Haridwar, one of the holiest cities in India, is on the banks of the River Ganga in the state of Uttarakhand. The name of the city is made of two terms, 'Hari,' meaning God, and 'Dwar,' meaning Gate, and when the two terms are put together, it means 'Gateway to God.'

An ancient city, Hardiwar is home to numerous temples, ghats, ashrams and places of worship, and it is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Devotees across the country come to Haridwar to visit the Panch Tirths, i.e., the five pilgrimage places. 

Apart from the temples, the city is also famous globally for hosting the world's biggest religious festival – the Maha Kumbh Mela. It is held once every 12 years. During the festival, the city witnesses an exponential rise in the number of devotees who come to seek the blessing of God and take a dip in the holy River Ganga, which is believed to wash away all their sins. 

While Haridwar tourism is all about visiting temples and ashrams, there are a few other interesting places that are worth exploring. In this blog, we list down the best tourist places in Haridwar that you must definitely visit. So, without any further ado, let’s get started. 

 

  • Har Ki Pauri
  • Chandi Devi Temple
  • Mansa Devi Temple
  • Kankhal
  • Sapt Rishi Ashram
  • Pawan Dham
  • Bara Bazar 
  • Shantikunj

 

  • Har Ki Pauri

A holy ghat, Har Ki Pauri is one of the holiest places in Haridwar. It is also one of the most important pilgrimage places in India. Har Ki Pauri means the footsteps of Lord Shiva, and it is located on the banks of River Ganga. According to Hindu legends, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva visited this place. There is a huge footprint on the wall.

It is also commonly referred to as Gangadwar by the locals. It is where the Holy Ganges enters the plains from the mountains. It is believed that this is exactly the place where the mythological bird, Garuda, dropped the Amrit (elixir). People believe taking a dip here in the Ganges will wash away all their sins. 

While the place attracts a large number of pilgrims and devotees across the country, and you can feel an undeniable spiritual and holy vibe around, the place looks incredibly beautiful in the evening. Aarti is held at the river bank. The priests chant hymns and light lamps, which is a sight to see and experience at least once in your life. 

  • Chandi Devi Temple

This temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, a form of Goddess Durga. Thousands of devotees come here to offer their prayers and bow to the goddess daily. It is believed that people who pray here get their wishes fulfilled. The temple is located on top of the Shivalik Hills, which, as per Hindu mythology, is the place where Goddess Durga killed the demons Chand and Mund. 

Apart from its mythological and religious significance, the temple also has a rich history. The temple is believed to have been constructed by King Suchan Singh from Kashmir, and the idol was established in the 8th century by the great sage Adi Shankaracharya. 

To reach the temple, you can either trek your way up or take a ropeway. As you ascend to the top of the hill in the cable car, you get a stunning birds-eye view of the entire city. 

  • Mansa Devi Temple

Another popular attraction is the Mansa Devi Temple, which is perched on top of Bilwa Parvat in Shivalik Hills. Due to its location on the Bilwa Parvat, the locals also call it Bilwa Tirth. The temple is devoted to Goddess Mansa and is said to have been created from Lord Shiv's Mind. 

It is among the most revered temples in north India, as devotees believe that Goddess Mansa grants all their wishes. There are only two ways to reach the temple. One, you can trek through the hill, and second, you can take the easier option and ride the ropeway. It is a wonderful experience in itself. 

Kankhal

Talking about the best places to visit in Haridwar, Kankhal definitely deserves its place in the top 10 list. One of the five important tirths or holy sites in Haridwar, Kankhal is a small colony that houses Dakha Mahadev Temple and Maa Anandamayi Ashram. 

Many devotees come here to bow their heads to the great Lord, especially during the holy month of Sawan. The Ashram is a spiritual centre and is built in honour of Maa Anandamayi, a Bengali mystic leader. 

Apart from the temple and the Ashram, Kankhal is also famous for being home to the famed Patanjali Yog Peeth, which is one of the largest yoga centres in the world. Also, the colony houses Pardeshwar Mahadev Temple, where the Shivling is made of 151 kg of mercury. 

Sapt Rishi Ashram

Located on the banks of River Ganga, Sapt Rishi Ashram is a unique and interesting place to visit in Haridwar. The history behind how the place got its name is as fascinating as the place itself. As per Hindu mythology, the Sapt Rishi Ashram is the exact spot where the seven great sages, namely Bharadwaja, Gautam, Atri, Vashishta, Jamadagi, Kashyapa and Vishwamitra, came to meditate. And while they were meditating, they were constantly disturbed by the sound created by the flowing River. Thus, at this spot, the holy Ganges split into seven streams to minimise the sound of the gushing water. 

One of the best places to visit in Haridwar, Sapt Rishi Ashram is a haven for peace seekers and spiritual travellers. Apart from a large number of Hindu devotees, this place is popular among travellers looking for a peaceful site to meditate and do yoga. The tranquil environment and peaceful ambience of the place are the perfect spot to meditate and connect with your inner self. 

Pawan Dham

The ancient Pawan Dham temple is now also a non-profit organisation that is run and managed by the Geeta Bhawan Trust Society. The temple is known for its exquisite and grand architecture. 

The main God of the temple is Lord Krishna, and the unique thing about his idol is that he is seen preaching to Arjun, one of the Pandava brothers. 

Pawan Dham is also commonly referred to as the Glass Temple because of the intricate mirrorwork found inside. A large number of Hindu devotees visit the temple. It is also a popular attraction in Haridwar among foreign tourists. 

Bara Bazar 

Hardiwar is a small town, and it does not boast any swanky and expansive malls, but that does not mean you cannot indulge in some shopping. The Bara Bazar is a vibrant shopping area, and there are innumerable shops and stalls here that sell everything from religious paraphernalia to ayurvedic medicines, handicrafts, wooden items, etc. 

Amongst all other things, Rudraksha and Peda are two of the most popular things bought by visitors. Apart from shopping, the Bara Bazar is a great place for you to visit the local restaurants and try some delicious local food like kachori-sabji, samosa and chole bhature. 

Shantikunj

Shantikung was established in 1971. The centre is known for propagating the values of national integration, helping people learn about Indian ethical and cultural values, and also helping them in their moral and spiritual upliftment journey. 

This spiritual centre is visited by many eminent personalities worldwide, including His Holiness Dalai Lama. You can stay here for 2 days free. You can participate in activities like aartis, yoga, meditation and bhajans. 

Apart from the 8 places we have mentioned here that are must-visits, you can also explore other places in the city, including Ganga Temple, Vishnu Ghat, and Birla Ghat. If you are looking for some leisure and fun activities, you can visit the Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary, Crystal World, Swami Vivekananda Park, etc. 

You can also indulge in some exciting and adventurous activities like bungee jumping, riverside camping, and white water rafting in Rishikesh, an international tourist hotspot located about an hour's drive from Haridwar. 

  • places to visit
  • haridwar

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