India 2016 (part XXXI): Haridwar

Haridwar, Uttarakhand:

evening scene at Har Ki Pauri

evening scene at Har Ki Pauri

After spending an afternoon in Rishikesh, I explored nearby Haridwar on the following day.

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Haridwar is where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains of northern India. It is believed that Garuda spilled a drop of Amrit (the elixir of immortality) here. Furthermore, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited Haridwar, which today constitues one of the seven holiest places of Hinduism. Every twelve years, millions of pilgrims congregate in the city for a massive religious festival, the Kumbh Mela, and bath at Har Ki Pauri, the most sacred bathing ghat. Although the next Kumbh Mela will take place only in a couple of years, smaller festivals occur every few months. While I visited Haridwar with a friend, the town was swarmed with thousands of pilgrims and the atmosphere was both festive and extremely hectic. We started our tour with a walk up-hill to the Mansa Devi Temple passing a couple of pilgrims trying to reach the top by measuring the distance with their bodies. After returning to town via the cable car and a short stop at the Maya Devi Temple, we spent most of the afternoon at the extremely busy bathing ghats around Har Ki Pauri to experience the crazy atmosphere and see the Ganga Aarti at sunset.

After an extremely hectic day, we were happy that we organized a tour through the outskirts of nearby Rajaji National Park for the following day.

13 responses to “India 2016 (part XXXI): Haridwar

  1. Beautiful post !!!

    I could relive the moments I spent at this magical place a couple of months back…

    The places is unimaginably crowded, filthy at places and noisy, but there is something truly magical, I could feel it at the ghats of ‘Har Ki Puri’ at the time of ‘Ganga Arati’…

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

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