10 Must-Visit Places In Haridwar (2023)
Tourists are often heard talking about the “gateway to Gods”! Welcome to Haridwar, the ancient and pious town situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga in the Uttarakhand state. This Hindu pilgrimage city of Haridwar is also said to lead the way to four pilgrimages of India or the “Char Dham” yatra to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
Legend says that a few drops of this elixir of immortality or “Amrit” fell here in Haridwar at the foothills of the mountains. The lush greenery, the scenic beauty, and the gushing waters are a splendorous sight that enthralls the onlooker.
10 Must-Visit Places In Haridwar
So why not choose the ten best places to visit in Haridwar?
1. Har Ki Pauri:
With hundreds of ghats and temples spread out in Haridwar, the tourist can see the spiritual aura of the pilgrims bathing in the holy waters for salvation. One of the most prominent sacred ghats to visit in Haridwar is the Har Ki Pauri, it has bathing steps leading into the Ganges.
“Hari” means Lord, and Pauri means steps, thus the name Gateway to God! People collect here in lakhs for their holy dip and evening aarti at 7. PM. The nightly Ganga Aarti, or the river worshipping ceremonial prayer, is one of the biggest attractions for travelers heading to Haridwar.
Ganga river gets illuminated with small floating lamps or diyas pushed into the water from the steps. The lamps look like a wave of tiny flickering lights and are a scene to behold during the annual Kanwar Mela and other major festivals. Ganga is a Goddess and is worshipped by millions at the aarti organized by Ganga Sabha. It is the sunrise and sunset that decides the aarti timings. Hundreds and thousands stand peacefully with folded hands at the side of the river banks and offer flowers to the sacred river.
2. Shantikunj Ashram
Shantikunj is a one-of-a-kind hub and epicenter of the global Yug NirmanYojana movement for moral-spiritual restoration in the light of ancient Indian heritage. Visitors of different religions and affiliations visit this hallowed location in Haridwar all year for peace and spiritual upliftment.
Shantikunj offers multiple training programs for restoring moral, cultural, and ethical values. It focuses on unifying diverse faiths and sects into a typical thinking process, guiding young people and their energy in the right direction.
Shantikunj is a hub for many Gayatri Pariwar initiatives, such as cultural and social reformation, psychological and behavioral engineering, disaster management, etc. It also focuses on encouraging people in rural India to become self-reliant, reviving traditional Vedic culture, innovative ayurvedic research, ascension, and women’s empowerment. Moreover, Shantikunj has a colossal set-up of several “Centers of knowledge and Divine power” and self-study groups that manage discussions and spiritual discourses for the benefit of the people.
3. Pawan Dham:
Pawan Dham is around 500 meters on the road toward Rishikesh. The Temple is renowned for its spectacular glass and mirrorwork, as well as its beautifully dressed statues. Pawan Dham Temple is located in Uttarakhand, about two kilometers from Haridwar, along the Rishikesh route. The Temple’s ornately decorated idols are breathtakingly beautiful and worth seeing.
Pawan Dham Temple is one of Haridwar’s most famous Hindu temples. The Temple’s design and layout are remarkably exceptional. The mirrors and colored glass tiles glitter beautifully and give the appearance of a mosaic used to adorn the insides. Lord Krishna, in A Vishvarupa avatar or global form of the Lord, is one of the presiding deities.
4. Jai Mansa Devi
Jai Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar is famous because it is the sacred abode of Goddess Mansa Devi and a manifestation of Shakti, who is supposed to have sprung into life from Lord Shiva’s thoughts.
Mansa is said to be the sister of the serpent, Naga Vasuki. Legend says that Mansa was the daughter of Lord Shiva’s human incarnate.
You can reach Mansa Devi Temple in Bilwa Parvat through the Udankhatola Ropeway or a 3 km challenging climb from Haridwar. Many people trek upto the holy shrine as it is one of the pious 51 Shaktipeeths and is considered a sacred destination that you can’t miss on a Haridwar visit. Most temples are packed. Therefore with the special ticket, you get priority on the cable car.
There is a unique spiritual ambiance at this Temple in Haridwar. You can reach here with a ropeway because the Temple is high. Else you may have to trudge up 750 stairs to pay your respects to the deity. Furthermore, the holy shrine is about 3 kms from the station and 37 kms from the airport!
5. Chandi Devi temple:
This lovely Temple in Haridwar is dedicated to Goddess Durga reincarnate, Chandi Devi Goddess, stands proudly on the top of Neel Parvat in the Shivalik Hills near Haridwar.
This holy shrine, also called Neel Parvat Teerth or Siddha Peetha, is a trekker’s joy and has plenty of people trudging uphill to reach it. Goddess Chandi is the Temple’s presiding deity, and it is said to be a Siddh Peeth where wishes are granted.
If you want to have a bird’s eye perspective of the holy city of Haridwar, climb aboard one of the numerous cable cars started for the benefit of the pilgrims. The vista and scenic beauty of the valley below are spectacular, and you can enjoy the glory as the automobile ascends toward the Temple. The temple building itself exemplifies simplicity and plain bearings. The Chandi Devi temple attracts millions of pilgrims yearly with its simple exterior and flag.
The temple site is filled with devotees who pray here to gratify their desires. The location of the Chandi Devi temple makes it a popular destination for trekking visitors. Try the ropeway to reach the Temple’s pinnacle and gaze at its glorious sights. Chandi Temple is the ideal mildly steep trekking path, spreading over three kilometers and starting from Chandighat.
The beautiful foliage and thick green vegetation will undoubtedly make you experience the presence of the Almighty. This shrine receives many visitors annually because of its ancient history. It is one of the oldest and most renowned temples in Haridwar. The Navratras, Chandi, Chaudas, and Kumbh Mela are celebrated with great pomp and show and are considered festive and joyful. These holy days see enormous participation, and the Chandi temple is a must-see during the festival season.
6. Daksh Mahadev Temple:
This ancient Daksh Mahadev temple was built in memory of Daksha Mahadev and is located in South Kankhal. Legend says that King Daksh Prajapati, Lord Shiva’s father-in-law and father of Sati, Shiva’s first wife, conducted a yagna and refused to call Mahadev for the ceremony.
As a result, furiously humiliated, Sati burned herself in the pyre and died, leaving Lord Shiv heartbroken. Shiva turned into the angry Veerbhadra, who mourned his wife and punished Daksh for his actions. Also, Lord Shiva’s ganas (followers) assassinated King Daksha. The town Kankhal is referred to as Kanakhal in the holy Mahabharata, and the area is said to be the worship ground or tapas-sthali of the renowned sage Sanath Kumar.
7. Rajaji National Park:
Rajaji National park in the Shivaliks is a famous tiger sanctuary and national park located at the foothills of the Himalayas, with the Ganga and Song rivers flowing through it. It is one of the best places to visit in Haridwar. Situated near Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun, the park is known for its 600 or more elephant population, scenic beauty, and rich bio-diversity.
In 1983, three famous wildlife sanctuaries in Chilla, Motichur, and Rajaji were consolidated and united into one. The notable freedom fighter C. Rajagopalachari, who was also the final and second Governor-General of India post-independence and one of the first winners of Bharat Ratna, inspired the creation of Rajaji National Park. It covers a large area and comprises Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal, three famous Uttarakhand districts.
Rajaji is well-known for its elephant population and is home to many elephants, 16 tigers, and nearly 250 leopards that will soon fall back compared to elephants’ growth. Rajaji Tiger Reserve spans a vast 820 kilometers in the Shivalik range of the Himalayas.
You may see Sambhar, Tiger, Spotted Deer, Leopard, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, and Goral at Rajaji. Rajaji National Park is an ideal wildlife safari and bird viewing location, where you can see two types of bears, Himalayan Black and Sloth, and over 400 bird species from close quarters.
8. Patanjali Yog Peeth:
Patanjali Yogpeeth, in the holy city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, is a significant medical, Yoga, and Ayurveda research institute dealing with yoga asanas and ayurvedic remedies. The Rishi Patanjali Yoga Institute is an endeavor started by Baba Ramdev and is named after Rishi Patanjali, the inventor of healing Yoga. The flagship institute is one of the best sites to visit in Haridwar to learn more about ancient Ayurveda and Yoga.
The Patanjali Yogpeeth comprising Patanjali Yogpeeth I and Patanjali Yogpeeth II use Plant based natural remedies and natural methods for the welfare of the people. They encourage fitness and freedom from disease naturally.
Baba Ramdev founded the institute in 2006 for the practice and growth of Yoga, ayurvedic research, and the production of Ayurvedic and natural medications. The Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, UK, manages the center, ayurvedic therapies, and drugs at the Patanjali Yogpeeth.
Besides Ayurvedic therapies, Patanjali Yogpeeth offers ATMs, study and research facilities, residential housing, and a restaurant. They work together to provide social services such as health care, education, and several socioeconomic beneficial activities for the welfare of the people.
9. Vaishno Devi Temple:
The Vaishno Devi Temple of Haridwar has distinctive caves and tunnels leading to the inner sanctum where the revered shrine of Goddess Vaishno Devi sits regally. This heavenly Temple can be called a “near-look-alike” of the Vaishno Devi temple in Kashmir, with its three Ma Durga deities Lakshmi, Kaali, and Saraswati. But besides the deities, passageways, tunnels, and architecture, the Temple bears little similarity to the ancient Vaishno Devi Temple.
Haridwar’s Vaishno Devi Temple has a fantastic footfall, including spiritual seekers, religious devotees, and environment lovers, gathering for prayers and an enthralling view of the scenic landscape. Devotees must trudge through a narrow, dingy, tiny tunnel and climb steep steps to glimpse the sacred deities, Maa Vaishno Devi, and replicas of India’s 12 “Jyotirlingas.”
The Vaishno Devi Temple in Haridwar is said to have been built for a Lord Rama devotee, Trikuta. Her boundless love for the Lord and an ardent desire to be his wife resulted in God’s consent to marry her in his final earthly carnation. Many hold this Temple revered, and it is also recognized as one of the Shakti Peethas.
10. Maya Devi Temple:
Maya Devi Temple is a Hindu temple honoring the goddess Maya, the incarnation of Goddess Shakti, and is located in holy Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Maya Devi, the three-headed and four-armed goddess, is said to be the Adhisthatri goddess of Haridwar.
Because it is claimed that Goddess Sati’s navel and heart fell in this area, and a temple was constructed in this memory. It is frequently referred to as a Shakti Peetha. In honor of this deity, Haridwar was formerly known as Mayapuri. Chandi Devi Temple, Maya Devi, and Mansa Devi Temple are the Shakti Peethas in Haridwar. The Temple is a Siddh Peetha, a site of worship where aspirations and desires are granted.
Besides these, you should not miss the Pentagon mall, Fun valley water park, Bhimgoda tank, Chilla wildlife sanctuary, Parad Shivlinga, Gaurishankar Mahadev Temple, and Bada Bazar in Haridwar. These are great places to be in for spiritual reasons, shopping purposes, and experiencing natural beauty.
Plan a trip to Haridwar anytime from September to February. The weather is perfect for a dip, and winters are ideal because the climate is crisp and cool. The city is the hub of Ayurveda and herbal remedies. Moreover, its unique charming flavor is enhanced by the famous “Kumbh Mela” and a traditional school of education called Gurukul. You can spend a few hours meditating and doing yoga asanas here. Take time for praying, bathing to wash off your sins, or enjoying a cool dip in the Holy Ganges at Haridwar!