Haridwar is the religious capital of India, is at the foothills of the Shivaliks in Uttarakhand. Though a much crowded place filled up with pilgrims, Haridwar instantly evokes a strong religious fervour. The place is dotted with Hindu pilgrims, ubiqutious temples, shops hawking religious bling – rudraksh necklaces, shloka – printed T- shirts in hues of deep ochre, clay figurines, jewelleries and many more.
The best thing is undoubtedly the much famed evening aarti at Har-ki-Pauri. Its’s the most awaited event occurs everyday at Har-ki-Pauri ghats. Thousand congregate at either side of the bank, and the river Ganga is embelleshed like newly wedded bride, aglow with phosphorescence of a million diyas and marigold petals, is an ethereal sight. Air is stuffed with incense and rhythmic chants filled the air. The ambiance suddenly turns into another world. Everybody closes their eyes and sway in tempo. The religious fervour is unimaginable. In a six minutes the aarti reaches a crescendo and people scramble madly for prasad.
Excursions From Haridwar
• Rishikesh - The nearest holy town, only 24 kms from Haridwar. Rishikesh is an attraction for both pilgrims and adventurers. The Ganga here is in full flow and bluish green. This is also where the Ganga begins it’s long journey through the plains.
• Dehradun – A nice place to spend your holiday, around 54 kms from Haridwar. The place is an excellent amalgamation of bustle of small town with the lush green cool of the hills.
• Mussoorie – A hours drive away, Mussoorie still deserves it’s ‘ Queen of the Hills’ title. Ramble all over the charming hillside and market.
Facts On Haridwar
• Getting There – Haridwar is approximately eight hours journey from Delhi (214km) and it is linked with major cities of India by railway network. The town is also connected to all north Indian towns by bus.
• Stay Option – Hotels are plenty. As Haridwar is always crowded with pilgrims all over from India, there is every type of hotels ranging from budget to luxury. I recommend Haveli Hari Ganga on the banks of river Ganga is a luxurious boutique hotel.
• Timeline – Spend some time here, and make your base to explore nearby surrounding areas like Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park and other hill sides.
• Shopping- Shopping is must in Haridwar. Pick anything from colorful bangles to clay idols, plenty options to collect good souvenir.
• Activities In Haridwar – There are plenty of treks nearby into the foothills and plenty of natural attractions around.
• Food In Haridwar– Non vegetarian is strictly no no. But it can counterbalance by various vegetarian cuisines.