Haridwar Tourism, Uttarakhand

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About Haridwar - Uttarakhand Tourism

Haridwar, one of the most sacred places in Uttarakhand state of India, is regarded by Hindu pilgrims as one of the seven holiest places in India. The name Haridwar means 'Gateway to God' with 'Hari' meaning God and 'Dwar' meaning gate. It is believed by Hindu pilgrims that one can attain moksha (nirvana) just by the touch of Ganges in Haridwar. Historically Haridwar was also known as Gangadwar, Kapilsthan, and Mayapuri. A paradise for travellers interested in nature and religion, Haridwar is considered to be blessed by the trio of lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva).

One of most important tourist attraction in Haridwar is its well known ghat on the bank of Ganga River - Har ki Pauri. Har ki Pauri is considered as one of the holiest ghats in India and it is believed that the drop of nectar (Amrit) fell here, while being carried by Garuda, the heavenly bird. One of the most revered experience for tourists visiting Haridwar is the evening Aarti that is performed here with thousands of diyas floating on the river Ganga. Other important tourist attractions in Haridwar are the Mansa Devi temple - a Siddhapeeths and Chandi Devi temple - a Shaktipeeth. Daksha Mahadev temple is also an important temple in the city and is one of the oldest temples in India. 

One of the most important festival that is celebrated in Haridwar is the Kumbh Mela that is celebrated here every twelve years. Kumbh Mela is considered to be the holiest festival for Hindus and is visited by travellers from all over the world. The other three holy cities where Kumbh Mela is celebrated Nashik, Allahabad and Ujjain. The other important festivals celebrated in the city are Kavad Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, Ganga Dashara, and Gughal Mela. 

Haridwar is located about 218 km from Delhi, capital of India and is the gateway to three other holy destinations of Uttarakhand - Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. 

History of Haridwar - Uttarakhand Tourism

The earliest mention of Haridwar is there in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. After this, the regular history of Haridwar started from 322-185 BC, when Haridwar came under Maurya Empire and then Kushana Empire. Well-known Chinese traveler, Huan Tsang mentions Haridwar as ‘Mo Yu Lo’ in his travel chronicles dated 629 AD. The city was later invaded by Turkish invader, Timur Lang, in 14th century. There is also mention of Haridwar in the 16th century ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ (written during Akbar’s reign) as Mayapuri. The first written evidence of the name Haridwara comes by Thomas Coryant, during Jahangir’s reign.

After the Britishers arrival in the 1800s, two major dams were created, notably the Bhimgoda Dam in 1840. In 1868, the 'Haridwar Union Municipality' was constituted including the then villages of Mayapur and Kankhal. The first railway track in Haridwar was laid down in 1886, which extended to Dehradun by 1900. The first example of contemporary civilization is the industrial unit of BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), also know as a ‘Navratna PSU’. Earlier in the state of Uttar Pradesh, it is now the pride of the newly formed Uttarakhand since November 2000 onwards.

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