HARIDWAR- GATEWAY TO SOURCE OF THE GANGES!!!!
"HAR KI PAURI- HARIDWAR!!!!"
Haridwar is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. It's also your starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila's curse. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors.
The holy city of Haridwar is home to some of the Most sacred Hindu rituals. Round the year, devotees from all over the country flock here in their thousands to perform "Poojas" or prayers. Renowned for the "Maha Kumbh Mela" which appears Every 12 years and the enchanting "Aarti" at "Har Ki Pauri" which captives the beholder with hundreds of burning wick lamps floating down the Ganga, this town has been distinguished for centuries in the Indian society.
The list of attractions in Haridwar is endless. Har-Ki-Pauri, the sacred ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. The golden reflection of floral diyas in the river Ganges is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga aarti ceremony at the ghat.
Haridwar has a number of interesting sites that you can include in your excursion. Rishikesh, around 28 km off Haridwar, is at the base of the Himalayas and it is where the Ganges comes down to the plains from the hills. A breathtaking experience of natural beauty and undiscovered wildlife awaits here. Not to mention the peace and tranquility of a landscape associated with sages and meditation.
Haridwar or 'the Gateway to the Gods' is one of the seven holiest places according to Hindu mythology, as the Gods are believed to have left their footprints in Haridwar. Due to its geographical location too, Haridwar stands as the gateway to the other three important pilgrimages of Uttrakhand namely, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Referred to as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained a major pilgrimage for the Hindus.
According to the mythology it is known as Kapilsthan. legend goes that the suryavnshi Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of the sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful waters revived the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara. Mythologically, drops of nectar churned out from the primordial ocean fell at the four sites of the Kumbh mela including Haridwar. The kumbha mela, happening once every 12 years and the Ardha Kumbha Mela (Coming once every six years) are big draws. One of the oldest living cities, Haridwar has been in people's mind from the period of Buddha to the British advent and now even is the 21st century. Besides being a religious place, it has served as the center for learning arts, science and culture.
We visited this place on 25th of January 2007 for a day. Like thousands of people we also worshipped the Ganges at Har Ki Pauri. Har means Lord Shiva. We also witnessed that many people from other faiths, from various countries come here for Salvation and offer theri Prayers. ( You need not be a Hindu to do this!!). We met two ladies from Hobert, Tasmania, Australia who performedPooja for their Ancestors and the living family members. They also carried away %lts of Sacred water of The Ganges with them to Australia!!