is the gateway to the four pilgrimages Char Dham
Yatra of Uttarakhand (Gangotri,
and Kedarnath). Haridwar is an important pilgrimage city
and municipality in the Haridwar District of Uttarakhand,
River Ganges, after flowing for 253 kilometres
(157 miles) from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the
Gangotri Glacier, enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North
India for the first time at Haridwar, which gave the city
its ancient name, Gangadwára.
Haridwar is also your starting point on the journey to the
sacred sources of the rivers Ganga and the Yamuna. According
to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage
the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to sage Kapil’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 salvation
of their ancestors.
Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places
to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan, Haridwar along
with Ujjain, Nasik and Allahabad is one of four sites where
drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled
over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial
bird Garuda. This is manifested in the Kumbh
Mela or Kumbha Mela being celebrated every
3 years in one of the 4 places, and thus every
12 years in Haridwar. Amidst the Kumbha Mela, millions
of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar
to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges
to wash away their sins to attain Moksha. Brahma Kund, the
spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally,
"footsteps of the Lord") and is considered to
be the most sacred ghat of Haridwar.
Haridwar is the headquarters and the largest city of the district.
Today, the Haridwar city is developing beyond its religious
importance, with the fast developing industrial estate of
State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation
(SIDCUL), and the close by township of Bharat Heavy Electricals
Limited in Ranipur, Uttarakhand as well as its affiliated
In Sanskrit, Haridwar stands for Dwara of Hari or Gateway
to God, where 'Hari' means God and 'Dwar'
means Gate. In ancient times, the city was referred
to as Gangadwára, the place where the Ganges descends to the
Haridwar is a vegetarian city by law, as well as an alcohol-free
city as alcohol is banned in Haridwar.