/ Haridwar Travel Guide / 12 Most Popular Places to visit in Haridwar
12 Most Popular Places to visit in Haridwar
A sacred and pious territory, Haridwar is the most sought after destination for performing devotional and ceremonial deeds. Located in the serene and mesmerizing surroundings right at the foothills of Himalayas, Haridwar is a must visit destination for one and all. With lush green surroundings and an aura of positivity all around, one can explore a wide range of places while he or she is on a travelling expedition to Haridwar. From sacred Har Ki Pauri to Mansa Devi Temple, from Rajaji National Park to Shanti Kunj, one can readily explore several places worth making a visit in one’s lifetime. Explore some of the 12 most popular places to visit in Haridwar by reading ahead about each one of them.
1. Har ki Pauri
Well-known King Vikramaditya ordered the construction of the sacred Ghats “Har Ki Pauri” around the holy River Ganga in the memory of his brother Brithari. Brithari chose this sacrosanct place to meditate and devoted his life in the name of God. The gurgling sound of flowing river is fused with chanting of mantra and bells from temples and Ashrams located on the banks of River Ganga at Har-ki-Pauri. The name signifies ‘Steps of God Hara i.e. Lord Shiva’. One can see Pilgrims and devotees floating diyas after the evening prayers i.e. Aarti of Goddess Ganga or bidding final adieu to their beloved ones by mingling their ashes in the holy River. The spiritual aura in the dawn and lightening view of Ganges in the dusk here, just takes the breath away for few mili-seconds.
2. Chandi Devi Temple
The holy shrine of “Chandi Devi Temple” holds great mythological and devotional value. Pilgrims and Devotee visit the temple to pay homage to Goddess Chandi Devi and to know the ancient history behind its establishment. It is believed to be as one of the renowned ‘Shaktipeethas’ in Northern India and has held the faith of these pilgrims. It is located on the top of Neelparvat and was constructed in 1929 by King Suchat Singh of Kashmir. Its historic location explains the whole incidence behind its making i.e. when Goddess Parvati created herself into Chandika Devi and killed the devils Chanda-Munda and Shumbh-Nishumbh in order to relieve world from their cruelty. Visitors greatly enjoy visiting this holy shrine by either taking a 3 Kms trekking of about 45 minutes or choosing to go via ropeway service to relish scenic views from ‘Udankhatolas.
3. Mansa Devi Temple
Temple of Goddess Mansa Devi is situated on the hilltop of Bilwa hills. It is another well-known pilgrim spot and attracts tourists. The Ropeway service adds charisma to the temple by offering picturesque views of river and the city from quite a height. Mansa Devi is known as Goddess of Power and Desires. The glorious story of Goddess holds religious significance amongst pilgrims and it is believed that if the prayers come from true heart, then the wishes are fulfilled by the Goddess. People can reach to Mansadevi from Haridwar via taxis, Buses or Auto-Rickshaws and then they can either choose to take cable car (Ropeway Service) or trek up to the hill top. One can relish views as well as fresh fruits and flowers on their way upto the temple.
4. Daksha Mahadev Temple
Popularly known as Daksheswara Mahadev Temple, narrates true story of Lord Shiva and his first wife Goddess Sati. The Temple is located in the South Kankhal Town. The serenity of surroundings and Himalayan ranges endorse the holy city of Haridwar. The town is about 4 Kms away from the city and its legendary story compels the tourists to visualize its realistic notion in their minds. Its name rightfully points on King Daksha Prajapati, father of Lord Shiva’s first wife i.e. Sati and Lord Mahadev himself. The ancient times depict that when King Daksha performed a ritual known as ‘Yagya’ and invited all the Lords, Gods or saints except Lord Shiva and Sati. As she knew about the incident, she felt insulted by her father’s behavior and set herself on fire. This made Lord Shiva furious and he killed the King but later on reincarnated him. After paying their tributes, visitors also visit another known temple i.e. Birbhadreshwara Temple in this town.
5. Bhimgoda Tank
Bhimgoda Tank is one of the most interesting and unusual places in the city of Haridwar. The place is located just 1 kms. away from Har Ki Pauri. This holy tank presents a calm picture to the visitors, with steps all around the tank and compels them to sit down and relax for a while. The tank was christened after the renowned name, Bheema, from the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. As the name portrays and legendary incident depicts, Bheema (one of the five Pandava Brothers) hit his knee (i.e goda) against the rocky ground to get water in order to fulfill their thirst, while their way to Himalayas. Also, the enchanting dam along with soothing canals and fountains beside this tank feast the tourists’ eyes through its scintillating architectural work.
6. Sapt Rishi Ashram
The scenic views around Saptrishi Ashram have enticed many Travelers and the site is popularly known as ‘Sapt Sarovar’. This holy place, also, has a glorifying history behind its conception. It is about 5 kms. away from Har-ki-Pauri and is frequently crowded by devotees or tourists. Here ‘Sapt’ signifies Seven and ‘Rishi’ mean sages. It is believed that at this place the seven sages’ i.e Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bhardawaja and Gautam meditated together at this place. Furthermore, in order to grant a peaceful and non-disturbing ambience for meditation, River Ganga split herself into 7 streams. Today, one can see, Sages and Rishis meditating inside the Ashrams. If one is seeking for spiritual peace, try this Ashram without fail.
7. Parad Shivling
Parad Shivling is one of the classic attractions in Haridwar. It is sheltered in the Harihar Ashram at Kankhal and is quite a tourist spot. It is also known as ‘Mercury Shivling’ and is about 6 Kms. from the Haridwar city. Shivling is the sacred symbol of Lord Shiva and here this Shivling weighs about 150 Kg. Devotees from all around India and abroad visit this holy shrine to pay tribute to their Lord. The place is also famous for Rudraksha Trees. The seed of Rudraksha holds great significance in India, both mythological as well as medicinally. It is believed that the seed emanates healing energy as it touches the heart of a living being. Also, Rudraksha has been worn by the Lord himself and is a symbol of growth as well as prosperity.
8. Doodhadhari Barfani Temple
The spectacular temple, Doodhadhari Barfani Temple radiates purity and white beautification through its exquisite architecture and marble construction. Doodhadhari Barfani Temple is enshrined in the Ashram of Doodhadhari Barfani Baba and is considered as a centre of spiritual importance. Tourists visit this place and cannot resist themselves from admiring the white beauty of this temple. The shrine has beautifully carved idols of Hindu Deities and amongst all; Ram Sita Mandir and Hanuman Mandir are phenomenal. So, while visiting Haridwar, do not miss the chance to feast the eyes and soul by visiting Doodhadhari Barfani Temple.
9. Pawan Dham
Pawan Dham has enchanted tourists by its modern architectural beauty. Its glass construction has left the visitors awestruck and was built by Shri Swami Vedantanand Ji Maharaj. It is just 3 Kms away from Har ki Pauri and is one of the most attractive tourist destinations. The glasswork of temple walls is artistically designed and the idols mesmerize the imagination of visitor. Just envisage the mind-boggling reflection of idols in glass from all the sides and corners. Tourists stand in long queues to get a glimpse of this wonderful artistic fascination and feel incredulous by its gratifying beauty.
10. Bharat Mata Mandir
An enormous 8 storeys shrine invigorates patriotism in the citizens of India and is known as ‘Bharat Mata (Mother India) Mandir’. It is one of the most intriguing tourist attractions in the city of Haridwar. It depicts the magnificent history of India on each storey, starting from the era of Ramayana till the day of Independence. Its inception is as old as 1983 and was inaugurated by Late Indira Gandhi. Here, each storey showcases different theme starting from the statue of Bharat Mata, famous Indian heroes, Indian venerated women, great Indian saints, Indian culture and religions, Indian Goddess, Lord Vishnu’s Incarnations and lastly, Lord Shiva’s shrine. One can enjoy the scenic views of beautiful Himalayan ranges and whole city from its eighth floor. Visit to Bharat Mata Mandir is definitely worth investing time.
11. Rajaji National Park
Tourists from all over the world book jungle safaris in advance to enjoy the wilderness of Rajaji National Park. The area of the park is colossal and dense. The lush Chid and Pine trees add beauty to its landscape. One can enjoy the spread of deciduous and Sal Forests on the expanse of Rajaji National Park. Also one can hear and see about 315 species of birds here. The Park has sheltered a good number of animal species including Tiger, Leopard, Bear, Chital, Boar, elephants, antelopes, Nilgai etc. Travelers can feel the rise of adrenaline rush on their safari tour. Pack the bags to relish the most enriching experience of life by visiting Rajaji National Park.
12. Shanti Kunj
Ayurveda is in the veins of Haridwar and one can find many researchers and Ayurvedic centres in Uttarakhand. One of the eminent yet ancient places in this holy city is Shanti Kunj. Shanti Kunj is known as Spiritual and Ayurvedic research centre. It has several branches and centres all over the country. Tourists, Researchers and Pilgrims from all over the world visit this pious place to learn, practice and research the ‘Art of Living’ and Ayurveda. Its nursery contains more than 200 species of rare medicinal plants or herbs whereas it’s Laboratory as known as ‘Brahamvarchas’ act as relief centre to the patients. Its social and health services are well appreciated by international societies and Government.