One of the holiest cities along the banks of the Ganges, Haridwar associates a lot of significance to Indian mythology. Legend has it that in the Vanaparva section of the Mahabharata, sage Dhaumya mentions Haridwar and Kankhal while speaking to Yudhisthira about the tirthas of India, Gangadwar. One of the Char Dhams (the four main centers of pilgrimage in Uttarakhand namely, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), the city of Haridwar came under the reign of the Maurya Empire (322–185 BC), and later under the Kushan Empire (1st–3rd centuries).
One of the favorite tourist destinations in India for pilgrims and travelers alike, Haridwar offers several options. Located to the north of the center, Hari-ki-Pairi (or Har-ki-Pairi) is considered to be the city’s focal point, where devotees assemble for a holy dip in the Ganges. Legend says that this is where a drop of nectar fell as a result of the manthan - churning of the oceans – Mythologically it signifies the start of the world.
Mansa Devi Mandir, on top of a hill near the center of town is reached by cable car or by a road that gently rambles uphill, starting from the Railway Road. The views around the temple are the main attractions here.
Devoted to Mother India, Bharat Mata Mandir, at 5 km to the north of the center is partly temple and partly a nation building exercise, with seven storeys that are home to deities, saints, and secular heroes of all Indian faiths.
At 8-9km from railway station, the Chandidevi Mandir, is another of the wonderful tourist attractions in Haridwar atop the ‘Neel Parvat’ on the eastern bank of river Ganga. Built in 1929 A.D. by the king of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, it is dedicated to Goddess Chandi.
At 7-8 km from railway station in the south Kankhal town, the Daksh Mandir is dedicated to Lord Shiva and sees the influx of several tourists and pilgrims.
A city famous for the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar can be easily reached by air, train or bus. Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport, that offers daily service twice a week to Delhi on Air Deccan, is located 20 km from Haridwar. Once you are in this sacred city of India, you will have no problems in lodging into any of the hotels in Haridwar that come in various categories and prices to suit your needs.
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