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Haridwar is an ancient and holy city. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage site in the state of Uttarakhand. Haridwar is the city of “Mandirs”, the air around them is filled with the scent of sandalwood incense. Haridwar is a small city of around 2360 km² area. The city has a lot of dharamshalas too. Here, I have mentioned the top ten places to visit in Haridwar.

1.Har Ki Pauri

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Regarded as India’s one of the most sacred ghats in India, Haridwar’s Har Ki Pauri is the spot where the holy Ganga enters the plains. It is just five mins away from Haridwar station.

Har ki Pauri means “Steps to Lord Shiva”.

It is one of the four places where drops of elixir (‘Amrit’) were accidentally spilt by the celestial bird Garuda. The river is filled with countless diyas offered by devotees floating along the river in the evening. The sight is very spectacular. With multiple temples near the riverbank, this ghat’s air is serene and calm.

It was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari, who is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga

Ganga Aarti is the most important feature of this place. Priests perform Aarti and sing hymns to worship the river. People float earthen lamps(diyas) with the flower as an epitome of hope and wish. It a very peaceful place that provides mental stability and satisfaction. Just by dipping our legs, our nerves get relaxed due to the pure and cold water.

The large footprints on a stone wall are said to belong to Lord Vishnu.

2.Chandi Devi Temple and Mansa Devi Temple

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Chandi Devi Temple of Haridwar is dedicated to the Chanda Devi Goddess. It is situated on the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik Hills.

Chandi Devi Temple of Haridwar is dedicated to the Chanda Devi Goddess. It is situated on the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik Hills.

Being one of the oldest and most revered temples in Haridwar, this holy temple has a brilliant amount of visitors throughout the year. The Temple is located at a distance of 4 kilometres from Har Ki Pauri. To reach the temple one has to either follow the three-kilometre trekking route from Chandigarh or climb the recently introduced rope-way (cable car) service. The temple is run by the Mahant who is the presiding priest of the temple.

Lots of devotees seek the blessings of the goddess who is believed to fulfil their wishes. The temple is a must-visit for the pilgrims going to Haridwar.

Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Mansa Devi in the holy city of Haridwar in the Uttarakhand state of India. Mansa Devi Temple is considered a must-visit for the pilgrims going to Haridwar. It enhances the holy tradition of Haridwar which persists in the place from many past centuries. It offers views of the River Ganges and the plains of Haridwar.

To reach the shrine one has to either follow the trekking route up to this holy shrine or ride on rope-way service. The entry to the temple is also lined with vendors peddling everything from jewellery to music. Named Mansa meaning wishes, the deity at the religious site is believed to fulfil the wishes of the devotees. Devotees can make a wish by tying a thread to branches of nearby the temple and once their wishes get fulfilled, they visit the temple again to untie the thread from the tree.

3. Rajaji National Park

137201704Haridwar_Rajaji_National_Park_MainIt is abundantly rich in flora and fauna. It is a great holiday destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It is the second tiger reserve in Uttarakhand. Broad-leaved deciduous forests, riverine vegetation, scrubland, grasslands and pine forests form the range of florae in this park.

You can spot Asian Elephants, Tiger and King Cobra, Panther, Bear, Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, Kakar, Python, Monitor Lizard, Wild Cats. Mammals like the hyena, jackal and the Bengal fox scavenge in the park. Tigers and leopards are the prime predators in Rajaji. The most prominent bird species include peafowl, vultures, pheasant, kingfisher and barbets, supplemented by a number of migratory species during the winter months. The park is also home to the great pied hornbill and the fire tailed sunbird.

4. Shantikunj

Shantikunj is not only an “ashram” but the headquarters for the Gayatri Parivar. It is located nearly 6kms. from Haridwar railway station. It is the best place for those who seek spirituality in yoga and meditation. Shantikunj was established by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya in 1971. It is now managed by a trust which is headed by her daughter. Shantikunj is devoted to cultural, moral, ethical and spiritual awakening and national integration. The foremost goal is the development of divinity in mankind.

The people at Ashram treat everyone with unconditional love and do not judge anyone on their background and income. The living quarters are very clean and provide basic facilities. Personally I would recommend everyone to visit Shantikunj every year for a spiritual energy top-up. Food is made in very hygenic conditions and it is very simple and ordinary yet tasty.

The Ashram has a Yagya shala where yagyas are performed every day. Gayatri Mata Temple, Akhand Deep, Devatma Himalaya Temple, temples of ancient Rishis are the most spiritual and sacred places inside the venue. The Exhibition of Divine Culture is another feature of the Ashram. Besides visiting these places, one can also participate in the daily activities of the ashram. Various training camps are also organised for the upliftment of moral and spiritual values.

5.Bharat Mata Mandir

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Bharat Mata Mandir, which is also known as Mother India Temple, is one of the most visited temples located in Haridwar. The temple is dedicated to Bharat Mata by her devoted patriotic nationals. This religious shrine was founded by Swami Satyamitranand Giri. Bharat Mata Temple is unique and has an attractive and huge map of Mother India on the ground denoting the statue of the Mother of India. The statue has a design which indicates the Goddess of India for all the religious deities, freedom fighters and leaders.

It is an impressive multi-storied building and each of the floors has been dedicated to different gods. Here, the mother India is the prime deity and is depicted with the national flag in her hand and a tricolour sari adorning the idol. It represents the Unity in Diversity in India and oneness of India.

The first floor features the statue of Mother India, hence named Bharat Mata Mandir. The second floor is dedicated to all the freedom fighters of India. The third storey stands in dedication to some of India’s most revered, including Meera Bai, Savitri and Maitri. The fourth floor, named Sant Mandir, features all the great saints of Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism.

The fifth floor of the Bharat Mata Mandir is known as the Assembly Hall. The sixth storey of the Bharat Mata Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of Shakti. If you want to experience all the different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, you should head straight to the seventh storey of the temple.

The eighth floor, which is uppermost in the Bharat Mata temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The terrain of the Rajaji National Park can also be seen from the top of the building.

6. Bara Bazaar

The Bada Bazar in Haridwar is a lane market filled with religious trinkets and other accessories for the local, as well as, the foreign tourists visiting the holy city in great number.

The Bada Bazar in Haridwar is a lane market filled with religious trinkets and other accessories for the local, as well as, the foreign tourists visiting the holy city in great number. Bara Bazar is one of the most popular shopping places in Haridwar. Since Haridwar is a religious place, you’ll find various puja items lined across the narrow streets of the Bara Bazaar.

This market is mainly known for shopping for Rudraksha and ayurvedic medicines. The Bara Bazaar is also a great place to shop for wooden items and handicrafts and munch on the delicious Peda (a sweet made from milk) sold in huge quantity here.

Be careful while shopping in the market as the streets are jam-packed. Keep an eye on your wallet as there are many pickpockets who prey on tourists. Bargaining with the vendors may help you in striking a good deal.

7.Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar

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It is a paradise for bird watchers and trekkers as it is blessed with wildlife, flora and fauna in abundance.

It is a popular bird-watching area. It is situated at a distance of 3.5 km from Har Ki Pauri.

Tourists who like trekking, this place is a boon for them. Enjoy the quiet place and feel the divine presence of holy river Ganga.

In winter there are many migratory birds over here. The beautiful scenery and sweet voices of the birds is a view worth gazing at. Winter is the best season to visit the park as this is when birds surround this area making it a fascinating tourist destination. Proximity to nature, flora and fauna makes it the best of the places to visit in Haridwar.

8.Adbhut Mandir

Adbhut Mandir is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

The temple has a beautiful and jaw-dropping architecture.

It is located in Haripur Kalan in Haridwar. Spread across 3 acres of land area, the temple’s construction started in  2000 and took a total of 16 years. The temple has a beautiful and jaw-dropping architecture. You can see hills, river Ganga, and a beautiful landscape behind it. This place assures you peace, serenity and tranquillity. The natural beauty, the sky, the water all providing peace and calmness. The place is the epitome of beautiful architecture. The rosette petals shaped structures adorning it, the temple is stunning.

9. Prem Nagar Ashram

Shri Prem Nagar Ashram is the premier Ashram established by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and further developed by Jagat Janani Shri Mata Ji and Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj.

It is located between the  Ganga and the foothills of the Himalayas, it is an ideal and tranquil setting for spiritual practice. Prem Nagar Ashram is surrounded by wonderful gardens which enhances its beauty. The twin peaks of Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi, are visible from the Ashram.

The sounds of nearby temple bells and devotional songs mixed with sweet songs of the birds make this place a heaven on Earth. Loaded with more than 250 varieties of flowers and a number of trees, the gardens are a great place to practice meditation and contemplation.

10. Crystal World

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If you are looking for a break from temple visits while you are in Haridwar, Crystal World is the best option for you and your family. 

Crystal World has attractions for people belonging to all age groups. One can refresh themselves in the cool artificial pools and water swings at the Crystal World and enjoy sporty and recreational activities such as rain dance, water swings, joyful rides etc.

The park features a wide range of rides and slides, giving you a dose of thrill and fun. The park spans over a large area, so there is a lot of space for leisure and adventure.

The park is also a great place to organize all kinds of events at.

Happy Travelling! 😊

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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