HaridwarHaridwar (हरिद्वार), also spelled Hardwar, is a city in the state of Uttarakhand, India.
Haridwar, literally translated as the Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a centre of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of the River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
FestivalsHaridwar is the site of many religious festivals. Most notably, once every twelve years it is the venue for the Kumbh Mela, the world's largest festival, which drew a record 70 million in 2003. (The festival rotates between Haridwar and Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.) The Ardh Mela, or "half mela", is held every six years. The last Maha Kumbh Mela was in 2010, and the last Ardh Mela was in 2016.
Other yearly festivals include:
- Baisakhi, It is held in the month of April and devotees from Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana converge here to celebrate the auspicious festival Baisakhi.
- Kanwar Mela, July. The largest yearly festival, drawing up to 300,000 visitors.
- Kartik Purnima, held 15 days after Diwali on the first night of the full moon in November.
- Somwati Amavasya, July. Almost as large as the Kanwar Mela.
While the festivals are colorful and fascinating, they also strain the town's limited infrastructure to the breaking point and sometimes beyond. Book rooms and tickets well in advance, and avoid travel by road as the traffic jams can be horrendous.
It is also not good choice to visit this place during the monsoon season (late May to August) as the rain will hinder your visit.
To travel from Delhi to Haridwar you can rent a car or private taxi. You can also prefer to go by train as frequent trains are available and those are less costly as compared to private cabs.
Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is nearest airport to Haridwar. It is domestic airport and located at a distance of 20 km away from the city centre. Taxis from the airport to Haridwar cost ₹400. Frequent flights from Delhi are available as well.
Around 200 km away, Delhi is the nearest international airport, which is well connected to domestic and foreign airports.
By trainHaridwar Junction Railway Station (IR station code : HW) is well-connected by train, with frequent trains to Delhi (4-5 hours) and Dehradun (1 hour). There are also a few trains per day to Rishikesh, but buses are faster and much more frequent. The train station is located on the south side of town, within walking distance to most hotels but a 2-km hike to Hari-ki-Pairi.
Here are some useful trains to reach Haridwar:
|Train Number||Train Name||You may board at||You may alight at|
|12017||Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|12055||Jan Shatabdi Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|14041||Mussoorie Express||New Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|12327||Upasana Express||Howrah (Kolkata), Lucknow||Haridwar Junction|
|13009||Doon Express||Howrah (Kolkata), Varanasi, Lucknow||Haridwar Junction|
|12687||Chennai-Dehradun Express||Chennai, Nizamuddin (Delhi)||Haridwar Junction|
|12054||Jan Shatabdi Express||Amritsar||Haridwar Junction|
|14632||Amritsar-Dehradun Express||Amritsar||Haridwar Junction|
|14610||Hemkunt Express||Jammu||Haridwar Junction|
|19105||Ahmedabad-Haridwar Mail||Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi||Haridwar Junction|
|19019||Bandra-Dehradun Express||Bandra Terminus (Mumbai), Nizamuddin (Delhi)||Haridwar Junction|
Also see Rail travel in India
By busHaridwar's bus station, a stone's throw from the train station, is chaotic and has no signage whatsoever in English. There are regular bus services from Delhi (theoretically 4 hours, in practice 6-8 hours), Rishikesh (1 hour) and other important towns of North India to Haridwar. Before booking the bus check the bus condition. Always go for cushioned and push-back seats. The long and bumpy ride will take a toll on your mood and body.
As there is shortage of AC buses during summer vacations so always go before 1 or 1.5 hour your suitable time so as to get the prior reservation.
Central Haridwar can be comfortably covered on foot. However, taxis and auto-rickshaws can be available at train and bus stations.
Haridwar is nicely connected by train and bus, but remember to book in advance, especially during pilgrimage season.
Cycle rickshaws usually cost ₹10 for nearer distance, while ₹25 for longer distance such as from main station to Har-ki-Pairi. If you want to hire a taxi for more than three hours to visit ashrams and local temples then it may cost you 400. For similar distance, auto-rickshaws can cost around 200.
Bharat Mata Mandir
Chandi Devi MandirA temple dedicated to Chand Devi on the Neel Parval. It was built in 1929 by Suchat Singh the King of Kashmir. The deity was said to have been installed by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. A cable car is available for the long journey
Maya Devi MandirLocated on upper road. This temple is one of the 51 "shakti peeths" and its the presiding deity of Haridwar. It is from this temple Haridwar derives its other name Mayapur.
Mansa Devi MandirAt top of hill near the center of town. Can be reached by cable car (₹48 for a return ticket) or by a road that gently winds uphill (about 2 km), starting from Railway Rd. The temple is aesthetically not particularly noteworthy, but the views are grand. Expect to queue to board the cable car and once more to enter the temple: despite some rudimentary attempts at crowd control, the crowds of jostling devotees can make this a pretty intense experience.
Sureshwari Devi TempleLocated outside of Haridwar and within the Rajaji National Park, this serene and religious site is a place to see. Permission to enter this site is required from forest rangers.
A day out in Rajaji National ParkWhile walking around the park you can spot elephant, leopard and deer. The bird life is prolific here and there is a large elephant population. The 5-hour tour costs around ₹1,800 per person, and it can be done during mid afternoon or early morning. It is spread over the foothills of the Himalayas and Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri.
Divya Yog Mandir Trust UniversityFounded by Baba Ramdev.
address: Dehradoon Road, HaridwarNine days (Personality Development Camp) through practising Scientific Spirituality i.e. Yoga, Yagna, Meditation, Prayer, Motivational Seminar, Workshop, Song and art of living. Registration required. Dates: 1-9, 11-19, 21-29, three camps every month, throughout the year.
Learn Yoga in AshramPatanajali Yog Peeth is a center of Ayurveda and Yoga activities in Haridwar. It is built as a tribute to Maharishi Patanjali, who significantly contributed to the invention of Yoga. This ashram is operated under the supervision of Swami Ramdev Ji Maharaj, who has been promoting Yoga all over the world.
However shops in Haridwar have some interesting things to offer to the tourist. The main shopping centers are Moti bazaar, Upper Road, Jwalapur and Kankhal. You can also check out the Government Handloom and Handicrafts Emporiums and the Gandhi Ashram. Offers a range of handicraft decorative pieces. If you are interested in jewellery, then you can choose from a variety of imitation ones which make good fashion accessory.
In Haridwar, you will find neatly and intricately carved stone idols, which make unique souvenirs. It is fascinating that these stones have traversed with Ganga all along and they are eventually deposited in Rishikesh as the river enters the plains. This gives the stones amazing shapes and a natural polish. Besides idols, there are kitchen set toys made from stone, which are interesting.
Shri Ganga Gift kendraaddress: Moti BazarSells rudraksh mala, sphatic mala, chandan mala and other chandan articles.
Bhagwati Chole Walaaddress: Upper Road HaridwarGood for breakfast and lunch. Bhagwati choley wala is an old institution making a scrumptious breakfast of chole (Bengal gram) baturey, bun bread and choley, mixed minced buns in choley gravy and rice choley. They attract a large crowd and usually serve piping hot choley stew with every meal. The meal priced ₹30 each is served on a plate and leaf covering along with salad. Their buns in choley and lassi are particularly good.
Chotiwalas Asliaddress: Subhash GhatClaiming to be the original, unfranchised Chotiwalas, this is the first shop right below the steps when walking south from Hari-ki-Pairi. The "Chotiwalas Special" (₹75) is a super-filling concoction of paneer and veggies in a creamy tomato base, topped with cheese and yogurt.
Chotiwalasaddress: Subhash Ghat (and other outlets around town).The closest Haridwar gets to McDonald's (not very), serves up a wide menu of South and North Indian favourites, with some Indian-Chinese thrown in. Most meals around ₹60.
Dada Boudir Hoteladdress: Railway RoadThis is a tasty Bengali eatery, serving lunch and dinner. Dehradun rice with ghee, fries, 2 curries, chutney, dal, etc. are ₹45 per head including multiple servings.
Didir Hoteladdress: Opposite Hotel Vishrant VishnughatDidir Hotel is a convenient location located at Vishnughat and famous for its multiple serving Thalis. Costing ₹40, as of August 2011, it consists of hot rice with ghee, fritters, 1 dry and 1 curries, along with Daal (which is typically sweet sour) and a sweet chutney at the end. Known for its Dhokaar Dalna, and it serves multiple rotis along with curries at ₹40.
Dosa PlazaA chain that offers 104 varieties of dosas, along with Indian and Chinese food.
HoshiyarpuriwalaThis shop is old and claims to have started in year 1935. It has a wide variety of North Indian delicacies. The thali used to cost ₹80, but they have reportedly stopped serving it. They also have a house special dessert: Khaao India Khaao.
Hotel Alpanaphone: +91 1334-225544, +91 1334 224567address: Ram GhatClaiming to be the new, clean Alpana. The "Alpana Meal" is ₹75 breakfast & ₹150 for lunch & ₹150 for dinner.
Kwality Mysore Restaurantaddress: Upper Road towards Mansa devi and har Ki pauriA good South Indian restaurant serving South Indian thalis and snacks. Dosas are the speciality.
Mashir Hoteladdress: VishnughatCompletely Bengali eatery serving basmati rice, along with dal, 2 seasonal curries, 1 fried item, chutney and ghee, unlimited servings. Breakfast of puri sabji is priced at ₹15 for 6 pooris and 1 sabzi.
Sindh dugdh Bhandaraddress: Rly. rd. HaridwarPopular since 1948, it is well maintained and a multi-cuisine restaurant with very good service and air conditioned, which is unusual in the town.
Spice N NiceServe Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines.
Deluxe Dada Boudir Hoteladdress: Below Hotel LionsBengali cuisine, such as Basmati ride, Dal, 2 seasonal curries, 1 fried item, chutney and ghee.
Kreams n Kountryaddress: Station road haridwarThe Pao Bhaji Is delicious speciality .But the other notable products include Rajma chawal, veggie burger, chats of all kind, and ice creams..The staff are helpful and polite.
Mohan Puriaddress: Harki PauriThe most famous food shop at harki pauri and everything fits in budget. But due to high tourist rush its bit congested in festival seasons.
Sushanto Choley Kulche walaaddress: Ramghat main bazaar en route to Mansa Devi Temple curveExcellent chloe for kulche with hot stew.
Ambience Guest Housephone: +91 9837061220address: Shravan Nath Nagar, near Harmilap BhawanAC/Non-AC rooms available.
Hotel Bhagwati Niwasphone: +91 1334224328, +91 1334327491address: Sabzi Mandi, (near Vishnu Ghat), HaridwarOn the banks of the Ganges. All room facing Gangaji with private ghat!
Hotel Haridwar Residencyphone: +91 9837420086address: 55 Kankhal RoadModern, clean and peaceful hotel located 3 minutes' walk from the Haridwar railway and bus station. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms available, all with private bathrooms. Singles, doubles, triples and four bed rooms available with 24-hour reception. Contact Mohit Manchanda via email or mobile for reservation.
address: Sharawan Nath Nagar (Sadhubela Marg), HaridwarLocated in mid of Haridwar. Air-con and non-air-con rooms available. Online bookings can be made at this address
phone: +91 334-220938address: Railway Road, near Shivmurti. Small, not entirely clean rooms. Hot water available from 06:00-08:00 only, but the shower may be broken. The hotel restaurant (Big Ben) is well liked, but somewhat below-priced.
Hotel Gayatri Classicphone: +91 1334322473address: Shravan Nath Nagar, near Harmilap BhawanAIr-con & non-air-con rooms.
phone: +91 9756930661 (Manager - Mr. Negi)address: Near Shivmurti, Kankhal RoadA budget hotel.
phone: +91 9897810055Sharawan Nath Nagar (Sadhubela Marg), Haridwar. Located in mid of Haridwar. Air-con & non-air-con rooms with hot/cold water. Has a cyber cafe.
Rahi MotelGovernment Tourist Lodge.
Shri Ram Sharnam Ashramphone: +91 9810011735511-A, Sapta Sarovar Marg (near Agrasen Ghat), Bhopatwala.
- Bhaj-Govindam, near Bhimgoda Bridge (entrance is through a narrow alley and around a corner, look for the signs). Charming,hut-style accommodation, with a common lawn area over-looking the river. ₹900/₹1550. (Air-con in some rooms).
- Chitra Heritage Chitra cinema Street, Haridwar. It is 3 mins walk from the railway station and 10mins walk from har-ki-pauri. Air-con & non-air-com rooms available at ₹700/₹3490. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are available. Tel:+91 9760129990 +91 8954776655 (firstname.lastname@example.org, .
Hotel Ganga DarshanIs situated at Har-Ki- Pauri Haridwar in close proximity to Banks, Shopping Complexes and local market. Air-con & non-air-con rooms available at ₹950/₹1250/₹1550. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are available.
Hotel LandMarkMain Jwalapur Haridwar Road. Prime location provides easy access to Har-ki-Pauri in the heart of the haridwar, Daksh Mahadev Temple in the Khankhal city, and the commercial market area on the Main Jwalapur Haridwar Road. Rooms have air-con.
TeerthSubhash Ghat, Hari-Ki-Pairi. Riverside accommodation right next to Hari-Ki-Pairi, the main selling point is the great river views from the balconies. Rooms have air-con, and are spacious & clean.
Virasat ResidencyChitra cinema Street, Haridwar. It is 3 min walk from the railway station and 10 mins walk from har-ki-pauri. Air-con & non-air-con room at ₹1050/₹550. All room are spacious and front sided. Parking facilities are available.
County Inn & SuitesHaripur Kalan, Motichur. Run by the Carlton group, this is the only international branded hotel in Haridwar and probably the best of the bunch. The main drawback is the location, some 6 km out of town.
Ganga Lahariaddress: Gou GhatClose to Har Ki Pauri, rooms open to a central corridor facing the river. Part of the same management running Haveli Hari Hanga
Ginger HaridwarOpp. Dudhadhari Temple, Bhopatwala. Clean, minimalistic hotel operated by the Ginger chain.
Haveli Hari Gangaphone: +91 334 226443address: 21 Pilibhit House, Ram GhatA comfortably appointed hotel/spa with a private ghat and balconies (few rooms) overlooking the river. ₹2800+.
phone: +91 334 262648, +91 93680 47844address: 1 Shyamlok, Opp. Shantikunj, Rishikesh RoadCan also be stated as pride of Haridwar in terms of redefining hospitality, quality of Rooms, Service and Restaurant Temptation and Banquet Celebration
Hotel Shiv Murtiaddress: Railway Rd (near Shivmurti chouk)A big hotel with more than 30 air-con & non-air-con clean rooms with attached bathroom. Hot water available 06:00-09:00 only. The hotel restaurant serves good food.
Alcohol is strictly banned in Haridwar. So don't get trapped in any illegal alcohol consumption as no one wants to end his journey in prison.
Similar to other holy places, Haridwar has significant number of beggars and charlatans. Watch out for the motives of Sadhus trying to offer some one-to-one tutoring in return of money. Beware of greedy monkeys which may attack anytime to grab food from your hands. Be watchful when you walk, as cows and their abundant leftovers can be seen on the roads.
- Rishikesh - "Haridwar lite" 26 km upriver, popular with backpackers; literally meaning Lord of Senses, Rishikesh stands for Lord Vishnu and the city is blessed with holy river Ganges
- Rajaji National Park - developed by integrating Motichur sanctuary, Chilla sanctuary and Rajaji Sanctuary, Rajaji National Park lies between Haridwar and Rishikesh and is worth a stopover on your way to Rishikesh
- Sapta Rishi Ashram - a few km from Haridwar, the ashram is believed to have been the meditation ground of seven sages