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July 29, 2011
Location of Haridwar
Auspiciously located at a point where the Ganga emerges from the Himalayas, Haridwar (also known as Hardwar) is Uttrakhand's holiest Hindu city. Pilgrims flock here to bathe in the Ganges, which is believed to wash away sins. Dotted around the city are temples, ashrams and dharamshalas where one can find decent accommodation. The best time to visit Haridwar is from September to June as it can get uncomfortably hot during the rest of the year.
The reason why Haridwar is regarded as one among the seven holiest cities in India is because Haridwar, along with Ujjain, Nasik and Allahabad is one of the four sites where drops of Amrit (the elixir of immortality) accidentally spilled from a pitcher being carried by the celestial bird Garuda. This is the reason why the Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years in one of these 4 cities and every 12 years in Haridwar. During the Kumb Mela millions of pilgrims, devotees and tourists visit Haridwar to take part in the ritual bathing in the River Ganga which is believed to wash away sins helping them attain Moksha.
In the month of Shravan, which began on July 16th this year, thousands of pilgrims (called kanwarias), flock to Haridwar to fill pails with water from the Ganges and take them back to their home towns where they offer it to Lord Shiva. The devotees take a dip in the Ganges before they fill their pots and begin their long journey home. The kanwarias travel all the way back to their home town on foot and are forbidden to keep their pails of Ganga water on the ground.
Tourist Attractions in Haridwar
Being one of Hinduism's holiest cities there is a lot one can explore in Haridwar, namely:
Har ki Pauri Chandi Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple Nel Dhara Pakshi Vihar
Pawan Dham    
Hotels and Accommodation in Haridwar
Owing to its popularity with pilgrims, devotees and tourists alike there are many places in Haridwar where one can find comfortable and affordable accommodation.
How to get to Haridwar
Here are some ways to get to Haridwar:
Railways: The Haridwar Railway Station or the Haridwar Junction is the only railway station in the city of Haridwar and is connected to cities like Delhi and Dehradun.
Road: Haridwar is very well connected by a strong network of roadways. There are bus services from Delhi, Agra, Nainital and Ranikhet to name a few.
Air: The nearest domestic airport to Haridwar is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and the nearest international airport is the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi and is served by airlines like Jet Airways, Air India and Kingfisher Airlines among others.
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