Ask any Indian about the best holy places in the country, and Haridwar will be mentioned without doubt. Located in Uttarakhand, Haridwar is the place where the Ganges enters the Indo-Gangetic plains in North India after descending from Gaumukh in the Gangotri Glacier. Haridwar has great historical and mythological significance in Hinduism.
Best time to visit
The location of Haridwar makes the climatic conditions favorable almost throughout the year. The Shivalik Hills in the northeast and north, and the Ganges flowing in the south of Haridwar provide the city a cool and pleasant weather. Temperatures in summers rise up to 45 degrees, making it quite hot. In winters, temperatures drop down considerably. During monsoons, Haridwar faces heavy rainfall. If you are making a plan of visiting Haridwar, the best time to do so is from September to April. Carrying heavy woolens is recommended for the winter months.
Local transportation in Haridwar is quite convenient and easily available. Cycles and auto rickshaws are the most commonly used vehicles for local transport. There are also local buses connecting the various places within the city. Residents of the area use these modes of transportation for traveling in the city. Apart from these, private cars and taxis are also available. These are mainly availed by travelers and tourists visiting Haridwar. Though you can travel comfortably in a private car or taxi, the charges for the same are quite high when compared with those of buses, auto rickshaws or general cycle rickshaws.
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Haridwar. There are different kinds of lip-smacking delicacies available in the city. However, almost all of them are vegetarian in nature. Since Haridwar is one of the leading pilgrimage destinations in India, strictly vegetarian dishes are cooked here. Puris with potato curry, kachoris, chapattis with vegetables, etc., are some of the popular foods in Haridwar. The vegetable dishes are done with spices and are extremely tasty. Sweets of Haridwar are also very popular.
It is quite obvious that when you visit Haridwar you must know of the popular things that the place offers to travelers and tourists. And Haridwar will not disappoint you in any manner. Since it is a religious place, you will get different kinds of memorabilia like beads, Rudraksha, prayer items, etc. Apart from these, you can look out for various kinds of glass bangles and other imitation jewelry items. Some of them are quite trendy and help in making a style statement.
Brass and copper utensils are also available in plenty in Haridwar in different sizes and shapes. These can be used for pujas as well as for general purposes. Baskets made of cane are also very popular. If you are fond of pickles and Ayurvedic medicines, there is no better place to shop for them than Haridwar. Last but not the least, in the winters you can buy some really good woolen garments from the place.
Cost to Travel
Traveling within Haridwar is quite affordable. The cost of traveling will depend on the distance that is being covered. If you are traveling by cycle rickshaws for a short distance, you will be charged Rs. 10 for the same. However, traveling for a longer distance, say, from the station to Harki Pauri, via cycle rickshaw will cost you around Rs. 25.
People hiring an auto rickshaw for about three hours for visiting the local ashrams and temples will have to pay around Rs. 200. If the same tour is done in a taxi, the charges will be Rs. 400.
How many days are enough to travel?
Usually people visiting Haridwar try and visit Hrishikesh at the same time. However, if you are planning to visit only Haridwar, then two days are more than enough for the same. In fact, some people cover Hrishikesh and Haridwar in the same day. But if you make a plan for one night and two days, you can explore all the places in the city well.
Visit the different temples in Haridwar and offer prayers. In the evening, watch the grand 'sandhya-arati' on the banks of the Ganges – an experience that you will remember for lifetime. There are also many ashrams in the place that are worth visiting.
Tourism Department Contacts
Assistant Tourism Officer
District Tourism Development Office, Pithoragarh
Ph: 05964-225527, Mob: 9412998515
Mr. Sushil Nautiyal
District Adventure Sports Officer
District Tourism Development Office, Haridwar
Ph: (Tel, Fax) 01334-265304/265304, Mob: 9412076849
Emergency Contact Numbers
Some of the important emergency numbers for Haridwar are as follows.
Police Stations Enquiry in Haridwar: 100
Blood Banks and Hospitals in Haridwar:
- City Hospital - 01334-220180-82
- Ram Krishna Mission Hospital -01334-244176, 246141
- Civil Hospital - 01334-226060
- Bhooma Niketan Charitable Eye Hospital - 01334-260173, 260722
- District women Hospital - 01334-227490
- Dr.Leela Gupta Nursing Home Jawalapur - 01334-250268
- B.H.E.L. Hospital - 01334-285247, 285225
Places to Visit in Haridwar
- Chandi Devi Temple
- Shanti Kunj
- Bharat Mata Temple
- Jairam Ashram
- Maya Devi Temple
- Mansa Devi Temple
- Kushavarta Ghat
- Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar