Hardwar : Still Mesmerising....
Favorite thing: Hardwar ( or the gate to (reach) Har or Shiva) serves as the gateway to most of the Garhwal mountains. This is a city that have eternally fascinated me with all its flavour.
Eternally a holy city or site for the Hindus , Hardwar is also a busy city with pilgrims and tourists thronging it alike.
Situated 26 kms from Rishikesh, Hardwar stands at the foothills of the Himalayas and has major road and rail connections to north and other parts of India.
The city is vegetarian.. meaning you cannot have non veg food here. The region in fact is mostly vegetarian ...reason being this is one of the most holy areas for the Hindus with the Panchkedar and Panch Badri dotted around the garhwal Himalayas.
Fondest memory: The Evening Sandhya Aarti from the Har ki Paori is fascinating, provided you are fine with jostling the crowds and arriving earlier to find a nice viewing space. The best of course is near the base of the Clock Tower which gives direct view to the Aarti.
Attached are couple of pictures taken in 2001.
Haridwar, the Ganges, and the Kumbh Mela
Favorite thing: Haridwar's claim to fame is the fact that it is one of the four Indian cities included in the river crossings of the massive Kumbh Mela festival. This Hindu religious rite takes place every twelve years: the central aspect is for the visiting pilgrims to walk through the waters of the Ganges river. Literally millions of people show up for the event. Getting them all up to, through, and out of the river is a logistical nightmare that has taxed the patience of the city's administration for decades. Solely for this event, huge walkways, gates, and dams have been built around the Ganges in Haridwar.