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Bustling with devotees, its air filled with the sweet smell of incense sticks and clanging of temple bells, the city of Haridwar at the foothills of the Himalayas, is one of Hinduism’s holiest destinations.It sees thousands of people taking a dip in the holy waters of River Ganges, which emerges from the Himalayas here. Devotees, sadhus (saffron-clad men) and saints throng the river’s ghats (stepped banks), to take a dip in its sacred waters and, according to Hindu beliefs, wash away their sins. The most famous ghat, the bustling and colourful Har ki Pauri, sees a large number of bathers throughout the year, but more during festivals.
Every morning and evening, the ghat witnesses the blissful Ganga arti (a fire ritual), which also attracts devotees and tourists. The evening ritual being more popular, it makes for a mesmeric sight to see the river being venerated with loud and rhythmic chants and tall lamps, their lights lightening up the darkening waters. Soak in the spiritual fervour of the city, as you watch the spectacular sight of thousands of small diyas (earthen lamps) floating on the river.
Haridwar is among the seven Indian cities considered sacred by Hindus. It is also one of the four venues for the holy Kumbh Mela that is organised once in 12 years. A visit to the city during this time is a must. Apart from the much-revered temples, there are many ashrams as well, which provide meditation and yoga sessions.
The city is also considered a gateway to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, which together form the Char Dham, a set of four pilgrimage sites that are considered especially auspicious by Hindus.
Offering beautiful views of the city of Haridwar, Mansa Devi Temple is situated...
You will need to take a flight to the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, around 37 km from Haridwar. The nearest international airport is New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, around 22 km away – an approximately 5-hour drive.
Haridwar is well connected by road to all the nearby states including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and much of Uttarakhand. There are frequent buses (state transport as well as private) available up to Haridwar from most nearby cities and the tickets are reasonably priced.