Popular as a Hindu pilgrimage Haridwar is one of the most visited places by the spiritual people. A trip here during your Uttarakhand holiday should be a part of your itinerary. This ancient city is also the headquarter of Haridwar district and a major tourist place in Uttarakhand.
The very much loved focuses of journey of Haridwar are to be specific the Gangadwara, Neel Parvat, Kushwart, Bilwa Teerth and Kankhal.
A portion of the acknowledged sanctuaries of the region are Gauri Shankar Temple, Vaishno Devi sanctuary and Bharat Mata sanctuary. There are a few profound places in Haridwar which gives help and mental harmony to the guests.
Key Points :
Must visit place:- Har ki Pauri ghat is a must visit place while you are in Uttarakhand.
The Brhmakhund, which is visited by hordes of devotes is known to have best amazing arts and is a surreal experience.
Things to do:- Take a dip in the holy Ganga and also enjoy a serene boat ride there. Eat the delicious local food to get a real feel of the place.
Best time to visit:- Though summers are hot, it gets pleasant here once the sun sets. The best time is between the cooler months of August to October.
Haridwar: the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttarkhand (UK as they call it) – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamnotri. It is also one of the four venues for the Kumbh Mela, held in its magnitude every twelve years – the other three being Nasik, Ujjain & Allahabad.
After some chai, nashta and chill, we head towards the Holy Ganges, which was a just a 10 mins walk through the fascinating colourful and narrow lanes.
It was like a collage of various shops – clothes, food, utensils, mithai, milk.
It felt like we were in a game of dodgeball, where we had to move between the cycle rickshaws, bikes, humans, shopkeepers.
Even cars at times and a huge number of banners stating ‘asli / original/ real’ for either rudraksha or mithai. Yet it was fascinating and interesting indeed.
I wanted to dip in the Ganges for sure, but on reaching the main spot – Brahma Kund – and on seeing people washing clothes, bathing, offering flowers, milk, coconut, dispersing ashes mixed with bones… made me change my mind!
So we just dipped our feet and did a simple pooja with offerings with a bit of disappointment and a feeling of mission unaccomplished.
We spotted a fascinating Statue of Lord Shiva across the river about half a Km away, close to the ‘VIP Ghat’- the clean part of the Ganges and has restricted entry only for foreigners, NRI’s and people with permission.
Though we didn’t qualify on any of these counts,we decided to give it a shot… planned it all out- we’re NRI’s from London and it was now we had to put on our fake accents, sugary sweet smiles and add thoda phirangi touch.
We managed to convince the gatekeeper that we are a part of some NRI clan and we missed the visit in the morning and he agreed for a quick 10 mins. (Finally our charms worked) Gloating with our success, we stride through the well made, clean VIP Ghat, which appeared quite different from the other parts of Ganga.
Since the Ganga flows from this section before the Brahma Kund, the water was clean, green and tempting to dip into and I did…. Five time, just trying to be sure.
It was really peaceful to sit there for a while in silence, with no chanting, no noise, no offerings, no frills of any sort at this part of Ganga. Evening, we walked through the dramatic lanes again to reach well before time for the famous Ganga Aarti which commences when the sun sets every single day.
We managed to get ourselves a place right across the river, where we got the perfect view of the Ganga Aarti which has 21 Pooja Aarti’s rotating simultaneously.
It was a visual treat indeed… as the sky turned from orange to grey to black… the flames of the 21 aartis… the hymns being chanted… the synchronized ringing of the bells… the view of almost 50,000 people seated along both the sides of the Ganges…. the golden reflection of floral diyas in the river… all together formed a mesmerizing and enchanting sight.