Welcome to Haridwar ? The Gateway to Lord Vishnu or God. Counted among the seven holiest cities of India,the ancient city of Haridwar is located on the banks of River Ganga in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The city is all about religion, temples, ashrams and narrow lanes which define the ethnicity and essence of Haridwar.
Haridwar serves as the Gateway of the Char Dhams (four religious places) of Uttarakhand where the ?Panch Tirth? located within the periphery are Gangadwara (Har Ki Pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi). The grandeur of the famous Kumbh Mela which attracts millions of devotees from all over the world is a thing to experience for all.
Haridwar is the base destination for other pilgrimages like Rishikesh and Devprayag for its connectivity via trains and roads. Not just for its religious significances, Haridwar is also popular as a developing as a multifaceted cultural and spiritual centre. Today, the city is a fast developing industrial estate of State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand (SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.
Haridwar is the most popular for death rites carried out in the city. Hindus believe that immersing the ashes of the deceased in the river Ganga takes you into salvation (moksha). Many families visit Haridwar to carry out the last rituals of their beloved family members and for the same reason, a record of the familys trees gotra, marriages and other crucial information are maintained by the priests there. Strangely, genealogical information of families has been recorded over centuries and one can easily track their family history while in Haridwar.
Legends say that Haridwar was born when a drop of ?Amrit? (holy potion) made by the gods and demons together, fell on the earth which split at four different places including Haridwar. Historically, the mention of the city dates back to the Mauryan Empire in 322-185 BC as found in the scriptures, and also in the travelogues written by Hiuan Tsang in the 629 AD. There are mentions of Emperor Akbar keeping water of River Ganga in jars and drinking the same during his travels or battles. The modern city of Haridwar has been founded by Raja Mann Singh who is known to have built two dams by the banks of the Ganges.