Haridwar is the meaning of two words Har mean lord SHIVA and dwar mean GATE or gateway , so Haridwar mean Gateway of Lord Shiva . This city is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain, Nashik andPrayag (Allahabad) is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbha Mela being celebrated every 3 years in one of the 4 places, and thus every 12 years in Haridwar
Visiting places of Haridwar
Har ki Pauri: Har ki pauri mean step of God . It is also known as Brahmakund and it is believed to be the place where divine nectar fell from the pitcher. It is the site for the famous Kumbh Mela which is celebrated in 12 years. Large number of devotees comes especially to Haridwar to take a holy dip in the Ganga River. At twilight, when evening aarti is performed the reflection of the golden diyas that keep floating on the river offers an enchanting view of the ghat to the visitors. This sacred Ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhatrihari, who is said to have meditated on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar.
Chandi Devi temple: Situated on the top of the Neel Parvat, Chandi Temple was built in 1929 by Suchat Singh, the King of Kashmir. The temple can be reached after a 3km trek from Chandi Ghat. The main statue of Chandi Devi Temple is said to be established by the Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century. Cable car has also been introduced upto Chandi Devi Temple.
Mansa Devi Temple: Mansa Devi temple is perched on the top of the Bilwa Parwat and it is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. Mansa Devi can be reached either by a ropeway that carries pilgrims to the temple or on foot. A statue of the Goddess here has three mouths and five arms, while the other one has eight arms. The temple affords bird’s eye view of Haridwar.
Sapta Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar: It is believed that seven sages meditated at this place. Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam were the seven rishis. Ganga split herself into seven streams to avoid any disturbance to their meditation.
Daksha Mahadev Temple: This ancient Dsksha Mahadev Temple (Daksheswara Mahadev Temple) is located in the south Kankhal with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. According to mythology, this temple is supposed to have been the site of a yagna conducted by Daksha.
Maya Devi Temple: It is believed that the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell here when Lord Shiva was taking her corpse. Maya Devi Temple is regarded as one of the Siddhapeeth’s. This ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Maya Devi, the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar.
Bhimgoda Tank: This tank is at a distance of about 1 km from Har ki Pairi. It is said that while Pandavas were going to Himalayas through Haridwar, Bhim made this tank with the blow of his knee. Bharat Mata Mandir: 5 km north of the center. Dedicated to Mother India, this is half temple, half nation building exercise, with seven floors stacked with deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths. Ma Anandamayee Ashram: Located at Kankhal. The samadhi of Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee (Anandamayi) is located here and is also the Head Office of the revered organisation.
Pawan Dham: A modern temple, made entirely of glass pieces, Pawan Dham is now a popular tourist destination. The temple complex was constructed by the effort of Swami Vedantanand Ji Maharaj and the institute located there is growing under the leadership of Swami SahajPrakash Ji Maharaj. People from Moga in Punjab have put considerable efforts and money to erect this place. Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar: This Bird Sanctuary is situated on the main Ganges river, or Neel Dhara, at the Bhimgoda Barrage, it is a paradise for bird watchers and home to many migratory birds during the winter season.
Doodhadhari Barfani Temple: Part of the ashram of Doodhadhari Barfani Baba, this temple complex in white marble is one of most beautiful temples in Haridwar, especially the temples of Rama-Sita and Hanuman. Sureshvari Devi Temple: Temple of Goddess Sureshwari, situated in midst of beautiful Rajaji National Park. Serene and religious makes this temple abode of worshipers, saints etc. Located at outskirts of Haridwar in Ranipur and permission from forest rangers is necessary. Parad Shivling: Situated in Harihar Ashram, Kankhal. Parad Shivling (Mercury Shivling) weighing about 150 kg and Rudraksha tree are the main attractions here.
Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust): Patanajli yogpeeth is situated on Haridwar - Delhi Highway. this is a yoga institution and research center of Swami Ramdev. every day 1000 of person come here for yoga n other purpose. This is one of the best place in Haridwar to see Ramanand Ashram: Situated in shravan nath nagar of the town near railway station, this is the main ashram of Ramanand Sampraday in Haridwar. Mahant Bhagwan Das is the chief of this ashram.
Shantikunj: Shantikunj is the headquarter of famous spiritual and social organisation All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) established by Pt Shriram Sharma Acharya. Its located at a distance of 6 Kilometers from Haridwar railway station towards Rishikesh/Dehradun on NH58. At the bank of the holy Ganges and between the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, its also a place of attraction for tourists as well as seekers of spiritual guidance.
Sati Kund: another well-known mythological heritage worth a visit is situated in the Kankhal. Legend has it that Sati immolated herself in this kund.
Rajaji National Park: It is gifted with immaculate beauteousness covering an area of 820sqkms on the edge of the Doon Valley. It is situated around 10kms from Haridwar. Rajaji National Park was established in 1996 and has over 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species. It is a safe haven for panther, bear, chital, elephant, tiger, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, python, monitor lizard etc. Elephant Safari is also available at Chilla and Dholkand.
Neelkanth Mahadev: Thousands of devotees visit Neelkanth Mahadev every month throughout the year. It is situated on the summit of the mountain across the sacred Ganga River. According to mythology this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during 'Sagar Manthan' which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva. It is situated 66kms from Dehradun city.