Propitiously located at the point where river Ganga emerges from the Himalayas, Haridwar(also called Hardwar) is one of the holiest city in India. This is a land of Saints, Mahatmas and Sanyasis. Haridwar is a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey. Pilgrimage from all over the world come here to take holy dip into ganga. It is said one can attend Moksha (final release) here. According to legends, it is the place where Ganga descended from the locks of Lord Shiva’s hair. After emerging from its source, Goumukh(Gangotri glacier), Ganga enters the plains for the first time at Haridwar.
Haridwar is among the seven holiest places called sapta puri to Hindus. According to the ancient hindu scriptures, Haridwar is among the four places where the drops of Amrit(elixir of immortality) spilled over. This is manifested in Kumbha mela which is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar. Brahmakund, the spot where the Amrit fell, is located at Har ki Pauri( which means Footsteps of God) . Har ki pauri is considered to be the most sacred ghats in Haridwar and in India. The Morning and Evening prayer (Aarti) at dusk offered to Goddess Ganga at Har Ki Paudi is an enchanting and unforgettable experience for any visitor. Haridwar is additionally a passage gateway to Chardham (the four principal focuses of journey in uttrakhand, (viz,Badrinath, Kedarnath,Gangotri and Yamunotri). Haridwar is also known as the home of Devi Sati.
Something which is very interesting and not known to many is that in Haridwar an ancient custom detailed family genealogies of Hindu families for the past several generations are kept by professional Hindu Brahmins known as ‘Pandas’ in a hand written registers passed down to them over generations by their Brahmin ancestors, with special designated Brahmin families being incharge of designated district register. So one can easily avail details of even more than ones seven generations in this genealogy registers kept by the Pandas of Haridwar.
Haridwar’s importance as the ever refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind body and soul has gained impetus down the ages. It has also been a centre of attraction for learning various arts, science and culture. The city has a long standing position as a great source of ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies and is home to unique gurukul(scholl of traditional education). The university of IIT Roorkee, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institute of learning in the field of science and engineering
A large part of the city is forested and Rajaji National Park is within the bounds of the district, making it an ideal destination for wildlife and adventure lovers.