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Haridwar / Rishikesh - Quick Facts

Area: Haridwar 12.3 sq. km., Rishikesh 11.5 sq. km.
Population: Haridwar 310562, Rishikesh 102138
Altitude: Haridwar - 292.7 m, Rishikesh - 320 m
Season: May to June and Sep. to Oct.
Clothing: Summer- Cotton, Winter- Heavy woolens
Language: Hindi, English


Haridwar, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, represents the point where the Holy Ganges meets the plains. An ancient pilgrimage site, Haridwar is held in reverence for centuries.Legend has it that Bhagiratha, brought the Ganges into the eart, and into this where his ancestors were burnt to ashes by the curse of sage Kapila. Haridwar was once known as Gangadwara-Gateway to Ganges.The great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, has many of its episodes set in this river city, which has also been mentioned in the writings of the Chinese Travellers Xuan Zhang (Hieun Tsang). Pilgrim bathing in Ganga Photo Haridwar is also the site of celebration of the Kumbh Mela, once in twelve years, when Jupiter transists to the zodiac sign of Aquarius. According to ancient Mythologies it is regarded that during a scuffle between the devas, the gods and detyas, the demons, amrita, NECTOR, sprinkled at some places in some parts of India. Of these places, which became site for Kumbh Melas, Haridwar endows highest esteem among the Hindus.

The five sacred bathing spots in Haridwar are Gangadwara, Kankhal, Nila parvata, Bilwa Tirtha and Kusavarta. The main Ghat at Har ki pauri (Known for a footprint of Vishnu on a stone), The "Maha-Arti" (Great Prayer) is offered every evening at Sun Set, is a spectacular sight, when the arti ceremony is performed at all temples in haridwar at the same instant. Hundreds throng to the ghats at Har-Ki-Pauri to participate in this festival. Offering of Divas, (lamps) and flowers are made to the river while priest perform choreographed movements, swinging the torches to the ages-old beat of Gongs and other music amidst uproar of sankhas is how they bid adieu every evening. It is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature Divas, (lamps) float along the river. A bath at Har Ki Paudi is regarded as one of the most sacred baths to the Hindus. It has history attached to Indus Valley Civilization. Various other Ghats, and Ashrams, mansa Devi Temple, Pareshwar Mahadev temple are visited by the pilgrim and tourists.

Rishikesh
Situatead 24 km upstream from Haridwar, at the confluence of the chandrabhaga and Ganga, Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. It is said that the sage Raibhya Rishi did severe penance here and as a reward, God appeared to him in the form of Hrishikesh, hence the name. Rishikesh has numerous ashrms, some of which are internationally recognised as centres of philosophical studies, yoga and meditation. An international yoga week is organised here every year by U.P. Tourism between 2nd and 7th February.

Places of Interest: Lakshman Jhoola
A suspension bridge across the Ganga along the old route to the holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath.

Shivanand Jhoola
Also known as Ram Jhoola, this is a recently completed suspension bridge which spans the river near Swarg Ashram.

Ashrams & Yoga Centres
The main Ashrams at Rishikesh are Shivanand Ashram, Muni ki Reti; Mahesh Yogi Ashram, Shankaracharya Nagar; Swarg Ashram; Gita Bhawan; Parmarth Niketan; Ved Niketan, Yoga Study Centre, Shanti Kunj, Maa Anand Mai Ashram.


By Air
Airport is 35 km from Dehradun.

By Rail
 Convenient railway connections to all major cities.

By Road
 Haridwar are: 386 km from Agra, 168 km from Ambala, 320 km from Badrinath, 52 km from Dehradun, 214 km from Delhi, 282 km from Gangotri, 250 km from Kedarnath, 141 km from Meerut, 90 km from Mussoorie, 386 km from Nainital, 81 km from Saharanpur, 255 km from Yamnotri.


Chandi Devi
A panoramic view of Haridwar can be enjoyed from the temple of Chandi Devi located on top of Neel Parvat. The temple is a 3 km trek from Chandi Ghat. There is a dense forest on the other side of the hill inhabited by elephan and other wild animals.

Shanti Kunj
It is the famous ashram of Gyatri. Followers and pilgrims from far and wide converge here for and natural cures.

Mayadevi Temple
Mayadevi is the Adhishtkari Devi of Haridwar. It is believed that the Heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen at this ancient saktipeeth.

Bharat Mata Temple
One of the important temple of Haridwar. Has Eight Stories in which the images of cities, heroes and great men are installed.

Har-Ki-Pauri
The most important Ghat on the river Ganga, at Haridwar, where a holy dip is must for every devotee.

Bhimgoda
Legend has it that while the Pandvas were here. Bhim with one blow of his horse's hoof drew water from the rocks at this spot.

Mansa Devi Temple
The temple at the top of Bilwa Parvat is dedicated to the Goddess Mansa Devi.

Pawan Dham
Place is famous for its Hanuman Mandir decorated with glass pieces.

Gurukul Kangri University
Centre of learning where education is imparted in a very traditional way.


Chila Wildlife Sanctuary Part of Rajaji National park covers an area of around 240 sq. km.


Haridwar is a pilgrimage center and visitors come here to visit the temples so as such there is no particular item, which can be recommended to be bought here. But Haridwar offers you some good handicraft items, which can be kept as decorative pieces or can be used as gift items. In the markets surrounding the temples, one can find jewellery imitations, which are very popular among the devotees. The bangles, chains, ear and nose rings are some items, which can be bough there. Then the shops also have items made of stone.

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