There are a number of must-visit places in Haridwar, most of which are invariably related to the Hindu religious pantheon. Also known as Gangadwar, Mokshadwar, Kapilsthan, Tapovan and Mayapuri, it is here that the Ganges River leaves the Himalayan mountain range and enters the plains. Haridwar is also the sacred land where Lord Vishnu was first manifested in this world, thereby making this land the most auspicious of all lands for the Hindus. The places of tourist interest and pilgrimages are all related to this important mythological link.
Haridwar is home to a unique temple dedicated to Mother India. It is the abode of several ashrams that are constantly trying to uphold spirituality in modern life. There are several other temples in Haridwar that are replete in mythological importance. The last but not the least, one should never miss the aarti or chanting in Har Ki Pauri in the evening if one wants to truly know what Haridwar can offer.
Tourist Places to See in Haridwar
Chandi Devi Temple
The Chandi Devi Temple is prime among the must-visit places in Haridwar. Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity, is believed to fulfill all the wishes of 'true devotees' and this draws thousands of people to the sacred temple everyday. This temple in Haridwar is believed to have been enshrined first by Adi Shankaracharya around the 8th century. Situated on the top of a hill, the temple can be accessed by cable car in five minutes or one may also opt to walk up the steep hill slope in around 45 minutes. Read More.....
The immediate image that comes to the mind of a tourist wishing to visit Haridwar is that of the Har Ki Pauri. Haridwar has become synonymous with this ghat situated on the banks of the River Ganges. The Ganges enters the plain lands from Haridwar onwards and Har Ki Pauri Ghat is considered to be one of the most auspicious Ghats to take a holy dip in the sacred waters. King Vikramaditya is said to have built the Brahamakund in 1st century B.C. to commemorate his brother. Read More.....
Bharat Mata Temple
The Bharat Mata Temple was founded by Swami Satyamitranand Giri, the great renouncer, and was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, in 1983. The temple is unique as it is dedicated to Mother India or Bharat Mata, as the name suggests. Read More.....
Jairam Ashram is another must-visit place in Haridwar. It is visited by a large number of tourists every year. There are excellent accommodation facilities at Jairam Ashram, helping in drawing more number of people to the place. Read More.....
Maya Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple is an ancient religious establishment in Haridwar which is counted as one of the 51 shakti peeths present in India. The temple of Maya Devi is enshrined with the deity of Adhisthatri. The history of religion in Haridwar speaks of a rather interesting past of the Maya Devi temple. Read More.....
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple is placed on the peak of a hill called Bilwa Parwat in Haridwar. The prime attractions of Mansa Devi Temple or Mansa Mata Mandir are its two awe-inspiring sculptures. While one of the goddesses of Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar has eight arms, the other one stands in the shrine with five arms and three mouths. These unique traits of the two presiding deities makes Mansa Devi Temple one of the outstanding religious draws of Haridwar. Read More.....
Kushavarta Ghat is associated with the great saint of ancient times, Dattatreya. The local beliefs related to the significance of the Kushavarta Ghat in Haridwar speak of the saint who spent a considerable period of time in the place. Known to be constructed by Ahalyabai Holkar, a Maratha queen, Kushavarta Ghat is used for performing shraddha rites. Read More.....
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar
Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is a famous bird watching point about 3.5 km away from Haridwar. Located at the Bhimgoda Barrage of Haridwar, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is popular for Siberian Cranes' spotting in winters at Laljiwala. A natural habitat of various species of migratory birds, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar is an ideal place to view one of nature's beautiful creations. Read More.....
Pavan Dham is renowned for its unique temple architecture, intricately adorned idols and extraordinarily well-crafted mirror and glasswork. The temple was built by Swami Vedantanandji Maharaj in 1970.
Named after the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, it is one of the most sacred and frequented Ghats in Haridwar. It is held that Lord Vishnu took bath at this spot.
Doodhadhari Barfani Temple
Located at the ashram of 'Doodhadhari Barfani Baba', Doodhadhari Barfani Temple is one of the most elegant temples in Haridwar made of marble. There are temples of the Hindu idols Ram, Sita and Hanuman.
Anandamayi Maa Ashram
This ashram is located in Kankhal and it houses the samadhi shrine of Sri Anandamayi Maa (1896–1982), a noted saint in India.
Chilla Wildlife Reserve
Popularly known as the Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary, this wildlife reserve spans 249 sq km and is located about 18 kms from Haridwar. It is home to animal species such as tigers, elephants, bears and small cats as well as a rich variety of flora making this wildlife sanctuary quite scenic.
The Bara Bazar is a popular shopping hub on the Railway Road. As Haridwar is a religious town, one can find items related to Hindu worship. One may also get handicraft articles here to be taken back home as souvenirs. Rudraksha seeds, digestive supplements, Ayurvedic medicines and varieties of sweets made from milk are popular buys here.
Tourist Destinations Near Haridwar
The holy town of Rishikesh is situated amidst the beautiful Himalayas with the mystic Ganges flowing by. Rishikesh has several ancient Hindu temples and sacred shrines. The place is associated with Ramayana and is famous worldwide as a centre for research and learning in yoga and meditation.
Dehradun (52 km)
It is the capital city of Uttarakhand and a major tourist destination. The place has a picturesque splendour and beautiful surroundings. There are lots of monasteries and temples in Dehradun which captivate tourists visiting Dehradun.
Mussoorie (81 km)
Mussoorie, the Queen of Hill Stations, is situated at an elevation of about 2,000m. It is a paradise with breathtaking views and pleasant weather. The town is always buzzing with activities which make it a perfect destination for tourists.