car or a trek, and pilgrims visit to seek the blessings of the goddess.

Mansa Devi Temple: The Mansa Devi Temple, located on the Bilwa Parvat, is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. According to the legend, Mansa Devi is believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. Pilgrims often tie threads to the sacred tree in the temple premises, symbolizing their wishes, and return to untie them once their wishes are fulfilled.

Har Ki Pauri: Har Ki Pauri is a sacred ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar. The name translates to “Footsteps of God.” According to mythology, it is believed that Lord Vishnu left his footprint on a stone at this spot. The evening Ganga Aarti performed at Har Ki Pauri is a mesmerizing and spiritually uplifting experience for visitors.

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How To Reach

Haridwar is a popular pilgrimage destination in the northern part of India, located in the state of Uttarakhand.Here’s how you can reach Haridwar:

By Air:The nearest airport to Haridwar is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is approximately 35 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Haridwar.

By Train:Haridwar has a well-connected railway station, and it is a major railway junction in the region. Several trains operate to and from Haridwar, connecting it to major cities across the country.

By Road:Haridwar is well-connected by road to major cities in North India. You can reach Haridwar by bus or private vehicle. The city is connected by a network of national highways. Regular bus services operate from nearby cities and towns.

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