Haridwar, regarded as one of the most holy city for Hindus, is considered to be the doorstep for heaven. A bath in the holy Ganges is believed to wash away your sins and purify oneself. According to the belief, drops of elixir were spilled over in the waters of Haridwar. Other places where the drops were spilled were Ujjain, Prayag and Nashik. This is the reason why Kumbh is celebrated at these places. Har Ki Pauri Ghat is the most sacred ghat where the drops of elixir fell in Haridwar.
PLACES TO VISIT
Haridwar is also famous for religious activities and ancient temples such as:
Ganga Aarti at Har-Ki-Pauri - Aarti is performed at the Har Ki Pauri Ghat which is built in 1st century by King Vikram. Bhratuhari was brother of King Vikram who meditated here for Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu apeared here to give him blessing. That is why the place named Har Ki Pauri (Foot Prints of God). This is also the same place where drop of nector fell down and that is why it is also prime attraction in Kumbh Mela Festival in Haridwar.
Mansa Devi Temple - The temple is known for being the holy abode of Manasa, a form of Shakti and is said to have emerged from the mind of the sage (Rishi) Kashyapa. Mansa is regarded as the sister of the Naga (Viper) Vasuki. The term Mansa means wish and it is believed that the goddess fulfils all the wishes of a sincere devotee. Devotees who want their wishes to be fulfilled by Mansa tie threads to the branches of a tree located in the temple. Once their wishes are fulfilled, people come back again to the temple to untie the thread from the tree. Mansa is also offered coconuts, fruits, garlands and incense sticks in order to appease her.
Chandi Devi Temple - Chandi Devi is one of the most famous temples of India. This place is of great religious importance and is also considered as one of the Shakti peethas of North India. This temple is also known as Siddh peetha, as it is believed to have powers to fulfill the wishes of devotees. Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi Devi in the holy city of Haridwar in the Uttarakhand state of India. The temple is situated atop the Neel Parvat on the Eastern summit of the Sivalik Hills, the southernmost mountain chain of the Himalayas. According to legend, it is believed that Goddess Chandika Devi rested for a short while on Neel Parvat. This happened after she killed demon kings, Shumbh and Nishumbha.
Maya Devi Temple - Maya Devi Temple is an ancient religious establishment of Haridwar which is counted as one of the shakti peeths present in India. The temple of Maya Devi falls is enshrined with the deity of Adhisthatri. The history of religion in Haridwar speaks of a rather interesting part of the Maya Devi Temple. Maya Devi Temple, Haridwar is a Hindu Temple dedicated to goddess Maya in the holy city of Haridwar of Uttarakhand State in India. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati fell in the region where the temple stands today and thus it is sometimes referred to as a Shakti Peetha.
Daksha Mahadev Temple - Daksheswara Mahadev or Daksha Mahadev temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the town of Kankhal, about 4 km from Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. It is named after King Daksha Prajapati, the father of Sati. Daksha is one of the fourteen Prajapatis, creator deities, who preside over procreation and are the protector of life in Hindu mythology.
Other places to visit include:
Rajaji National Park - Rajaji National Park is situated in Uttarakhand State of India. The park is about 10 ams from Haridwar. It covers rich bio-diversity with an area of 820 sq-km. Park is located in Dehradun, Haridwar & Pauri Garhwal districts. Haridwar & Rishikesh are nearest cities. Rajaji National Park has highest number of elephants than all other national parks of Uttarakhand. Tiger, leopard, Monkey, Barking deer, Sambar deer, Wild Boar, Antelopes such as the Nilgai & Goral are also living here. The Rajaji National Park has more than 400 bird species. Scaly Thrush, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Tytler's Leaf Warbler, Green Avadavat and Reed Bunting, Northern Goshawk, Black-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie Greater Scaup, White-naped Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas's Fish Eagle are popular bird species found here.
Sapt Rishi Ashram - Sapt Rishi Ashram, located at a distance of approximately 5 km from Har ki Pauri, is one of the most famous ashrams of Haridwar. Hindu Mythology states that the ashram is located, where the seven great sages or Sapt-Rishis, Kashyap, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja and Gautam used to meditate. It is also said that the River Ganges at this place split herself into seven streams, so that the seven sages mediating here would not be disturbed by her flow. Owing to this reason, this place is also known as the Sapt Sarovar or Sapt Rishi Kund. All the seven streams reunite further ahead and flow as Neel Dhara, which forms a beautiful channel while entering Haridwar.
Patanjali Yogpeeth - Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, is one of the largest yoga institutes in India. Named after the guru Patañjali, the institute is Ramdev's flagship project. Its purpose is to practise and research and develop yoga and ayurveda, as well as manufacture ayurvedic medicines. It is also the home of the University of Patanjali. Acharya Balkrishna is the General Secretary of Patanjali Yogpeeth.
According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. Kumbh (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage. It takes place at the following four locations of India: Prayag, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) , Haridwar (Uttarakhand) , Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) , Nasik (Maharashtra)
Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times every 12 years, the site of the observance rotating between four pilgrim places on four sacred rivers: at Haridwar on the Ganges river, at Ujjain on Shipra, at Nasik on Godavari, and at Allahabad on the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical river Sarasvati. For each site Kumbh Mela comes in every 12 years. Each site’s celebration is based on particular zodiacal positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter, the holiest time occurring at the exact moment these zodiacal conditions are fulfilled. It is the largest gathering of people for a religious purpose in the world. Millions of people gather on different places for this auspicious occasion.