Haridwar City Travel Guide

Lifeline of India’s spiritual heritage, the sacred realm of the holy river Ganges, Haridwar is one of the most prominent spiritual places in India. Each passing moment in Haridwar is a discovery for your soul. The serene holy Ganges with its every ripple whispers age-old traditions of the old times. As a traveler when you wander the narrow lanes of Haridwar, the colors, delightfully chaotic markets, and pilgrims all around please the soul. When the sun sets over the horizon, it is time for evening Ganga Aarti, the flickering flames of Aarti look ethereal. The flickering diyas light the sacred waters of the Ganges and she lovingly receives the embrace of the devotees who come to seek solace. Time stops in Haridwar. It’s not a fast-paced city. It’s a pilgrimage place with numerous temples on the banks of the holy Ganges. The timeless rituals connect the divine with the pilgrim’s heart. If you plan to visit Haridwar, we provide a detailed guide to plan your trip here.

Things to Do in Haridwar

Haridwar is a spiritual land where devotees from all over India come to seek some moments of eternal peace. There are a plethora of things to do in Haridwar for a tourist to understand the essence of this city. Mentioned here are some of the best things to do in Haridwar-

The Ganga Ghats at Haridwar

Ganga Ghats at Haridwar

Haridwar’s Ganga Ghats creates a serene ambiance to dive deep into the whirlwind of spirituality. Along the banks of the holy Ganges, these Ghats serve as a sacred spot where devotees gather to embrace the spiritual vibe of Ganga Aarti. The priests gather on the ghat with large fire bowls in their hands, chanting the mantras, and the sound of temple bells, and prayers rejuvenate the bodies and souls of devotees. Devotees float diyas on the riverbanks which is one of the most spectacular sights along with blissful Ganga Aarti. The Aarti in the evening begins at 6:00 pm and ends at 7:00 pm.

Temples of Haridwar

Haridwar is a land of gods and goddesses. There are many temples in Haridwar dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. You must visit the temples to seek solace and cherish some moments of togetherness with the almighty. One of the most prominent temples in Haridwar is Chandi Devi which is located at Neel Parvat hill. You can visit Chandi Devi either by trekking or via scenic cable car ride. Another must-visit temple is Mansa Devi Temple in Bilwa Parvat. One can also visit Maya Devi Temple, one of the Shaktipeetha of Devi Sati. The temple is dedicated to goddess Maya, an incarnation of Devi Sati. Also visit Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated to Mother India. The temple is a symbol of unity in diversity and patriotism. The temples of Haridwar please every soul looking for peace and a serene ambiance. The temples are the gateway to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Haridwar.

Meditation in Haridwar

Meditation in Haridwar

Haridwar is an ideal destination to practice meditation. There are numerous serene spots where visitors can indulge in meditation practices to fine-tune their tired spirits. One of the most beautiful locations to practice meditation is the holy banks of the river Ganga. The soothing gentle flow of the Ganges creates a delightful experience for meditation. You can also visit Ashrams like Parmarth Niketan Ashram to do meditation and yoga. The tranquil gardens of Parmarth Niketan provide the perfect setting for deepening one’s concentration for meditation practice.

Street Food of Haridwar

Haridwar tickles your taste buds with a variety of street food. The bustling streets of Haridwar are a hub of local delicacies. There is a delightful array of savory and sweet treats that you can’t resist. One must not miss the most iconic street food of Haridwar- Hot aloo Puri. it is one of the most favorite dishes among locals. Haridwar also has an abundance of Chaat Stalls. You will get everything from Crispy Aloo Tikki Chaat to Tangy golgappas to seduce your palette. Don’t forget to try famous Kachoris, deep-fried dumplings, Jalebis, Malpuas, Refreshing lassi, Masala chai from roadside stalls, etc.

Shopping in Haridwar

Haridwar is also one of the favorite haunts for tourists who love shopping. Stroll along the delightful alleys and you will get organic food and seeds, Ayurvedic medicine, delicious milk sweets, Rudraksha, Pooja Samagri, Pendants, images of gods, religious symbols, bangles, pickles, souvenirs, fruits, and vegetables, etc.

There is something for everyone in Haridwar. One must not miss Haridwar from their travel bucket list if they want to explore the scenic spiritual getaways of North India.

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Places to visit in Haridwar

Renowned for its temples, Ghats, and cultural significance, Haridwar is a wonderful place for tourists looking for solace. It is one of the seventh holiest places in India. Mentioned here are some of the most popular places to visit in Haridwar

Chandi Devi Temple

Chandi Devi Temple

Located on the top of mesmerizing Neel Parvat, Chandi Devi Temple is dedicated to goddess Chandi who originated from the cells of goddess Parvati’s body. She took the form of Kalika Devi from her anger to kill two demons named Chanda and Munda. After killing them she rested on Neel Parvat. The temple was built in honor of her strength and resilience.

Daksh Mahadev Temple and Sati Kund

Daksh Mahadev Temple, Haridwar

Go south of Kankhal and you will see Daksh Mahadev Temple which was named after Devi Sati’s father Daksh. It is said that during the months of Shravan, Lord Shiva resides in Kankhal. One must visit Sati Kund on the banks of the river Ganga. This sacred Kund has been mentioned in the Epic Mahabharata.

Har Ki Pauri

Har Ki Pauri

Thousands of pilgrims visit Har Ki Pauri every year to embrace the spiritual vibes and serene ambiance of the holy river Ganges. Devotees bathe in Ganga to wash off all their karmic backlogs. The highlight of Har Ki Paudi is the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti. The flickering lamps on the riverbank create a blissful ambiance.

Mansa Devi Temple

Mansa Devi Temple

Located on the beautiful Bilwa Parvat, the Mansa Devi Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeetha of Devi Sati in India. You can visit here via ropeway in a trolley which will give you a chance to view beautiful Himalayan Mountains and a glimpse of Haridwar from above. It is said that the goddess Mansa grants all the wishes of the devotees if they tie a thread on the branches of the holy tree of the temple.

Piran Kaliyar

Dedicated to Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir, a 13th-century saint of the Chisti order, it is one of Haridwar’s most popular places to visit. Millions of devotees visit here to pay respects to the saint and pray to get their wishes granted.

Haridwar enchants the mind and soul with its soul-pleasing attractions and peace-inducing ambiance. One must not miss the above-mentioned places for enriching spiritual and cultural experiences.

Places to visit near Haridwar

Perfect for day trips and extended visits, Haridwar is an ideal destination surrounded by numerous mind-boggling attractions. Mentioned here are some of the best travel destinations to visit near Haridwar-

Kunjapuri Devi Temple

Kunjapuri Devi Temple

If planning your extended vacation from Haridwar, you must visit Kunjapuri Devi Temple, located at an elevation of 1676 meters.  It is one of the 52 Shaktipeethas in Uttarakhand. At this place, Devi Sati’s burned chest fell. The panoramic Himalayan peaks of Swarga Rohini, Gangotri, Banner Punch, and Chaukhamba will blow your heart away.

Chilla Range

Chilla Range

Located 10 km from Haridwar is a beautiful Chilla Range. You will reach here within an hour. Chilla Range boasts exotic Himalayan wildlife such as Red Rhesus macaque, hornbills, small cats, tigers, elephants, etc. If you are an adventure lover then the thrill of adventurous jeep safari and thrilling elephant rides are some of the best things to do in Chilla Range. The memories of adventure will remain in your mind forever.

Rajaji Tiger Reserve

One must not miss the enchanting wildlife and scenic views of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas. After Corbet, it is the second Tiger Reserve of Uttarakhand. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy nature and wildlife photography. You will also see mesmerizing river views, lush green grasslands, and scrublands.

New Tehri

New Tehri

A great place for adventure lovers, New Tehri is an amazing place to plan your visit after the Haridwar vacation. The highlight of this place is the serene Tehri Dam. New Tehri also receives snowfall during winter. Also, it’s a place to enjoy water sports, paragliding, and mountain biking, etc. with your friends.

Chamba

Chamba, Uttarakhand

Chamba showcases the serene beauty of the Garhwal Himalayas. Located at an altitude of 1600 meters, it is a soul-seducing paradise for nature lovers.  If you are seeking tranquility in the lap of the Himalayas, this is a perfect place to rejuvenate your spirit. The exquisite views of Thalay Sagar, Jonli, and Langtang Range, full moon nights and delightful weather make Chamba one of the best nature retreats to visit near Haridwar.

Visiting these places will not only fine-tune your travel experience in Uttarakhand but also give you a lot of useful insights into the culture, food, and life in the Himalayas.

Food of Haridwar

Food of Haridwar

While Haridwar is a place of religious importance, the city does not end its horizon at being a religious destination but goes further to satisfy the hungry soul with mouth-watering delicacies. The food of Haridwar goes hand in hand with the cultural values of Haridwar. Eating in the holy city of Haridwar is a delight to both the mind and taste buds.

Aloo Puri

This is one of the street foods of Haridwar and is liked by people during lunch and thus is also favored for dinner. What’s the magic? They immediately deep fry this delicious bread called puris and then cook the best complement – Aloo ki Sabzi (spicy potato curry).

Kachodi

Street food in Haridwar is also as good as the street food in Delhi. Kachodi is one of the famous snacks of Haridwar. It is served with Sabzi and chutney which makes it unique.

Ras Malai, Rabri and Jalebi

In general terms, Haridwar can be best described as a paradise for any candy lover! Some of those fancy desserts are also available when you are here. Jalebi, Ras Malai, and Rabri aren’t just ordinary desserts but are prepared with pure Ghee which makes them rich in flavor.

Chole Bhature

Haridwar is a food city as you can get all the regional dishes to eat in plenty. North Indians particularly love Chhole Bhature and it is a must-have. On the other hand, if you are feeling in the mood to be creative, you can also get a scoop of Kheer or a glass of lassi to accompany it.

Chaat

The local food in the streets of Haridwar is fantastic. These include meals such as golgappas, papri chaat, dahi vadas and aloo tikkis. It is like a big bang of flavors within your mouth. One will never get enough as the taste and flavors of this chaat will leave one yearning for more.

Nightlife of Haridwar

Nightlife of Haridwar

The nightlife in Haridwar is unique in offering a blend of spirituality and cultural tourism. While central to any typical nightlife is the nightlife scene around bars and clubs, Haridwar has a different perspective: it offers spiritual peace at night. Another more interesting highlight is Aarti in the evening in the ghats of the Ganges River, where the atmosphere is filled with spirituality and the lights of oil lamps. This combination of religious rituals, folk music, and the relaxing atmosphere of the banks of the river gives it a special atmosphere of nobility and spirituality that is difficult to find elsewhere. Furthermore, the availability of street vendors who sell traditional snacks makes the night scenes in Haridwar more culturally vibrant. Therefore, what distinguishes the nightlife of Haridwar from others is the spiritual and cultural experience one can have while enjoying the peace of the sacred river.

Har Ki Pauri Ghat

Visiting Har Ki Pauri Ghat at night is a unique experience among Haridwar experiences. Yet as the sun goes down and the night begins to emerge the magic of the evening appears. Oil lamps glow softly to create a mystical effect as climbers descend the stairs towards the holy Ganges River. It is on this ghat; that devotees and visitors converge to admire the beauty and peace of the place. It’s a time for deep reflection and respect for a greater power. When you are there you feel the atmosphere of devotion of the people and it is a wonderful feeling of peace and satisfaction from within. Amidst all of this, the gentle wind carries the fragrance of incense and the sound of bells from the distant temple, making the experience of Har Ki Pauri at night all the more delightful.

Mandir to Night Trekking of Mansa Devi Temple

The Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar is one of the rare religious sites in India which can be reached at night by trekking through the hills. It feels blissful to experience the sanctity of the temple under the open sky. The scenery around the temple is breathtaking: as the sun goes down and the lights on in the city below flicker, the path leading to the temple is filled with anticipation. There are a few small lamps highlighting a path up to the temple to give it a mesmerizing aura. The cool air brushes your lungs as you walk and the sound of nature makes it a serene adventure.

Markets of Haridwar

Markets of Haridwar

The night markets of Haridwar have a very distinct vibrancy and are a delight to explore. Haridwar lights up in the evening when there is a significant drop in temperature and people begin to visit the streets. It is no wonder that one of the most visited places is the market located near the Har Ki Pauri ghat. Here you are invited to a walk through the cheerful promenade decorated by shops with religious souvenirs, handicrafts, etc. Houses have lights dimly on and vendors hawking goods in the street add to the magical atmosphere.

Another market that a tourist must see is Moti Bazaar where the stalls are located in the narrow lanes and sell various colorful bangles, jewelry, and traditional clothing. As the sun sets, the market transforms into a romantic blend of colors that lure buyers into the narrow lanes of this market. The smell of street food is strong in the air making visitors crave for food like chaat, samosas, and Jalebis.

The Bara Bazaar caters to the needs of those looking for religious items or Ayurvedic medicines where there are many shops selling idols, incense, and such herbal medicines. The market at night becomes more theatrical with the sense of incense and the sound of temple bells in the background.

From purchasing souvenirs to trying some of the delicious foods and drinks on sale, or just to experience the nightlife in the markets, it is a must to visit the markets of Haridwar in the evening. After all, there is nothing like browsing these crowded marketplaces and experiencing the sights and scents of this fantastic city at night.

How to Reach Haridwar

By Air

In case you wish to travel to Haridwar, remember that the city does not have an airport. Therefore, the best alternative in that case will be to board an airplane from Dehradun’s own Jolly Grant Airport which is situated at a distance of 20 km away. The distance between Dehradun to Haridwar is around 52 km from the airport. It takes less than two hours from Ambala to Dehradun and Haridwar via NH7.

While traveling from Haridwar to Delhi, flying to the renowned Indira Gandhi International Airport would be most convenient. It is the busiest airport in India and operates domestic and international flights. Travelers can easily arrange transportation from Delhi airport to Haridwar, the very city of heaven.

By Train

Haridwar also has a Railway station. The trains operated from Haridwar Junction Railway Station to Delhi take four hours, and Dehradun takes one hour and Rishikesh less than one hour.The Haridwar Junction Railway station is situated in the southern part of the city near most lodging hotels. It is two kilometers from Hari–Ki Pauri Ghat, a serene Ghat.

By Road

Haridwar has a good bus service. A large number of inter-state transport and private buses can be availed from Haridwar to Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and other areas of Uttarakhand. In terms of comfort based on services and fare, the bus is not a bad alternative. The bus station is only a stone’s throw away from the railway station at Haridwar. Visitors of Haridwar can book a bus ticket from bus operators and also book the ticket in advance to avoid inconvenience.

The Best Time to Visit Haridwar

Summer Season (March-May)

Summer is the best season to visit Haridwar if you want to experience the festivals here. Ramanavami, Kanwar Mela and the Kumbh Mela are thus celebrated in summer when getting up is very difficult as the day is hot but relieving to the evening. For those who prefer to come as an ordinary tourist for sightseeing, then it is best to visit in the winter because the sun is not too bright. But do come with woolens as the weather could be up-and-down cold.

Monsoon Season (July-September)

Rainfall in Haridwar is moderate as average but this causes humidity in the region. The rainfall though not much can cause floods and landslides and block roads. We do not suggest tourists to visit the town during these three months.

Winter Season (October-February)

Haridwar is an ideal place to visit in winter and as such it is open to tourists throughout the year with its temperatures ranging from cool to cold from October to February. This makes it great for both sightseeing the place or even temple-hopping during the day as the sun warms up on your back.

Best Hotels and Resorts to stay in Haridwar

Haridwar caters to the needs of all kinds of travelers when it comes to accommodation options. You will be able to get every type of hotel, be it 5-star or budget. Mentioned here are some of the best hotels and resorts to stay in Haridwar

Amatra by the Ganges

Located on the banks of the river Ganges, this luxury resort is one of the best places to stay in Haridwar. You get rooms as well as villas in this resort, depending on your preferences. There are private terraces and sit-outs for your relaxation. The views of the surreal Ganges and aartis on the evening at Ghats will delight your soul.

Amrit Bhawan

You will be mesmerized to see its architecture. This luxurious eight-bedroom property has all the facilities and amenities for your comfort. The rooms and living areas incorporate colorful details, using recycled furniture, and concrete surfaces. You will have the option of enjoying a cup of tea in the garden or simply relaxing in the hot tub on the property terrace.

Haveli Hari Ganga

Ganga view suites feature an open lounge and have private balconies where one can view the evening Aarti. The eateries in this hotel include a multi-cuisine Indian and vegetarian restaurant and a rooftop cafe. The hotel has a good location near the holy site of Har ki Pauri. In addition, the Haveli Hotel has a private bathing ghat as well as a spa with holistic therapies and massages.

Radisson Blu Haridwar

It is best to stay at the Radisson Blu since it is a little away from the city and is situated close to the landmark Har ki Pauri. The hotel is located in the business district of the city. The room categories are very comfortable and clean with dark wooden floors, large rain showers, and comfy sofas to relax on. If you want to take a break from the food in the hotel then you can go to Mansa Devi Temple or Bharat Mata Mandir which are nearby.

Now you have got all the essential information about Haridwar. We hope that this guide will help you plan your Haridwar vacation seamlessly. If you have already visited Haridwar, feel free to share your experience with us in the comment section of the blog.

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